At Nation Building Forum Doc Prescribes Empathy For Cicak Syndrome
A doctor speaking at a seminar on nation-building today made a diagnosis of what ailed Malaysia's efforts towards unity
Despite the serious tone of the subject, members of Muslim NGOs Abim, Wadah and PKPIM gathered for its sixth global congregation broke out in laughter when panel speaker Dr Suresh Kumar Govind (above) started to imitate the sound of the common household gecko
Suresh, coordinator of the Friendship Group of Inter-Religious Service (FGIS), earlier said that nation-building efforts could only progress with a change in people's mindset from showing sympathy to also feeling empathy
"To show sympathy is easy. You see someone who hasn't eaten for one day, two days? You just say 'Crik...crik...crik ...what a pity."
"In medical terms, we call that the cicak syndrome," quipped Suresh who spoke on the topic, "Construction of the Malaysian Nation: Challenges, Direction and the Future"
While sympathy could be superficial, he said feeling empathy would translate into efforts to help others in need
"Empathy is when we see someone who has not eaten and we are willing to take them to a restaurant to eat because we can also feel their hunger," he said
"Only then can the nation develop. If we only see people's problems only from afar, we will fail in helping to build the nation," said Suresh who also prescribed confidence as another supplement for success
Malaysian Youth Council deputy secretary-general Atiqah Syairah Shaharuddin, meanwhile, credited FGIS' efforts in encouraging more interaction and understanding among the races, including by facilitating visits to various houses of worship
Describing her schooling years as being largely homogenous, she also urged Abim and its affiliated NGOs to explore possibilities of future cooperation that will bring together children from as young five or six in various activities
At the end of the day's function, the organisers passed a four-point resolution that centred around the history of nation-building in Malaysia; understanding their role as the backbone of the nation to uphold universal values in line with Islam; advocating intellectual reforms on the understanding of nation-building and realising the need for political reforms. - Mkini
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