29TH FEBRUARY 2020 : Will We Learn Anything At All?

Posted on March 9, 2020



9th March 2020


The drama that unfolded on 23rd February and beyond are but symptoms of an insidious virus in our society.

Its the fear, perceived or imagined, of the “Other” that needs to be treated.

Most of us have been socialised to view the Other with suspicion, prejudice often resulting in unfounded bigotry.

We tend to frame every aspect of our society as a “ Us vs Them” zero-sum game.

Bifurcated Nation!

Politicians prey on our tribal base instincts to advance their personal agendas!

That’s exactly why 29 February happened!

Post May 2018, they capitalised on the carefully cultivated sense of insecurity of our Malay community!

You have lost your pre-eminent status in this nation, and this must be restored was the clarion call!

And the incessant (and sometimes insensitive) refrains for an equal and a meritocratic society only served to, up the ante!  “ See our political appointees are better than yours!” did not help either.

This confrontational narrative is not new. The same old storyline was used in 1969, 1989, 1998 and in post 2018 years!

Always antagonistic, accentuating the “ Us vs Them”

This insidious national rhetoric will not end for another 60 years and more!

The fault lines of our bifurcated MALAYSIA will not disappear!

The charlatan politicians will continue to con us, whilst merrily making their pocket monies!

So do we continue to rave, rant and pontificate on the symptoms…?

Good for our egos but absolutely no value to our society!

We cannot afford to go on this way and destroy the very fragile fabric of this beautiful country!

This ingrained zero sum mentality and concomitant behaviour is destructive to one and all.

We, each and everyone of us, must commit to take the more positive route to treat the underlying causes.

The Malay community needs to be reassured that the “Others” are not out to grab power and disenfranchise them! The “Others” need reassurance that this is their Tanah Air too.

The Malay community needs to come to terms with the fact that history cannot be reversed. The Others are here to stay!

The Others need to make serious efforts to understand the nature of our Malay society.

Advocating for diversity also means making earnest efforts to  understand the culture of all communities, not just your own!

Engage, Educate & Empower

We must reach out to each other..

To do that we must be really prepared to engage, educate and empower ourselves.

There is no better way of truly appreciating the “Other” than by engaging with our children.

Get involved in projects that make a dramatic difference to the lives of our children of the B40 community.

They will open your eyes and your hearts to the “common humanity” within you.

My Generation Must Show The Way…

I look to my pre-Merdeka generation that was fortunate enough to experience the spirit of ‘Unity in Diversity’ to show the way! As we prepare to exit this sojourn on earth, the least we can do is not add fuel to the toxic daily national conversation. We must resolve not to pass on our tribal baggage of baseless prejudice and bigotry to the young ones.

Instead, we must encourage the younger generation to envision and navigate a new enlightened, non-communal course for 21st Century Malaysia.

Nobody Will Miss Us!

One final food for thought. If tomorrow by some cosmic accident this nation called Malaysia and its 32 million inhabitants are wiped off the face of this planet, do you think the rest of the 7 Billion inhabitants will miss us?

I seriously doubt it!

The few that may vaguely remember us, would probably say, “ those silly people somehow contrived to destroy a richly-endowed, beautiful land!”