My dad was watching ASTRO AEC at 10.30 pm yesterday. He was waiting for the Evening Edition, a news programme in which two newscasters present the main stories from the Chinese evening newspapers. When another programme was broadcasted, he said, “Not showing ah?” “They have balik kampung,” I figured.
As we celebrate the Chinese New Year, perhaps it is better that news is not being told to us to get us agitated. After all, there is not much local news which is encouraging — or rather, worth being happy about.
Lest you think that I am indifferent, it is precisely because we need to involve ourselves at this critical juncture of our nation that we should, during this festive season, keep calm.
It has been said that the current religious tension is similar to the animosity leading up to the 13 May 1969 riots. As much as it is the darkest moment of our young history, we need to start treating 13 May 1969 as simply a date. Why? Because we are being provoked to retaliate with equal if not greater force by the use of a fatal weapon — fear, cloaked in Molotov cocktails and seditious banners.
13 May is simply a date, because we realise that the riot will never, ever happen again without us violently retaliating. 13 May is a date which makes us aware that inciting a bloody riot is a devious plan to achieve a selfish desire, a plan which will never materialise if we do not retaliate out of fear. 13 May is a date when we respond to provocation with acceptance, forgiveness and love.
There is nothing to fear whenever 13 May 1969 is mentioned, because I believe the majority of this country wants peace. If some people defile our places of worship, it is punishable with imprisonment of up to two years and a fine. We will not riot. If a few grievously hurt our fellow brothers and sisters, it is punishable with imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine. We will not riot. If one kills another, it is murder, punishable with death. We will not riot.
We are not fearful. We do not fear you.
The rakyat of this country want cool heads, courageous leaders and mercy-tempered justice to prevail. We are not, and should never be, intimidated by news of the actions of provocative extremists. We will not be lured into doing anything other than sowing, and reaping, the seeds of goodwill.
Whenever we are asked why we are being jolly with another creed and colour, we want to say, “Hey, I celebrate everything, because I am a Malaysian.”