31 January, 2010

A Test of Malaysian Resolve


The recent spate of attacks on our houses of worship tested all of our resolve as Malaysians. These shameful acts shook our nation and their profound impact was highlighted across the globe.

Encouragingly, voices are ringing loud and clear across Malaysia in condemnation of these incidents.  I am moved and inspired by this. The chorus of disapproval and anger towards this handful of malicious individuals rippling throughout our land is a powerful demonstration of the true spirit of 1Malaysia, or unity in diversity.

I know that 1Malaysia has its critics. I know that some Malaysians are quick to dismiss or even ridicule it. I know that some question its substance. To all those expressing doubt, I say this: 1Malaysia has a noble purpose. It is a call to action underpinned by age-old, fundamental values that have always existed with us, such as integrity and loyalty. These core human values are woven together into the fabric of our national identity. Our Malaysian identity.

What happened in recent days was not only an affront to our religious beliefs, but a visible violation of the spirit and purpose of 1Malaysia. It was an attempt to undermine our progress towards acceptance and inclusion. And more deplorably, it was an attempt to sow seeds of intolerance.

Still, the most unsettling element of these attacks is the underlying emotions that drove the individuals to action. It is this mentality that must be identified and corrected.

We must not accept intolerance or destruction of our community. I would also encourage parents, teachers and leaders to teach our children to stand united against crude attempts to disrupt our harmony. Only then will we prevail as a stronger and better Malaysia.