AT TAYLOR'S: Valarmathy Sarvanan (Valarmathy.Sarvanan@taylors.edu.my)
PROJECT PARTNER: The Movement (muhibahwalk@gmail.com)

Mahatma Gandhi once said that one of the greatest challenges of our day is finding unity in diversity. Unity implies oneness, but oneness does not necessarily imply sameness. Malaysia has been referred to as a multi-racial and multi-cultural country. But not many know how truly multi-cultural we are with a population of nearly 25 million people. We may be different and every cultural group is unique, but through unity of purpose, we are a team in building our nation. In Malaysia the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. No Man is an island!

Muhibah Walk 2015 was organized by The Movement, a youth wing under the non-governmental organization Vision 2 Transform. This event saw hundreds of young people who gathered and walked to promote national unity on 17th January 2015. Muhibah is a Malay word which represents the Malaysian way of racial harmony. Held at Padang Timur, Dataran Petaling Jaya, students of Taylor’s College Sri Hartamas (TCSH) were among the hundreds of young people from all walks of life, irrespective of race or religious belief, who braved a tropical downpour to march against racism and discrimination, and celebrate the Malaysian spirit and also to promote a nation of faces without races.

It was indeed an awesome journey for many because for the first time many participants were challenged to state their personal reference to what muhibah means with no reference to any political, religious and racial views. Before the walk, participants gathered in the field to sing the national anthem, ‘Negaraku’, as an expression of respect for sovereignty, national unity, pride and love for the nation before the walk begun. Themed ‘Faces Without Races’, the event was a fun-filled carnival atmosphere with local and upcoming band's performances while families with children were treated and thrilled with bouncy castles, face-painting and clowns that brought joy and colour to it.

TCSH Rotaract Club President, Joshua Low was one of the participants in the event shared his feelings about the event, “We are all champions of Malaysia. We were devastated by the heavy downpours, shaken by the thunderstorms and really disappointed. But rain or shine, we had to walk. This is our nation. This is Malaysia, it’s our home. It was a rallying call for us to become that united front and to take ownership of our country. We are the youth of this nation, we are the future leaders.” Even the rain could not dampen their spirits. “I loved it when all of us started moving out, one by one, from the dry tents we took shelter from, to the open field under the heavy rain. The best part was when we stood in the field and sung ‘Negaraku’, drenched, soaked, but still in high spirits,” added Joshua.

On the topic of national unity, vice president of Vision 2 Transform, Cyrus Gomez said that, “People’s hearts are all the same. The colour of the skin may be different, but the colour of the heart is the same.” He emphasized that the event is a non-religious and non-political event, hoping that Malaysians from all walks of life can come together for a time of celebration.

The organizing team has also come up with a promotional video with interviews from prominent leaders and celebrities of Malaysia, such as Datin Paduka Marina MahathirDato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan and even Miss Universe Malaysia, Deborah Henry, to name a few. Their full interview can also be found on the official Facebook page. More information can be found at www.facebook.com/muhibahwalk or www.muhibahwalk.org

Written by Amelia Ooi