Our country Malaysia is now over half a century old. How united are we?
Is there a true spirit of Muhibbah among the people of all tongues and tribes?
Malaysia has been referred to as a multi-racial and multi-cultural country.
But not many know how truly multi-cultural we are with a population of over 24,821,286 people.
Of course we know there are Malays, Chinese, Indians – the 3 main races and some Orang Asli.
These are only very broad groupings, but do we know that within each group
are clusters of people each with their own unique culture?
Just look at these fascinating groupings :
East Malaysia, Peninsular, Bugis, Minangkabau, Orang Jawa, Orang Pantai Timur
Cantonese, Hainanese, Hakka, Hokkien, Teochew
Indian Hindus, Indian Muslims, Pakistani, Bengali, Gujarati, Jaffna Tamil, Malayali, Punjabi,
Sindhi, Singhalese, Tamil, Telugu
Baba, Eurasians, Malaccan Chitty, Thai Chinese
Bateq, Chewong, Jah Hut, Jahai, Jakun, Kensiu, Kintaq, Lanoh, Mah Meri, Mendriq,
Orang Kanaq, Orang Kuala, Orang Seletar, Semai, Semelai, Semoq Beri, Temiar, Temoq, Temuan
Interior : Kadazandusun, Murut, Paitanic
Coastal : Bajau, Bisaya-Tutong, Bonggi, Molbog, Sama, Tausug, Tutung
Interior : Bidayuh, Iban, Kelabit, Kenyah, Penan, Punan, Sa’ban
Coastal : Melanau
The listing above may not be complete. However, some may ask “So what ?
It has nothing to do with me !” That’s true, it has nothing to do with us as some of us may
even have problems with such tongue-twisting names. But they are all part and parcel of Malaysia,
even though they are ethnic minorities. Look at the cultural shows performed for tourists
– many feature presentations from such groups.
They make up our MULTI-CULTURAL society and they are the true COLOURS OF MALAYSIA !
‘We are only fragile threads, but what a tapestry we make’ – Jerry Ellis
Mahatma Gandhi said that one of the greatest challenges of our day is finding unity in diversity.
Unity implies oneness. But oneness does not necessarily imply sameness.
We may be different and every cultural group is unique, but through unity of purpose, we are
a team in building our nation. We team together so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Just think of families, sports teams, work units, community projects, national ties etc.
In complementary teams, strengths are made productive and weaknesses are made irrelevant
because we are interdependent. No Man is an island – even Robinson Crusoe has Man Friday !
‘There are parts of a ship which, taken by themselves, would sink.
The engine would sink. The propeller would sink,
But when the parts of a ship are built together, they float’
– Ralph Sockman
Our ‘ship’ is Malaysia. We cannot expect everybody to sing the same note to achieve harmony.
We network with others to succeed. In a win-win situation, we hold ourselves down
when we hold another down, but when we lift another up, we also lift ourselves up.
We don’t judge or put down another race, culture or creed just because we don’t agree
with certain policies – we have to love them because they are people of God, just like us.
Whether they are a majority or minority, they are Malaysians !
We must not let prejudice blind us from loving them and helping those who need us.
We must also have the spirit of thankfulness.
The TSNRA is politically neutral. We do not highlight any political party
but we must express our gratitude to our government representatives
for all they have done to improve TSN and everyone else who has helped us.
However, we will also highlight things which are not in order
or long overdue which need attention from the authorities.
‘Where opinions, morals and politics are concerned, there is no such thing as objectivity.
The best we can hope for is that freedom will enable subjective points of views
to meet and complement each other’ – Jean D’Ormesson.
Let us then in the spirit of Muhibbah, strive to love one another
and forgive and release one another for past hurts and wrongs.
We all have God given talents. Let us use them to serve one another in TSNRA.
We maybe only one solid brick in the pillar that holds up our nation,
but this pillar will collapse if too many bricks are hollow !
May the true spirit of Muhibbah live on in the hearts of all Malaysians.
Itulah amalan kita semua
Sejak sedari zaman purbakala
Satu nusa satu bangsa merdeka
Satu loghat dan satu suara
Dalam Malaysia jaya
Junjung tinggi cita-cita bangsa
Marilah kita berganding tangan
Hapus-kanlah jurang perbezaan
Gema bersatu padu satu bangsa
Negarakan makmur bahagia
Dalam Malaysia jaya
Molly S.C.Ooi, Editor