Friday, December 01, 2006

About Unity: An Interview with Raja Dr Nazrin Shah.

If Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, the Raja Muda of Perak, were to become politically active based on the precerpts he outlined in a recent interview, I have no doubt that Tuanku will be the next Prime Minister who leads Malaysia out of this corrupt racial, religious and political quagmire. If he remains aloof of politics, well at least one day, he'll be King.

Some choice excerpts of the interview he gave NST is below:

Q: What does the word "unity" mean to you?

A: Unity to me does not mean we have to impose a strait-jacket of conformity or orthodoxy that everybody must follow. It does not mean we must all be alike, look alike, behave alike, dress alike.To me that is not the unity that we are aiming for. Unity means having a common focus of loyalty, having shared objectives, sharing certain important values. This can be achieved within a diverse society. In embracing our diversity, we can achieve unity.

Q: Do you think a dominant race, religion or ideology is necessary to foster unity?

A: Definitely not. There are enough examples, in this country and in other countries, to disprove this hypothesis. Take a look at some of our states that have a dominant ethnic group. Even these states have problems of their own. You can also find instances of many countries where one ethnic group predominates. Yet, there is chaos and political instability. Which goes to show that, by itself, the existence of a dominant race, religion or ideology does not guarantee unity. More important are mutual understanding and genuine respect for each other. The recognition that we are all God’s creation and that each deserves to be treated with dignity.

I strongly believe Malaysia is a much richer and interesting country because of the diversity of our population.

Q: Even a dominant religion?

A: Even a dominant religion.If there is one country that has come into existence through religion, it is Pakistan. One would have thought that a common religion would have been able to bind East and West Pakistan together. But it did not.

Read the interview here.


Anonymous said...

He's not corrupt enough to be in politics. This is politics, where those who really care for the ppl will end up frustrated like Tan Sri Lee Lum Thye.

Diojans said...

Though I know next to nothing about Malaysia's politics but being a Pakistani I liked Dr. Nazrin Shah's comment that Pakistan is the only country which came into existence through religion. Some people also suggest that Israel is another such country. Basically we all belong to one human race but it is also a fact that differences exist between various people that's why we have so many nation states in the world. In my opinion there are four main factors for these divisions, i.e. ethnicity, language, culture and religion. It's a long discussion and I intend to post a blog on this topic tomorrow. You are welcome to check it out.

The reason that Bangladesh and Pakistan separated from each other in 1971 is due to the fact that though both these countries have common religion but the other three factors, i.e. ethnicity, language and culture were not common. And more importantly a nation state demands territorial contiguity but Bangladesh and Pakistan were divided by a 1000 miles of Indian territory. But still there is a mutual respect and goodwill between Pakistanis and Bengalis and also between Pakistanis and Malaysians primarily due to common bonds of faith.