We must remember what they say about pease porridge. Some like it hot. Some like it cold. Some like it in the pot, nine days old. By that I mean that there are some amongst you who are for UMNO. Some will go all the way not for LBJ but for PKR. PAS have their supporters who may be Muslims first but to them PAS and Islam are synonymous. DAP not only have many Chinese on side but there are within their ranks serious thinking Indians and committed Malays who call Dap their own. You may doubt my words but the same can be said of those who have put their belief and trust with MIC and MCA – for them these two parties and UMNO are the real essence of Malaysian politics for between them they encompass all that 1Malaysia is striving to be. And then there are our jiran in Sabah and Sarawak. I will not pretend to understand the ins and outs of local politics there but suffice to say that their ‘contributions’ to Barisan Nasional hold on power in the recent elections have seen more vigour and vim in the manner they ‘conduct’ themselves recently. Political leaders from Sabah and Sarawak now walk with a deserved swagger in the corridors of power. All of the above are Malaysian. Different religion, different race and culture but certainly Malaysians all!
Away for politics there are some amongst us who will say ‘Kelantan’. Some will say ‘Kelate’. Some from down South will say ‘dia orang’, others from up North will say ‘depa.’ You may say ‘what?’ while another will say ‘awat?’
In identifying our fellow Malaysians there are some who will call the Chinese ‘towkay,’ the Indians ‘Sami!’ and the Malays ‘Pak Chik or Mak Chik’ but if truth be told not many of us will identify themselves as Malaysians first. Thereby lies the thorn in our feet. So small and at times impossible to be removed and yet too excruciatingly painful to ignore. It is this seemingly trivial preoccupation of Malaysians to insists on looking at others through the race and religious prism that has allowed our political masters to take us to where ever they want to lead us to – quite like the diminutive farmer being able to lead the powerful and large kerabau to where he wishes simply because he has the animal doing his bidding by the gentlest tug of the rope the farmer has threaded through the sensitive tissue of the buffalo nose.
And that, my friends, is how these politicians are leading our people into the conundrum of race and religion. Just a whiff of what the Christians are doing with one Muslim – perhaps a Muslim attending a lunch with friends at a Church sponsored get to gether– would be enough to set off mass hysteria within the ranks of Muslims who will see it as a blasphemous act by the Muslim but more an act perpetrated upon that Muslim by the ‘encouragement’ of the Christian evangelist! And you can be assured that the political powers that be will be there to throw a fire accelerant into any flames ignited by this seemingly innocent act of a Muslim attending a free lunch in a Church…this in spite of us Malaysians being known to being partial to a free makan!
The diversity of our people is simply staggering. Given the sensitivities of the Malay Muslims to pork, halal meat and the consumption of hard liquor it is ridiculous that our people have had only really one major happening that can be attributed to this diversity – the 13th May incident. Come on lah friends loosen up a bit.
Let us not allow our political leaders to leads us by that rope they already have in our nose. Let us cast aside those painful ropes and learn to decide for ourselves how we want to live our life amongst those that we have lived for most of our lives.
and as for Muslims..if you think that you can put the fear of God into others than you are probably right! Today it would take a brave cartoonist to try and draw an image of Prophet Muhammad!