Thursday, September 10, 2015

MESSAGE TO ALL MALAYSIANS: Rally for unity, not some spooky dignity!

by azly rahman


I do not know what is happening to my beloved country. A certain madness is heightening as we read about this and that rally invoking the want for the blood of many, as I read about posters urging a huge city rally; posters in nature with a clear message amounting to terroristic threat, definitely.
What have we achieved after 58 years of independence? Why is the government not stopping this madness right in its tracks?

I have to make this plea I had made in the past:
Let us leave all this nonsense behind and resolve things amicably, no matter what race and religious group you belong to. This is a beautiful country with beautiful people who ought to work together beautifully.

I hate to have my memory go back to that day in 1969, when, as a very young child, what I heard daily was men in red headbands in Muar, Johor with parang, kerambit, keris, daggers and all kinds of weapons, were heading for Kampong Baru, Kuala Lumpur, meeting at the residence of the then-menteri besar Harun Idris.

I could even feel the ‘heat’ of May 13 in my kampung in Johor Baru, with the people talking about ‘sembelih’ (slaughtering). As a child, those moments left a bloody history in me. We have a lot to do and we do not have time to undo the more than 40 years of peace we have built.
And the young people of today need to know this. The future is yours. You need not emulate the stupidity of your elders, especially when it concerns behaving as if there is not enough home-training on anger management in public.

I, for one, do not wish to read about another May 13 in the newspapers, or even through online portals these days.

My saddest moment on that day concerned my Maths teacher, whom I love and respect dearly and who adored me for my hard work and who had all praises for me since day one. On that day, after May 13, 1969, all of a sudden, after checking my class work for the day, she threw my exercise book right across the room and out of the door, for a reason I can now understand. I was devastated for weeks.

Bless your soul, Ms Chan!

Peace, salam, salamat, shalom are terms we must hold as a mantra these days. Yet how are we to understand the political or the communal or ethnic question these days?

Come gather in peace

The following should be my humble suggestions for all parties to sit down in peace to do the following:
  • Coming up with strategies to create a better understanding between the races, since we’ve been together for centuries?
  • Designing our education system to be inclusive of all Malaysians with each race treated on equal terms,
  • Helping any group progress, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation, since we are all lawful citizens and we are not going back to ‘where we belong’,
  • Dismantling all systems that will perpetuate hatred amongst us and redesign our lives around celebrating our strength in diversity,
  • Find ways to unify all races as one dignified race of Malaysians united against any threats from outside (if there are any real or imagined),
  • Coming together as Malaysians to redesign our education system that will truly enhance children’s understanding of concepts, skills, attitude to become good learners, global and transcultural in outlook, and will grow up to see each other as a human race with a common humane destiny, rather than see more divisions and destructions,
  • Collaborating with all races to see how best we can help those who are marginalised regardless of race and religion, and how best we can design an economic system that will promote cooperation, collaboration, and the enculturalisation of conscience and conscientiousness amongst us, rather that perpetually create competitions that lead to hatred and warmongering,
  • Mediating the differences between Muslims of different interpretive practices, schools of thoughts, ways of leading their ‘Islamic life’ rather than create bogeymen and bogey-women for the purpose of witch-hunting and persecuting each other of the things we cannot fully understand,
  • Stopping the total closing of the Malay mind by constantly instilling fear of themselves since time immemorial, since feudal times, so that the Malays can be spared of being called stupid, weak, lazy, and dependent on Umno as savior - all these are a perfect model of a Master-Slave Narrative,
  • Asking all members and members of your race-based component parties to read Thomas Kuhn’s ‘Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ‘Social Contract’ and to be prepared to exist merely as world-class culture clubs rather than hay-wired political parties, due to the nature of changing times, paradigm shifts, and the realisation of the true meaning of ‘social contract’.
I hope we will come to our senses. I know I am making this pleas again that will be ignored. But as a Malaysian not wishing to see another May 13 1969 bloodshed and hoping that the government act accordingly, I, too, am sharing my concern of what will happen this weekend and ugly things we do not wish to see.

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