By LIM MUN FAH
Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE
Sin Chew Daily
Let's continue with yesterday's topic. In his kingmakers speech, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad delivered a sentence worth pondering. He said that political racialisation is not conductive to the development of Malaysia and only power sharing can solve racial problems.
What is power sharing?
Narrowly defined, it refers to having representatives of different racial groups in a government Cabinet, regardless of whether it is a BN or Paktan Rakyat government.
However, it is still not enough to have representatives of different racial groups only in name. The government must also ensure that its policy is fair, equitable to every racial group, as well as allows all to live in harmony and to enjoy basic rights in economy, education, belief and culture under the principle of democracy and freedom. The government can be considered as practising the spirit of power sharing only by doing so.
To put it bluntly, power sharing is not limited to allow party leaders to share the power of governance, but it also grants all the people, regardless of their racial identities, religions and cultures, to share all national interests.
The truth itself is not complicated, but some politicians have complicated it.
Some politicians manipulate racial issues, incite racial sentiments, create inter-racial contradictions and conflicts, as well as destroy racial harmony and unity for their own interests and to win power.
We must be wary that, the more a politician knows how to manipulate racial issues and sentiments, the more he will try to make himself a hero. He calls himself a fighter of his own racial group and a defender of his culture. He emphasises the legitimacy and superiority of his racial group, and claims that his group is the only master of this piece of land, while labelling other racial groups as immigrants or even passengers. Therefore, his group must take precedence over other groups and enjoy the highest status.
Such a set of mindset full of racial colours is dangerous as it will make some people to gradually lose the spirit of tolerance and compromise, and refuse to tolerate racial discrepancy, as well as differences in belief and culture. They will then turn arrogant and discriminate others, or even despise and distrust others, in the name of unity and patriotism. They can no longer tolerate with diversity and just brand those who are found not exactly the same with them as unpatriotic and not conductive to unity.
The existing comparative harmony, peace and unity would then leave us more and more far away and be replaced by anger, dissatisfaction, confrontation, hatred and pain.
Such a society is definitely not what we expect or wish to see. Therefore, everyone of us must consciously guard against such politicians and expose their machinations. At the same time, we must also not forget to have self-reflections. While accusing others, we should also examine our own words and deeds. We should not accuse others of racism while showing a scornful face and expose our own tendency of racism!