66 years and counting: A pessimist view of no end to ethnical and faith divide in Malaysia

WE have just celebrated our 66th Merdeka Day yesterday (Aug 31) but the truth is that Malaysia is still very much battling for basic rights, supremacy policies, corruptions, double standards, discrimination, unlawful conversions, racial, fanaticism and extremism in the country.

Hence, citizens of this nation – whether we wish to accept it or not – have continued to be divided and segregated in accordance with their race and religious status,

This is when Malaysians need to demand and voice out for their basic fundamental rights, thus furthering the failure of the current and previous administrations.

Instead of moving to forging ahead in terms of progress and development to achieve prosperity for all, we are moving backwards with our unity and harmony seemingly be under threat.

Very frankly, nothing has changed for decades now; politicians have continued to plant the seed of hatred by fanning the racial and religious sentiments just to gain their political mileage.

Ironically, three are only three occasions during which all citizens are recognised as Malaysians – during the Merdeka Day, Malaysia Day and during the general election (GE) campaign period. Beyond that, every Malaysian is identified and segregated in accordance with their race and religion.

The use of religion in politics by the government and among politicians has become very rampant. Lately, we observe that the government is incorporating religious modules into the education system as part of the national school modules which has since created lots of unease and fear among netizens although the new syllabus is only targeted at Muslim pupils.

We strongly urge that religion should be kept away from politics, schools and workplace.

Recently Malaysia has started to see those who criticise the present administration – even in the most constructive of manner – to be subjected to harassment and intimidation by the authorities.

This is a direct affront to the basic human rights of Malaysians under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution on Freedom of Speech and Expression.

The question we all have to ask ourselves is where Malaysia is heading with 34 years to clocking its independent centennial come 2057. At this moment, the feeling is that the entire nation is seemingly going backwards with our unity and harmony seemingly be under threat.

Can Malaysia be saved or our fate has been sealed as a failed nation? – Sept 1, 2023


S. Shashi Kumar is president of non-governmental organisation (NGO) the Global Human Rights Federation (GHRF).

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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