Oct 16, 2013

Exclusivity of The BOLEH-LAND

The verdict is out!
Now thanks to the Court of Appeal, Christians in Malaysia have no rights to using the word Allah for GOD for those who speak in Malay. Well to be exact, only HERALD has no rights to publishing it in their Malay section of their paper, because last night, permissions have been given to those in Sabah and Sarawak (the Borneo states of Malaysia) to the use of ALLAH in the Indonesian Malay bibles and in their daily worship in church. WHY? Mr. Prime Minister suddenly realised he has just set his seat on fire and this could cost him big time in the next general elections, is it? End of the day it seems that's all they worry about. Not the actual logic of the matter itself.

No. Don't get me wrong. I don't care for that linguistic rights personally, because Malay is not my mother tongue nor is it my Lingua Franca as it is for the Bornean Christians, whom after 50 years of being part of Malaysia, is now told that they have no rights to calling their GOD Allah, which the world, especially the Muslim world outside Malaysia agrees, is the same God for all Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

We might have to come to a point where we will be expected to print our own Malay Bibles and rename Allah as TUHAN (after all that is the Malay translation for GOD) and educate the East Malaysian Catholics to change their addressing of God in their worship... well change can be good (I'm just trying to remain positive here!). After all, let's be practical, we are not Arabians as some think they are and we can't blame Indonesia for it either, because some Dutchman translated the first Malay Bible back in the 15th Century and used Allah because he must have heard it from the Arabian language which meant God and found it appropriate for usage, linguistically. Unless of course if Sabah and Sarawak seek out Independence from Malaysia and govern their own land. Endless possibilities right?

Leaving all that etymology, theology and history behind, what strikes to me as disturbing is the fact that people are willing to fight on the wrong context tirelessly. It's as if, if these loud sounding protest say 1+1=3, we'd have to accept it and how our judicial system favours these moronic stands.

It makes me wonder what justice is there really in this country for the minority?

Obvious isn't it, that our law favours VANDALS and GANGSTERS who doesn't need to be 'shot at sight' because they bully in the cause of 'PURITY'? Because they stand as 'crusaders' for the majority in this country who within this same majority itself have many who doesn't dance to their drumming. Because they are the louder voice of the official religion in this country. The fact that Putrajaya and Perkasa could warn the outcome of chaos if the court ruled otherwise goes to show that, they don't care about living in UNITY through proper ethical channels but by saying things would get worst than it did back in 2009 if we were given the rights to using this arabic word for God. They literally threatened the LEGAL SYSTEM and us the minority in broad daylight! And they carry on as champions with their heads held high.

Their blackmails, threats, act of vandalism, accusations and condemnations are certainly going to haunt them someday, may be not now, but hey since we are talking religious, it might be what they will have to answer, when they stand in front of Abba/Yahweh/Allah - that one almighty GOD we commonly share when he asks them did you live a righteous life on earth? God bless their souls then! And watch your mouth cause the judge up there was not appointed by the people down here!

The other thing that makes me wonder is why after all these years are the Muslims in Malaysia claiming they are threatened, so much so, there are Malaysians who call themselves Neo-Nazis and pledge to fight for the purity of Malay? Purity of MALAY? What is that supposed to even mean in this modern era? I just don't get it. Who is fighting THEM? How are they, being the majority, the ones who are faced with threats and terror from the minority? How did they come up with such Voldermort ideologies? Who instilled it in them? Every time an issue arrises between majority and minority, you'll come to hear it being preached in the Friday sermons at the National Mosque in front of thousands of muslims young and old, and often after Friday prayers, there have been marches and picketing held for various issues. Are these sermons checked out before they are shared? If I am not mistaken, sermons of other religions cannot be politically inclined, but theirs can? Another exclusivity is it?

I'm not questioning rights over sermons, but a word of advice.. preaching is a big responsibility and as a preacher, you owe everyone the right not to be misled or misguided by selfish ideologies especially on the pretext of fallacy and for heaven's sake, stop using God's name in vain!

Frankly, I would rather listen to a sermon that would help me understand my search for God and how I can be his instrument to help others irrespective of race, gender or religion. I don't enjoy one bit of politics being preached in Church during worship because being in the midst of Christ and in his house, I want peace. Not some brewing of ruckus, not that there ever was in fact. We keep taking matters directed at us in prayer but sadly that's not how I feel others take us. The countless times we have prayed for peace amongst our fellow Malaysians. The endless times we have raised them ALL up to God in prayer and asked for guidance, for security, for love, for kindness to be blessed and bestowed upon every citizen and immigrant in Malaysia. I only wonder if their sermons ever included us in a loving manner, or are we only brought up as a THREAT? A plan to extinguish and exterminate, like how the Jews who minded their own business yet ticked an insecure mental case Hitler who drove his crazies through others upon them. We are not a threat you know. We are Malaysians seeking for nothing more but a home to live in and to move on to the next one with our Almighty. And when one fights for justice, it's only because its justifiable that no one has exclusivity over it. Be a grown up and think rationally instead of acting like a spoil brat that only knows how to throw tantrums and throw up a ruckus.

Back to my point of concern again, what's the purpose of a Parliament and a Government if religious sermons carry more weight in controlling the law in this country and acts as a decision maker and driver to establishing some new rule after another that goes against all logic? What is the purpose of us voting in the respective leaders to run this country if some fellow from PERKASA talks more than the PM itself and has his words RESONATING everywhere as if he was ELECTED by the RAKYAT????

I feel Malaysia has gone so backwards in its way of thinking!
We have parents who expect more and more religious education to be carried out in schools for their kids in the expense of our children's time at school. I respect them for wanting religious education to be significantly involved in their children's life but why don't they have it on their own after school hours? It is so selfish to expect the non muslims to keep studying Moral education so as to have the muslim kids go for Islamic education, when for a fact you know everyone could do with more hours of Maths, BM, English, and Science in their commonly shared time at school! This many hours of moral education in school is pointless and irrelevant. Ethics can be taught through language learning as well and it can benefit all races in fact. When I look at the people standing and protesting with their placards, and the groups that go about fighting for some so called 'PURITY', I wonder what education have they been receiving? They all studies side by side with other races and come out thinking this way? They believe everyone else is a threat to them? Even those who take up an argument in the most professional way. What 'ajaran sesat' went on for them to be so insecure? Who did what to them in this country in this present time and age for them to be so defensive? To think so many have had the privilege to go abroad and experience the world and to come home and act as if none of those experiences meant a thing to savour the respect we have for each other as Malaysians? Think again, who's being threatened and made to feel insignificant? We are all children of the same GOD end of the day.

Our political leaders talk so much about globalisation, modernisation, pluralism, etc etc, yet at the same time, stand in silence and allow others to preach on making matter which aren't theirs to own in the first place, be exclusively theirs and theirs alone. The silence of these leaders are not a declaration of disapproval, mind you. They would rather have someone else fight that battle for them and be a hypocrite in front of us, as long as they get to gain power, wealth and probably a place in the ever evolving, crap load of a history book we have!

From declaring we were never a colonised nation, to a new declaration of Arabian line age for the Malays and the exclusivity of things linguistic and non, Malaysia hides behind the slogan MALAYSIA BOLEH and believes they know it all but in reality is becoming nothing more than a backward and ruthless nation who keeps taking for granted the subtlety, patience, tolerance, and civility of its people while the 'noisy gongs' go on fooling people, that they are true warriors of Malaya! Oh yes... they are warriors indeed, warriors of a battle they created in their own heads.

Wake up and smell the disaster that is brewing because the scent of roses in Malaysia is sadly fading away.

I pray to God, like many of my fellow Catholics, that the sound minded majority remain as the majority in this country to keep Malaysia stable, safe and protected with rational thinking in every aspects and manner of governance for the stability of this nation.

Source: The National 

Oct 3, 2013

Ambitions

Have you noticed how many times we ask kids what they want to be when they grow up and then once they are all grown up, the lesser the question arises? Or we tell them to be something else instead? Well, if you have not noticed it, you should now on because it is very common in us adults to do that to little children.

We constantly ask them what they want to be when they are older, and every time they answer us, the answer would differ. I knew mine did from wanting to be a policewoman, to a teacher then a dentist, a lawyer, and finally, I didn't know what I wanted to be anymore nor did anyone ask me again. My results and opportunities decided what I could be, mainly because I didn't come from a family that was wealthy enough to put me where I wanted to be (which was not something I even knew).

Now as a parent to 3 kids of my own, this question seems to constantly flash itself at my children by others. I know my daughter has transited her ambitions- chef to artist to scientist and now teacher. She envisions not just being in that profession, but the entire works of it. When it was the chef, she also planned about having her own cafe, serving the finest pancakes and pastas and she'd delegate workstations for each of us, such as Papa be the sous chef, her brothers the waiters and cleaners and I should be in charge of the pancakes while she takes care of the counter (how convenient right? And she's the CHEF!).

Anyway, since then her ambition has changed and now for a good period of time too, she wants to be a TEACHER, an English Teacher. I of course found that to be very noble and fantastic actually but I constantly remind her that even though she wants to be an English Teacher, she has to study and be fairly good at all other subjects too. She asked me why and went on to guessing it herself. Is it because if I don't do well in other subjects, I wouldn't get entry into a University (she definitely heard that in some conversation at home between me and my nephew)?

I looked at her and said, yes that is true but most of all is that a WELL READ and SMART English Teacher is an AWESOME teacher!
That is true! It may seem to many that language teachers are supposed to be teaching LANGUAGE, but what is language and what doesn't it cover? It is part and parcel of everything we do and every subject we learn which ever field it is in, requires a language and a well read teacher would know how to make her teaching interesting and fun, incorporating different areas of study to english teaching and thus create a student who is capable of speaking and understanding the various field of study through language.

Well enough about that, here's the other thing, having an ambition is one thing, but to have someone tell you "WHY DON"T YOU BE..." is by far the most annoying line to receive after sharing what you envision yourself to be. I am guilty of saying this myself to others because I know their potential and I believe it comes from a good place in myself to say that to them without ever undermining what they want to do of course, but when a 9 year old says to an adult whom she is not close to in any way (in this case my housing lawyer) that she wants to be a teacher and that too upon being asked, this lady tells her, "Ha! TEACHER? Be a lecturer la! Why teacher? Lecturer better money ma!"

Are these such people the ones who make us change our minds from following our innocent dreams?

I know people whom as kids wanted to grow up to be grass cutters and garbage truck drivers, but are now Ship Captains and Pilots instead. Did someone tell them MONEY was more important or did they realise in reality, they didn't want to do a stinky job like that all their lives and realised their potentials were much greater? I hope it's the later. Imagine how their parents would have felt hearing their kids say they want to grow up being that? I had my dad ask me if I was planning to work in the MARTEL factory after I finished SPM only because my cousin screwed her SRP results. Can you beat that? It wasn't even over my results that I was questioned that way.

Anyway, as to my daughter who wants to be a teacher, I would certainly support her ambition and not tell her myself to go be a LECTURER instead, unless she wants that for herself. Teaching children is a tough job and I think people ought to stop looking at it as a lesser profession than any other and if she decides later she wants to be an ARTIST, a SCIENTIST or a CHEF, she can go ahead and do it, so long as I'm not expected to make the pancakes! I want to enjoy my retirement away from a stove if possible.

Bottom line is, encourage them to tap into every area and help them find their potential without undermining them and expecting them to be what you or society wants them to be. Study their capabilities and help them cultivate it. We don't need to have our kids be what everyone thinks is the best professions and even if they are in something fantastic and chooses to change their career, what's wrong in supporting it? It's their life, they eventually would learn to survive because survival is in all of us. Who's to say they won't shine to glory in a career diversion? You won't know if you don't try, right?

Featured Post

THE DEBATE: The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Cannot Rock The Board Room

I watched this debate live on BBC, last month, yes amidst the running headlines of the missing MH370 and I must say Allison Pearson, the aut...