Adjust to tri-concept of unity, Malaysians urged

Shamsul Amri speaks during the webinar entitled ‘Shared History as the Foundation of Unity and Racial Cohesion’ organised by YPS.

KUCHING: Malaysians are advised to adjust themselves in order to understand unity under a new notion which encompasses three concepts – unity, cohesion and reconciliation.

Prof Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Unity Advisor to the National Unity Ministry said this concept is different from the old notion of unity – a singular concept which was simplistic, mechanistic and literal.

“We got carried away with this singular notion of unity. The new notion of unity introduces the tri-concept,” he said, while pointing out that the new concept was introduced by the National Consultative Council (NUCC) in 2013.

“We have unity (we desire), cohesion (we achieved), and reconciliation (a work-in-progress). We have actually achieved cohesion very well and we always try very hard to recreate reconciliation wherever there are differences,” he said.

He also believed that Sarawak had demonstrated this tri-concept, opining that some other states in Malaya faced issues in this regard due to the dominance of one particular ethnic group.

“So it is very difficult to make sense of this tri-concept unless there are enough proportionate different ethnic groups and different cultures being practised,” he explained.

He was speaking during a webinar entitled ‘Shared History as the Foundation of Unity and Racial Cohesion’ organised by Yayasan Perpaduan Sarawak (YPS) today.

Shamsul Amri said under cohesion, there could be things agreed on as well as disagreed on, adding that these differences would have to be sorted out.

“We have to build an integration platform to allow this to happen.

“Everybody including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has to participate to create this integration platform to gather people to speak on different things but based on the guidance of negotiation and mediation,” he said.

The other speakers at the webinar were Nancy Shukri; Dr Welyne Jeffrey Jehom, senior lecturer from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Universiti Malaya (UM); Dr Juna Liau, senior lecturer from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas); and Jason Wee, co-founder of Architects of Diversity (AOD).