By Mohd Ayop Abd Razid
Our society is a plural society. In a society like this, there exists what we call “social diversities” which comprise difference in ethnic, race, religion, culture, custom and socio-economy. Therefore, an effort to build unity and national integration in a plural society is not an easy task.
Nevertheless, we should be proud because in terms of record, we have proven to the world that we have succeeded in building and fostering unity, harmony and prosperity in the society. It is the effects of the strong unity that we are able to enjoy and maintain political stability.
The country`s capability and success in managing and administering this plural society has attracted the world community.
In fact, in most countries with plural society, including in the developed countries, racial and religious tension and conflict often happen and plague the lives of their people.
In a plural society, the freedom and right to live should not be monopolised by a certain race, As citizens, every race should share and live in harmony, to be tolerant, help one another and to be responsible for one another. Every citizen should maintain ties by distancing themselves from issues which can spark racism.
We should understand that having accepted diversity as a strength and beauty in our society, it has made us more open and tolerant.
Once again we should be proud and be grateful because of the diverse race, culture and religion, it has succeeded in moulding the attitude and orientation of the people towards good, progress and development.
What is clear is that unity that is built in this country is based on tolerance and sense of responsibility, as well as the social contract which has been accepted by all races since Independence.
Since Independence, were have worked very hard to create a “Bangsa Malaysia” under the concept of a nation state with an identity of its own.
“Bangsa Malaysia” is a concept which is produced through the process of history which developed with its own characteristics.
The process of building this Malaysian race country is further strengthened through vision and mission which are outlined by the country`s leadership where all policies and visions give attention and justice to all races.
One thing which should be understood is unity and security are interlinked in maintaining harmony, prosperity and country`s sovereignty.
Issues on racism which can turn into conflict can threaten the country`s security. If such a racial conflict happen and difficult to be tackled, then it can be a “security dilemma”. Threats don`t just come from outside, by security threat can also exist at domestic level like ethnic conflict.
Hence, the extreme group who use religion and race be allowed to influence psychology, emotion and minds of the people because the effect is deep which can lead to anarchism and destruction of the country.
This group, although not dominant, but the effect of its ploy, which is wild and with ill-intent, can promote communal issue, as we experience in the may 13, 1969 incident. This is because they play with emotion and perception in raising an extreme racist spirit.
There should not be compromise and room for subversive elements good at playing issues on freedom of speech and human rights which are not suitable with the demographic climate and culture of our country.
Demand for democracy to an extent of ignoring sensitive matters which can create chaos and threat to security should be contained and monitored.
The spirit of the constitution which contains the social contract which has been outlined and adopted by all the races since Independence should continue to be defended and respected by all quarters.
Finally, the people should understand that Malaysia, in terms of its political dimension, requires political cooperation which can unite the political elites of the various races strongly and effectively so that development policies can be carried out effectively.
Therefore, the merger of political parties whose struggle is not in tandem and ideology difficult to be translated in our country`s political scenario. This kind of merger will always have conflict among themselves and have adverse effects on the country`s political stability.