Khamis, 11 Julai 2013

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Dark Spring: Essays On The Ideological Roots Of Malaysia’s GE-13 – Book Review

Posted: 10 Jul 2013 12:29 PM PDT 

Azly postulates that Malaysians have been prisoners of their own constructed hegemonic paradigm, which had great consequences on social and equity policy over the last decades. The economic pie has been seen as something fixed, where effort has been put into how this static pie can be divided within society. 

Review by Murray Hunter

This compilation of Azly Rahman's articles about Malaysia before and after GE 12 in 2008 expresses what many have in their hearts; a strong sense of emotional distress.

Azly's articulation and approach to many important contemporary issues facing Malaysia, come from a series of unique perspectives, of which I intellectually admire and would personally find very difficult to articulate, as he has done superbly. Through his perceptions and meta-framing Azly has been able to see straight through the symptoms and "sandiwara" that besets the country and take a brutally honest and sincere look at the root causes of the condition Malaysia is in today. This "immersed" yet still objective approach has been able to tap into some of the colonial pre-Merdeka, post 1969, and post-Mahathir era narratives. He has deciphered their sinister and destructive meanings, that today run counter to the shared aspirations an evolved Malaysian society holds today.

This is why I believe Azly's volume of essays compiled from 2005 right up to the GE 13 election eve on 3rd May 2013, is an extremely insightful reflection of some of the important events influencing the shape and meaning of Malaysia's cultural and social evolution to what Azly aptly calls "hypermodernity".

Through the very title, "Dark Spring", Azly has accurately described the Malaysian social, economic and political landscape in a way reminiscent of Rachel Carson's seminary book "Silent Spring" published back in 1962. Carson described a silent American 'farmscape', poisoned by US chemical corporations, where as a consequence bio-diversity was lost and birds no longer chirp. The environment was destroyed but US corporations profited greatly out of this loss in biodiversity richness. Similarly, "Dark Spring" represents a poisoned Malaysian society with greed and prejudice that has taken away the very soul and spirit of the land that we all love.

The ideas and thoughts presented by Azly in this collection should be considered by every Malaysian if they love their country and have an empathic connection with the spirit of Malaysian history. This is a cathartic challenge to the realities we have been brought up to believe in, and accept as the truth. The ideas and thoughts embedded within the pages of his book may change one's sense of understanding about the way things are today, laying down of an cascade of alternative realities, which may emerge as being closer to the truth as history is critically revised and rewritten a generation from now.

This revision will expose the hidden cancers growing within Malaysian society that need to be treated if Malaysian's evolving aspirations are to be celebrated rather than repressed by the elite forces of vested interests who rule the country they have tried to keep divided for the last 50 years.

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