Prominent Voices Stress Unity’s Imperative in Malaysia; Calls for Harmony and Rejection of Extremism” In the pursuit of national unity, the challenges that have impeded progress must be thoughtfully addressed, according to National Unity Advisory Council member Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye. He emphasizes the significance of mutual respect among Malaysians of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Lee advocates a vigilant understanding of religious and cultural sensitivities to preserve inter-racial harmony. Underscoring the urgency, he asserts that Malaysians must prioritize racial and religious harmony while denouncing extremism that threatens peace.
Lee calls upon level-headed, patriotic citizens to unite and avoid making inflammatory statements that could sow discord. He stresses their responsibility to maintain peace, harmony, and national unity by refraining from provocations and violence.
In discussions about race, Datuk Mohamed Arshad Mohammed Raji, President of Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot), underscores the historical foundation of Malaysia’s unity through the collaboration of Malay, Chinese, and Indian communities during the country’s formation. Raji deems it inappropriate to raise racial issues, asserting that race, religion, and royalty (3R) should not be subjects of discussion. He argues against the concept of a ‘one race superpower,’ advocating instead for a country that embraces diversity and rejects race-based politics. He calls for a unified political party that accommodates all races.
Independent scholar Professor Dr Sharifah Munirah Alatas emphasizes a unifying Merdeka celebration, free from racial or religious barriers. She interprets Merdeka as liberation from oppressive rule and the amalgamation of diverse cultures, religions, and languages. Alatas sees National Day as a means to break free from ethnocentric and exploitative leadership, inviting Malaysians to unite around their multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and culturally rich identity.
In summary, these voices converge on the significance of unity, mutual respect, and the rejection of extremism in Malaysia. They underline the necessity of transcending race-based politics, embracing diversity, and commemorating national liberation through a shared sense of identity and purpose.