Malaysians must stand for rationality in discourse on race and religion

Source. UCA News

It might be a little, but not too late, to finally see some prominent Malays speak up against the national discourse on race and religion that has been going pear-shaped recently.

Twenty-five of them, retired top civil servants and personalities that helped Malaysia to punch above its weight-class in the 1990s and early 2000s, sent an open letter last night to ask moderate Malaysians to stand up and be counted.

“Given the impact of such vitriolic rhetoric on race relations and political stability of this country, we feel it is incumbent on us to take a public position,” Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin, former Malaysian ambassador to the Netherlands, said in a statement issued on behalf of the 25 signatories on Sunday.

In their 19-paragraph statement, they succinctly described the need for a rational dialogue, spoke out against minister Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom’s comments on a recent transgender case, and importantly, told Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to provide leadership.

Malaysians have to laud them for their stand, for their candor, and their courage to speak their mind. But it will take more than 25 Malaysians who have seen the world in their time to ensure shrill voices do not dominate the national discourse.

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Categories: Asia

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