Avoiding the slippery slope

THE Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) notes with great respect the statement issued by The Malay Rulers reiterating the supremacy of our Federal Constitution which embodies the founding principles of our nation.

This statement is indeed timely, when the nation is faced with a real threat of extreme racial and religious polarisation. The recent "Muslim only laundry" issue has definitely taken the nation by surprise. The MCCBCHST would have expected such a statement to come from the political leaders but unfortunately they chose to remain silent.

While we have recently celebrated our 60th Merdeka Day with great splendour, what disappoints us is the fact that instead of moving forward from tolerating to celebrating our diversity, we have shown clear signs of disunity. We continue to speak of unity and harmony but regress at the same time.

The MCCBCHST would hint that should the current situation be left unchecked, it will only worsen, signalling the rise of instability which has a potential to destroy the social fabric of our beautiful nation.

Fundamental to any multiracial, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation's growth is the unity among its people. Over the years our diverse society has toiled together and achieved unparalleled success across socioeconomic and political fronts.

Guided by the profound philosophy of Rukun Negara, supported by core principles of our constitution and steered by great leadership, together we have demonstrated to the world that people of diverse racial and religious backgrounds can live in harmony, work together and build a great nation, apt to the tagline Malaysia is Truly Asia!

For the benefit of our future generations, it is now our responsibility to continue with this journey which was started by our elders. To achieve success we must begin to celebrate and not merely tolerate our differences.

If our political leadership fails to act decisively in weeding out negative elements, we will consciously put our existence at stake. The peace and stability which we enjoy today can only be sustained if our politicians choose to preserve it.

Differences in religious ideologies and varying viewpoints are bound to exist but we must continue to respect each other's existence. There will be continued challenges but all that which we have achieved thus far must never be traded as ransom.

Daulat Tuanku!

Datuk Mohan Shan
Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism