Like other festivals, Christmas is full of blessings, joy, and forgiveness.
Today, we should all be thankful to our forefathers for leaving behind a legacy of harmony – so that Malaysia is able to celebrate Christmas in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious background.
Unfortunately, in this joyous atmosphere of the Christmas celebration and the countdown to the New Year, we are witnessing retrogressive changes to the nation’s ethnic and religious harmony status – from the rights of the Chinese community objecting the teaching of Jawi being distorted into anti-Malay, the scrapping of swimwear category in beauty pageant as it is misinterpreted as being indecent, the Education Ministry’s approval for the Islamic Missionary Foundation to preach in schools, and the issue of the Terengganu state government banned Muslims from participating in Christmas-related activities, and etc.
What was supposedly a joyful occasion, Christmas is now overshadowed by a small number of people who are too sensitive and had challenged the freedom of religion and belief enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution.
Malaysia should always uphold the principles of moderation, harmony and justice. As long as it does not offend others’ race and religion, we should treat one another with openness and forgiveness.
As we welcome the year 2020, let us start to close past chapters that contain hatreds, narrowness, and radicals, and to accept and tolerate diversity with a broader mind.