Tough to build a united Malaysia, says Hisham

Sembrong MP Hishammuddin Hussein.

PETALING JAYA: Former federal minister Hishammuddin Hussein today spoke of the struggle to build a united nation, saying Malaysia’s interracial and inter-religious identity is fracturing.

In a speech at a talk on multiculturalism and nation-building by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia, read by his nephew Mohd Rhiza Ghazi, Hishammuddin said the “unity in diversity” tack the country has been promoting “feels painfully difficult to attain”.

“The struggle to build an integrated and united Malaysia continues. More often than not, it seems like the odds are stacked against us,” he said.

The Sembrong MP urged Malaysians to stand firm in rejecting the politics of hate.

“If we are to buck the trend, we must heed the lessons from our unique experience in nation-building, for clearly, so much is at stake if we don’t,” he added.

He also called on leaders to understand the need for patience and wisdom in handling issues.

“It may not excite your followers. But it will do more to create a world which our children and grandchildren will be grateful to be living in,” he said.

Last month, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin expressed concern over rising sentiments regarding race, religion and royalty in the country.

He said police data showed that the number of incidents involving these three issues had doubled since the beginning of the year when compared to last year.