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Sunday, November 28, 2010

A matter of ethics

We have become the monsters just like the monsters we wish to remove. Do we really want to remove the devil we know with a devil we don’t know? I would take the risk of removing the devil we know with an angel we don’t know. But if it is to remove a devil we know with a devil we don’t know then better we keep the devil we know.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Murder when committed in the name of the cause is no longer murder. You can justify murder as long as you hide behind the cause when committing it. Would the innocent victims of May 13 be considered murdered by those who participated in the 1969 race riots when what they were merely doing was to defend their race?

Those on both sides of the Hutu-Tutsi conflict did not feel like they were murdering their long-time friends and neighbours even though hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Neither were those killed in Bosnia and Herzegovina considered murdered. Is it not called the Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina rather than the Bosnian Murder?

Anything is justified when it comes to the cause. Even murder is halal or kosher. And to make sure no one gets upset it will never be called murder. It will be called anything but murder.

I suppose when you call it something other than murder it gives you peace of mind. By calling it murder it makes you feel like you are doing something wrong. But by not calling it murder you feel that whatever you are doing is in the bigger interest of a noble cause.

That is how humankind always fools itself. You label it any old how just so that wrong becomes right. With the right label, wrong can become right with the stroke of a pen.

I have been monitoring the comments and opinions in Malaysia Today. You may have also read them but you probably did not stop to give them a second thought. Of late words like responsibility, transparency, accountability, good governance, justice, fair play, and so on, are absent from the comments. The one and only focus is ABU -- Anything But Umno or Asal Bukan Umno.

Have our priorities changed that much? What are we trying to achieve here? I thought we are trying to bring about change to Malaysia. If that is still our priority then surely change has to mean something different, in particular something better.

As the Muslims would say: to cleanse yourself before prayer you need to use pure water. You can’t use dirty water to cleanse yourself and then consider yourself clean enough to pray. How can you dip your hands into a septic tank or sewer and wipe your face with them and declare that you are now clean enough to face God?

Islam is very particular about what constitutes clean or pure and what is considered not clean. You can’t rub contaminated water on your face and say that your face is now properly washed. Clean must be clean and there are no two ways about it.

The same goes for the fight for change. Can we oppose evil with evil and say that we are doing God’s work? Can I rob banks to raise money to build mosques? If my motive for robbing banks is to seek money to build mosques then surely my act of robbing banks is a noble act. By these standards robbery is not robbery when done in the service of God even though innocent people have to die during the robbery.

Many Malaysia Today readers no longer care about moral and ethics. It is all about kicking out Umno and Barisan Nasional. The method is not important. The honesty and integrity of the opposition leaders is not important. Never mind whether it is a black cat or a white cat just as long as it catches the mouse. Never mind if we allow the boss to have sex with our wives and daughters just as long as we get rich. The method we use to get rich is not crucial. What is important is that we get rich.

We have become the monsters just like the monsters we wish to remove. Do we really want to remove the devil we know with a devil we don’t know? I would take the risk of removing the devil we know with an angel we don’t know. But if it is to remove a devil we know with a devil we don’t know then better we keep the devil we know.

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