PCORE – ASLI FORUM 2013 ~ Unity & Multiculturalism : Building A Future Together

PCORE – ASLI FORUM 2013

~ Unity & Multiculturalism : Building A Future Together  ~

29 August 2013 v Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM), Kuala Lumpur

 

For too long, the notions of “tolerance”, “accommodation” and “racial integration” have been used to gloss over overt differences in customs and traditions (dress and attire, song and dance, rites and rituals) of the various communities. Much time and money have been spent organising social events such as festivals, open houses, stage and outdoor performances in the hope of bringing together the Malaysian people. Sadly, national integration has not occurred at a meaningful level as, more and more, the Malaysian citizenry are driven apart by their race-based political affiliations.

A sense of despondency is enveloping the second half-century ofMalaysia’s development as the cracks begin to show in interethnic relations. Racial polarisation is a reality. With political developments becoming more volatile, there is a real danger that the cracks will widen, creating chasms in the nation’s bid to become a harmonious, multicultural society.

Paradoxically, the unifying quest for modern freedoms such as freedom of speech and citizen rights has unleashed a free-flow of cyber communication on news portal, blogs, social network spaces which has created much disagreement and discord. Rapid electronic communication has made information readily accessible with the result that Malaysians, especially the young, are participating in the public discourse and are able to comment on anything and everything on the blogs, Facebook and Twitter to the extent that misconceptions and misinterpretations are presented and believed as the truth. Information is no longer evaluated or filtered to assess its credibility and that of the writers. This has created a national discourse shaped to a large extent by a negative perception of political developments and informed by the confrontational and combative political rhetoric.

It is the forum’s hope that by bringing together people from diverse backgrounds and affiliations to address the most important aspects of unity and multiculturalism, we will be able to arrive at a consensus on how Malaysians can chart their future together in the best possible ways. 

The forum will explore the need for Malaysians to define for themselves a new, fresh approach to multiculturalism viz how to manage our plural society in ways that will bring about unity and a deeper understanding of one another’s racio-ethnic, socio-cultural and religious differences.

Aims & Objectives:

The forum aims to define the national discourse by:

  • Constructing a fresh approach to unity and multiculturalism which focuses on the positive notions of co-existence, conciliation, compromise and collaboration
  • Galvanising the voices of moderation to speak openly and honestly on the current issues of public concern
  • Bringing together diverse groups to engage one another and communicate in a balanced and rational manner
  • Renewing efforts to build a future together for a unitedMalaysia