Former minister Daim Zainuddin, a key adviser to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, today said Malaysians need to inculcate empathy towards the different ethnic groups instead of instilling notions of racial or religious superiority.
"Do we gain anything by teaching the young that they have the right of entitlement over all others simply because of their race? Is it right to be instilling in students the thinking that all other religions are inferior to yours?
"Is it moral to drill into students that other students are not entitled to certain privileges simply because they are not of a certain race, even if they are economically disadvantaged?" he was quoted as saying by news portal FMT.
Speaking at a public policy conference at Universiti Malaya, Daim said ethnic groups who are generally well off also should not look down on other ethnic groups who are less well off.
"Is it right to think that if you are of a certain race that is economically successful, then you should look down on others from a race that isn’t?
"Is it right that you are taught to feel superior because the language you are taught in is also the language of an economically powerful nation?
"There needs to be understanding and empathy across the racial divide," he was quoted as saying.