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Posts Tagged ‘Malaysia’

19.5 hours to 2019. It’s about 4.30 am on the 31st December 2018. What have we done with our lives so far? We’ve changed our government but are still struggling to find elusive common sense in daily life. Elation at our ‘victory’, the ‘People’s victory’ is slowly settling down to reality. The reality of what we have become over 61+ years of being treated as doubtful stakeholders in this homeland, despite our birth right to have a homeland. (I speak from my point of view, one of the ‘un-chosen’ of migrant descent) There are leaders who want change for a more just, democratic and people caring nation, but there are also those who live to gang for power, self-interest and exhibitionist nationalism. They know who they are. The rosy veneers are peeling off to reveal the true color of each individual’s patriotism, if patriotism is what is practiced. Perhaps, people are starting to think about ‘patriotism’ and ‘nationalism’.

To pick a phrase by Emanuel Macron (the French President – 2018) “nationalism destroys patriotism”. Some may wonder, why the differentiation between the two? Does patriotism mean the same as nationalism? To my mind – NO. Patriotism to me comes from the spirit that aspires to higher, nobler goals…a united nation of people. Unity in diversity, peaceful co-existence, equality, respect for human dignity and rights; all in all a nurturing love for one’s country that will make it a better place and we, a better people. Even, the critics of the government, the so-called ‘prophets of doom’, the pessimists who are critical of policies, laws and more importantly, actions of government, may be the true patriots. These who keep the government, hopefully, on the right track, exercise freedom of speech with responsibility upholding democracy. Yet, freedom of speech and democracy is a two edged sword.

Some self-proclaimed nationalists assume they are patriotic and swear blind their allegiance to king and country but preach societal fragmentation, intolerance of diversity, race and religion. Equality, respect for human rights and dignity is anathema to them. This, we saw so recently. This twisted view of patriotism, too often calls itself “The Patriot”.

So what are these ‘nationalists’? Are they ‘patriots’? Nationalism seems a grey area. They possibly see themselves as defenders of the realm, but whose realm? Their realm of self-interest or the nation’s realm of wider societal interest and diversity?

Far right nationalism is trending in many countries today, an apparent backlash against current migration trends sparked by an epidemic of conflicts around the globe. There is a defensive attitude towards migrants and refugees, and Malaysia is no less vulnerable to such far right nationalism even within its own society.

After 61+ years of communal race and religious based politics shaping our mentality, one could excuse this mindset. Yet, we need to take stock of ourselves and realize how ingrained in ourselves is this kind of ‘nationalist’ thinking.

To make a real change, we have to change ourselves. Can we do that as we start 2019?

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Certain Malaysian run eateries in this country seem to think that customers don’t know about food. In a boutique café, one day, running through a menu of light desserts, I spotted “raspberry ice-cream”. Ahh, that would be wonderful on such a hot day, especially when I’d already had a cup of coffee and hadn’t treated myself to an ice-cream for ages. (more…)

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It is the 27th August 2015, just two days to the Bersih 4 march in Kuala Lumpur, WP, Kuching, Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Malaysians must note and record this historical event for posterity, the next generations must know how their elders struggled and strove to win democratic freedom from oppression, exploitation and feudalism born of past colonial rule. We will remember the past, the present and the future. (more…)

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Happy 2014 to all my kind, appreciative readers, the very best is wished for you as always. Whilst, we feel good and hope is high, at the moment, many people probably view the coming year with apprehension. Last year was a real ‘party’ that left some of us devastated with the sheer exhaustion of trying to cope with the situation. (more…)

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A Christmas Carol (1982 film)

A Christmas Carol (1982 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charles Dickens, a former resident of Lant Street.

Charles Dickens, a former resident of Lant Street. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the late night movieBabel” on Malaysia’s NTV7 which ended around 2am, I accidentally flicked to TV3. It’s amazing how inverted priorities are in this country. It was quarter way into a children’s animation of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. At 2.30 in the morning? Which child would be awake at this hour, except for those like me. (more…)

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Augusto Pinochet

Augusto Pinochet (Photo credit: a-birdie)

I have to share this, it is important because fewer people outside Chile may know about this 9/11 which was no less tragic than what happened on September 11, 2001 in New York. Still, one wonders how dictators like Augusto Pinochet had the sympathy of former Prime Ministers  Margaret Thatcher (UK) and Dr. Mahathir Mohammad (Malaysia). Now, Barak Obama, President of the United States wants to ‘teach’ Syria a lesson.  Has the United States itself learned anything from its past actions in the Middle East that only resulted in continuing conflict and destruction? How many more innocent people must die for nothing?

See the other 9/11 and ask yourself, if this is justified. People are getting tired of war and lies.

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/9/40_years_after_chile_coup_family

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The Malaysian Insider

The Malaysian Insider (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pope Francis Portrait Painting

Pope Francis Portrait Painting (Photo credit: faithmouse)

One of the current burning issues in Malaysia is freedom of religion. The abuse of God’s  name in which many of these rights violations are committed would certainly be seen as not just oppressive and unjust, but a down right insult to the Almighty, let alone Peoples of “The Book”, as Jews, Christians and Muslims are called. Saying that, it seems that particular extremist factions from any of this troika seem to take every opportunity to abuse, insult and oppress each other, especially in the holiest of times when all should peacefully sit back and deeply reflect on our sinful ways. However, in this country, there are perpetual tests of faith for Muslims as well as Christians and the article I share here reflects the sort of test that arises when least expected. There is no headline, but this came out in the Malaysian Insider, an online daily. (more…)

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