Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bolehlanders Should Think Hard What They Really Want

Bolehlanders should think hard what they really want.

With things getting weirder and more surreal each day, it is really time Bolehlanders think hard about what they want.

If even how fans interact with their K-pop idols and an Indian student wearing baju kurung to school can become contentious issues to some people, what can we expect that will not become an issue some day, if not sooner rather than later?

This is the result of allowing the growing voices of unreason, extremism and intolerance going unchallenged and getting more strident each day.

With the government of the day lost in its way, unable or unwilling to lead for fear of its own survival, we are beginning to see extremist elements holding sway and dictating how we should live and conduct our lives.

It does not help that we have none other than a minister (who should have known better), who had, inter alia, (in) famously tweeted his nausea at the sight of the French rallies against extremism in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings.

Or a Pm who is better noted for his absence than leadership. Who talks sweet saccharine on moderation and tolerance but really does little concrete or meaningful by way of action on the ground to show he means business.

Or that the urging of the burning of the Malay language Bible is considered as defence of one's faith instead of being considered as incendiary.

If we are not mindful, we might well soon head towards Talibanic rule, when even flying a kite is considered a capital offence.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Charlie Hebdo Killings: Faith Or Fail?

The Charlie Hebdo killings just go to show that when it comes to one's faith, people are willing to kill to defend what one believes is the right thing to do.

That when it comes to one's faith, people would often suspend rational thought and thinking altogether

It is hard to understand why a supposedly all loving, compassionate, forgiving and merciful being who is also almighty, would need the agency of puny men to wreck violence and deaths (even on innocent ones) just to exact respect for the divine.

One would have rationally thought that such an omnipotent and merciful being would least feel insulted by puny men's acts, whatever those may be. If one would still have it that insults need to be punished, who would be better placed to do it then the divine himself, not puny men with all their own sins, faults and frailties?

In fact, one would have rationally reasoned that it itself would altogether be an insult to the divine and, therefore, ungodly, to take it upon oneself to determine life and death when mercy and compassion and forgiveness would reflect the truth.

The Charlie Hebdo madness reminds us that if we ourselves do not put a brake to the growing religious intolerance some are promoting here in Bolehland, we might one day soon have people who would kill at the drop of the hat just because they feel that the divine is insulted or offended.

These people would only further tarnish, and cause others to lose respect for, their faith.

They would only bring their faith into disrepute. That would surely be something that the divine might rightly be offended by.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I Met Hang Tuah!

The last time I went back in time, I met Wong Fei Hung, the legendary Chinese kung fu master extraordinaire.

Last night, because it was raining and I could do nothing, I decided to go back in time to meet Hang Tuah - once, Bolehland's national hero who had inspired many bravery awards, legends, stories, plays and movies about the man.

There has never been a Bolehland hero more widely revered and loved than Hang Tuah.

Strangely, he seems to have suddenly fallen off the radar in recent years and hardly heard of or mentioned in awe anymore.

Some say that that is because there is some research out there that showed that Hang Tuah was not a Malay as had largely been taught in the schools and believed by many, but a Chinese.

Others, like a certain professor emeritus, say that Hang Tuah was just a myth. Maybe they are right. Or maybe, Hang Tuah was indeed a Malay. Or a Chinese. I don't know.

So, you can take my meeting with the man anyway you want. You are not wrong. And I am not necessarily right. It was just a meeting back in time.

Maybe the Hang Tuah I met was not the Hang Tuah Bolehlanders once revered. Because, like they say, there are many universes out there and the Hang Tuah I met was not the selfsame Hang Tuah

Anway, Hang Tuah, the diplomatic warrior that he was, told me not to talk about race.

I nevertheless asked him if he knew what racism or discrimination by ethnicity meant.

At that question, he looked at me like he had seen a ghost or like I had gone out of my mind.

Not to embarrass anyone further, especially myself, I asked instead if it was true that he had fought for seven days with Hang Jebat before defeating him.

He asked if I was familiar with the wuxia tradition. I said I had heard a little of it.

He said that in the wuxia tales, heroes fought each other sometimes for hundreds of rounds without anyone gaining the advantage over the other, or getting injured. And sometimes they even fought for days!

He said that in real life, if you fought hard with someone for even one hour, even if no one got hurt, you would have had died from the physical exhaustion itself!

I smiled at his humility.

Then I asked him how he eventually defeated Hang Jebat.

He said that he did not really defeat Jebat as much as Hang Jebat allowed himself to be defeated.

Hang Jebat, Hang Tuah revealed, was the more skillful martial artist - in fact, the most skillful of the four legendary warriors.

But Hang Jebat, being the gentleman warrior he was, and a true and honourable friend, decided to turn his back instead of continuing with the fight. That was how Hang Tuah eventually got the upper hand.

I told him that Bolehlanders used to hold him the greatest national hero and one respected and revered by all.

Hang Tuah instead, told me that the real hero should be his comrade Hang Jebat.

Hang Tuah merely saw himself as a strict enforcer, one whose unthinking loyalty had caused the death of his greatest friend and fellow warrior brother.

In fact, he told me that he felt ashamed and defeated.

I said 谢谢 and took my leave of the legend.

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