Friday, September 16, 2011

Overcoming The Mind Control Problem

This article in Free Malaysia Today /  Malaysian Insider sums it all. How to get out of the mind control.



Two pervasive mentalities stand out among the chief culprits. They are racial and religious supremacy.
Racial supremacy expects non-Malay citizens to be eternally grateful to the Malay race for granting their forefathers citizenship at Independence. It demands from the non-Malays unquestionable deference to the Malays, their culture and arbitrary declarations of Malay rights or privileges.

Religious supremacy is the conviction that the Islamic belief is superior to all other beliefs and that it is the only path to true spirituality. Its adherents must not compromise on officially stipulated Islamic ideas and practices and cannot opt-out of the religion. Non-believers are fodder for conversion.

A set of underlying reasons drive these mentalities. Political motives aside, there is a historical fear of disenfranchisement; a concept of entitlement as an exclusive birthright; envy; low self-esteem; a craving for a source of self-pride; a fear of the new or alien; meekness; and narrow-mindedness.

Supremacism is sold as the cure-all. But it only adds to the problem.

The projection of cultural or religious might becomes a pretext for the powerful to impose conformity and thereby control upon a majority. Behind the false security of religious dogma or ethnic nationalism, it is spiritually and psychologically defeating. It turns what should be a happy bazaar of exchange between cultures into a cautious tightrope walk. It sabotages nation-building, whatever the unifying slogan or initiative devised.

Consider how this plays out in Malay-non-Malay relations.

The ordinary Malay in Malaysia is kept at a near constant state of anxiety by the tirade about the non-Malays seeking to usurp Malay political and economic rights. The Malays are repeatedly called on to be united in the name of race and religion to fend off this imagined strike. To alleviate his insecurities the Malay is offered:
  • A political guarantee that national policy will be dictated by the Malays (or Muslims) and economic concessions in the form of government jobs for the unemployable etc. These are promised in exchange for support for certain political parties and obedience to hierarchy;
  • Supposed spiritual salvation by thorough religious submission. This is codified in law, taught in religious education, enforced by religious bodies and reinforced by social and peer pressure; and
  • Financial incentives such as easy loans and credit for material intoxication by retail therapy and a temporary relative wealth effect vis-à-vis the non-Malays.
There is no commensurate effort to unleash the Malay mind and encourage the Malay person to seize the day, excel, question, take charge, propose or dissent. Political leaders and the religious bureaucracy do not favour this; an empowered people puts at stake their political influence and economic privilege.


For both the Malay and non-Malay communities:

(a) The non-Malays must treat the Malays as fellow brothers and sisters, with dignity, understanding and compassion. Effort should be made to communicate and interact with, not shun, the Malay community.

(b) The Malays must reciprocate. In addition, the Malays must rightfully regard their non-Malay brothers and sisters as equal citizens.

(c) To overcome cultural hypersensitivity. To be tactful in making suggestions or be gracious in receiving 
suggestions pertaining to the so-called ‘sensitive issues’ (for example, matters relating to places of worship).

(d) To cease to see the preferences or cultural particulars of another community as slights or threats. To cultivate instead an appreciation for the value of diversity. To be able to partake in the festivities of any community without excessive anxieties or scruples.

Read the rest here.

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