by azly rahman
My new book will be out in a few weeks; one entitled ‘One Malaysia,
under god, bipolar’. It will be my seventh; another collection of essays
analysing contemporary Malaysia. Below is an excerpt from the preface I
1. Malaysia turning into Uganda?
At the rate of how many political fights we are seeing,
how many Idi Amins in songkoks we have produced,
how fast the capital flights we are witnessing are,
how seriously the crime rate has risen,
how policed the state has become,
how many of those speaking truth to power have been persecuted,
how fast the judiciary has rotted,
how deep the educational standards have plunged,
and how much wealth those in power have amassed
we are seeing Kuala Lumpur turning into Kampala
we hope not
at least we must first become Kenya.
2. Wealth can be an enemy of wisdom
One cannot serve god and money at the same time, as Jesus said
this is what is happening in Malaysia today
fighting over power, wealth and money
the loss of basic sensibility... the absence of wisdom
leaders taking pride in arrogance and ignorance
it takes three generations to destroy a nation, Kungfu Tze would say
for Malaysia, it takes only two.
3. Malaysia today
Obsessed with the past and the politics of the day
we have not paid much attention to the future... to Education
to building a new world of endless possibilities through education
we owe the children this new world
of charting new ways of doings things, of living,
of relating, and making peace
with oneself and with others,
of creating a new philosophy, paradigm, processes, new products of value,
not to have them inherit our ills
and to have them born into debt and despair
criminals are made, not born
i wished the politicians from both sides
have paid more attention to new ideas in education
what a waste of two generations.
4. Anti-terrorism laws are necessary
Only if used wisely and justifiably
for national safety and security
only in a society that knows what clear separation means
of the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary,
such as the government of the United States
and not yet of Malaysia - where those with power and money
and in deep desperation
5. On the passing of Malaysia’s renewed Internal Security Act
the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota)... all is done as BN wanted it
to be. Where were all the Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament - those
missing on voting day on this issue of such a grave magnitude? Not
interested any more in fighting for those who fought for you to be in
6. What actually matters in Malaysian politics
For the rich and powerful, the children and family members to rule the country
for the poor and powerless, how to feed the family and how the leaders and the rulers are ruining the country,
and therefore that too is what the media is interested in reporting
this is a new brand of class and consciousness in a hypermodern economy, in a world of modern slavery.
7. A mirror
There is so much hatred in this world today
love seems to have flown away
until in each of our hearts we tear down the walls
and let love and only love
and overwhelm us to tears
embracing each other and open
window to our soul
to the sufferings of many
because we are a mirror of one another
8. Malaysians, return to sanity. Here’s how:
will, radical political change, an overhaul of the system, a fresh new
and different mandate, a prison complex big enough to incarcerate the
long-time corrupt ones, a plan to redistribute wealth, to dismantle
educational apartheid, a rewriting of Malay and Malaysian history, a
re-threading of the moral fibre of the armed personnel, a massive arrest
of political tyrants for past doings, a restructuring of the casino
capitalist economy, the establishment of a stronger local government, a
clampdown on racist and other hate-groups, a return to the rule of law, a
return to agricultural society, an experimentation with a radically new
form of communal-styled living, a dismantling of systems that allow
global corporate giants to continue to prey upon the natives, a return
to the cooperative system, the strengthening of labor, a re-education of
political officials on management, ethics, and political philosophy,
the separation of religion and state, the dismantling of useless
cultural and religious rituals, a restructuring of society based on the
principles of radical multiculturalism and the celebration of
transcultural philosophies, the reduction of TV time and TV channels,
the introduction of the reading of the great works of arts, humanities,
and literature from the cradle to the grave, the curbing of rhetoric on
Islamic or any religious state, the compulsory teaching of philosophy
from the cradle to the grave, ... all these and more to overturn the
system onto its ugly head.
are the thoughts I penned as I was following closely the developments
of the latest issues in Malaysia, especially the 1MDB fiasco and the
current power struggle within Umno in the form of an open war between
the camp of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the current
leader, Najib Abdul Razak.
I hope this collection of essays will
both be an enjoyable read as well as help inform readers of the views I
have taken thus far on the state of Malaysian affairs, as they are
impacted by the historical forces of race and religion.
different about this volume from previous ones is that in the spirit of
good online dialogue, I have included the excellent comments from the
readers of my articles, showing the range of diverse opinions on the
topics I have presented weekly. These comments are also engaging and
intellectually stimulating, signifying the level of maturity Malaysian
readers have arrived at, on critical issues facing the nation.
have learned a lot from the generous responses of those who took the
time to read and comment. My deepest appreciation goes especially to
those who have been commenting regularly, participating in the dialogues
with the level of decorum expected of intellectual dialogues.
in my previous works, I have enjoyed writing these essays and sharing my
concern for our beloved Malaysia as we usher into yet another unknown
frontier in this complex and globalising world characterised by
bipolarism; a condition of clinical depression of emotional ups and
downs and that can be applied to characterise Malaysia of today as a
Thursday, August 27, 2015
PREFACE TO MY SEVENTH BOOK, One Malaysia under god Bipolar (September 2015)
AZLY RAHMAN is an educator, academic, international columnist, and author of seven books. He grew up in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and holds a Columbia University doctorate in international education development and Master’s degrees in six areas: education, international affairs, peace studies communication, fiction and non-fiction writing. Twitter @azlyrahman.
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