Our country is in need of positive role models that emanate universal values based on respect, tolerance and sound moral logic, writes Syerleena Abdul Rashid.
Things are getting out of hand for this country – universal values such as respect and tolerance are now being ignored at the behest of several intolerant conservative factions who could not care less about fostering harmonious relationships with other fellow Malaysians.
Present-day Malaysians believe that extremist views and racial discrimination are destructive ingredients for the morally deformed and iniquitous.
Such doctrines are often favoured by the intellectually challenged – those who are incapable of digesting information where intellectual depth and logic are needed.
Science has also proven that there is a connection between intelligence and bigotry; the more a person is inclined to accept bigoted views, the less intelligent he or she is. Interesting, isn’t it?
Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) is one organisation that validates such findings. The ideologies it upholds hinges on ultra-conservatism and fundamentalism that could lead this country into the throes of chaos.
Such organisations and their followers possess an oversimplification of the world that conflicts with complexities of modern societies.
The recent verbal attacks on both A Samad Said (Pak Samad) and Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz were unnecessary and rude.
First of all, to label Pak Samad, a patriot who has contributed immensely to Malaysian-Malay literature (amongst other things) as a blind lackey “acting on behalf of certain powers” is absurd.
Secondly, to describe Ariff Sabri as a cheap politician “who clings to other races for survival” is outrageous.
Is it so wrong to defend our country from institutionalised racism and to wrestle our country back to progressive moderation – where every single Malaysian will be given equal opportunities and rights, regardless of race or religion?
Our country is in need of positive role models that emanate universal values based on respect, tolerance and sound moral logic.
In other words, we need Malaysians who are brave enough to stand up against the tyrannical clutches of bigotry and corruption and to guard our nation from such hateful organisations.
Malaysians are more than ready to embrace unity and racial cohesion. There is nothing ‘bankrupt’ or ‘cheap’ about promoting harmonious ethnic relations and fighting for the rights of all Malaysians.
Gone are the days when organisations were needed to champion the rights of one particular ethnic group.
But, yes, it is true – most Malaysians fail to understand the struggles Isma so valiantly fight for. We fail to understand why, after so many decades, such organisations are still unable to accept Malaysians for who we are.
We fail to understand why such organisations are so interested in creating disunity by conjuring up imaginary threats.
Malaysians also fail to understand why Isma is so fascinated with diluting the Malaysian identity and retarding the spirit of Bangsa Malaysia.
But Malaysians understand this: choosing to regress rather than progress in an increasingly globalised world only magnifies the insecurities and ignorance these groups possess.