Remove it!

By LIM MUN FAH/Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/Sin Chew Daily

Removal has become a recent hot topic and even former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also believes that not only the requirement to state one’s race in official forms should be removed, but the requirement to state one’s religion should not be retained, too. It is not a difficult task. It just depends on whether the government is willing to do so.

Dr M was right. Because we can distinguish race just by names, and all Malays are Muslims.

Therefore, the removal of the requirements to state one’s race and religion is in fact merely a change in form. Essentially, the distinctions of race and religion will not change because of this.

But we have to wait for a long 52 years even for such a minor change. It shows how difficult it is to achieve racial integration.

"They deliberately stir up racial and religious issues to worsen the polarisation phenomenon."

Therefore, we dare not to hope that such a small step will be a big step for “One Malaysia”. We understand that the racial and religious relationships are complicated and incisive. Moreover, they have been mixed with evil political struggles.

After the 8 March general elections, politics has become an integral part of our lives. Over the past one year and five months, every one of us has inevitably involved in the political game between BN and Pakatan Rakyat. In the political struggles between right and wrong, as well as between democracy and non-democracy, we could not help but excitedly waved flags and shouted, or condemned both in speech and writing.

Perhaps, this is a normal phenomenon as the people desire to end the “authoritarian political era” and establish a “democratic era”. To put it in a modern way of saying, this is the so-called throes of democracy, an inevitable process for a democratic politics.

However, under the confused and uncertain political atmosphere, evil motivated politicians also take the opportunity to rise. They constantly create the threat of “internal revolt and foreign invasion”. They deliberately stir up racial and religious issues to worsen the polarisation phenomenon. They make the phenomenon to be reflected not only in economy and education, but as well as in cultural affairs that leads to greater mutual suspicion and distrust among different racial groups.

Such evil political means meant to create cleavages and hatred is not a good sign but harm for democracy. But these politicians will never disappear. They will never withdraw from the political arena just because the government has removed the requirement to state one’s race and religion in official forms.

The most effective way to deal with these extremists, we must start from our own to sincerely carry out a self-reflection, remove the inner evil and teach the extremists a lesson by votes.

The removal of the requirement to state one’s race and religion in official forms is only the first step for integration. More importantly, political leaders must remove extreme thoughts and racial prejudice in their minds. They should learn from Indonesia to remove all law articles and policies that are not conductive to racial harmony and unity!

Let’s remove all the bad things! Can we do that?