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Talkback Thursday: Are we becoming less tolerant of diversity?

Ras Adiba Radzi

20-Jul-12 06:27

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Tolerance - what does it mean?

It’s not a difficult word but have we considered what it really means?

It means being patient with, being open-minded with things or ideas and concepts that are different from our own, or even with things and ideas that we absolutely do not agree with.

In the case of a nation, being tolerant means allowing the right of something that one does not approve or agree with.

It would appear, from recent news in the press, that we might be becoming a less and less tolerant nation when it comes to different people, different ideals and different circumstances.

The founding of our country was based on diversity - people of different races,  different origins and even different geographical landmass (we’re referring to Sabah and Sarawak, here) got together to form a country and, tolerance and acceptance were the order of the day.

Is it different now?

Consider the evidence:

1) Just days ago the Prime Minister declared that lesbians and gays are incompatible with our culture
2) We have heard of the degrading stereotypes that people say about dark-skinned people from Africa, and the Middle East.
3) The physical abuse of workers has almost consistently been targetted at foreign maids, be it from Indonesia or Cambodia...

Are we collectively becoming less tolerant of those who are different from us in one way or another?

Do you find yourself comparing differences rather than looking for similarities when meeting someone new?


Dan Lain-lain

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