Saturday, September 28, 2013

Religion's Loss In Sense of Loving, Sharing, Caring and Forgiving

Early this year, the Brits are given a slight rude awakening with the unearthing of more historical findings of the famous King Richard III. The king’s identity was confirmed by the scientists of the Leicester University following the skeleton’s discovery at the car park in August 2012, buried by the Greyfriars after the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Following the confirmation, things started to show up such as the artistic impression of the church prior to the Dissolution of the Monasteries, graphic visuals of how the Tudor propaganda vilifies Richard via Shakespeare’s play and of the indication by art experts pointing that a well-known portrait of the monarch that has the slightest signs of biasness.  Since then, there has been hardly of the play being performed. People are starting to see a different angle to the history that was shown to them more than 500 years after that series of events.

If that's what happened about Richard III, why not Chin Peng? After all, the existence of Internet has allowed users to look for alternate information to what is found the present books available in the market or at our home shelves.

There has been an admission by the English and the historians that the 1948-1960 communist insurgencies led by Chin Peng against the British have accelerated plans for independence by 10-12 years. Had Japan was not A-bombed at the end of WW2, Malaya would have been declared independent on 17 August 1945.

I can understand that many of us, especially those who were born pre-Merdeka are quite scarred by the horrors inflicted by the faction that was led by the man himself that it is quite hard to forgive such person and to move on. In fact the emotion before the moving on stage is the difficult part for most of us.

There is a sense of inconsistency where JI terrorists originally from Malaysia like Noordin Mat Top were allowed to be buried back home while just because Chin Peng is not a Malay or just because the name strikes prominently in the Malaysian history that politicians, government and people have started to get too emotional until the point they lose their marbles and the logic to think properly that they outright said no way Jose on bringing the remains back.

I was watching Hanipa Maidin’s speech on the Legal Profession Act amendment a few days ago and at one point, he was describing of how our authorities and sometimes leaders tend to act very emotionally rather using their heads to think properly under a very calm state of mind. No doubt this is exactly why the Malaysian society has still yet to match with their counterparts in the first-world countries, socially speaking.

Every religion in the world actually emphasizes on loving, sharing, caring and most important of all forgiving. Instead, most of the preaching now no longer emphasizes on that but instead merely points on sin, legal, not legal and most important of all, heaven and hell. Every Friday, there are news articles that shares what Jakim tries to talk during their Friday sermons. The texts are prepared by them, and imams are not given the free reign to decide whether to use their own sermon or to use the prepared text sermon.

The late Sultan Idris Shah of Perak wrote three days before his death that the religion has lost its allure and has the need to show the love and caring attitude (love thyself and thy neighbor mantra) rather than scaring the people with things that are sinful or talking just of heaven and hell. Turns out he’s right - that after nearly three decades since his passing things have taken a turn or the worst.

History has often shown by number of cases and scenarios that most of the Christian missionaries are much more successful than their Muslim counterparts. It is largely attributed to the approach that they undertake. It is noted that most Christian missionaries adopt the community service method and show them of how they can help the community there and how the community can help them in return. This would be in far contrasting with the more hardball approach that the Muslim missionaries would adopt. 

Further reading: RPK’s article The Approach (6 Feb 2013)

Towards Merdeka, JAKIM’s controversial sermon has painted an impression that vilifies the non-Bumiputra. And to add more insult, JAKIM seems to paint itself as someone who has a direct divine communication with God with so many recent non-sensical statements. They may have forgotten while they keep fingering other people as their worst enemies in the name of religion, it is they themselves that they are not aware of, as of one finger forward, three finger backwards.

So what’s the point of writing this? I am trying to say that despite all of Chin Peng’s atrocities during the communist insurgencies; it would be a rather less messy and let the wounds heal by letting his ashes being interred back in Sitiawan. Why would the authorities and UMNO in particular want to scream around and flog a dead horse that is called Chin Peng whereas there’s a more pressing national situation that would be addressed? Are they implying that as in the Spartacus movie they are like what Crassus would react and feared of Spartacus even after his death? Are you saying that a whole city fears just one man?

History is not always 100% accurate, as what the further discoveries surrounding Richard III has shown us. The Malaysian history as what we’ve learnt in the school books isn’t always accurate. UMNO and the police have already shot themselves in the foot by highlighting one man by the name of Chin Peng. On the other side of the coin, this has instead increased the curiosity of knowledge-seeking people that wants to see more of the history than what it was written on the surface. In fact what is written in the history books in school is just a scratch on the surface.

The society controlled by old men is somewhat driving many people towards mundane and in fact getting more people lazy and being manipulated. The internet, on the positive side has instead shed more light to what was hidden from the surface of the Malaysian history that we have known about.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

An Omitted and Forgotten Part of Malaysian History

Activists Hishamuddin Rais and Adam Adli were arrested in the Sedition Act due to numerous police reports that they have put up a Sang Saka Malaya flag during the Merdeka countdown night at the Merdeka square. What has been noted is that the action by the police was due to the number of police reports made by a few right-wing Malay NGOs including the GPMS.

The Sang Saka flag was one of the parts of the pre-Merdeka Malaysian history that has been omitted and deliberately forgotten. It is meant to paint the picture that it was UMNO that spearheaded the road for independence in 1957. However, the path was traveled twice before:

1. The first attempt was in 1945 just before the end of the Second World War. Japan had agreed to grant independence to Malaya on 17 August 1945. However, following the A-bomb incident resulting in Japan's surrender on 15 August, two days before the set date, the plan was scuppered.

2. The second attempt was in 1946 spearheaded by AMCJA - the All-Malayan Council of Joint Action. Because it has mostly comprised of left-wing people, UMNO calls it a communist.

In the Memoirs of Mustapha Hussain, pg 344, the Sang Saka flag was alluded there. Excerpt:

On behalf of PUTERA, I proposed four more clauses to strengthen our rights, referring to the magic phrase "The 9 Malay States" already in the preamble as proof of PUTERA's absolute right to claim them:

a) Malay to be Malaya's national and official language.
b) Malaya's defense and foreign policies to be handled by the Malayan and British governments with equal responsibility.
c) Malay as the nationality for the people of Malaya.
d) The National Flag would have a red band over a white one.

The problem is there are many NGOs and parties who are actually too emotional and sentimental, not using their brains to think well. This is why there are a flurry of unnecessary police reports made as a result of being blinded from one part of history by the main party that runs the government. It is no wonder that Malaysia was described by someone as the country in the world where there are most number of police reports made!

There are still many who while acknowledged that the national flag did not realize that it(s) design was largely influenced by the American flag (noted for its blue, red and flag bands). On the other hand, our national anthem's tune was largely based on Memula Moon tune, popular in Hawaii. Unfortunately, we didn't acknowledge the work of the original composer, unlike in Germany. The German's national anthem, though it(s) lyrics had changed over the last 200 years, yet it's tune was credited and acknowledged that it was written by the Father of Symphonies himself, Joseph Haydn. 

Are we still in the believe that UMNO was the first and last party that spearheaded independence without bloodshed? On the contrary no. There are precursor parties and events prior to 1957 that shaped the path of independence from colonialization by the English. Why are many Malaysians no longer fly our national flag? Partly it's because they have realized and discovered the unrevealed history of our nation. Partly it's because that the independence fighters, those who have fought against the English including Tok Janggut, Datuk Bahaman and the rest have been totally forgotten by the people and made to do so by the UMNO propaganda machine.

Have we really forgotten as the famous saying of "Melayu mudah lupa?"


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