IF our politicians are to be believed, the Bersih 4 and red shirt rallies, held on the eve of Merdeka Day and on Malaysia Day respectively, fractured us along racial lines on two key historical dates that brought us together as one people.
These politicians would like us to believe that Malays and Chinese now resent each other so much that we are no longer united as Malaysians despite all of us being part of the same body of people who make up our great nation.
Is this really so?
As a Chinese, I would like to believe these are just rants by an ignorant minority who should just be ignored. I don’t want us to be unduly sucked into racist divides because as the Malay proverb goes: “Kerana nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga” (A drop of ink spoils a whole pitcher of milk).
As a Malaysian Chinese, I believe our differences — despite race and religion — actually results in a much better whole than the sum of our parts. Like a rainbow, we are much better together than separated colours.
Our joint history before and after Independence is what we have achieved together as one people, we didn’t seek to better ourselves simply based on race at the expense of other communities.
Back in school and in the work environment now, working together has always been towards a common aim and not because I hated someone just because of the skin colour.
In fact, the skin colour between Chinese and Malays is hardly noticeable these days and it’s amazing how many of our children can speak in either language for we embrace each other’s cultures.
After all, our forefathers can be traced back to the same roots in China – separated only by time as to when they made their way to Malaysia.
With so much in common between us, let’s stop ignorant politicians from destroying what we’ve built together.
CHEAH JOON MENG