Damanhuri Abas: Normalise, Celebrate Cultural And Religious Diversity

There is a viral post going around about a particular lady that seems to have posted a racially disparaging remark about the Malay language on her FB. I was also informed that this was the same lady that labeled me early in the election campaign as Taliban or ISIS for some strange reason.

I choose to ignore her posting but wishes to highlight the following.

I am convinced that Singaporeans mostly are not racist. There will always be that 10% and I hope lesser in any racial community that has this strange concept of racial superiority, which in essence goes against the grain, and teaching of all religion and cultures.

I believe in the maturity of most Singaporeans that have lived 50 years together, and mixed very well too in the region, which similarly is made up of people of many races, cultures and religion.

On this conviction, I decided to run as a candidate to allow me the opportunity to also engage the mainstream majority Chinese community on issues that are close to the heart of my Malay community.

I am heartened by the many more occasions when my Chinese brothers and sisters proudly declare their support for what I explained as discriminatory practices that still exists in Singapore that must be stopped. All the while reasoning that by championing issues of my community in no way mean that I am undermining other communities. These open and dignified dialogues strangely don’t happen often enough, which could have resolved many so-called sensitive issues much earlier.

I am glad that the things I openly said during rallies and in engagements with many people of all races have assured me of the ingrained value of universal brotherhood that is in all our hearts.

Let us strive to normalize the diversity that exists in our country into a true celebration of cultural and religious openness with mutual respect and goodwill that will breed genuine tolerance between us. It is unnatural policies driven by suspicion and distrust that hinders such progress towards unity. Nature and its wondrous diversity displays unparalleled beauty as a Sign and lesson for mankind from the Creator on unity in diversity.

For the lady in question, I do hope we forgive her, as clearly she doesn’t represent the majority of us and probably needed some form of help.


Source: Damanhuri Abas

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