Sunday, March 7, 2010

Their Problem is Everybody's Problem

For this post, I would like to borrow TM's tagline - It's good to talk.

Too many times, we see that most people tend to just remain silent when there is definitely issues to be raised, ideas and feelings to be shared because we do not wish to be seen as 'mengada', 'tunjuk pandai', too sensitive, 'gila glamour', etc. But whatever bothers you as a normal human being is also a trouble for all of us human beings out here. So, when you feel there is a need to say something, please do.

I like to tell myself that there is no such thing as stupid questions. Too often, those who are not asking are the stupid ones themselves.

I remembered one comment I got after writing "I want my money back" from an anon blogger that says, "As a blogger, I can’t stand it that unnecessary tension or scare is created for no apparent reason to the public". I believe the said blogger is happy with what he has to today. Thank you God for that but how could he or she feel so when there are so many people out there who still live in misery?

As a blogger, is he or she trying to say that those being posted on the Net are meant for people who could access the internet (meaning they have free time to surf and all)?

"Articulating the situation - even if it can't be fixed - frees you to focus on the most important item on the agenda - [that is] doing your best work" ~ Frances Cole Jones

I beg to differ. As a blogger, I try to make as many people understand what really happen out there and start people talking and thinking. Blessed are the nation where the fortunate ones set aside from their pocket to share with the less fortunate ones, not because they think it is cool to do charity but because they know it is their responsibility to protect the underprivileged.

If you have watched Fahmi Reza's "10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka", you could see that the fight for this nation's Independence was spearheaded by lower and middle class people that formed a unified political left movement comprising PKMM, API, AWAS (Angkatan Wanita Sedar), Batas (Barisan Tani Se-Malaya), MDU (Malayan Democratic Union), Putera (Pusat Tenaga Ra’ayat), AMCJA (All-Malaya Council of Joint Action), PMFTU (Pan-Malayan Federation of Trade Unions), MNDYL (Malayan New Democratic Youth League), Geram (Gerakan Angkatan Muda).

When I attended SABM's Roadshow in KLSCAH, I threw my 2-cents to SABM on how are they going to make SABM appealing to lower and middle class people , especially those who cannot understand English, since, from my observation, those people who took time to attend SABM's roadshows are those of privileged class and educated lots. I asked them how about those people who are not when they are the ones that are prone to be abused, misused and misled by people in power. After that, Mr. Victor Chin, a great artist, asked me if I am a welfare officer. I told him I wish I am one but I am not but I would like to take any opportunity to raise their predicaments. I got even more worried after hearing to one lady asking about the privacy of votes we cast because they fear that their votes for justice and fairness may cause discomfort in their lives - thanks to those insecured people in power. So, i stood up again and asked, "If these people are scared to vote those they believe could make this nation a better place, what about others that rely on people in power to earn a living?". If Uncle Zorro and Mr. Duke were there when I opened my big mouth, I might get an earful from them. Ouch!

After the roadshow, I met the beautiful and brilliant Sharada, a graduate from LSE, and her aunt. She understand where I am coming from when I shared my 2-cents. She said that she couldn't convince her colleagues enough to attend SABM roadshows because they say they are not racist. How true - educated people do not feel threatened by racism. But how come we still have racial spats in this Ibu Pertiwi?

The problem with us educated lots is that we know yet we don't care much about those don't know about their rights and continue to be suppressed by the people in power. We tend to stay in our comfort zone, being self-centric lots.

I cried watching that short film by Fahmi Reza because I feel like I owe Pak Cik Yahya Nassim, Uncle Lim Kean Chye, Pak Hashim Said, Pak Majid Salleh and Pak Cik Zainuddin Andika a delayed victory to a fight they started 63 years ago.

I would like to share an excerpt from Fahmi Reza's interview with The Sun here, that I really hope would make us feel inspired to do something for these true blue Anak Bangsa Malaysia: -

"Jacqueline Ann Surin:

I know you’ve spoken about how Lim Kean Chye was initially quite resistant to do this interview until he had interrogated you. Did you have a sense that the others were also resistant, and why do you think there was this kind of resistance, at being interviewed and having their stories documented?

Fahmi Reza:

First, for one of my interviewees, I think it was quite painful for them to recall what happened. Because, some of them had put all this behind them. They never engaged in politics after they were released from prison. So, it’s a dark period in their life.

This is my tribute to people who fought, they struggled. These are regular people. It’s different classes but mostly from the lower classes - the children of farmers, fishing folk, small traders. So, they really sacrificed for independence. So, for them to be arrested and detained, and when we got independence, it’s not the independence that they wanted, the Merdeka was not pure, and this was not the independence that they fought for. So, they feel disappointed that their struggle that they started has not been completed.

That’s what I felt from them.

When I wanted to ask them questions, too, it was difficult for some of the interviewees. They failed, basically. They wanted something but they failed. But their failure is not because of their mistake but because of colonialism at that time, British rule, with the help of well…that’s the other thing they were disappointed about.

Because for the first time, if you look at the hartal, it was moving towards creating this new bangsa (nationality). Because at that time, that sense of nationhood did not yet exist.

The thing that I find amazing is that they were able to see the divide-and-rule policy that the British imposed on them, and they fought against that. The Putera-AMCJA was a manifestation, for the first time in our nation’s history, of the different races getting together and uniting. And the hartal was truly bigger.

If you look at the People’s Constitution, they wanted to give birth to a new bangsa. They were conscious about breaking the Malay-Chinese-Indian racial categorisations. They wanted a new nationality, regardless of race.

One other thing I learnt from my interviews was that at independence, what was born was a nation, not a bangsa. That’s why we have this problem today of having three main races, when actually we should only have one, Bangsa Malaysia.

And their mentality was different. If you talk to Lim Kean Chye, race was not in their consciousness, which is very strong today. I think the unity that they talked about was not about race. It was more about class. It was about uniting all the people to go against the British to fight for independence. So, we could have been something different than what we have today.

1 comment:

walla said...

The reason for racial spats is political expediency. For too long racism has been cooked in the cauldron of politics until we are not able to appreciate the features of each race as unique but unifying parts of one humanity. When they talk about 1Malaysia, they must mean 1Humanity otherwise we will not be able to see beyond cultures and colors.

GE12 gave hope that we will return to the original spirit of the founding forefathers and liberators. Yet we see the movement being dismantled one by one. When you ask the political delinquents who have the temerity to portray themselves as representatives of the people what is it that is bugging them, none of them will be able to say it with substance and fact. And when you ask what is it they have done so far for their constituents, none of them will be able to list out their deeds in kind. Meanwhile the peoples suffer one day to another. Meanwhile the hopes and aspirations of all are dashed. Meanwhile this nation slides into the twilight.

This country is being run by unconscionable buffoons parading themselves as leading lights when they are actually substandard idiots who are the cause of the problem and not the deliverer of the solution. Is it any wonder this country is being run into the ground?

The wastage is obscene. The actions criminal. The double standards ridiculous. From standards to conscience, everything has been corrupted until the peoples are too fedup or cowered to do anything. And when the situation finally drops to its nadir, they will only spin their final spider's web to cocoon the peoples from reality.

If peoples don't take the trouble to wake up to the dire situation before us, accepting only street lights when the lamps of goodness and integrity have already been extinguished, we will soon enough become a nation of the blind and the unfeeling, the frightened and the irrelevant, the soulless and the spiritless.