Of prejudices, pigs and chocolates

JUNE 1 — I read an article a few weeks ago asking what happened to all the smart, rational and moderate Malays in Malaysia.

Part of me questioned whether the writer grew up in a silo, with minimal interaction with other races. Another cautioned me against seeing everyone as a Perkasaproxy of a different skin colour.

But in the current political climate, who isn’t prejudiced?

While we are busy eyeing each other with suspicion, others have taken on a new project, waging a holy crusade against one of my favourite brand of chocolates. Some are even demanding that the chocolate company pays for the exchange in blood, believing that that would make them pure, untainted, sinless again in the eyes of God.

Little do they know that by doing that, they have reduced The Supreme Being’s intelligence to a level similar to theirs. An insult of great proportion if you have enough grey matter to ponder about it.

Not withstanding my opinion on the whole matter, they shouldn’t stop there.

They should also wage a crusade against cigarette companies for killing so many Muslims. Or get these companies to sponsor a lifetime of fresh mints, stronger toothpaste and dentures for their nicotine-stained teeth, portable breathing ventilators and even oxygen ports at home for future use should they succumb to cancer.

Don’t forget to also include driving schools for producing bad drivers on the road, JKR for all the potholes that have injured Malaysian motorists etc.

And while they are at it, they should also perhaps convince the government to fund a research on how to infuse “smartness” and intelligence into people. No, no, I don’t mean distributing “smart” raisins.

I mean “transfusing” intelligence to dilute the stupidity of the whole argument, reaction and thought process.

And unfortunately for those who think this is just a silly episode not worth our time, let me remind you that people have died and thousands massacred for even sillier reasons elsewhere.

We actually live in scary times.

It underscores the precarious situation the country is in. If this is the kind of thinking, intelligence and sense we see from average Malaysians, it won’t be long before we join, as one of my favourite writer puts it, countries in the “club of doom” where its citizens, and no one else are the cause of their demise.

So back to the writer’s question, where are the smart, moderate, rational Malays?

Smart, moderate, rational Malays

We are here. Just like many average Malaysians, we work hard for our careers and families. And since most of us are not contractors waiting on government contracts, we try hard to make ends meet.

Some are busy saving lives in the hospitals, while others work hard to keep industries and factories running. Some even hold two jobs. We are doing our bit to make Malaysia a better place for everyone, and hoping that our efforts would move the country forward.

We don’t have time to march, break into state assemblies, and worry about what the other Malaysians are doing, might be doing, or will do to us one day.

Neither are we clowns who wouldn’t mind appearing on national medias, making complete fools of ourselves for five minutes of fame and glory.

We are busy, with limited spare time, and also because we rarely watch the channels that encourage racism and stupidity disguised and packaged as “national” news.

Non-Malay Malaysians should know that we don’t necessarily agree with the views aired in the news bulletins at 8pm. At times, we don’t even know where these views from the so-called experts come from.

We may have similar skin tones, speak the same language but we are worlds apart, intellectually, psychologically and spiritually.

Bazeer Ahmed, a member of Malaysian Muslim Wholesalers and Retailers Association (MAWAR) during a news conference on stopping the supply of Cadbury chocolate products to retail shops, in Kuala Lumpur May 29, 2014. — Reuters pic
Bazeer Ahmed, a member of Malaysian Muslim Wholesalers and Retailers Association (MAWAR) during a news conference on stopping the supply of Cadbury chocolate products to retail shops, in Kuala Lumpur May 29, 2014. — Reuters pic

Sometimes, we wonder what they would do to us when their voices are tolerated and encouraged by Putrajaya. Unlike them, we understand that whatever happens to us one day will affect each and every Malaysian, no matter their skin colour, beliefs and vice versa.

We are all in this together, and not each on their own.

So the next time you wonder if we exist, let me assure you we do. Just make sure you don’t associate us with the empty cans that make the most noise today.

It’s nice meeting you too.

Between Misbun and Lin Dan

If it’s an opinion on their skills and ability, I’d chose Misbun. If you ask me on a racial preference, I’d choose neither.

To reduce our intelligence, and assuming that our ability to choose and reason are decided by some Jurassic theory that emphasises skin colour instead of a deep sense of patriotism is just disgusting.

There will always be those who root for their own colour, but I would like to believe the numbers are small. But why make an example out of them when the nation was united in rejoicing our Thomas Cup heroes?

What good can you achieve?

It was good to see Malaysians cheering and rooting for Team Malaysia, no matter how short-lived the moment was.

It displayed pure patriotism that was void of pretence that we see so much of nowadays.

It was a moment when we saw each other as a fellow countrymen, whose rights and privileges are protected and enshrined in the Constitution.

Fellow countrymen who were fighting with sweat and tears for the country we all claim to love with all our hearts.

If only the moment lasted longer. We could have achieved wonders as a nation.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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