"A philosophy that recognizes ethnic diversity within a society and that encourages others to be enlightened by worthwhile contributions to society by those of diverse ethnic backgrounds"
"Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream,"... "We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong ... All this leaves some young Muslims feeling rootless."
UK Prime Minister David Cameron
The Brits who colonized the Malay Peninsular and Parts of the Borneo Island known as Sarawak and Sabah and introduced a form of multiculturalism when they brought in immigrants from India and China looking for a better place than their homeland, has now admitted that multiculturalism has failed in their own home country the United Kingdom:
British Prime Minister says that instead of ignoring extremist ideology, governments and societies must confront it.
State multiculturalism has failed and left young Muslims vulnerable to radicalization, British Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday, arguing for a more active policy to heal divisions and promote Western values.
Cameron, in a speech to a security conference in Munich, argued that Britain and other European nations need to "wake up to what is happening in our countries" as well as tackling terrorism through military operations overseas.
"It is time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past," he said. "So first, instead of ignoring this extremist ideology, we - as governments and societies - have got to confront it, in all its forms."
His comments echoed those made by German leader Angela Merkel last year and reflect a push by European governments to better integrate immigrants, given persistent domestic tensions between different cultures.
Aides say his comments on multiculturalism and radicalization give a direction of travel for future policy, and it remains unclear how the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition intend to turn his vision into a reality.
Critics point out that Western foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond, not just a clash of cultures at home, has played a big part in stirring up anti-Western sentiment. "Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream," Cameron said. "We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong ... All this leaves some young Muslims feeling rootless."
The confession of UK PM David Cameron on the failure of multiculturalism in the UK is good food for thought for us here in Malaysia.
Are we heading towards the UK conclusion or are we indeed a success in multiculturalism as some us think we are. I suspect that as long as the economy is good and stable and is growing steadily we should be able to plod along. For how long I dare not answer nor want to speculate, for that elusive answer I leave it up to the politicians whom we elect into Government to lead us, whose objectives and whose political will, would determine where Malaysia will head to.For those interested, you might like to read this article as well: Multiculturalism in Malaysia: Individual Harmony, Group Tension by Roxanne Harvey Gudeman to understand the subject better.