Wednesday, August 18, 2010

DR KAMAL AMZAN ASKS:

Over a hurried breakfast yesterday I received an sms asking me to read the Star opinion page – a letter by Dr Kamal Amzan. I do not read the Star but I decided to go online. After the first paragraph, I recalled reading a similar Malaysian Insider article that YB Kit Siang posted in his blog on 11 July. It was by the same author but today’s Star version was minus the first 6 paragraphs and the ending was somewhat different. I do not wish to dwell on this because it is not important. The tone of Dr Kamal’s piece is thoroughly refreshing after the rabid tirades from Big Mouth Ibrahim and the pseudo Malay charlatan Ribuan Tee.

I produce the Malaysian Insider article as posted by Saudara Lim Kit Siang.

Aren’t we all Malaysians?

By Dr Kamal Amzan | The Malaysian Insider
July 11, 2010

JULY 11 — When I was in standard one, my religious teacher asked the class ‘Is it okay for Muslims to worship praying idols?’ To her shock and horror I stood up and said, ‘Yes!’

I was asked to stand on the chair and my parents were called to school on the very same day to see the headmaster. At that moment I didn’t know why. I can vaguely remember words like naughty, hyperactive, less — Muslim used in their conversation.

I still remember the expression my teacher had on her face. It was a cross between Simba the lion cub and one of the gargoyles you see in the cartoon, ‘The hunchback of Notre Dame.’

I know. It was scary. Imagine the trauma I had to go through then.

Some 20 years ago, my grandparents (from my Chinese side of the family) brought home some roasted meat and claimed that it was chicken. I remembered stuffing myself one after the other because it was very good. I ate so much that my tongue was numb and red (from the colourings) afterwards.

Later, the shock and horror were on the face of my parents when they came home. The chicken was not actually chicken. Apparently it doesn’t even have wings to begin with and were not available in the Halal version. (Thank god we can now find many Halal outlets selling such delicacies.)

These were few of the many memories I had when I was young, when religion and race were of no importance to me. It was so unimportant that I thought my father was Chinese and my mother was Malay and my grandparents Indians until I was about 5 or 6. And the fact that we speak Chinese, English and Malay at home did not help clear the air at all.

So if you think you were confused as a child, think again.

And as we approach Aidilfitri this year, I was reminded of the past when I collected both green and red packets from my family members. It doesn’t matter whether it was Aidilfitri or Chinese New Year, red and green packets were part of the celebration.

We had Chinese kiam chai theng (soup made of pickled vegetable) and Malay rendangon both occasions and life was great.

I was brought up as a Malaysian first and a Malay second and not the other way round. And I’m proud of it.

Racial identity is so important to many Malaysians. And after 49 years of nationhood, one would think that we would be more mature and wise in terms of racial relationships. But somehow we are more and more worried that we would lose our identity if we are not careful.

We see parents squabbling on whether ethnic and religious schools are better than national schools and not wanting their children to mix.

We see Malaysians debating and arguing whether it is appropriate teaching English and Science in school. Never mind the fact that it is the lingua franca of this planet.

We hear individuals not wanting to celebrate Raya and other celebrations together, citing religious reasons and wanting an end to our Kongsi Raya tradition.

Why are we so worried about becoming less Malay, Chinese and Indian? Aren’t we all Malaysians?

Have we not realised that the fundamental nature of our country and society does not lie with a single racial entity, but as a whole?

If the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians or any other races were to stand alone, they cannot claim to be Malaysian. They are simply Malays, Chinese, Indians and other races, period and should not claim to be citizens of this beautiful country.

Sorry I digressed a bit.

But to continue with my story, I still celebrate both occasions regardless of what some people think. And to be frank I will continue to celebrate both occasions, and will definitely give my children ang pau and qing pau (green packets) on both occasions. (Please note that I do not have any children)

My grandparents (from my Chinese side of the family) passed away more than ten years ago. But somehow it seemed like a longer time to me. I miss them, especially at times like this. They somehow made each celebration a momentous occasion. Somehow.

But as my mom always says, let us count our blessings.

We have always been able to observe Ramadan in peace, and soon celebrate Raya with our loved ones (sorry to those who will be working). And definitely later in the year we’ll celebrate Christmas, and then Chinese New Year early next year.

At the risk of sounding corny, I should also add that we should be thankful to live in such a peaceful country. And in this world and age, they both are a very rare commodity. We should cherish it and maintain it at all costs. For better or for worse, for richer or poorer till death come knocking on our door.

I offer no apology for saying all this and more.

To all Malaysians, Happy One Malaysia.

* Dr Kamal Amzan is a Malaysian at a hospital in Kuantan, Pahang.

+++++

You can read the Star piece HERE.

20 comments:

flyer168 said...

Bernard,

"Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor" - Thomas Jefferson

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by "the equal rights of others".

I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual" - Thomas Jefferson

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" - Thomas Jefferson

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government" - Thomas Jefferson

Cheers & take care.

alvin said...

Today, the Banci guys came to my house & of course went through all those questionnaires including what race & dialect background sections.

I told these officers that there is no need to ask for this banci purpose.

We are Malaysians & there is no need to have this asked. I refused to respond to these sections as I told them it is irrelevant in Malaysia if we want to have 1Malaysia

raden ali said...

I was trained in Royal Military College in seventies and later as military officer. For us the motto serve to lead makes us equals whatever race and religion you are and everybody are brothers for pain and gain. I went into Buddhist temple in Brickfields with my friends from Myanmar and Thailand and also Batu Cave with my Hindu friends. It does not change me as I am still a stout Muslim and treat everybody under my command with equality and welfare. Alhamdulillah with Islamic virtues, some Indian, Chinese and Iban converted to Islam under me. Be true Muslim and treat all Malaysian equal without any malice will show true Islamic values and Allah will always guide you. Alhamdulillah

Khun Pana aka johanssm said...

The Star version was heavily edited.
Thus the The Star version is devoid of the life of a growing boy.
It left out the school and the tasty red BBQ meat part.
The ending charged too.
Instead of 1Malaysia it have the SElamat hari raya to Malaysians and happy birthday Malaysia.

*This explains as to why more and more Malaysians are shunning the MSM.

The story by Dr Kamal Amzan is not a fiction. As my family consist of Christians , Muslims , Taoist and Buddhist family members.

Happy celebrating The Ghost Festival and Selamat Berpuasa to all Malaysians.

Anonymous said...

What a refreshing change from the rubbish spewed by that rabid doggy Riduan Tee. No sane person would disagree with you, Dr. Kamal.

A Malay said...

Hey old fart

Start being 1Malaysian first before exhorting others.
You even omit the doc's signing of with the greeting Selamat Hari Raya to all Malaysians.
We all know who you are, oh racist one.
So stop pretending. Can?

Li Huat Chai said...

i said to my mom, if banci people come, dont open the door, what is their motive of this banci thing, i trust no more the BN govt......

Anonymous said...

Dr Kamal, you are indeed a good example of the "1Malaysian Man" we want to see more of. You are looking at 1Malaysia with "HD wide screen" and not "tunnel vision"...thank you for your posting.

pinsysu said...

1Middle finger up to mooheedin - the sabo king of 1Msia! mooheedin's 1Msia_sabo_ing is assisted by ibrahim ali who is supported by mahatir ...

andy said...

Dear Uncle,

I still remember during our time as kids living in a small kampong, me, Ali, Muthu, Ah Kow (my Malay & Indian friends)went along playing 'bola hentam', catch spiders, ikan geli, make lastik (catapult)catches bird, play police n thief.....we have so much fun whacking each other during 'bola hentam' game those years.....we never even bother what race or our skin color are. Sigh, but now, when our kids are in school....we have principal mentioning 'we Malay', you 'pendatang' balik 'tong-san' or india......sigh......cry when think of what is happening to my 'Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku'

sampalee said...

Before CREATION,there is ONLY God and the only building material IS God himself.So out of him the world is born.All sentient being and non-sentient beings are the flesh and blood of GOd.
Why bother with the finer discrimination of malay,chineses,indians,etc..When all begins and ends with God
" I am the Alpha and the Omega,the begining and the end."

Anonymous said...

As we become civilised we evolve into people like Raden Ali and Dr Kamal: others regress... and become Riduan Tee Abdullah.

Anonymous said...

We need to have more of such voice to counter the lies of those ketuanan, dumbo and elite group.

We should not allow the elite few to continue with the bastardisation of NEP/NEM or whatever for their own selfish gain. They have created for themselves from that time of implementation a legit right that ANYONE who question it will be blamed as going against the Federal Constitution.

Now, with that non-questionable legality, they have a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it. For by that they have created many
"towering Malays" in their own eyes.

But the sadest part of all, is that despite all those given handicap, they have created monsters out of those filthy rich who know no bound. And the poor become so poor and the disparity is more obvious than ever.

These elite hide behind the their "legal system" of thieving at the same time claiming to be the champion of those poor. The hardcore poor in all estates of Malaysia are still living without water, electricity and basic amenities whereas the elite few are flying personal aircraft.

The cost of the palatial palace of these people can feed many generations of those poor in the estates of Felda and Felcra. Let us make a stand to ship these goons to Timbaktu in GE13.
~ahoo~

new fart said...

To me, Chef Wan is a true Malaysian. No air, full of self confidence, cosmopolitan, good at what he does and proud of his Malay heritage but never a racist. If only we have more Malays like him. I don't know about other races but I think I can speak for all Malaysian Chinese that whenever they travel out of Malaysia, even to China, if someone were to ask of their race, they would proudly say Malaysian. Never would they say Chinese. Unless pressed, they would only say their ancestors were from China but they themselves are Malaysians and proud of it. Believe me, this is truly the case every time. Malaysian Chinese will never put their ethnicity first but Malaysian.

Anonymous said...

God this, God that ... what has God gotta do with whats happening in Msia??!

We are in the gutter today and it has nothing to do with God. We created this shit hole for ourselves.

Sampalee, please leave God out. Take your preaching elsewhere.

char siew said...

Ridhuan Tee should learn from Dr. Kamal Amzan. simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Careful! Some organisation may lodge a police report against Dr. Kamal for what he did during his childhood. Some religious authority may also investigate him for these same offences.

Gerard said...

Anwar Ibrahim is right in dismissing 'Utusan Malaysia' as a disgraceful and discredited newspaper that is overtly racist, chauvinistic and communal. If it was a Chinese or Tamil paper, it would have been shut down by now and their editors and writers arrested under the ISA.

But its an Umno paper, so it is allowed to incite and propagate hatred towards the non-Malays in the hope that Malays will respond by supporting Umno as the 'saviour' of the Malay race. People like the mufti of Perak Harussani Zakaria will join in this bandwagon with his own brand of political Islam that is imbued with racism, intolerance and prejudice.

Thankfully, most Malays/Muslims are sick and tired of these people who are peddlers of lies and hate. If Anwar has been defamed by the 'Utusan', he has the right to seek legal redress and what is wrong with that?

Whether he gets RM50 million or 50 sen it is for the courts to decide. His reputation is certainly worth it. After all it is the Umno media that demonises him day in and day out.

This so-called priest Harussani Zakaria is a wolf in disguise. It's not the first time he is creating mischief to cause racial disunity. He does the work of fabricating lies and falsehoods and sowing conflict and discord.

Anonymous said...

Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria is making a very serious and inflammable allegation without proof in the holy month of Ramadhan. He alleged the the existence of an alternate constitution to replace the current one to erase special rights of the Malays and the position of Islam as the official religion.

This allegation has already been the basis of a very alarmist front-page Utusan Malaysia headline “Elak perang besar” on Tuesday and an incendiary article entitled “Benar, ‘perang besar’ boleh berlaku di Malaysia” yesterday.

Why Mufti also involved in politics? why did he condemne that racist headmaster?

He is not a role model for Islam.

Anonymous said...

Govt should discourage racial and religious politics eg BTN etc