Greater tolerance — Lim Mun Fah
MAY 19 — We have just celebrated Wesak Day, a festival promoting mercy and world peace. On that day, politicians, religious practitioners and community leaders promoted tolerance, harmony and mutual respect while spreading love and praying for peace and prosperity. It is undoubtedly a good thing.
It is because we are very clear about what is happening in our society. When racists remarks are still rampant and the word “jihad” was blurted out by the chief of Perkasa, aren’t we in great need of calling for greater rationality and being determined to say “no” to all words and deeds of racists?
Yes, we must not turn a blind eye and let our society suffer more hostility and harassment. Religious practitioners advocating religious harmony should unite regardless of religion and race. Politicians advocating peace and moderation should also stand together regardless of political party and faction. We must clearly express our disgust and disdain over the words and deeds of extremists and fanatics.
Yes, we have had enough over all these days. How much harm has been done to our society, how many conflicts and wars of words have been caused and how much hatred and mistrust has been created by remarks defaming and rejecting other racial groups?
Yes, after experiencing so many incidents and lessons, we should have caught a clearer picture of extremists and understand better the problem. We should stop being easily offended by these people, neither should we turn a blind eye to them and let them do whatever they want.
Yes, society should move towards harmony. However, true harmony should never be led by double-faced politicians. Instead, it can only be achieved through the collective awakening and pursuit of different believers of various racial and religious groups.
We believe that the idea of seeking common ground while reserving differences is still a desire of the people, as well as a general direction of our society. Undeniably, we still have various differences in terms of culture and custom. Differences, however, do not mean conflicts and discord.
More specifically, harmony cannot be achieved through neglecting, suppressing or eliminating differences. Instead, it can only be achieved through tolerance and respect.
In the face of clamour from extremists and overbearing behaviour of fanatics, all we need is not a war of words, but greater unity and determination. Only when we unite regardless of religion and race and speak in one voice can we can make society more harmonious and progressive.
The acceptance of differences and peaceful co-existence should be our consensus and common voice! — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.