For the umpteenth time, last night Walski watched The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - based, of course, on the best-ever book known to mankind in history. Okay, okay.. second best. Since Walski's watched this film umpteen-minus-one times before this, concentration was not exactly one of those attributes required.
At the back of Walski's mind, a few nagging thoughts were running amuck through his synapses while watching HG2G. Perhaps egged on by the film - because Walski saw all kinds of parallels with what's going on in this great, or once great but can be again, nation of ours, with what's in the movie. You're probably thinking perhaps that's a bit of a stretch. But Walski's train of thought can be pretty abstract sometimes. Read on, though, and by the end of the post it should all become clear. We hope.
This current mess of a situation all started, of course, with the Deputy PM making the now infamous speech at some conference or other last week - that Malaysia has never been a secular state, and that because Islam is the religion of the federation, we are, therefore, an Islamic state.
Walski, like many of you out there, has fallen into the trap of taking sides on the issue of whether or not we are this or that. Yeah... shit happens, you know? Having read the article by the esteemed Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, originally published on Malaysiakini, but now available on The Other Malaysia for your reading pleasure, the truth is that we are what we are - uniquely Malaysia. Plain and simple. Read the article, and see if Walski's conclusion makes sense or not. And yeah, Freelunch2020, Walski agrees with you. We should stop bickering and get down to the real issues.
You see, the real evil, regardless of which side of the divide between Islamic and secular you sit, is really politics. And once you realize that, you'll realize that the bickering and animosity we're inflicting upon ourselves benefit one group of people, and one group of people alone - the fucking politicians.
The common people like you and Walski are but pawns in this dastardly game of winner-takes-all. And it's easy for emotions to be fucked around with, when the right strings are pulled.
(realizations of galactic proportions, in the full post)
But then, you have the other side of the equation that wants an "Islamic state", at the expense of everything else, so it would seem. More fucking politics. One question to ask - an "Islamic state" of what sort? What model of society, that's relevant to the make-up of Malaysia? What are you talking about exactly when you say you want an "Islamic State"? The existing so-called Islamic states the world over are not exactly the most shining examples of modern civilization. In many cases, Islam is used as an excuse to exert tyranny and bouy totalitarianist regimes. Give us a model, please. (And, no, Walski's not talking the Amber Chia type of model)
The Constitution of 1957, although not perfect, does provide, in principle, a basis for an equitable society. Read right, it is liberal in nature. Liberal in the sense that all Malaysians are treated equally in the eyes of the law. Liberal in the sense that a citizen is given the right to live his or her life, as he or she sees fit - within the bounds of the law. It is not Liberal in the sense that rejects religion, as some politically vocal Muslims would want us to believe. But it is Liberal in the sense that it does not impose a particular belief upon someone against their own will.
But be that as it may, the events that have followed the remarks of the DPM, are all political ploys. See it for what it is, won't you? It is nothing more, nothing less than just politics. The order to suppress any discussion or debate in the media, particularly those that are not in agreement with what the DPM said; the warning given by UMNO Youth to MCA to shut the fuck up; the rebuttal by MCA; and most recently, the police report filed against Malaysia Today... it's all POLITICS.
Let's not get caught in the excitement, and play into the hands of those who wish to see us become partisan towards one party pitted against the other. And in all the excitement, the real issues get clouded. And the more clouded the real issues get, the easier to manipulate we all become. Emotion is an effective means of manipulation. And being the experienced politicians that they are, our emotions are being used to their advantage - without us even being the wiser.
Incidentally, speaking of Malaysia Today, yesterday Walski postulated that the site may either have been taken down, or was being inundated with traffic. Walski is happy to report that it was actually the heavy traffic, and that currently it is accessible without any problems. Unless, of course, you have crappy connectivity to the 'Net. And, RPK has written a excellently scathing rebuttal article, raising some interesting things about the person tasked with filing the police report against him and his website.
It's high time for Malaysia to wake up and smell the politics. And if you smell anything else, it's probably only the haze. Or yesterday's durians.
So, back to The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy. Remember the parallels Walski mentioned?
The Galaxy, despite being led by a renegade President, the bunggling Zaphod Beeblebrox, and overrun by over-the-top bureaucrats-from-Hell, the Vogons, still manages to continue its existence, the various worlds and races surviving in a strangely ludicrous symbiosis.
Not unlike Malaysia, if you think about it. We are a country whose Executive is the epitome of Autopilotocracy - it doesn't matter where they are or what they're doing - Malaysia still functions. Sorta like Zaphod Beeblebrox vis á vis the Galaxy. And lets not even get started on the bureaucracy.
But another more important parallel - perhaps the most important one - regardless of the petty political games, the "I am more Islam than thou" strategems by both sides, the needless squabbles over Islamic or Secular... when the time comes for the Vogons to demolish planet Earth to make way for an inter-galactic hyperspace bypass, none of it is gonna amount to a hill of beans.