Murad: No racism and no hate speech in Malaysia


Murad: No racism and no hate speech in Malaysia

One cannot exactly put a finger on who entirely is to blame for the rise of racism in Malaysia, although the media does play a major role in contributing to it, Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Murad Merican speaks to AWANI Review’s Zakiah Koya.

Malaysia may have the concept of race, as one is categorised from birth itself. However, the concept of racism is something which is not inherent in us, but a constructed doctrine that we have imported from the West.

Professor Datuk Dr Ahmad Murad Merican of the Centre for Policy Research and International Studies (Cenpris), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) says that it is time Malaysians came together as races against racism. 

Racism is defined as the “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior”.

For Murad, although the media  - be it mass or social - does play a major role in contributing to the rise of superiority by certain races in this country, the blame is to be shared by other institutions.

Despite the rise of racism in recent years, Murad opines that there are ways to contain this perceived notion of superiority over one another as he believes every one of us is just a human being.

He believes that while the media can be educated over time and reined in, a more effective way would be to educate the public to hold civilised discourses and debates on the concept of race openly in an intellectual way.

He said such honesty between people of different races will lead to better understanding, tolerance and acceptance of one another.  

Murad says that after more than 60 years of independence, it is time for Malaysians to actually be a fabric that cannot be torn easily.

He calls upon Malaysians to learn one another’s languages and understand the policies put in place under the New Economic Policy which he says is actually for the betterment of all races.