Call on all religions in Malaysia to unite with common objective to make Malaysia the beacon and inspiration for the world as a showcase of multi-religious harmony, understanding, tolerance, solidarity and unity
When the nation achieved Merdeka in 1957 and Malaysia was formed in 1963, religion was conceived as an important nation-building block for the country to be a showcase to the world how a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural country could unite as one successful, progressive and prosperous nation with harmony, understanding, tolerance, solidarity and unity from our various diversities of race, religion, language and culture.
This is a time to take stock of our six decades of nation-building, for Malaysia seems to have lost its way – the nation losing its moral compass and forfeiting our moral high ground in the international community.
After six decades, Malaysia has not been able to leverage on our maximum potentials, whether in the political, economic, social, educational, human resources development and nation-building spheres – being increasingly left behind by many countries like Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong which were behind us during our early years of nationhood, and now at risk of being overtaken by even more countries, especially, Vietnam, Thailand and even Indonesia.
China and Indonesia had trailed far behind Malaysia on the anti-corruption front, but in the past few decades, Malaysia has gradually but relentlessly lost ground to these two countries, until the question now is not whether, but when China and Indonesia will overtake Malaysia as a less corrupt country!
Something is very wrong when the government and nation can take with complacency and equanimity our new international infamy and ignominy for being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy, pretending that such infamy and ignominy do not exist or blaming them on an international conspiracy against Malaysia.
What has happened to Malaysia and why has country lost its way, to a stage where we have lost the capability to differentiate between right and wrong or feel a sense of shame, humiliation and outrage at being regarded by the world as a global kleptocracy – values taught by all religions in the world?
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has an international wasatiyyah campaign through the Global Movement of Moderates initiative, preaching to the world the principles and values of moderation, justice, balance and excellence.
But we overlooked one important aspect – what is the use of preaching the wasatiyyah principles to the world when in our own country, our citizens have increasingly lost these wasatiyyah principles and values?
Instead, the advocates of hate, intolerance, lies, falsehoods, extremism and fanaticism are rearing their ugly heads as illustrated by the demand at the start o of the month of Ramadan that non-Muslims should not partake in the breaking of fasts; the thuggish incident in Kluang Bazaar Ramadan where the DAP MP for the constituency was roughed up when making a goodwill visit; calls for the banning of Evangelical Christianity; escalation of lies and falsehoods on the social media seeking to blacken the image of Pakatan Harapan and DAP leaders etc.
Over the decades, there has been more rather than lesser racial and religious polarization.
We must restore our moral bearings and re-set our nation building directions and policies, and this where religion has an important role to foster greater harmony, tolerance, understanding, solidarity and unity among the diverse religions in Malaysia and among Malaysians of diverse religions.
The latest news that Malaysia’s most wanted terrorist, Mahmud Ahmad, was among the key militant leaders involved in the deadly offensive in Marawi, Mindanao have shocked Malaysians.
We do not want to see in Malaysia the senseless terrorist bombings and killings in London, Manchester, Paris, Jakarta, Mindanao and even in Teheran, where hatred, distrust, intolerance, lies, falsehoods and extremism replace love, compassion, tolerance, truth, honesty and moderation as the weltanschauung of the day.
Moderate Malaysians must not flinch from taking an uncompromising stand against extremism or fanaticism of any form, for the price of failure to do so will be the loss of peace, harmony, mutual respect, solidarity and unity among the diverse races, religions and regions in the country.
I therefore call on all religions in Malaysia to unite with the common objective to make Malaysia the beacon and inspiration for the world as a showcase of multi-religious harmony, understanding, tolerance, solidarity and unity.