- Of halal pork, minions and toilet meals
- Reform TITAS to ensure fair and balanced teaching of civilisation studies
- We are Malay-Muslims, we are entitled
Posted: 22 Jul 2013 09:54 PM PDT
There you go Malaysia, your weekly dose of social media sensation to quench the thirst of all the closet racists, pseudo-neutrals and "holier than thou army" is here. I know many of you will be jumping on the whole freedom of speech argument but woe betide us all for the day this right was inherited, we've had to put up with more garbage than commentaries of actual importance. In fact, feel free to discard this article as one of the many others that will come pouring in light of the recent issue involving the non-muslim students of SK Sri Pistana having to eat their meals in the toilet because its significance remains firmly in the sensationalism of the news.
Now, I am not going to go into details for much remains unclear, however, what remains clear is that every single issue in this country today is somehow associated with a persons race or religion. When did we become this shallow? Why is a capable individual by law, blessed with the ability to act and understand the nature and consequence of his act now the sole representative of his background? At every instance, one reads "kafir tiada hak", "melayu/islam -insert foul word-", cina this, melayu that, India…, well we don't really matter till elections but hey, free bag of rice for everybody!
I honestly no longer remember growing up in this country, my country, for the people were different then. They were more forgiving and less judgmental. They were more loving and less hateful. I stand proud knowing that I have genuine friends from all walks of life and varying races and that the bond we cherish goes beyond that of colour and religion. I wonder then if our children and leaders of the future will be as lucky, to simply be able to play a game of football without looking at the other as Cina or Melayu but as a friend and a fellow Malaysian.
The fundamental problem with this generation or rather my generation is the fact that we often look to our forefathers and predecessors in identifying where it went wrong and what they should have done better. However, the truth is, our parents raised us pretty much alright and our forefathers were the ones who agreed to a consensus of racial harmony thus achieving independence. Then, who is to be blamed? The answer is simple really, look in the mirror. Yes, you, you who claim to be a Malaysian first but fail to look out or care for another race and especially you, who leads the cry for justice and equality for all but refuse to shoulder the burden and effort required to see it through.
In the past month alone, we've seen two idiotic Malaysians post a Ramadan greeting with pork and a halal logo, another exceptionally rude Malaysian customer having a go at an employee for shortage of a toy minion and now we find ourselves getting all worked up because a Malaysian headmaster void of common sense decided to put the non-muslim students in the toilet for mealtime for hitherto reasons unknown. Now, re-read the paragraph again and note that the perpetrators were MALAYSIANS. Why should it matter that it was a Chinese customer and Malay employee? What if the situation were as such where both the customer and employee were of the same race? Do we blame China for making the minion toys? Think!
Posted: 22 Jul 2013 12:09 PM PDT
We owe a debt of gratitude to Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli and other supporters of the proposed Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies (TITAS) course for opening the Pandora's box on the educational value and desirability of this officially decreed course previously imposed on public universities and now planned to be extended to private universities.
For now, there has been nothing offered by way of justification or in defence of the course design by the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his subordinate, Higher Education Department director-general Morshidi Sirat, to allay the concern that the introduction of the course is politically motivated to serve the ruling government's agenda, and not the interest of our young.
We should have no illusions that even with the spotlight of public criticism strongly on it, the authorities will not continue with the planned enforcement of the course. The political stakes are too high for the minister of education, soon contesting the Umno elections, to do an about-turn.
Recognising that it is well-nigh impossible to expect the authorities to withdraw its proposal, we urge Rafizi and others in favour of the course to support the following measures to ensure that TITAS does not become another platform to load our young with politically, racially or religiously skewed knowledge. A narrowly conceived, ethnocentric and politically biased TITAS is counter-productive in a world characterised by diversity and pluralism and in our homeland which is one of the major cultural and civilisation crossroads of Asia.
If indeed the intention is noble and aimed at instilling cross cultural learning and appreciation of the major civilisations of the region among all students, Malays and non-Malays, surely no one in their right mind will object to the safeguards below to ensure that this intention is achieved and not subverted.
Posted: 22 Jul 2013 09:10 AM PDT
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