KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali called on Malaysians today to cast aside racial fears that has been holding back nation-building efforts in the 21st century.
Azmin said the country has suffered from the politics of the 20th century that highlighted racial and other superficial differences and were not conducive to nation-building efforts.
“By playing up fears of destructive competition and urging mutual suspicion, the politics of racial scaremongering has cast a shadow over our nation-building efforts.
“We are now at a point in our national history where the appeal of racist populism is slowly but surely giving way to a politics of inclusiveness where justice, democracy and integrity are paramount,” he said in a statement to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination tomorrow.
Azmin said that people must work to overturn stereotypes and improve socio-economic mobility to get rid of prejudice that forms the root of racism and insecurity that forms the root of hatred,” he said in a statement here today.
He said that he hoped that people could one day see each other as fellow human beings with a common future instead of as “competitors, interlopers, or threats.”
“I believe we can find common ground based on our collective humanity rather than remaining divided based on superficial differences.
“This is just one of the horrors of 20th century racism that has been left to us in the 21st century to overcome,” he added.
The United Nations declared March 21 as International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination since 1966, in commemoration of a 1960 incident on the same day where South African police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid laws in Sharpeville, South Africa.