Reviving true Malaysian spirit

Reviving true Malaysian spirit

MALAYSIANS were pleased and moved by the sincere gesture of a caring stranger, C. Anjala Devi, 63, who fed a Malay stroke patient struggling to eat at Hospital Sultanah Aminah in Johor Bahru recently.

The caring “One Malaysia” spirit of unconditional love, respect, tolerance and understanding, to emphasise peace, harmony and unity has been our priceless asset.

Sadly, such gestures were more common in the 60s and early 70s. Along the way, our political leaders seem to have lost this spirit of kindness in favour of their own agenda.

Tolerance and understanding of the heritage of the various communities that make up our unique diversity are the best selling points for our country.

Even international tourists write about it, highlighting this dynamic as a reason Malaysia is rated the most beloved country in Asia, according to a research poll by Insider Monkey. The genuine warmth and welcoming friendliness of the Malaysian people have secured these accolades.

It is important for our political leaders to practice moderation, and to reject extremism, in upholding social justice and respect for the human dignity of all Malaysians.

Our “open house” concept during festive seasons is one unique way to experience harmony and strengthen good relationships among the various ethnicities and cultures.

When the whole nation unites to celebrate the Lunar New Year, Hari Raya Adilfitri or Deepavali, it is done to increase understanding and preserve unity through peace and harmony, which is our unique and precious national asset.

To understand sports and multiculturalism in a plural society such as Malaysia, we need multicultural education and fair policies to facilitate scholarship and career opportunities for multiracial participation at the highest level.

Our schools, universities and religious bodies must instil the values of respect, compassion and caring relationships among the various ethnicities.

Programmes that foster unity and encourage Malaysians to see themselves as Malaysians first must be encouraged rather than those that focus on respective ethnic groups.

For example, Rukun Tetangga, the National Service and sporting activities at district, state and national levels are popular remedial programmes for racial integration that can bond the various races.

We need that spirit of unity, supported by a strong government, for our country to prosper and grow, economically and socially.

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