Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rise above divisive politics By Isabelle Lai, P. Aruna and Martin Carvalho

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak must be a statesman and transcend party politics to ensure the national reconciliation programme is a success.
International Islamic University of Malaysia lecturer Prof Datuk Seri Dr Syed Arabi Idid said the Prime Minister must invite all political leaders for an apolitical discussion.
He added that there were core fundamental issues that needed to be addressed as Malaysia moves on after the general election.
“Several studies show people cite the economy and crime as two major issues. Our political leaders can work together to address them,” he said.
The results of GE13 saw a big swing among urban voters for Pakatan Rakyat while Barisan Nasional retained most of its traditional vote banks in rural areas.
The Chinese also made their voices heard with many supporting the Opposition, especially in areas where DAP was pitted against MCA.
Two ministers, Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha and Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, lost their parliamentary seats.
Social entrepreneur Anas Zubedy agreed that the reconciliation programme should not only involve politicians.
Noting the intense emotion and anger exhibited by both sides of the divide on social media, he questioned whether the hate politics peddled online should be allowed to continue.
“We must rise above it and leaders from both sides will have to lead the way. Both sides must tell their followers to stop such behaviour,'' said Anas.
1Malaysia Foundation chairman Prof Dr Chandra Muzaffar, meanwhile, said it was essential for the various communities to “rededicate” themselves to the fundamentals on which the country was founded.
He called for the establishment of a national consultative council involving not just politicians but civil society groups as well.
“The fact remains the Chinese did play a part in generating this victory for DAP. Likewise, PAS may say it is not ethnic-based but its appeal is largely Malay. So how can one say ethnicity did not play a part?” he questioned.
Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute CEO Tan Sri Michael Yeoh said Najib's call was timely as the nation was divided.
“It is time to reach out to all the ethnic groups and unite on common ground,” he said.


Halim Rahman said...

It is with most utter disgust that now after the results of the elections only come flowery gesture to share. The GE13 results have actually hit the dirt when it come to gutter politics and with DAP propagating political assimilation along the racial lines. GE13 shows Chinese, when it comes to sharing wealth, will humiliate even their hands that feed them all this while. It shows in Gelang Patah, Lembah Pantai and Bukit Katil. UMNO needs to answer no more to this wealth driven kiasu's and start to aggressively concentrate and helping the plight of the malays and the indians and others.These are the people that have voted them in PRU13! Gesturing is already given for the last 55 years!

Anonymous said...

Sudahlah Zubedy.

You melayu kan?

Unknown said...

if this is true, than we need to to get everyone to admit their failings in upholding unity in Malaysia. It's not fair to blame ONLY the Malays. It's strange but true that in Malaysia, racism is a two-way street

Anonymous said...

It is too late , and the damage done over the last 56 years is too great. Nothing real or sincere can be achieved no matter what you do now in the efforts to reconcile. This country was designed to fail. There was never real harmony from Day 1, and we should all not try to pretend that there was. We survived all these years due to the accomodating Malays. But there is a limit to Malay tolerance and that limit reached the peak during PRU13. Why should they reconcile when the malays now rule the country?. Some may say that our economy will suffer due to instability, and I say the malays dont give a damn as it is the chinese who will lose the most. The malays can start from ground zero from their kampongs. Screw the KPIs as these numbers mean nothing to them if they have to coexist with the chinese who plan to deny their rights as the rightful owners of Tanah Melayu.

Unknown said...

please include the Malay/ Bumi voices in articles like this. The writers doesn't even reflect the racial make-up in the country.

What happens now, race-wise is a Newton Third Law in theory. for everything that happens there is an equal reaction. Please do not ignore the subversive, racist voices, particularly racist towards the Malays in the comment sections of Malaysian Insider, Malaysiakini, Malaysia Today and Malaysia Chronicles.

In one article where the PM urged non Malays to speak in the national language, people were snarking away saying how the national language is not important and doesn't help them advance in life. Not once did they think to learn the language to better understand and strengthen race relations with their Malay brothers and sisters.

You can whack the malays if they're being racist. racism is a bad thing. But for god's sake, don't close one eye and look away when the Chinese are being racist towards the malays. That would just be double standard. And if that kept happening, the Malays would take matters into their own hands, and I do not need to tell you why that is bad.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:29

Uganda is still starting from ground zero even though Idi Amin's rule ended more than 20 years ago.

Cambodia did a ground zero also. Today, they are one of the poorest nations on earth with massive income inequality & crippling poverty.

So be careful what you wish for.

Anonymous said...

God created man. We are all God's creation. Whether God make us Malay, Chinese ,Indian etc, we will meet Him one day and be accountable for what we said, did and thought. Kudos to Zubedy for starting this campaign of healing ourselves. We have to focus on the positive side of every person instead of the negative side otherwise we find everyone a pain in the neck. Our tongue is a small organ but it can cause such damage (as seen here) when we don't control it. If we continue to point fingers at each other, we will never forgive and forget. We can only heal when we forgive and lay down the burden. Those who refuse to forgive will live in anger and bitterness that will lead to greater damage and grave consequences. In this situation having short memory is a blessing. We forget hurtful words. Do we want to heal or do we want to continue to hurt each other? In a war, there is no winner. Can hate conquer hate? Everyone knows only love can conquer hate. We're having young innocent child wondering why the malay called the chinese and indians pendatang when we are all born in Malaysia. The land belongs to God and we are just temporary appointed steward. We make up the country Malaysia. Treat each other as human being. Love each other like you love yourself.