IN her article (“Malaysia struggles for harmony as tension boil”, The National, Feb 24, 2010), Jennifer Pak asserts that racial division and tension in Malaysia is ingrained and widespread.
This inaccurate depiction unfairly characterises the racially-inflammatory views of a radical minority as representative of Malaysia as a whole.
It offends the majority of Malaysians who do not share this viewpoint and obscures steps taken by the Malaysian government to unify the country.
To be sure, Malaysia is one of the most ethnically diverse nations in Asia and possibly the world.
We celebrate this diversity and believe it lies at the heart of what makes us Malaysian.
However, we do not pretend to ignore the challenge of creating a cohesive society out of this diversity.
Indeed, we are addressing the matter through practical measures that emphasise unity in diversity under our banner of 1Malaysia.
Specific actions include reviewing the national civics bureau course to find ways to update the programme under the framework of 1Malaysia to ensure that the course will be more inclusive.
We are developing a course that will reinforce unity among all races and people.
Finally, since taking office, prime minister Najib Razak has called for a comprehensive review of Malaysia’s traditional socio-economic relationships.
As these reforms are rolled out, new opportunities are being created across Malaysia’s social spectrum, which we believe will build a country that we can all be proud of.
In the context of Malaysians in Papua New Guinea, the unity amongst many ethnic groups from East to West Malaysia is clearly reflected through the membership of the Malaysian Association of PNG where Malaysians of different ethnic backgrounds share the same values, aspirations and vision of 1Malaysia.
The diverse ethnic groups hail from across various states in Malaysia, ranging from the northern-most state of Perlis to Sarawak and Sabah in East Malaysia.
In spite of the diversity of these various groups, the unity reflected amongst Malaysians abroad clearly exemplify the fact that they are all proud to be Malaysians and we live by the 1Malaysia concept everyday.
Nur Azman Abdul Rahim
High Commission of Malaysia