Take a breath be­fore post­ing

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Opinion - Sick of It Pe­tal­ing Jaya star2@thes­tar.com.my

I READ the story ti­tled “Sweet Sanctuary For The El­derly” in Star2 (Aug 1) with in­ter­est.

For those who might have missed it, it fea­tured an in­ter­view with the founder of a wor­thy char­ity, the Ti-Ratana Wel­fare So­ci­ety, and his dream of build­ing a free home for old folk who need care but have no fam­ily and no money.

The founder of the char­ity is the chief rev­erend of the big Bud­dhist tem­ple in Kuala Lumpur – and that is the only men­tion of re­li­gion in the ar­ti­cle.

Though it was not ex­plic­itly stated, I as­sume that old peo­ple of ev­ery race and any re­li­gion will be taken in once this home is built, as the photo on the page shows the rev­erend in an or­phan­age that the so­ci­ety runs, and the chil­dren in the photo are of ob­vi­ously dif­fer­ent races.

I found this rather re­fresh­ing. Way too many times, and in all sorts of sit­u­a­tions, we Malaysians di­vide along re­li­gious and racial lines.

Maybe it’s be­cause politi­cians are so quick to whip out these cards nowa­days when speak­ing to the pub­lic (and all the news­pa­pers re­port it – but I sup­pose they have to).

Or maybe it’s be­cause we are still “tribal” in our think­ing and too im­ma­ture and ig­no­rant to raise about these di­vi­sions?

Take a look at Malaysian fo­rums on­line; ig­nore the orig­i­nal topic of dis­cus­sion and just go to the com­ments sec­tion.

Al­most in­vari­ably, it seems to me, our com­ments be­come rude and vul­gar, and in­evitably, take on racial and/or re­li­gious tones.

We can’t keep blam­ing in­sti­tu­tions, like the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, or the politi­cians, or so­ci­ety in gen­eral.

We have to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for our own words and our own ways of think­ing.

So even if we don’t ap­prove of some­thing, can we all take a mo­ment, take a breath, be­fore writ­ing hurt­ful words on so­cial me­dia? Please?

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