The Malaysian Dilemma, Where is the Racially Reconciled Community?

Author: Peter Rowan, Lecturer at Malaysia Bible Seminary, Malaysia.


This is arguably one of the most consistently discussed topics in Malaysian public life — explored by academics, filmmakers, politicians and newspaper editors alike. Here is an issue that is always current and potentially explosive but which is only occasionally discussed in theological circles, and rarely addressed in the congregational setting of many Malaysian protestant churches: racial integration.
The diversity of Malaysian society is well known: a majority Muslim country with significant Chinese, Indian and indigenous communities. On the verge of celebrating 50 years of independence, Malaysia has much to be proud of. But substantial racial integration remains illusive.
Significant complexities surround this issue and these brief comments will barely skim the surface. But by way of approach, consider the following questions: What role do churches have in a divided society in search of racial integration? And is our approach to such an issue more a matter of strategy when it ought be a matter of spirituality?

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