I would consider myself to be a person who talks about politics only in coffee shops, who forwards some emails and complains endlessly about the injustice(s) that we suffer and how we should strive to make Malaysia a better country to live in. Like many millions of Malaysians, I only talk the talk and not walk the walk.
I have seen my friends being hauled up by the authorities for their participation in “illegal” assemblies and lighting candles but they have remained undeterred and as passionate as ever. They continue with their march and struggle with even more determination than before while I sit behind my desk and continue to complain about the little imperfections in our lives. I never did what they did because being charged in court and spending a night (or a few nights) in lock-up is not exactly what I have in mind as the price to pay for speaking up.
Incidents that have taken place lately however start to alarm me.
Is it because there are so many of us that choose to remain silent in order not to “stir the hornet’s nest” we have become the reason why some are so bold as to openly threaten bloodshed in my very own backyard? Fortunately they do not represent right-thinking members of the Muslim community but unfortunately like all cancerous cells, it is dangerous that such a “scourge” should go unchecked.
But the Sedition Act and the Penal Code are not the right vaccines.
These “hooligans” that live among us do not tolerate or practice any form of moderation whilst our Prime Minister speaks incessantly about his “1Malaysia” concept and took it one step further by saying there must be “acceptance”. His slogan is mind-boggling because the Government and the party that he leads do not believe in it. In order for these political parties to survive, UMNO must be seen as the “protector of Malay rights” and MCA must be seen as the “protector of Chinese rights”, and MIC must be seen as the “protector of Indian rights”.
If the rakyat do not feel that they are oppressed because of their ethnicity, UMMO, MCA and MIC would not be relevant. Hence, certain leaders are quick to provoke racial sentiments as it is their survival at stake.
I was not too bothered about politics until people like Hishammuddin came out singing to the tune of the “hooligans”.
I was not too bothered about politics until Teoh Beng Hock died mercilessly whilst in the custody of MACC.
I was not too bothered about politics until Khir Toyo said that the cow is a “stupid” animal.
I have as much a right to speak as any Malaysian has – we demand to live in peace and we demand to live in an environment where our children do not grow up hating one another. We all deserve a better Malaysia!
The final cry is this, and it ought to be the loudest, as the title of this post proclaims.