Just in case you have not notice it, Malaysia has changed. As for in what way, to what degree, and/or in which direction, I shall leave it to you to ponder. One’s position determines the view just like those blind men who were trying to describe the elephant. I reckon that if they were blind women, the descriptions would have been much different!
So, the date of August 26 has rolled by. Just like March 8, 2008, another date had replaced the infamous May 13, 1969! The country anxiously waits for September 16, 2008. According to popular academic literature on Malaysia, which many are written by Australian academics, a part of the social political history that bestowed Malaysia’s condition today was because the country did not “actually” had a violence and blood shed incident against the Colonial power. Rather, Malaysia achieved independent quite peacefully. Very subtly, they imply that May 13 was a much needed social creation and invention. Indeed, this is quite a scary thought. Of course, this type of history will not make it to the history book but is stored somewhere in the highly guarded university library.
Incidentally, I was reminded of another former colony that had fought a great deal to gain its independent from the same Colonial power. The story of their leader made the Hollywood screen and also the history of the Academic Award. Nonetheless, a very tiny fraction of the people from that former colony, like all of us, has now become a part of Malaysia. However, undeniably they are still being structurally and systematically marginalized because in the “food chain”, they occupy the third spot. For some, this is fortunate but others think the opposite. Therefore, for instance, in the recent case of “apology-gate” stirred up by the media, nobody mentioned about them when apologies are demanded from the two groups debating whom better to lead the country or who are actually “squatters”. They are silenced just like those who are listed below the food chain.
If history has failed to teach us to learn from mistakes, what can we learn about the history of silence? Could we then believe or learn from Hollywood? If we are blessed with modern technologies such as the internet, can we read, if not learn from, the struggle of their leader on the Internet? Or we are too focusing on licking our “wound” on the finger tip while loading the gun with the other hand?
“A vision without resources is hallucination”. An apology without sincerity is like a used toilet paper! Ironically, this happens during the month of forgiveness. I suggest we apologize to anyone and everyone. After all, this is a cultural practice we are all familiar with aren’t we. I propose the next time before we demand any actions of repentance we repent first. We repent by asking forgiveness from people who were forced to situate further down in food chain. We repent by donating money to charities or NGOs. We repent by taking the first step of being friends rather than enemies. We repent by making them feel, work, and live better. After all, something has to come out from all this chaos. We might as well generate some money into the failing economy in a better cause or, if you were religious, children charities would also do.
It’s not too late to follow this change, not even close. We have a better chance than Obama. I rather follow the leader of that former colony, Gandhi.