Edited and published in The Sun today (30 July):
You have provided a coherent, comprehensive explication of the terms racism and racialism in your article “7 sins of racial chauvinism” (The Sun 29 July)!
You are absolutely right in concluding that the politicians who play up the race issue are racial chauvinists rather than racists. The sad thing is that many ordinary Malaysians are buying into their skewed rhetoric and are in real danger of turning racist. The promotion (by a political party, an NGO or citizen group) of an organised and systematic form of oppression against another race is what the country must avoid at all cost.
Thus, I think your idea of having a “public declaration against racial chauvinism and for national unity” is worth pursuing. Besides educating people on the meaning and implications of these terms, it will require individuals, civil and political groups, public and private organisations and the country’s leadership to uphold the strictest standards of racial integration implicit in the concept of 1Malaysia.
Halimah Mohd Said