The Angry Malays…and Malay Bashing in the Internet Part 3
Thinking back, I think my conversation with my Malay friends are conducted in a civil manner. They don’t say bad things about other ethnic groups. An exception is one friend who says that: tindakan Hindraf itu kurang ajar. However, his words can be interpreted as a comment towards Hindraf actions, not about Hindraf itself. And his comments must be made in view of the severity of Hindraf’s claims.
There is another who said something about one article from Malaysiakini. So he was referring to this article written by KJ John. Specifically he was referring to this phrase from that article:
Shame on you government of Malaysia; you are as guilty in the eyes of God as exactly as you accuse the Hindraf leaders. May the Lord God judge you appropriately on this action which you do unjustly and without the due process of natural justice.
A flawed democracy?by KJ John
He said that what on earth is that author saying. He told me that that “Lord God” that KJ John was referring to is his (KJ’s) God. And that according to him is a false God. He told me KJ John is playing with religious sentiment, pitting Muslims against non-Muslims. And on top of that, he told me that the real motive of the author is to support Hindraf.
He also reiterated that from his readings of Malaysiakini, non-Muslims and non-Malays seem to love belittling Islam and Malay culture. One such aspect is the issue surrounding the usage of the term “Allah” to describe God. He said that he could not understand why non-Muslims make such a lot of fuss about this issue (see the article – PM state your stand on Herald’s ‘Allah’ ). He told me that the demands and complaints as indicated by that article and by previous Malaysiakini articles on that issue shows how arrogant some non-Muslims and non-Malays have become. It is not surprising that he said that. After all Malaysiakini has compiled articles and letters under the banner – SPECIAL DEBATE: In the name of Allah. And he was particularly incensed by Malaysiakini’s portrayal of an image of a mosque in that banner. He told me that Malaysiakini is pushing the envelope too far. Democracy, he told me, should not be used as a pretext to launch a malicious critique against Islam.
Well, these people are university students. They are well read. They read the newspapers and they read the news from the internet. They read a lot of things and they read the alternative media. Yes, they all feel angry, but they can put aside their anger and discuss rationally about sensitive issues. Of course, in discussing these sensitive issues, their convictions and stand are very clear. They don’t like the so called Malay Bashing phenomena to continue.
Now, surely within the Malay communities in Malaysia, there will be similar discussions. Surely, in many coffee shops in Malaysia, there will be discussions about the current issues in Malaysia. In view of the current ethnic tension/ friction (is there a better word to describe the current state of ethnic relationships in Malaysia?) I wonder if those discussions are conducted in a rational manner….
Sometimes I think that those who engage in Malay Bashing are really stupid. It is counterproductive.
As readers should know the Malays constitute the majority in Malaysia. As I have read in the Kompas newspaper (from Indonesia) on the 26th of November (I still remember that newspaper – as it featured the Hindraf rally as it’s front page news), the Malays constitute about 51% of Malaysian population. If all Bumiputras are considered, this will be about 60-63% of the population. So by these figures, no one in the right mind (that is to those who are really and genuinely concerned about Democracy) will do things or write or publish articles that offend the Malays. But yet, the alternative media often carry articles that blatantly offend these people.
Fortunately there is one Malay in our group that have a somewhat different opinion. At first he seems to be very quiet. He did not say anything when we first conduct our discussions. It was towards the end when he spoke. He told us that Malays should not be too concerned with all the bashings in the internet. Instead the Malays should be more concerned about democratising the Malays and the Malay based institutions in Malaysia. He said that Malays should learn more about accepting different ideas even though these ideas might be offensive to them. He said that ultimately these ideas or expression will be judged by individuals be it Malays or non-Malays. Those ideas that are good to many would ultimately be acceptable to society; but those ideas which are offensive to many will ultimately be rejected. He said that we should not tell what other people should do or think, or force people to accept what ideas are good or bad. Those decisions should be left to individuals, not to some group or to some leader or high-ranking people.
Unfortunately he was the only one in the group that has (or at least articulated that kind of thinking).
And that was my discussion/ conversation with some of my Malay friends.
The Angry Malays…and Malay Bashing in the Internet Part 1
In view of the potentially sensitive nature of this posting, readers are advised of the Caveats. Also, the characters portrayed in this entry are fictitious. In addition, this entry has been modified in such a way that it would be impossible to determine whether it actually happened. Readers are advised not to take the message literally. Think before you act. Think rationally.
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- January 1, 2008 / 8:33 pm
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