MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Saturday, November 29, 2014

What Umno reps need to talk about

By Azly Rahman
As a child growing up in the birthplace of Umno in the 60s, who saw his beloved grandfather a devoted member of this party of the 50s cry like a child in a corner by his radiogram when Abdul Razak Hussein died in the 70s, and one who has studied how this party stopped progressing by the early 80s, degenerating from a party of pride and dignity to pariah and dying with diseases of greed and gluttony by late 90s, I would like to suggest the following be discussed in order to lend the benefits of a life-support system to it.
I am also suggesting a poem be read out by the members. The following should be my humble suggestions for Umno, a party my ancestors, too, were members of, to undertake:
*Coming up with strategies to create a better understanding between the races, since we’ve been together for centuries?
*Designing our education system to be inclusive of all Malaysians with each race treated on equal terms,
*Helping any group progress, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation, since we are all lawful citizens and we are not going back to “where we belong”,
*Dismantling all systems that will perpetuate hatred amongst us and redesign our lives around celebrating our strength in diversity,
*Find ways to unify all races as one dignified race of Malaysians united against any threats from outside (if there are any real or imagined),
*Coming together as Malaysians to redesign our education system that will truly enhance children’s understanding of concepts, skills, attitude to become good learners, global and transcultural in outlook, and will grow up to see each other as a human race with a common humane destiny, rather than see more divisions and destructions,
*Collaborating with all races to see how best we can help those who are marginalised regardless of race and religion, and how best we can design an economic system that will promote cooperation, collaboration, and the enculturalisation of conscience and conscientiousness amongst us, rather that perpetually create competitions that lead to hatred and warmongering,
*Mediating the differences between Muslims of different interpretive practices, schools of thoughts, ways of leading their ‘Islamic life’ rather than create bogeymen and bogey-women for the purpose of witch-hunting and persecuting each other of the things we cannot fully understand,
*Stopping the total closing of the Malay mind by constantly instilling fear of themselves since time immemorial, since feudal times, so that the Malays can be spared of being called stupid, weak, lazy, and dependent on Umno as savior – all these a perfect model of a Master-Slave Narrative,
*Asking all members and members of your race-based component parties to read Thomas Kuhn’s ‘Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ‘Social Contract’ and to be prepared to exist merely as world-class culture clubs rather than hay-wired political parties, due to the nature of changing times, paradigm shifts, and the realisation of the true meaning of ‘social contract’.
How about those suggestions above for a change and for better speeches in future?
Umno leaders and delegates can read this poem, maybe… instead of those hate-filled speeches clenching fists of fury awkwardly.
‘ode to folks of kuala lumpur city’
even if in your lifetime you will taste poverty
live a life corrupt-free
and with highest dignity
… there is beauty in deep reverie
when others are living a life obsessed with money
i have seen friends and family fall flat on their face
for a life of greed and gluttony
never take a single cent you do not deserve out of your hard work
and reward you wait patiently
that was the constant advice given by our ancestors remembered so lovingly
how much must one accumulate in life to prepare for one’s life
in the uncertainties of eternity
the daily papers tell me how corrupt this malaysian society has chosen to be
millions and billions changing hands with people refusing to work hard like the coolie with the deepest sense of honesty
dig not your million-dollar-grave, friends and family
people these days are getting crazy
over money money money
offer me not a million a billion a trillion maybe
these have no meaning for me who prefers a life of simplicity
where i could ride the, bus, meditate on the train, or watch ships sail the seven seas
i could do these without any worry, where my next million going to crawl to me
how many souls i will need to destroy – him as utility and his entire family
in my path towards achieving the highest glory in life based on money aplenty
no, i shall not sacrifice my cave, my poetry, my love for philosophy, the arts and humanities, my love for humanity, my freedom
to take my midnight walks along highways taking me to the the sea and its serenity
a free spirit i am
blessed will be i hope all – whose life in this kuala lumpur city
is about destroying each other as taught by machiavelli
DR AZLY RAHMAN, born in Singapore and grew up in Johor Baru, holds a Columbia University (New York City) doctorate in International Education Development and Masters degrees in four areas: Education, International Affairs, Peace Studies and Communication. He has taught more than 40 courses in six different departments and has written more than 350 analyses on Malaysia. His teaching experience in Malaysia and the United States spans over a wide range of subjects, from elementary to graduate education. He has edited and authored six books; Multiethnic Malaysia: Past, Present, Future (2009), Thesis on Cyberjaya: Hegemony and Utopianism in a Southeast Asian State (2012), The Allah Controversy and Other Essays on Malaysian Hypermodernity (2013), a first Malay publication Kalimah Allah Milik Siapa?: Renungan dan Nukilan Tentang Malaysia di Era Pancaroba (2014), and Controlled Chaos: Essays on Mahathirism, Multimedia Super Corridor and Malaysia’s ‘New Politics’ (forthcoming 2014). He currently resides in the United States where he teaches courses in Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Political Science, and American Studies.

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