CONNECT THAT COUNTS
We live in the same country, but also in our own little silos.
Last week, I organised an interfaith dialogue. We invited Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and other religious leaders nationwide to attend.
The purpose was both symbolic and foundational. By gathering different heads of communities, we aimed to solidify the image of a united, tolerant and openminded Malaysia.
Strategically, the dialogue narrowed down to how we could translate interfaith dialogue into interfaith action. Because, by action, we hope to create a momentum of progressive interconnectivity, where we can learn from one another, support each other and strengthen that bridge that connects us — the fact that we are all Malaysian — to solve problems ahead.
In the Quran’s Surah Al Hujurat, God reminds us that he created us in different tribes, races and communities so that we “may know one another”.
This surah does not say we should try to convert one another, but simply that diversity is accepted and that we should get to know one another on a deeper level, heart to heart.
Diversity was God’s plan for us to grow as a community through interconnectivity.
The question then is whether the political divide at the top is the cause for communal divide, or the divide is actually from the ground and affecting the top.
As a senator, it has become my role to exemplify an open and approachable Malaysia that can be mirrored by Malaysians.
I believe it is high time politics today became the example of maturity that is based on facts rather than emotions.
What can we do to reduce polarisation in political discourse? What can we do to connect with our political counterparts?
For a start, it is vital that we recognise that the political divide in our country is based on a deep moral divide. sourcing products at low costs.
Since 2008, airlines have stopped giving commissions of five per cent for domestic flights, and nine per cent for international flights.
There is no point in setting up a travel agency unless one can secure major corporate accounts and charge management fees for handling corporate travels.
Malaysia’s tourism receipts
On one side, some Malaysians may prioritise values like transparency and equality, while others may uphold religion and identity as bigger values. Do the people who value religion and identity not care about equality?
Certainly not, it just means that from their upbringing, they have learned to lean towards those particular values more. These values become what Malaysians define themselves as. It translates into what you read and watch.
Part of the reason that our communities and politicians have become so antagonised with one another is because we talk to each other based on our personally-held values. For example, someone who upholds religion as a priority may talk to others in rhetoric that centres on religion.
Those listening, who have different beliefs and values, may not click with the person’s argument and end up disagreeing.
So, here’s the solution. If you want to persuade your counterparts on certain policies that you from foreign visitors are expected to reach RM168 billion by 2020, and those getting 72 per cent of the cake do not need a TOBTAB licence as they are in retail, accommodation, and food and beverage sectors.
Anyone wishing to do business in this country can easily set up a private limited company with one or more persons in charge.
Large corporations set up subsidiaries know they may disagree with, your first step must be to identify and connect with the values that your counterpart have.
If you are a member of parliament from DAP and you want to preach on gender equality to someone from Pas, structure your argument in a way that revolves around the values of Islam.
If we truly value our country, we have to let go of the immature “he pushed me, he hurt me first” level of bickering.
Putting our country back together requires the collaboration of all leaders. Fear mongering and the hampering of communication need to stop.
Even more critical is the need for us to engage one another in a level that is unselfish and understanding of each other’s values.
We owe it to one another and to our country to reach out and connect. to reduce risks to their entire organisation.
Even associations set up subsidiaries to do business to incur less tax. If a cooperative wishes to venture into a business that is not its forte, it is better to stay out and explore franchise opportunities.