Tomorrow is Merdeka Day. Let us be clear –it is the 52nd anniversary of West Malaysia’s independence from British rule. It does not mean that the people are free from rule. It means that they are free from British rule.
It means that as far as the people are concerned, they have new political masters – from foreign to local masters. In the beginning, the people generally were happy with the thought that our own people will now become our leaders. Since they are from our own people, they will be able to understand our needs, hopes, difficulties and aspirations better. They will serve us better since they will understand us as no foreigner could.
These must have the thoughts of the people in general. I recall a time when there was actually a general perception that “leaders and the government could do no wrong. They must be good people with good intentions”. I think this perception has long disappeared from the Rakyat’s mind. The Rakyat has matured
“Ah! you are those who love them, but they love you not,- though you believe in the whole of the Book. When they meet you, they say, "We believe": But when they are alone, they bite off the very tips of their fingers at you in their rage. Say: "Perish in you rage; God knows well all the secrets of the heart." (Quran: 3:119)
If we are still dominated by thinking in terms of colour then we are enslaved and will forever be fooled. We must learn to look at the deeds and see what fruits are borne.
They now see that the very people who were supposed to be busy serving the people have become multi-millionaires and multi-billionaires. The Rakyat is not jealous but just curious – when did the leaders find the time to make that kind of money? What business were they involved in? They are also curious that almost everyone of the leaders’ children are equally “capable in business”. Business talent in Malaysia seems to be centered only among the political leaders’ families and those whom they know.
The rest of the Rakyat seems to be not so fortunate such that even the roadside hawker has to “paw” somebody in order to bring back some food for his family. The rest of the Rakyat have to slog for a life time to pay off their car, housing loans and sometimes their children’s educational loans.
Increasing the so-called development that the leaders WANT the Rakyat to be grateful for as their contributions are fast becoming a lifestyle which is expensive and almost impossible to achieve. From the backward, spacious kampong house, now most of the Rakyat live in cubicles called flats. The more fortunate ones live in clustered housing estates called link houses in “taman” this and “taman that” where there is neither any taman nor is it safe for the children to even step out of their houses.
The People are still not merdeka from even trying to rise above the subsistence level. They have to work for the banks for the rest of their life and the advent of so-called “Islamic banks” have not at all been merciful. Banks will be banks. Call money-lenders by any name, they will have the same attitude! Al-Along is still along.
And the parable of an evil Word is that of an evil tree: It is torn up by the root from the surface of the earth: it has no stability. (Quran 14:26)
The Malays. They have been here for a long time. They had the feudal royalty as their masters once. Everything they do is subjected to the royal command of their respective rulers. Then, they had the Portuguese, then the British and now? Has the feudal mentality of the Malays really changed? Are they now free to live a life? Merdeka di dalam erti kata yang sebenar?
“Ketuanan Melayu” is a term that has been bandied about for so many years by the Malay politicians. Yet I see today many Malays who are poor, uneducated, mat rempits, living in extremely poor conditions, trapped in social and economic settings such that the vicious cycle is bound to keep them there. It is so cruel to play with people’s lives by giving them false hopes and promises. I really pity the Malays who are subjugated to the politicians for years just to keep the politicians comfortably in power.
Nobody has really given them a long-term policy that has been properly implemented. Tun Razak came up with the NEP which had good objectives. Unfortunately, greed and power took over and the minority raped the rights and hopes of the majority Malays.
And the second part of the NEP - to alleviate poverty. I still see many Malays, Chinese, Indians, Orang Aslis, indigeneous people in Sarawak very poor…while the leaders and their children have become very comfortable. So too some civil servants! There is no excuse for this.
But when He tested him, restricting his subsistence for him, then said he (in despair), "My Lord has humiliated me!" (Quran: 89:16)
Nay, nay! but you honour not the orphans! (Quran089.017
Nor do you encourage one another to feed the poor!- (Quran 089:18)
And you devour inheritance - all with greed, (Quran 89.19)
And you love wealth with inordinate love! (Quran 89:20)
And the other thing I "pity" about being a Muslim in this country is this: OTHER people can dictate to you how you are to relate to God. In other words, people can be PAID to tell you what Allah’s religion is all about. Again the Malays are controlled. Even in schools teachers who are paid to teach not do teach, but moralise. The moment you mention the word “Islam”, most Malays will not dare to raise an objection or to seek clarification. The vested powers know this and manipulate this to their advantage and gain. The people remain their slaves. “Where is the fear of Allah?” I ask myself.
If the abuser/manipulator can speak Arabic, he can literally get away with the cruelest of deeds. Such is the successful subjugation of the Malay mind that feudalism still persists but with different labels. You are not free to serve God alone. Kamu tidak merdeka untuk sembah hanya Allah tanpa mempersekutukan Nya. Ini lah hakikat Negara merdeka yang kita warisi. How can anyone be truly free when you worship false gods on earth?
“Therefore expound openly what you are commanded, and turn away from those who join false gods with God”. (Quran: 15:94)
Perpaduan. We have heard many songs on unity. Many slogans. Every politician shamelessly will give speeches on unity and then alter the speech when they are facing different crowds. After 52 years we not only have racism. I believe we all love children and we want all the best for them But why do we love them less when they become teenagers and start to distinguish and segregate them legally, socially, economically, etc?
It may be that God will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom you (now) hold as enemies. For God has power (over all things); And God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Quran: 60:7)
Even between enemies, love is possible and we are not even enemies! Why or why are we so bent on highlighting their differences at a very young age? Why do we not take note of their innocent bonding and work from there? What have our leaders been doing all these years? It is no wonder that the Quran says that the followers will ask God to double the punishment for the leaders!
"(The followers shall cry to the leaders:) "Nay, you (too)! No welcome for you! It is you who have brought this upon us! Now evil is (this) place to stay in!"(Quran: 38:60)
"They will say: "Our Lord! whoever brought this upon us,- Add to him a double Penalty in the Fire!" (Quran: 38:61)
The real answer is greed and selfishness isn’t it? Call it by any name and if you are honest, it boils down to that. We still not merdeka from base desires it seems.
Now, there is a new dangerous virus which the political leaders are afraid to confront – religious bigotry. We have “progressed” from trying to manage race relations to now problems of “inter faith” and “intra faith”. Unnecessary, unthinkable and unprecedented conflicts between religions now exist. Even conflicts between the same religions exist – UMNO supporters cannot enter heaven. PAS supporters can. What about PKR, MIC, DAP, SUPP, etc? What about those not even in any political party?
“And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude God's favour on you; for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, you became brethren; and you were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does God make His Signs clear to you: That you may be guided”. (Quran: 3:103)
If you have difference of opinion with the paid or political “Islamic” scholars, then you are a heretic. They must be followed unquestioningly because they are knowledgeable. It appears we may have become more religious but certainly less human. Slavery of the soul to fellow mankind seems to be on the rise.
“Ask you of them, which of them will stand guarantee for that!” (Quran: 68:40)
As a Muslim, I can never understand this.
To my Muslims brothers and sisters – how merdeka are you? Do you stop being a Muslim for a while when:
1. you accept bribes or kickbacks?
2. when you torture people?
3. when you cheat and lie? ( we know)
4. when you insult other clans including those from your own simply because they have different views?
5. when you do not do the work properly for which you are paid?
6. when you, with hostility, insist that only your views are right?
7. etc – tepuk dada, Tanya selera. (readers may add!)
“Say: "Truly, my solat and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for God, the Cherisher of the Worlds” (Quran: 6:162)
I believe that we, the People have to start charting ourselves how we want our free country to be. We have to send this clear message to the leaders. We want peace. We want to the right to live the way we choose without causing harm to the other citizens. We want to excel as a society. We want common values that we can pass on to our children that can be shared with our neighbours’ children irrespective of race or religion.
“And why should you not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect; and raise for us from You one who will help!" (Quran: 4:75)
This is a lot of work. It may call for sacrifices. It takes time, maybe a few lifetimes. Freedom has never been cheap and easy.
Selamat Hari Merdeka.