Monday, August 18, 2008

Wake up and smell the coffee

With the provision of News Straits Times in the college which kicked off recently, I developed a keen and deep interest in reading columns written and the issues they brought into the public. A recent column titled “Hands off pressmen” in NST has brought into attention on how a local and foreign journalist were battered and assaulted by a group of political party supporters that it has invoked outrage in the journalist community. And to my dismal and humiliation, it was the faces of my fellow Malays who were evident on those pictures assaulting the media.
The song Warisan which my friends and I usually sing during morning assemblies in my secondary school still echo in my heart, and I am deeply in gratitude to the song as it has developed my love and pride in the race that I am born in. The ballet will usually end with the line “Melayukan gagah di nusantara”, and this chant has never failed in reminding me the ongoing fight, effort and battle in uplifting the name of the Malays. Those were the days, but after leaving MRSM Langkawi and venturing into the real world, I realized the social and moral degradation of my brothers and sisters have been seriously severe, with a lot of the youths find pleasure in illegal racing, illicit drug usage, and the common threat among the Malays; malaise. Somehow, it came to a point that the problem is deeply rooted in today’s Malay generation, that it became a norm to relate all negative values that you can imagine to the Malays; and I almost lose hope in my own people.
Let’s not talk about cliché s like Malays constitute the highest percentage of drug addicts detected and roaming the city streets as Mat Rempits. One phenomenon that went unnoticed after the general election but may inflict devastating consequences to the survivability of the Malays is that we are actually divided to different poles of political think tanks and ideologies. The introduction of prominent figures like Pak Lah, Anwar Ibrahim, Najib, each with their own issues and scandals has compelled the Malays to take sides, and we have done it in the expense of our unity. These are the people who supposed to be the champions of the race, but end up being the agent of our downfall. It has reached a point where the exchanges of vulgar slurs and hand expressions have happened within our people. Wake up and smell the coffee. We called ourselves Muslims, but our actions, attitudes and akhlaq do not potray the values and the teachings of the religion that we embraced so dearly. Where is the respect, tolerance and the unity we are brought up with? The barbaric and uncivilized acts that out brothers have done during the nomination day in Permatang Pau have been a disgrace not to the already smeared name of the Malays, but to the good name Islam as well.
This might sound radical, but I believe it is time for a Malay Cultural Revolution; a rise of a new breed of Neo Malays. I foresee Malays who will be up to par with people of developed nations, Malays who are up for the challenges of today’s open global economy, Malays who are proactive and able to make a difference, Malays who uphold integrity and does not easily succumb to bribery and corruption, Malays who are able to stand on their own 2 feet, Malays who are willing to step outside from their comfort zone and face the all the tribulations that the today’s world have to offer. Our parents have their own share of blood and sweat in pushing the Malays forward, and now the responsibility is handed down to us to uphold the aspiration. We as the new generation of youths have been bestowed with an awesome and grueling mission of reviving back our Golden Era. Do not let personal interest of politicians and parties tear us into pieces and drag us into our own downfall. Forget about Pak Lah, forget about Najib, forget about Anwar; let us focus on our greater cause. It’s ok if we have differences in opinions and believes, but never let those differences get in between us. The prophet once said that differences and arguments in views are blessings in the ummah, but they must not split us.
We are at our crucial cross roads; either we could choose to sit and see our race fall, or be a part of a progressive movement in reviving back the glory of the Malays. A new chapter of the Sejarah Melayu is unfolding, let us make our mark in it!!!