Thursday, May 9, 2013

National Reconciliation Is a Necessary Step Toward Improved National Unity

Civil society agrees: Malaysia is a divided nation, but one that may yet, and should, and must, come together.
1Malaysia Foundation Trustee Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye has called for a National Unity Consultative Council to begin the efforts toward repairing racial integration and national unity, adding that racial polarisation should be avoided at all costs.
"Multiracial living and community are part of our history and heritage. They have become a key source of racial integration for years and have certainly played a part in making Malaysia a harmonious place to live, learn, work and play," he said in a statement released to media.
International Movement for a Just World (JUST) president Dr Chandra Muzaffar echoed the call for the council, stressing its importance in restoring racial harmony. "The council must represent all the political parties, individuals within or outside the political arena who can contribute ideas on solidarity and participate in sincere dialogues," he said.
Their statements echoed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's call for a national reconciliation project aimed at repairing the rifts that have developed in society, brought to the fore by GE13.
Racial and religious relations have not always been perfect in Malaysia, and sometimes far from it, but the ideal and the efforts to achieve it have brought Malaysia together and helped ensure our unique place in the region and the world: a progressive Muslim-majority country dedicated to growth and harmony.
This is the theme of the 1Malaysia concept on which Najib has built his administration, and he shows no signs of ending that project or its ideals soon. It is to Najib's credit that he has refused to abandon this project even after winning fewer seats in Parliament than he had hoped; he clearly understands that this is the way forward for Barisan Nasional and Malaysia as a whole.

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