Stop segregating the nation! — Pusat Komas

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JANUARY 16 — Pusat Komas is saddened that attempts of segregation are still happening! We deplore the deliberate attempts by certain groups to further segregate Malaysia and create divisions among Malaysians.

These include recent incidents such as the “halal-cake” only policy by McDonald's and A&W, a “Muslims” only signboard at a public toilet, the erection of a tombstone within a compound of a school and a The Body Shop job advertising for Chinese only applicants. Such actions threaten further erosion and friction among Malaysians.

While the relevant authorities and management of these big companies were quick to address these issues, they did not necessarily acknowledge or address how such actions could in fact be harmful.

We believe that while the “halal”food certification is important for the Muslims, shouldn’t such considerations be also extended to other religions? Our Hindu and some Buddhist friends do not consume beef. It is imperative for us to respect the sensitivities of different religions.

We should not define respect of religion as being respect for only one particular religion. In addition, having “halal” and “non-halal” spaces in such common public areas would encourage segregation in both practice and mindset. We must prevent such impositions.

The “Muslims” only signboard by LPT2 Sdn Bhd and the racist job advertisement by The Body Shop should not have happened. These are practices which are more identifiable with apartheid in South Africa and enforced racial segregation laws in the US.

They have no place in modern day Malaysia and must continue to be strongly denounced. Ironically, this country was instrumental in the fight against apartheid which eventually led to the dismantling of that institution in South Africa.

We recognise the value of interactive education. However, the erection of a tombstone within a compound of a school, should be considered inappropriate. Consider that students are reprimanded for wearing emblems of their faith such as a cross, but a tombstone in the school premises is deemed acceptable. Students should learn about and respect all religions.

To start off the new year, we must actively promote national unity and harmony in line with the true spirit of “Muhibbah” that this country was originally built upon.

* Press statement from Pusat Komas issued on January 16, 2017.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.

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