Don’t have a cow man!

It was the best of time, it was the worst of time. Today is the 52nd Independence day for Malaysia (Merdeka Day). This country was founded 52 years ago on this very date of 31st August 1957 with a great promise of solidarity in a pluralistic multi-cultural democratic society. Three days ago in Shah Alam, Selangor the reason to clebrate was greatly marred by the action of some of its citizens. The rash and thoughtless action by these trolls, make me want to puke. It disgusted me throughly and almost spoil my fasting. I don’t feel like celebrating “Merdeka Day” anymore.

You could read the said article and my comment at  themalaysianinsider.com: cow-head-protest-was-end-of-tether-for-sect-23-folk. I have included the my exact comment below this posting as a record of my participation in a democratic dialogue. I stand by my word…

While the USA celebrate its first non-white president, we shun our own citizen because his/her religion or race. If this action by some of the bigoted citizen is a sign of thing to come, we as a nation are doomed to the scrap heap of history. 52 years of living together should be enough to bond us, unless during these 52 years we refuse to see the real problem. It is not we are uneducated (some of the participant of the “cows head demo” are professionals), but we are ill-educated. We live only for our own comfort and disregard the others. The Chinese has a word for this,  they call it “Kiasu“. I don’t really know what this word really meant but it do represent selfishness and an unrelenting attitude of pushing for victory despite the huge collateral damage.

We could not any longer pride ourselves with the claim to be an example of a peaceful multicultural society. Some of us wish to be segregated into the separate silos of race and religion. As the rest of the world move forward discarding ethnic differences, We transgress backward embracing the inclusiveness of our various community. The demon has raise its head once again as it did in the May 13 1969 tragedy. Have we not learnt our lesson? Do we want to commit the same mistake as our forefathers?

Thus to clear my conscience and making my stand clear on this issue. I made a conscious effort to respond to the situation but not to aggravate it. By making a thoughtful comment after reading a latter article, I hope to exercise my faith in a just and open democratic society. This article consist of interviews of the resident of the housing area and maybe the perpetrator of the incident too. As usual my policy when commenting on such article would be to do it transparently and would be using my real name. I hate anonymity when used to evade responsibility. I stand responsible for my comment, I want to show that offering a good responsible comment or or participating in a dialogue is an integral part of  an open democratic system.

By the way, I shall not rant any further about this incident. It has been covered extensively the local media. You may watch the video of the incident above or perhaps read the first online coverage of it at themalaysianinsider.com .

Below are my comment as exactly as I have posted it at http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/36376-cow-head-protest-was-end-of-tether-for-sect-23-folk .

I cant understand their argument that if there is a temple near the playground children would not play on it. Children are not bigoted like adult. A temple is a place of worship just like a mosque or a church. God fearing people go to worship in whatever place you choose to call it be it temple, church or mosque. May i repeat “God fearing people”. It is not like they are building pubs or brothel.

What the people are implying is that they prefer segregation, by that argument alone i perceived them to be racist not religious. These are kampung folks who used to live in their isolated communities but being forced to move to the cities for economic purposes. They are bringing their kampungs bubble (tempurung) with them.

I was born in a city (JB), my neighbours are chinese and indians when i was young. I never had any bad thoughts about them . They are people just like my family. Their kids are my playmates. Their place of worship are just across the road from a surau. No, there was never any untoward incident. The fact that they observe their religion goes to show that they are good people. Near my grandma’s house is a hindu temple, at dusk when the good moslems congregate at the kampung mosque, the temple caretaker would sound their bell.. their call to prayer. It is not about tolerance it is about coexistence. We share the same aspiration and hope for a better future although our religious believe is different.

Now i live and work in a different state (terengganu) where the majority are malays. Most of my friends here never had a friend or neighbour of a different race in their development years. They are the kampung folks. So often have i heard the comments that from them who think that the idea of sharing same living space with another race is unbearable. I honestly think that they are being prejudice to the hilt. I for one that for the better part of my life grew up living with the other race and religion find the experience enriching. Nor do in the course of being with them (my none malay/moslem friends) have i lost my religion. I hope that kampung folks who move to the cities leave their kampung parochialism back home.

I pray that good sense would prevail. Please dont let our unfounded prejudice cloud our judgement. Racial/religious hatred is an end game. There is no happy ending. For us moslem please dont let our nafsu amarah spoil our Ramadan.”

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