By Athirah Mohammad
The word keluarga or family is very important in the life of a human being since it is the most basic unit that binds humans together as keluarga itself is the most important foundation in building a society.
It also ensures the wellbeing and survival of each member of the unit, particularly in times of adversity and challenges. A kind of safety net.
After living under the shadow of COVID-19 for over a year, the pandemic has inflicted serious damage to millions of lives. A lot of people are more likely to be unemployed, have cut working hours and experience greater challenges in accessing healthcare and home-based learning.
We all know how stressful it is to be in those situations, right? Very pathetic.
Although the government has been doing much to help people in coping with the problem, there have been inconsistencies. These must be addressed with increased traditional and inventive efforts in order to move ahead expeditiously.
Malaysia has been struggling to tame a surge in daily COVID-19 cases. Doubtless, the virus is going to be in the community longer than we think and people need to accept the fact that Malaysia is set to move to an endemic stage from a pandemic.
Returning to normalcy is a must as we need to find a way out of the darkness that has plagued Malaysians for more than 19 months now. We cannot impose another lockdown on the economy because the people’s livelihoods need to be protected.
Albeit the hopelessness felt among some, we should know that the power of national unity could break through all the shortcomings. Therefore, Malaysians should unite for the good of the country and the rakyat.
Malaysia is one of the most unique countries in the world, of which the population is made up of different ethnic groups. Given the fact that each group has its own unique culture and heritage, such as language, belief system, tradition and religion, there is thus a strong reason for instilling unity among the people so that the country’s peacefulness and harmonious relationships among different races can be preserved.
Having realised the importance to maintain and enhance unity among people of different races, the Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) initiative by our current Prime Minister has indeed brought light to society since it will serve as a platform to strengthen ties and enhance inclusivity among people from various races and religions in the country.
The concept, which is the basis of the new government led by Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, also focuses on the collaboration among Malaysians in efforts to revive the nation’s economy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is crucial to bridge the economic gaps.
“In the context of a nation, we are the Malaysian Family made which comprises people of different faiths, races, ethnicities and age groups, but despite the different religious, racial and cultural backgrounds, we celebrate the inclusivity, upholding the spirit of Malaysia as a nation-state,” the Prime Minister stated.
“The inclusivity that we celebrate is the seed that will grow in the heart of every one of us. It is a valuable asset that must be protected. Every value of this family is an important component that will determine the fate of this country,” he continued.
Let’s hope this does not end up as mere lip service since the spirit of this concept is deep if approached with equally deep honesty and sincerity.
For this to blossom, let’s do our part to work as a team in order to make our country great once again. Let’s appreciate the nation’s diversity that has been conferred on us. Remember it is not the differences that cause distrust; it is the intolerance of differences that leads us to disunity.
Together, we must find common ground and advance the common ground.
The concept of ‘Malaysian Family’ really emphasises the practice of openness in accepting the differences of opinion, in agreeing to disagree, and in appreciating the differences of approaches and methods.
By doing so, we can feel the burden and struggle of others and try to provide extra support for them.
In other words, a family or keluarga is an important institution to be buttressed and nurtured to tackle poverty and other disadvantages created in the past.
Hence, the introduction of the Keluarga Malaysia concept must see to it that any breakdowns at all levels are attended to, especially nationally. ***
(This article is written as part of individual assignment series for Feature Writing class)
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