The recent threats being spewed by extreme fringe groups has sent many people in a spiral of fear. Azrul Khalib and his friends decided to fight fire with understanding and patience.
Today, I attended a “Walk In The Park” organised by Uncle Azrul and his friends. They have been very concerned by the recent hate and treats by certain extreme fringe groups calling for violence as a means of controlling the exclusive use of the word “Allah”.
Malaysians have been living in harmony for over a hundred years. We adopt each other’s cultures, foods and languages. We set up our homes in communities with diverse races. We send our children to sekolah kebangsaan. At a mamak shop, you can find Malaysians of all races drinking tea together. It was through working together we achieved Merdeka. We celebrate muhibbah (goodwill) everyday. Yet, there are those who would destroy this harmony and uniqueness for their own selfish gain.
Uncle Azrul wrote an article calling for right-thinking Muslims to not be afraid of the rumblings and to talk to one another to understand each other better. He also asked for all Malaysians to send a clear message to our leaders that Malaysians are peaceful and have no hatred towards fellow Malaysians.
So, for the Walk in the Park event, we were asked to wear purple, bring balloons, cupcakes and flowers, take photos and to enjoy ourselves that afternoon. The flowers and cupcakes were supposed to be given to people we met at the park as a sign of peace and love.
Unfortunately, before we could start our walk, the security guards of KLCC stopped us and told us it was against the park rules to distribute flowers or anything for that matter at the park. As the park was privately owned by KLCC, we complied.
Someone brought a trolley to transport the buckets of flowers but that was not allowed in the park so uncle Azrul had to carry it back.
How can some people say Malaysia is divided into three main races when many of us are of mixed parentage? One girl I met at this walk said she is part Chinese, Malay, Portuguese and Thai. So how, she asked, is she defined as “bangsa Melayu” (Malay)?
Dear Paprika, stand by while people like Uncle Azrul make this country the pride of the world, a country that celebrates our diversity while living in harmony.
Your loving father,