Special Mediators To Dissolve Ethnic Spats

Posted: December 31, 2008 in Life, Malaysia
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Malaysia multi racial societyMalaysia has not suffered major ethnic violence since 1969, when riots fueled partly by Malay rancor over the Chinese’s wealth left more than 200 people dead.

Nevertheless, grievances between ethnic communities have occasionally sparked bloodshed. A dispute between Malays who celebrated a wedding and their Indian neighbors who held a funeral at the same time prompted violence that killed six people near Kuala Lumpur in 2001.

Therefore, Malaysia’s government plans to train special mediators to resolve disputes between neighbors of different races in a bid to prevent communal tensions in the ethnically diverse country, officials said Tuesday.

Wan Abdul Halim Othman, a sociologist who will be training the mediators, said the program will initially be implemented in urban areas where the risk of racial disputes is relatively high because many multiethnic residents live alongside each other.

The program would initially be rolled out in Kuala Lumpur, central Selangor state, northern Penang state and southern Johor state. If successful, it would be implemented nationwide.

Ethnic divisions have deepened amid increasing complaints by minorities about special privileges enjoyed by Malays in jobs, education and other areas. Some also say their religious rights have become secondary to Islam. The government has denied any unfair treatment.

About 300 volunteer community representatives would undergo mediation courses starting next month as part of the government’s efforts to curb racial and religious friction, said Azman Amin Hassan, director general of the National Unity and Integration Department to the AP.

P/S: It’s going to be a new year, new moon and new resolution. Come to think of it, my old one haven’t succeeded yet. Must get 4.0 GPA, must get 4.0 GPA, must get 4.0 GPA. Come on people, live in harmony. Treat others with respect and they will do the same to you.



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