by Azly Rahman
I wrote these as my Facebook status the day I read about an upcoming gathering to restore ‘Malay pride’ with a proposed gathering of 20,00 people.
RESTORE POWER SUPPLY
RESTORE INFRASTRUCTURE in the CITIES
RESTORE FAITH IN HUMANITY
RESTORE CONFIDENCE IN NATION'S SAFETY
Here is my message:
If you can gather 20,000 prominent people and lock them in a stadium for one day for each to produce ONE great idea of social improvement especially in helping rebuild the lives of the flood victims, improve education race relations, ways to catch those big thieves, invent new and useful things for social improvements, suggest ways our youth can work together towards national unity, and many other useful ways to resuscitate our nation that is now bleeding and going through a near-death experience, I think you will definitely do a great service to the ‘20,000 towering minds’ in their twilight years.
And better still, if they are influential people with corporate connections, they can help raise funds for all these 20,000 great ideas to help the whole nation regardless of race and religion, benefit.
That will be an awesome idea of a ‘Malay renaissance’; a ‘renaissance’ as in Latin for ‘rebirth’, so that we will all undergo karma from the Dark Ages of Malay feudalism where the Malays were made slaves by their feudal lords and if this renaissance nation can last for 300 years (as the Renaissance Period between 14th-17th century took to mature) then we may have a period of Malay Enlightenment where you may see a rebirth of your Diderot, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, and the like of great minds, and then maybe that will pave a new era, from Enlightenment to the Age of Reason and maybe see the Age of Revolution emblematic of the French Revolution and the end of the Monarchy and the birth of the Republic and ‘nation’ and ‘state’, moving on to the birth of Science and Industrialism and so on and so forth... that is what ‘a renaissance’ means - a rebirth or a flowering of ideas, of cosmopolitan thinking, of the centrality of man, of the triumph of Reason, and Liberal Ideas or the ‘ars liberalis’. I repeat, Liberalism.
Yes, Liberalism that you ultra-Malays do not understand as an idea with inextricable link with Humanism, Romanticism, and the ‘arts and science of the free man’... renaissance an inheritor of the ideas of the Hellenistic Civilisation (of Socratic, Platonic, and Aristotelian ideals) you ultra-Malay men and women find “dangerous to Islamism and Malay-ism”.
That’s my advice.
And by the way, one cannot call oneself a ‘renaissance group’. One has to live for 300 years as an idea, a movement, a force of liberalism and let scholars studying that era decide whether there is such an idea of ‘rebirth’ or a ‘renaissance’ that characterises that movement... it is not a self-naming act.. nor a gathering of 20,000 folks in their twilight years wearing head-gears and T-shirts and chanting slogans (We are Malay Renaissance - although there is a rock group of Annie Haslam by the name of Renaissance today based in Pennsylvania playing progressive-rock music).
Humbly I submit such an advice.
Tired of slogans
But seriously I am tired of slogans, especially when poor folks are suffering from the great flood in the Age of Renaissance of the Rapists of Mother Nature!
I’d like to share a message forwarded to me a few days ago.
URGENT MESSAGE FROM A FRIEND :
“... Greeting in Jesus Name. Writing from the East Coast. I am here coordinating rescue n relief efforts on the flood. As I am writing to you, my heart cries out to these victims. The question is... Why are the authorities not mounting a full scale rescue effort? Situation here is bad contrary to what we hear in the press and the statement by PM.
“These are their very own people who are left behind and are neglected. They are crying for help but their voices are not heard. Food sources are limited and many areas are left unreachable.
“Volunteers and foodstuff from many NGOs arrive but they are cut off without access. Convoys of lorries n Van, 4WD arrived, They are also in dire straits just waiting... to turn back or to wait?
“The only available land access road to Kelantan on East/West highway is now totally cut off due to the Landslide Gerik. Air transport should be step up.
“Not only are these people cut off by road, they are unreachable by mobile phones when their batteries depleted.
“We are beginning to receive names and addresses of missing people. Many depress city folks in West coast with relatives n love ones have started putting up names of missing parents n relatives.
“Very depressing for them.
“Pls pass on prayer request to your Church.
“That there be divine intervention that the water level subside.
“That more able body personnels with resources to be flown in to step up the relief effort.
“That Putrajaya will do more than just talk
“That division n politics should be set aside in tragedy like these.
“That personnels involve in this effort will have sustaining strength n mental capabilities to carry on
“That aid will quickly reach victims n that they will be reconcile with their love ones...”
END OF MESSAGE
That is how urgent we as a nation need to attend to. I am glad to read that Malaysians are helping as if they are the best, chosen, and most enlightened nation of people that ever walked on the face of this Earth. There is no considerations of race, religion, class, and creed in this scheme of doing good things at this critical moment in our nation’s history. I am proud to be calling myself a Malaysian living abroad.
Even Mekkah gets punished
Here is what I think about the Great Malaysian Flood.
DIVINE JUSTICE or a JUST GOD or THE MERCIFUL and THE COMPASSIONATE will punish, even an ‘Islamic State’, or especially an ‘Islamic State’, for the biggest sins of hypocrisy, especially for destroying Nature... even Mekkah gets punished, even Iraq gets destroyed, Pakistan going insane, Afghanistan humiliated, Yemen goes up in smoke, Malaysia in utter chaos.
Because Man proposes, God Disposes, Fate does not agree with Free Will.
The Qada’ and Qadar is at war ...
Because as a great liberal thinker Jean-Jacques Rousseau once said, “... everything is good in the hands of the Author of Things, everything degenerates in the hands of Man...”
It is therefore a hypocrisy to demand that ‘God’s Law’ be implemented when in each one of us the Kingdom of the Self is in chaos and constantly on the path of destruction.
Would your ‘Malay renaissance’ group agree?