Thursday, September 11, 2008
Summer mentioned that i had not written a political piece in a very long time and as i thought about it, i realized i did not want to write about it. Many of my friends wondered why i had not taken interest in this matter and to show i am interested i have written this post.
All day long we read in blogs and newspaper seeking redemption, seeking that extreme measures need to be taken because what Ahmad Ismail had done was unacceptable. I am disgusted at this. Minority leaders spoke of equality and that we should all learn to accept each other in order to live in this country we call Malaysia, but i have not seen one minority leader say
"What Ahmad Ismail said should not be taken seriously, it was a comment of one man who seems frustrated with his surroundings, a man who might not have been in the right frame of mind when he said what he said.."
No one said anything along these lines, not one, and reactions of minority leaders all seem to be that Ahmad Ismail needs to be punished, hanged, politically banned, arent these comments going to generate even more hatred? I think politicians today are more looking out for themselves. They know that if they spoke harshly on behalf of their own race they will fuel anger towards Ahmad Ismail and later fuel hatred on the party that Ahmad Ismail is a part of.
When i was in primary school, i was placed in a chinese school, my father believed in cultural integration, he believed that we had much to learn from our counterparts, and so he had tried to instill in me a certain amount of compromise. Now tell me, is there a difference with this situation compared to Chinese boys telling me to find another school because i wasnt chinese??? Telling me that i was lost for staying there... Where did these 8-9 year olds even learned these things if not from their parents??? I have been in the receiving end of racism so many times i remembered in high school wanting to play basketball i was forced to practice alone as the captain shouted in the beginning of training "Melayu practice belah sana, Cina di sini" and guess what? I was the only Malay. And i took that walk towards the other side of the world to play alone and I did.
Despite that, I have also met amazing individuals of different race that i have admired. A friend, a mentor, a lecturer, a basketball player, they too found acceptance.
I think Ahmad Ismails comments were blown way out of proportion. Had it come from a 16 year old teenager who refused to let a malay boy play basketball he would have been noted down as immature. But it doesnt make it any less significance. I have reacted well to racism always believing in humanity. but ask yourself this, what if Ahmad Ismail had been a victim of racism all his life? what if he was the boy transfered from the chinese school he had tried to learn in, to a malay school? what he was refused the right to play on a leveled playing field of a basketball court? What if he was the one graduate turned down by a Chinese company because he had to pray on fridays? What if he was fired because he went missing from the office for 15 minutes at 130pm 430pm and 715pm???? You want to tell me its not happening??
It is Malaysian mindset that we judge people quickly when we forget that only God has that right. What right do we have to judge him? and even if we do.. why pour oil on already burning fire?
The MALAYSIANS that i have known in my life are accepting, they accept the fact that we are different and how we react to certain events are different and how we have been brought up are different. Im not defending Ahmad Ismail, there was no excuse for he had said, but i refuse to be drawn to this mentality that is largely affected by politicians that he needs to be punished. God punishes you, not your fellow man.
I have sat with Chinese who lean close and whisper
"hey the chinese guys behind us are saying some bad things about you in chinese..."
I have sat with indian lecturers who say:
"Sometimes when all else fails hanafee... you turn to your God.... Im sure you'll feel a lot better..."
I have sat with Chinese friends who say
"Hey let me pay, you paid the last time we chatted"
I have met Chandra, Boon Han, Jeslyn, Huey Mei, Raj, Ai Huey, Swee Keng, Koh Yung Bing, Eldero Pan, Teo Yung Lun and they were all exceptional individuals.
But I have also met those who refused to even befriend me because i am Malay.
All im saying is that everyone has had their fair share of being treated as an outcast, victims of racism be it Chinese against Malays or vice versa. So we should all not be pulled into this web of hate spun by political leaders who believe making people hate Ahmad Ismail for what he said regardless of his past is the right thing to do. Because we all know its not the right thing to do.
Punish him and we would have proven those who already have hate in their hearts that they are right. We have better things to do then to dwell on what one man said. We have a country to fix an i have no time to dwell on trifles. Remember it was just one man. But punish him and you will see that he will have even more supporters just like Anwar.
p/s - Some NGO's Malay Based has already expressed their approval of Ahmad Ismail, be aware of this week when one of those NGO's start voicing out their opinions and their approval of Ahmad Ismail. When you shove one of the Malays, some will help him shove back. We'll see where it goes from there.