Is the non-Malay fear of 'khat' legitimate?

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“Keep your language. Love its sounds, its modulation, its rhythm. But try to march together with men of different languages, remote from your own, who wish like you for a more just and human world.”

Helder Camara, Spiral Of Violence

COMMENT | I get worked up whenever non-Malays talk about the beauty of multiculturalism and how Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures and how we are all 'Bangsa Malaysia'. A prime example of how all this is so much horse manure is the khat controversy that has some non-Malays concerned about the influence of Malay/Muslim culture in our education system.

UKM’s Institute of Ethnic Studies Teo Kok Seong said, “This kind of attitude shows that we have actually failed in the process of establishing a nation of one heart and one soul.”

Well, of course we have failed in establishing a nation of one heart and one soul. Why? Because we have a constitution that defines us along racial lines, a political system divided by race, a bureaucracy dominated by a majority and political operatives who claim that the state-sanctioned religion gives them the mandate to rule over non-Muslims who should be “pak turut”... 

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