Monday, May 25, 2009

A Multi-racial Nation

Its' a nation with many diverse races.

How can it stay united in the face of growing extremism on many sides?

Just look around us today and compare everything with the past we knew. There's a certain polarity from dress to religion.

While I was in school in the '70s no Malay girls wore a scarf or tudung. Today, everyone of them wears one and it's even made compulsory. There are no exceptions to the rule.

We even exchanged photos with each other in those times. The girls' hair flowed freely and some of them had hair that went way below their shoulders. Was that sexy? Was it so sinful? Was it such a turn-on?

No, it wasn't. The rape statistics would also prove that there were fewer sexual abuse cases in those days compared to these days, I'm sure.

I'm a social animal and there were many days in my youth when we had Malays, Dayaks, Indians and Chinese friends coming together to work and play. We ate, drank and made merry.

Religion was never an issue.

Today I look at the kids and what do I find? They hang around those of their race; drink their own 'brew' and there are even questions and issues on the halal nature of food and for Pete's sake, the cooking pots and pans and so forth.

How's there going to be a simple get-together or pot-luck party when there's a quarrel over the 'clean' state of the utensils?

Another case in point: a Neighborhood Watch or 'Rukun Tetangga' party was held for my neighborhood. I went there for fun and games expecting a party like in the old days. We'll have lucky draws, games and even dancing.

Man, what do I get? It started with a solemn prayer, even though there were more persons of other faiths. With that, my interest to mingle with the opposite sex or others dissipated. When religion comes in, who wants to gossip or talk about exciting things like sex, movies, fashion and so forth? One might as well dress in black as in a funeral wake.

Of course my high expectations of fun included dancing as in old times. Right. No dance, no games-just some spicy food supplied by certain people who were 'clean' enough to prepare it and paid for by RT money.

I never went to another RT party after that.

So I say that people have to be more considerate. In fact, Malaysia should go the liberal way, not attempt to Islamise everything and let people see the importance of sharing and not just one race taking from others only. The Lina Joy court decision was a national tragedy.

The defeatist uncompromising atitudes towards other converts and converts' cases in emotional traumatic matters related to death were and are grievious hari-kiri for bigots who selfishly and stubbornly hold them.

Perhaps too the Singapore model of getting everyone to learn more languages instead of concentrating on one should be encouraged or decreed to buckle the dangerous extremist trend this country is heading for.

Short of making changes now will surely see more widespread polarization and a resulting failed state.

By the way, to my good stern U of A Islamic professor, Dr. Earl Waugh, a graduate of the world famous Islamic University, Al Azhar University of Egypt, I have to withdraw my opinion in my first thesis that Malaysia will be the shiny beacon of perfection amongst multi-national nations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fully agreed. Our world has changed and they act if there's nothing wrong.