Friday, January 2, 2015

Praying By Itself Will Never Solve Problems

If there's one thing common that I've seen on twitter whenever there is an incident such as the Airasia QZ8501 / Malaysia Airlines MH 17 or the east coast flood lines is that the hashtags for those incidents will something like:

#PrayForMH17 #PrayForMH370 #PrayForPantaiTimur and so forth.

It is something that I didn't really 

The Malay Mail's Boo Su Lyn has succinctly summed up what I'd want to say in the last few days. She said:

We live in the 21st century.

But instead, we still have such superstitious beliefs governing Malaysian life.

When the ferocity of the floods hit, hashtags like #PrayForPantaiTimur and #PrayForEastCoast emerged.

Similarly, after Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 disappeared Sunday, hashtags #PrayForQZ8501 and #PrayForAirAsia appeared.

There is nothing wrong with prayer. Prayer may be a very calming act at a time when everything seems to fall apart beyond one’s control.

But it is far more crucial to take preventive measures so that such environmental and aviation disasters do not happen again.

Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said last Friday that disasters were God’s will which could not be stopped by humans and went on to pass the buck to Putrajaya over the floods.

Prayer will not prevent floods from happening again this year or the next if Kelantan insists on prioritising considerations of deity over practical measures. - 

In his Kastamonu speech (30 August 1925), Ataturk, the founding father of Turkish Republic said:

"In the face of knowledge, science, and of the whole extent of radiant civilization, I cannot accept the presence in Turkey's civilized community of people primitive enough to seek material and spiritual benefits in the guidance of sheiks. The Turkish republic cannot be a country of sheiks, dervishes, and disciples. The best, the truest order is the order of civilization. To be a man it is enough to carry out the requirements of civilization. The leaders of dervish orders will understand the truth of my words, and will themselves close down their lodges [tekke] and admit that their disciplines have grown up."
In light of our disasters, what do you really get hope to get asides from the idea coping yourself the lazy way as she asked? But this does not mean that we should not pray. 

Rather, the problem is that we've been too much relying and dwelling on spiritual and material benefits in the guidance of the clergy. We seem to be neglecting the importance of the progressive mankind. Even the holy books never explicitly say that it should be interpreted base on the time when its narratives were written. Vision 2020 also alludes on civilized community one that is well knowledgeable and radiant, but we've not yet reach that kind of society that was striven 23 years ago. We're about 5 years to reaching that target but not much of progress seen.

Malaysia should not be a country that has the same attribute that Ataturk has said above.

Are we saying that we should be pray but without accompanying action as of what the columnist said pray for the beggar but not offering food, shelter nor clothing?

Are we saying that while we pray, we leave things as it is, left untouched?

Why didn't we lift a finger in improving the drainage and rainwater flow system years earlier? Is it just because we have a zero-sum thinking that the other party should not collaborate with the federal level for everybody's benefit?

Why didn't we bother to pay attention to the slightest portions of the current air aviation system ineffectiveness? 

Do we need to have an apocalypse or something to bang in your head to wake up? Too many times, people have ignored it until they finally wake up when people reach the end of the world.

No wonder the fatalistic attribute described in the Myth of The Lazy Native rings true. Fatalistic in the sense of  saying "everything is the will of God" but we didn't bother doing things to accompany it. Fatalism is this kind of attribute that Patton, the famous WW2 general poured scorn onto it. 

As for side note, there have been question of why our Arab friends aren't helping in form of action aid to our airplane crisis nor the country's floods whereas it is China and Taiwan who are offering aid first?

Why aren't our Arab friends helping us in this time of trouble when we keep harping praises of the Arabs?

Why do you keep calling China communists while they came and offer relief humanitarian aid to our flood victims?

Get real!


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