Thursday, May 13, 2010

Take Five: On May 13th


One. For the rest of the world, a day like today bears not much of an impact unless it falls on a Friday. That might send our superstitious friends running with a howling shrill. But in our Motherland, the thirteenth day of the fifth month of the year has been playing a dual-functional role for the past forty one years. It stands proudly as a monument that boasts our strength to push ourselves up and pull ourselves together after a paroxysm in the past. A medal proving how far and fast we are willing to run to the finishing line; achieving national unity. On the other side of the fence, it also lies as a sepulcher of prejudice and vengeance.

Two. Various efforts carried forward in vain. Millions of monies spent in pain. While most of us are merrily promoting the melody of oneness in a choir, there are still some doppelgangers who enjoy yodeling discontentment hoarsely. To them, unity is unanimity and equality. They deem whatever that stands in their way as injustice, ironically oblivious to the fact that justice is all about putting something in a place it deserves. I am fully aware that Malaysia is no Utopia and it will never be. But to see even a few amongst us blatantly and unscrupulously causing our harmonious state to totter is simply excruciating. To be a go-getter is unequivocally a positive attitude but not when you put the nation's fate at stake. Mind you, in a country like ours where the cloth of tolerance that blankets sensitivities can be as thin as a piece of paper, even a half-uttered infelicitous remark can tear us apart.

Three. Evidently we have traveled far, living footprints of positive outcome. However whether we like it or not we have to agree that there are still much more that need to be done, partly because only some of us are doing it and mostly because only some of us are doing it right. It is said that unity in our Homeland is superficial. Just because we have integrated, that does not mean we are truly united. Liberals like to think that racism is a product of ignorance, of lack of contact, and that as people mobility increases, so racial gap will decline. This might be best described as the Benetton view of the world and it does contain a modicum of truth. Intermixing can foster greater understanding but not necessarily form unity.

Four. We are still divided somehow and not just into races. We divide ourselves according to the boundaries outlined by our ethnicity, political party, geography, socio-economy and to a certain extent, according to the football team we cheer for. I cannot help but to wonder whether we'll let sexual orientation join the list anytime in the near future. We label each other based on belief and origin, turning a blind eye to the striking colours of similarities that we share. Why? Probably because we are not ready to move forward and give away a piece of ourselves to be shared. Why not? Getting together does not make us part with who we are and what we are made of. It makes us grow stronger as one. Highlighting our differences will only erect a wall that stands as a hindrance towards realizing our visions.

Five. Unity is a state of mind. It cannot be printed in the form of policies. It does not come into being through the vociferation of slogans. You can let the word swim into people's ears but you cannot force the value down their esophagus. It needs to be formed by our forebrains, nurtured with our hearts and safeguarded by our conscience. To make this date a mere effigy of racism that deepens schisms between us or to take this date as a humble reminder of our strength that motivates us to run forward is up to each one of us. All that has happened are complementary gift from history. But what is yet to happen is a choice and the choice is ours.

"Biar kita tak sama, tapi kita sentiasa bersama"
- Amirrudin Abdul Rahman


mao said...

true that! stop the parade. pilih date lain pun takpe kalau setakat nak tunjuk Malay Unity..

ARADIA said...

nicely written..


M.M. said...

Mao: Exactly!

Kak Aliza meletop: Thank you :)