KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy says Malaysians are being polarised not by coincidence, but by design.
Speaking in his keynote address at an education summit here today, he said certain quarters are playing up racial and religious issues, and making unsubstantiated claims that their way of life and beliefs are under threat.
“They pretend to champion the rights of others when in reality, their actions are motivated by selfish gain.
“History has shown time and again that if left unchecked, it is the people who will suffer,” he said at the National Education and Learning Summit 2019.
Adding that there is nothing wrong with celebrating unique features like race, religion or culture, he said “it becomes wrong when we make enemies out of those who are different from us”.
Waytha, who holds the national unity and social well-being portfolio, said such behaviour is often established in childhood.
“This is what happens when we stay within the confines of our own communities and fear venturing beyond to learn and experience the customs and cultures of others.”
He said better interaction is needed between cultures, with elements that polarise and divide identified, explained and managed.
Otherwise, he said, racism and bigotry would continue to grow if not nipped in the bud.