Saturday, 11 July 2009

Clinging to the Cause & Wishing the Results Away.

"Guilt that is concealed seldom stops with the one who harbors that hurt. Sooner or later that pain of fear and guilt is spread to others, particularly to those closest to us. “Victimless” crimes are an illusion, for deceit is a monster that needs constant feeding. It would be foolish for us to think that we can deal with guilt by somehow covering it up.
The moment that we cover our guilt we escalate the tension in our lives by adding the dimension of fear. We may then become people who seem okay on the outside, but inside we are struggling to maintain the facade.......
Carried to a different level, this same tendency underlies all our national preoccupation with one social or economic crisis after another. No one seems willing to admit that at the heart of our malady is a mangled spirituality."

-Ravi Zacharias

For a small nation that should by right be striving for unity in pluralism and held fast by the secular spirit and principles of the constitution of 1957, Malaysia is a nation that is struggling silently through a turbulent time of social reconstruction - albeit in the wrong direction.

Indeed, what Ravi said rings very true if we were to reflect on his words against the backdrop of our woes, at the heart of which lies the greed and sectarian politics practised by our political masters. Here we do not have the luxury of "whacking" the usual bogeyman, the Government or BN (aka UMNO Baru).

No - all of them in the opposition too, practice the very same evil by embracing "race or religion" based politics - this has been the curse that has been handed down to us by those who refused to accept and thus betrayed the the ideals that Dato' Onn Jaafar, the Father of UMNO, stood for.
They instead killed every opportunity to build a nation based on "Values and Principles".
They preferred to play the race game that would be a short cut to power consolidated upon those politically "victorious", ie the Muslim Malay race.
That being the case, all the "others" also joined the bandwagon of the most primitive "race/ religion" political game.
YES - This is the curse that we inherited from certain idolized "leaders", who were actually the perpetrators of cardinal sins that would one day spell the doom of this nation (unless it is undone).

Political parties in Malaysia were never forged out of principles of the democracy that they all swore to protect and nurture - they were there simply to fight for the rights and "interests" of specific races/ religions.

Would it not serve Malaysian interests well if our politicians seek to emulate their selfless struggle against injustice under tyrants and religious extremists?
How I wish I could hear the music of politicians shouting out against the subtle persecutions against the all Malaysians be they Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhists or Animists, be they of BN or the Opposition.

But No - they only do it so long as it serves their greedy, sectarian or racist political agenda. Listen to the sound of silence among members of one "party", when rights of the the other is trampled upon - it is so deafening, that you are tempted to doubt the legitimacy of your rights!
They believe that it isn't their struggle, unless it involves their "own people". Politicians fear "breaking ranks" with party bosses, even if it means betraying fellow Malaysians that they have sworn to speak for - all in the interest of "party unity".
How low can politicians go - they prefer to appeal to the lowest possible denominator, toe the party line and be subservient to "great leaders" and be slaves of the party, rather than stand up for noble values/principles of humanity, truth and righteousness.

Dear friends, it is a grave sin indeed for one to dance to the tune of divisive and sectarian politics that caters to primitive, selfish and narrow interests of only certain communities. We need to change our mindset to support leaders who aren't slaves to the dictatorial party leadership, but to principles of humanity.
For that to happen we need to make a concerted effort to change the mindset of all Malaysians, so as to be able to regard his neighbour as a brother/ sister first - race , religion, beliefs, creed, class and whatever divisive factor shouldn't figure in the equation.
For that to happen, the small-minded "leaders" who bark in Parliament need to realize that all parties need to "overhaul" their constitutions so as to be inclusive, and practice it in word and deed.

G.K Chesterton once said - "What we need is a Leadership that is not only right where we are right, but right where we are wrong". So then, let us make up for the betrayal that our forefathers meted out to the Founding Fathers of the Nation. Break down the walls of our insecurities, pride, prejudice - and embrace instead principles of humanity, so that we may not live in fear, but in hope.
Let us turn not opt for the same fate as Dorian Gray, who chose to destroy the hideousness of the painting (of himself) that he saw, and had stabbed himself in reaction.

Many of you might say that it is just a pipe-dream - maybe so - but we must have hope in this dream.
Until and unless this can be done, Malaysia is headed for further conflict among the various groups/communities.
This may of course be conveniently averted through the use of "Rule by Draconian laws" by a dictator, wherein every citizen has to give up his/ her rights, in the interest of "maintaining law and order", with the interest of society at large - which is incidentally the "Asian Values", sold to us by some "great leaders".
Advocate not denial, and grasp at straws so as to prop up the evil that plagues the nation, for our own selfish interests. Let us take the nation back from the politicians, and make it ours - for once.

"It will not do to cling to the cause and wish the result away.
Reality does not play mind games.
What is more, to anesthetize the mind in order to abort what comes to birth when wrong ideas are conceived and borne in the womb of culture, will only kill the very life-giving force of the nation that nurtures the idea.
We must learn, in the words of one cultural commenter, to live as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves."

-Ravi Zacharias


The above is an edited version of "A Curse in the Malaysian's Embrace" on CruzinThots (18/2/2008).
It was inspired by Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and Ravi Zacharias's lovely take on it which appears as the preface at