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Young Malaysians' dream of unity

  • Young Malaysians harbor a common dream of racial harmony and national unity, which should set the direction for this country's future development.

Sin Chew Daily

TN50 Youth Report has made several proposals on the many issues around us, reflecting their expectations for this country.

Such proposals ought to command the serious attention of our government leaders.

The report touched on economic development as well as social construction, covering very broad aspects in the country's development, including the objective of achieving a tolerant society, Gini coefficient down to 0.3 or lower by 2050, as well as closing the gaps between the quality of life and education standard in urban and rural areas.

The youths also proposed the construction of a national identity in a multicultural environment to promote greater solidarity among Malaysians of different ethnic backgrounds, including making religious studies and ethnic relations compulsory subjects at secondary schools, and creating a truly harmonious Malaysian society through education.

In addition to Bahasa Malaysia and English, they also proposed that the government encourage primary school students to learn a third language, such as Chinese and Tamil.

All these show that young Malaysians today have come to the realization of the importance of national unity and interracial harmony as cornerstone for the country's continued prosperity.

As a matter of fact, national unity is an inevasible issue and challenge in any multicultural society. Having been independent for so long, while the country has indeed seen some improvement in interracial relations, we are nowhere near the ultimate goal of true national unity.

Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak admitted that the government had yet to find a successful formula to bring all Malaysians together regardless of race.

Indeed this is a difficult hurdle to cross, but we are working hard to identify workable solutions to unite Malaysians and unleash more possibilities.

National unity is not just related to education. It also entails the value system of the entire society. The existing social structure and mentality will definitely affect our next generation. If majority of us continue to embrace racist mentality,. how do we expect our young people to break the shackles of racism?

Realistically, this country has been plagued by racism for decades and it is impossible for us to shed this stubborn malady overnight. Even if we are still unable to work out a formula to unite Malaysians, at least we must do all we can to remove factors that might lead to further racial polarization.

In other words, all quarters must stop raising racial issues so as not to hamper the healthy growth of interracial relations, or this country will continue to face the same old problem after another 50 years.

Youths are the future hopes of this country. They all harbor a common dream of racial harmony and national unity, which should set the direction for this country's future development, and all our government leaders, politicians and members of the public must take note of this, as we forge ahead step by step towards this goal instead of regressing down the racist path.


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