Mr. PM what about a National Key Result Areas (NKRA) for race relations?

The call for inter faith dialogue is long overdue and should be whole heartedly supported by the BN government and used not for political expediency.

We already have a multi-religious Malaysian consultative council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) in existence for the past 25 years. Unfortunately the government is not interested in such dialogues and did not encourage Muslim NGOs to participate in such forums.

Invitations by MCCBCHST to Muslim organisations were not taken seriously. The BN government found it inappropriate to discuss religious matters with a group of NGOs representing their respective religions. Nor does the government want any NGOs to speak for Islam. In the end there was no representative from Muslim organisations in MCCBCST.

Challenges provide opportunities. At least after the ALLAH controversy all the religious representatives should meet and accept that the world is big enough for all to have their own faiths and beliefs as long as they don’t impose their beliefs on the other.

There must be mutual respect for our religions to co-exist. Religious leaders must meet regularly and sort out the various issues that crop up from the interactions of followers in the daily routines.

After all the followers of all religions have to live in this one world. It should be easy for religious leaders to resolve any differences that arise. If the religious leaders cannot resolve differences amicably then something is wrong with our interpretation of our religious doctrines and dogmas.

To Quote Mahatma Gandhi “All the religions of the world, while they may differ in other respects, together proclaim that nothing lives in this world but Truth”.  So let’s not fear the unknown and lose the opportunity to resolve current problems which has serious repercussions on the future.

We must be aware not to include politicians in this inter-faith dialogue. Let the religious leaders come to an understanding and resolve the differences. Politicians need to get the people’s support in every election.

It is the religious leaders who are powerful but not accountable to anybody. Let them face each other and account for practical problems that arise from their interpretation and decree of dogmas and sacred scripts.

This will make our religious leaders more practical, realistic and compassionate to each other’s faiths and beliefs.

I call upon the Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, to set National Key Result Areas (NKRA) for race relations and religious tolerance to avoid religious differences in the future. Such targets will activate affirmative action by decision makers, be it in the federal, state or local levels.

Explore posts in the same categories: From the desk of Senator S Ramakrishnan

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