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Monday, February 9, 2015

When will this race and religious tension end?

By SSK

Even before the controversy about what the Minister said regarding boycotting Chinese shops can die down, the new controversy regarding the conversion to Islam of the under-aged Sabahan schoolgirl erupts and, even before that can be resolved, we now have the concerns being expressed by the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) regarding JAKIM’s plan to distribute one million Qurans to non-Muslims.

Will Malaysia ever see the end of all this race and religious tension? There seems to be a series of issues cropping up non-stop, one after another, and if it not this it is that, which is bringing Malaysians to the brink of discontentment and intolerance.

Malaysia has never seen this level of problems before this. In the past, Malaysians have always been more tolerant of one other and, even if there were issues, Malaysians have always been able to sit down to try to resolve these differences. Now it looks like they no longer care. They just lash out with absolutely no regard for the result of what they say.

We in Sabah, and of course those in Sarawak as well, are getting very concerned with the way Malaysians no longer care about what they do and say and whether their actions and words are going to trigger hostilities. We would like to call for some sanity to be restored and for Malaysians to be more responsible and not ‘play politics’ at the expense of peace and stability.

This requires a political will and politicians need to take the lead in toning down this race and religion rhetoric that can only be disruptive and destructive if not contained. We cannot act only once the damage is done as history has proven that once it reaches that level it is very difficult to turn back the clock.

I only hope and pray that there are enough sensible Malaysians who do not like what they are seeing and would like to see Malaysia as what it used to be back in the old days when Malaysians strived to live with one another regardless of race and religion.

Or am I hoping for the impossible?

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