In this world there are only two types of issues – there are not three, only two. The first type of issue is a “problem-to-be solved.” That means if your bicycle breaks down, if your car breaks down, if it is a mechanical fault, you can fix it by repairing – problem solved. There is another type of issue that is not a problem to be solved but a polarity to be managed.
That means North Pole-South Pole: you cannot say on one fine day, “I want to remove the North Pole.” If you remove the North Pole, what happens? We get out of orbit; the whole world will collapse. It goes to a place we don’t like, and we all die. So you need the North Pole and the South Pole. Like husband and wife. I mean, I met my wife in 1982 and we got married. When I met her and got married I never promised to become like her, and she never promised to become me, and we will always be different.
We are like that in this beautiful country: We have tensions, we have disagreements – even on issues of “Allah”, but you cannot resolve by saying, “I don’t want to listen to your views.” We have to find a way how to win-win; how to come with a compromise because this is not a problem to be solved. It is a polarity to be managed.
We need to listen to each other, and include and embrace each other. We are a country; together we will be here for a long time, and we will continue to live for even a longer time as a nation.
More excerpts of Senator Idris Jala’s speech: