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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

State of the Nation

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Sometimes when playing to the gallery, politicians say the darnest things. In the case of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, he said something that one day, hopefully, we won't have to live to regret.

Image hosting by Photobucketfrom Malaysiakini (subscription required)

Yes folks, nevermind history - Najib's just re-created it. But don't take Walski's word for it, though.

There are a couple of articles that Walski came across today that refute what the DPM stated. They both look at the statement from the angle of history, but in slightly different ways. One quotes history, the other reminding us to learn from it.

Historically, Najib's remarks are as accurate as one foot equalling 8-and-a-half inches... in other words, not accurate in this time-space continuum.

From a constitutional point of view, and the historical backdrop pertaining to it, lawyer-cum-blog-activist Haris Ibrahim has challenged the DPM to produce documentary proof to support his statement. Not only has the DPM managed to skew national history, he forgot that other little important thing - family history.

Your late father, according to history, was part of the 1956 delegation that went to London to secure our independence.

Truly, this nation is indebted to your late father, the late Tunku and every freedom fighter of the era for securing independence for our nation.

And a secular Federal Constitution.

Yes, secular.

(source: The People's Parliament)

Hmm... perhaps the DPM should re-visit our national history, and not make things up for political expediency. Oh, and also read Wikipedia from time to time.
(more voices of disagreement, in the full post)

Of course, as Walski said yesterday, there will be those who will refute what the DPM had to say because, in their view, we're nowhere close to being a real Islamic state. Like Saudi Arabia, Iran or even Pakistan. Plus all the glory, magnimity and splendour all these states have to offer. Not.

Speaking of Pakistan, Farish Noor, via The Other Malaysia, posted something equally interesting, commenting on the DPM's statement. Specifically, Farish recounts how Pakistan came to be the basket case of a nation that it is today, and asks the rhetorical question of whether Malaysia is heading down the same path. The end result, though (emphasis by myAsylum):

Today, after decades of Islamisation at the hands of Pakistan’s Mullahs that went unchecked by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and later Zia ul Haq, Pakistan has become an outcast state where religious politics has proven to be divisive and detrimental to the plight of women, non-Muslim minorities and minority sects among Muslims. All of this could have been avoided by sticking to the secular principles of the Pakistani constitution, but that same constitution has been torn to shreds by successive politicians – including Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif – who found it expedient to play the ‘Islamic card’ whenever it suited them, just to garner some cheap votes at the elections. The rest, as they say, is history and that history now weighs heavily of Pakistan and its people.
(source: The Other Malaysia)

And it all started by falling into the trap of playing the Islamic Card. For political expediency. And unlike poker, there's a whole lot more than just chips at stake.

Do read the full article by Farish Noor. It's got history in it. Lots of it. You know, that really boring (for some) subject that they teach in school. Walski never understood its importance when he was still in school. Blame it on his teachers - they reduced that all-important subject to mere rote-learning of names, places and dates.

These days, Walski finally understands why learning history - real history, and not the one made-up for popularity reasons - is so very important. Why?

As they say, those who don't give a rat's ass about history are bound to repeat it. Or something more polite along those same lines. Unlike the alternate universe of Star Trek, it's just not (yet) possible to hop on the Enterprise, go back in time, save the whales right the idiotic Ex Lax moves made in the past, and once again restore the world to a hunky dory state.

No siree Bob... fuck with the now, and you're stuck with the tomorrow you never wanted. History be damned.