Happy Merdeka or Independence Day (52nd) for Malaysia. This year’s slogan is about living the 1Malaysia concept but can we? Or have we not been doing this for more than 52 years? Since independence we went through much commotions from the highs of communism, the 1964’s Singapore riot, May 13th 1969’s racial riot, 1986’s Sabah riot, the 1987’s Ops Lalang, Al-Arqam movement, the 1998’s Reformasi, the continual expansion of Islamic terrorism and Hindraf uprising, just to name a few notable ones.
Whether the 1Malaysia was coined as a keyword to drive Malaysian forward on a positive note or it is nothing but a branding for Najib or perhaps even to help divert the attention of the masses from the political onslaught of the opposition front, it is actually immaterial. The main concern of today is really about those religious stuff behind the racial stuff envisaged by the academicians, politicians, government and bloggers of today. It is really NOT the racial issues that are endangering Malaysian and Malaysia.
Perhaps if we seriously go indepth into those racial riots (including tension created), most were tainted first and foremost by religious matters, which were actually “petty” initially but were further expounded by certain irresponsible quarters in order to achieve their agenda. Politicians, fundamental religious groupings and secret societies were culprits in disseminating “religious related rumours or some highly misinterpreted issues”, culminating a non-event into some messy racial riot. Event like the May 13th was much linked by Historians to the Singapore’s 1964’s religious-racial riot. It was the politicians that had rubbed salt into the old wounds…
Remember the Maria Hertogh (or Nadrah) Riot? December 1950 was a dark day in Singapore – outraged Muslims who resented the court decision to give custody of Maria Hertogh (or Bertha Hertogh), then 13, to her biological Dutch Catholic parents after she had been raised as a Muslim under the care of Aminah binte Mohamed, whom she regarded as her mother. The riots lasted till noon on 13 December, with 18 killed, 173 injured and many properties damaged—the worst incident of its kind ever witnessed in Singapore.
In the 1986 riot in Sabah, Sabahan would remember this very clearly; the politicians just cannot accept the defeat and the next Chief Minister would be a non-muslim…. The 1987 so-called racial tension started off for reasons relating to vernacular chinese schools, it culminated along racial lines with extensive name callings, like “pendatang” and so-on. The UMNO Youth quickly turned it into a racial issue and then along the religious lines.
After the Hindraf infamous march, pulling down houses and temples (or rather relocation) has always been tainted with some religious overtures…. “Holy Cows” they said as the cow’s head was brought along in a recent
demonstration against a proposed Hindu temple in their neighbourhood. Malaysiakini, an independent news Web site quoted a protest leader Ibrahim Haji Sabri as saying, “I challenge (Selangor government leaders) to go on with the temple construction. I guarantee bloodshed and racial tension,” Ibrahim said amid chants of “Allahu Akbar,” or God is great. This I would have thought, very distressing indeed!
In some recent surveys the younger Malays are noticeably unable to differentiate between race and religion. The younger Malays felt they are first and foremost Muslim before their Malay race…. so where would that nationalism be?
The rise of Islamic fundamentalists in and around this South East Asian region is not helping with our cause of achieving the status of a GREAT NATION or 1Malaysia’s Malaysian. After the Al Qaeda, we have the Jemaah Islamiyah, and the Moro Islamic are still struggling with their cause in Southern Philippines and likewise, the Pattani rebellion in Southern Thailand, both in the quest of establishing an Islamic state…..
POLITICIANS have been and certainly now, the BLOGGERS are messing with religious overtones in order to improve on their positioning and rating, which may one day bring forth bad omen for our country.
The issues in respect of race will never end, it is going to be some never ending saga that is for sure, but we can always work towards tuning them down just like some family squabble and quarrels. However, things can be irreversible if people in authority allows or creates situation along the religious lines, which may contain elements hitting into the very core of our very existence….! May I therefore give an underwriting rating of “G-rate” subject to a warranty prescribing “No religious overdose”.
Happy Merdeka celebration and in this this holy month of Ramadhan, may GOD’s blessings come in great abundance for all Malaysian, wherever, however, whenever and whoever you are!