Sunday, August 30, 2009


The events which have been occurring in this country in the last few weeks have left me feeling a little uneasy to say the least, disappointed mostly and frustrated at times. First there was Kartika Sari's caning punishment for drinking beer, then the banning of alcohol in Selangor, then I heard that Muslims are not allowed to attend the Black Eyed Peas concert. And then as if things couldn't get any worse - the disgusting racist protest in Shah Alam took place.

I don't know if racism is getting worse in this country or whether it is just surfacing from under the carpet. I suspect (and am hoping) it is the latter. And I would like to be optimistic to believe that we have to go through some hardship such as these to make this nation a better one, which in my definition a moderate and fair Muslim country.

I do understand that the issues of 'Ketuanan Melayu' and ideas of Bumiputera's special rights are far from straight forward. I have read and studied Dr. Mahathir's Malay Dillema many years ago while writing my dissertation paper at university, and thus am aware of the complexities of the issue.

However, all I wish for is for Malaysians to be more at ease with each other despite colour, race and beliefs and to accept that religion is a very personal matter. Perhaps it is because I am a product of mixed blood that I get offended with labels such as 'keling' and worse still the negative connotation that comes with it. For example, I can't understand why it is considered funny during Deepavali when you get remarks such as "you pun raya juga ke?" I also can't comprehend why is it that some people prefer to spell "ca ya nun alif" when refering to the chinese and of course would rather spell "ba alif ba ya" when refering to pork. Are these so taboo that we shouldn't even mention them? And why are 'we' such a proud 'race' that we look down at others?

Even worse is the hypocrisy behind it. We sell Malaysia as 'Malaysia truly Asia' and claims that we live in perfect harmony with the three main ethnic groups. But, this is not really true is it?

I hate to sound preachy, and that is why I never write or talk much about these things. But the truth is it does bother me. I suspect this topic is uncomfortable to most people and many prefer to leave it undiscussed. I don't expect any comments, I just wanted to write about how I feel about things which to me are very important.