Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir was the speaker at the recent lecture organised by Perak Academy.
With the topic of “Malaysia – A Shared Nation? – The Challenges Ahead”, Marina specifically touched on education, youth unemployment where the problem lies in lack of quality education and relevancy to today’s job demands and the inability of the government to create sufficient jobs, also race and religion-based politics that is being practised in Malaysia.
The harmony of Malaysia has been increasingly shaky of late, due to certain extreme groups who consider themselves superior over the others who share their Motherland. One reason being that sowing the seeds of discontent among the community is a good distraction from the core issues afflicting the nation.
Malaysia, as we all know, is home to diverse groups of people. It is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious country. There is not a doubt that everyone has contributed to the development and advancement of the country. And therefore, all of us have a stake in its future.
So, how do we overcome these recent challenges? While some are calling for a change in government, Marina, obviously, doesn’t think that is the solution.
Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) have managed to bring people together irrespective of race or religion. Being part of an organisation allows us to see one another as human beings, who all want the same things in life; to live in peace and tranquility.
While the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on March 8, 2014, has caused much heartache to the families and friends of those on board, Malaysians, transcending race and religion, came together to empathise and sympathise. But we shouldn’t only come together in the face of tragedy, right?
Malaysia’s polarisation among the youths, even at schools, is bordering on apartheid. If something is not done quickly, if we do not actively intervene or if something bad happens because of our inaction due to complacency or fear, we only have ourselves to blame when we lose this land that we share.
Marina reminded the audience to speak up for ourselves and hoped that by listening to her speech, it galvanises us to take action on issues that affect us. Citizen action is what’s required in many cases.
She said, “The only way is for civil society to take charge, to think up creative solutions.”
Event: Perak Lecture: Malaysia – A Shared Nation? – The Challenges Ahead
Venue: Syuen Hotel, Ipoh
Date: 9th May, 2014
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