September 29, 2006
Sorrow in the Morrow
God in the Old Testament cried out for Israel, which was, at the time, His chosen land. Despite the numerous times He held out His hand to help His people, they stumbled and fell, again. He had a deep, deep sorrow for this land that He so loved. And yet – and yet – they rejected Him.
It’s not right to draw parallels, but what can I say about this country of mine? We are bombarded with issues left, right and centre. You’ve got your issues of religion, where the Prime Minister has stated loud and clear that any inter-religious dialogue that touch on the sensitivities of Islam in Malaysia should not be publicly discussed. With one fall swoop, he has cut off all positive aspects of such interfaith dialogue. Malaysia already has so little opportunity for citizens to interact – the government claims it wants to promote national unity but this clearly contradicts their claim. What little chance there was, through Article 11 Forums, the Malaysian Interfaith Network, the MCCBCHS (Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism) and the proposed Inter-Faith Council – have been obliterated by one snap call. How ridiculous! Has the government not heard about the wonderful development called the Internet, where you can have MORE than national public debates, but in an international arena. Such topics are welcomed and discussed with a common understanding that rational discourse is the order of the day. Nobody welcomes rash opinions based on … well, based on nothing.
And then you’ve got the alphabet soup of racial issues. You have Lee Kuan Yew claiming that the Chinese are marginalised in Malaysia and our government kicking up a big fuss, asking him to retract his statement. The opposition leaders in Malaysia agreeing with him. Who wouldn’t agree with him? Is there any ounce within his statement that ISN’T TRUE?
You’ve got the recent Centre for Public Policy Studies report claiming that Bumiputera share equity as way higher than the current government estimates. It’s all about the calculations, and highly unlikely that us in the public will see any statistics being released from the big cold B (buildings) of the big cold G (government).
You’ve got the Bar Council and the whole country (well, I do exaggerate, I beg thy pardon) calling for the review of the 1988 Tun Salleh Abas case. This was the landmark case in which the Independence of the Malaysian Judiciary was seriously questioned. What a sad situation for the legal world – which I believe all lawyers should fight for instead of getting obsessed with making their first million bucks as Regal Legal Eagles.
You’ve got the calls for an IPCMC – Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission. You’ve got Parliamentarians making fools of themselves… I call it the zoo I tell you.. There are more animals than just deer and monkeys on the hill where Parliament lies. Now, are you proud, fellow Malaysians, of the level of debate in this country? Does it amaze you that the country of 27 billion is run by people who can say to the physically crippled, “You are jealous of me because I can stand up”??
This year more than any other, I’ve had people saying that they couldn’t even muster up enough emotional strength to take out their Malaysian flags from their dusty cupboards to Fly the Wonderful Jalur Gemilang in conjunction with Hari Merdeka (National Day). Now why is that? Has our system come to this extent? Is it merely frustration that the people are exhibiting (which has always been the case… where people constantly curse and swear at their Blardy Garment).
Or is it the same deep, deep sorrow that God felt at the prospect of Israel’s Evil? Yes, that is it. It’s the right word to use. Our country is turning down the path of darkness – it’s not just a sense of fact, it is a sense of trepidation. We tread with fear, not knowing what tomorrow brings. That would be fine if the problem was MERELY economic and financial. But no, the hinge upon which society hangs on is a fraction of the huge looming problems. It spans beyond the numbers. What about social safety nets? Can people afford to be cheated of their land and homes? Can the police and the Law (oh, that noble, sick, noble, sick word) and the Great Protectors of the country defend those in need any quicker than they can say the words “Saya Ada Connection la, Brader”?
I’m really not sure.
I do so want to be patriotic to this land of mine. Heck, if I don’t belong here, where else can I? But come on people. Give me a reason to continue loving the country, to FEEL patriotic. Give me a reason.
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