I SPEAK my mind. I don’t care what you think of me or what I say. I care that I move people, and hopefully for the best. You cannot sugar-coat truth, truth must be spoken loud and clear if we want to make a difference. Speak Out.
A great nation is one where the majority looks at its marginalised minorities with compassion and empathy, and ensures their wellbeing is taken care of, and the weak among us are always protected. A great society ensures that the disadvantaged are helped in the best way such that opportunities do not pass them by.
Malaysia in this sense is a real paradox.
It has a majority that is politically powerful and yet economically weak and uncompetitive. The Malays (and to some extent our bumiputras overall) by and large have been told over decades that they are superior but are unable to compete and therefore needed every advantage and protection by their political leaders, their clerics, the state, the monarchs and every other self-proclaimed champion under the sun.
Hence, we create a supremacist complex, subconscious in most and overt in some, but one with a dependency syndrome.
The minority Chinese and Indians are economically strong, competitive and over the years, in the absence of a reliance on government assistance, has also become urbane and progressive in outlook.
Hey! Do you know the other minority that to a certain extent fit this category? The progressive Malay liberals.
That despised minority among the majority. What do all these people have in common? When faced with the challenges of being truly Malaysian, they are as timid as a gang of Theon Greyjoys waiting for sausages to be served. The majority of them are so scared to speak out or come out. Witness the Bersih rallies, the numbers are way below the actual support.
I have news for all you Theons, we can do it. You’ve proven it on May 9. You all came out. Don’t stop there. It’s time all of us come together to change our nation to be truly progressive, modern and, sooner rather than later, join the ranks of developed nations.
To do that we must be Malaysian first – without fear or favour. Never again allow an injustice perpetrated upon your fellow Malaysians be left unquestioned and unanswered.
Never again allow that little voice that says “let’s not court trouble”, or those that shout at you “you are not of the religion, do not interfere” stop you.
Humanity knows no race, no religion nor does it care what your supposed station in life is. We are all Malaysians. If we want to be equal we have to behave as equals, until the powers that be capitulate.
If we see our race denigrating or abusing the other, speak up and condemn it. If we see another race doing it to their own, speak up as well.
If we see another people of a different religion abusing and persecuting their own kind, speak up. They are your fellow Malaysians. There is no justification in persecuting our fellow Malaysians.
Let me give you an example.
If someone proposes to impose penalties upon Malaysian Muslims that only the Muslims in our nation will be subjected to for the same crime, we must all speak up and oppose it. This is not about religion. It is about fairness to our fellow citizens.
Being a Malaysian means speaking up on behalf of every one of our countrymen. Standing up to oppression and for justice for all. None of us can or should be shut up for one reason or another when it comes to what happens in Malaysia and to Malaysians. We are all equal. We need to walk this talk until we change the environment by which discourse takes place in this country.
There will be many detractors and there will be many people who will mine the well of extremism to stop us. We should not be cowed by them because that is what they want of us. They have been scaring us all to compliance all these years.
Right-thinking Malaysians must demand that our elected leaders step up and lead, and not follow the herd. The herd follow the shepherd, not the other way around. When I hear characters say “we must be sensitive to the feelings of the majority”, I know these are no leaders.
These are mere political hacks, characters who are interested in the jockeying of position and personal victory, rather than one willing to risk his or her popularity to stand by the courage of their convictions and chart the destiny of the nation and its people. More than likely such people do not even have any convictions.
This nation needs leaders. We are at crossroads in our history. I believe the next three years will determine whether we will sink back into the old politics of protecting and championing race and religion, or we will emerge as a confident nation of equals ready to bring our collective strength to take on the world on our own terms. The result will be determined by us Malaysians speaking out and standing up to and with our fellow countrymen, and insisting that our “leaders” lead.
This is what I intend to continue to do.