Cultural Pluralism in a Globalised World: Challenges to Peaceful Coexistence
In the following paragraphs I would like to highlight the impact of globalization on cultural pluralism and then the issue of how the resulting cultural pluralism might in turn impact the future pattern of the world order. The thrust of my theme is on emphasising the need to better understand the meaning and implications of the changing face of cultural pluralism for our contemporary world. It is also to suggest what we need to do to effectively confront the major challenges posed by the cultural pluralism landscape of our early twenty-first century. In hammering home my points I will take Malaysia as an example, which itself was created out of the cultural pluralism unleashed by the European wave of globalisation during the colonial era. Malaysia is today a Muslim-majority country with a large non-Muslim population thanks largely to what I have termed as demographic globalisation. With all the major religions of the world each having a good number of followers in the country Malaysia is truly a multi-religious society. It is also a good example of a truly multi-ethnic country boasting of dozens of ethnic groups. For more than 50 years now Malaysia has been struggling to create a pluralistic and yet united modern nation out of its ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity. Its successes and failures are all there for everyone to see.