We must strengthen interracial understanding and trust in GE14. FILE PIC

CAMPAIGNS in the 14th General Election are beginning to have adverse effects on people as some are giving relatives and friends the cold shoulder.

Some friends in my neighbourhood are not talking to each other after an argument over politics, while other have exited WhatsApp groups when members share messages that they are not comfortable with.

It’s disturbing as we should maintain neighbourliness, harmony and unity, and put family ties and friendship above all, including politics.

Fortunately, there are those who are level-headed and take efforts to mend strained relations in the polls.

For example, Persatuan Komuniti 19/3 and KRT 19/3 put up a banner bearing the logos of Ba-risan Nasional, PKR and Pas in Jalan Kepuk 19/2, Shah Alam.

They are true representatives of unity and show how a mature society should be.

I believe that they are not the only groups that have done such a noble act, as photos of similar banners and posters have gone viral.

Community leaders remind people to remain calm and respect each other when it comes to one’s choice of candidate or political party.

There is a long road ahead for the nation.

It is important to ensure GE14 does not affect our multiracial community.

We must continue to be a country that has a conducive and encouraging environment for Malaysians to develop their potential.

Regardless of which political party we support or which state we come from, we should be united because we share the same hopes, dreams and goals.

We must be proud to identify ourselves as Malaysians first.

As Malaysians, we need to strengthen solidarity.

History proves that Malaysia can overcome challenges if the people are united. In fact, diversity is our strength. It must not be a source of conflict, but a recipe for success in achieving development and socio-economic pro-gress.

We should not allow excessive campaigning or irresponsible politicians to divide us.

Malaysians must oppose extremism and stand up for moderation.

Despite different political ideologies and contrasting views and opinions, we respect and appreciate one another.

What Malaysia needs most are ethnic bridge builders instead of ethnic heroes to neutralise the politics of hatred, racial polarisation and exclusiveness.

We conducted the 13th General Election peacefully and, therefore, we must ensure that GE14 is also free from issues that harm our country.

We must strengthen interracial understanding despite our differences during GE14.

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