This is comment I left on Haris Ibrahim's blog, in reply to his post: Is free speech and expression without boundaries? Does defending God and religion know no limit? Do read his post to get the original context of the discussion. - EYES WIDE OPEN
Freedom of speech? Well, why shouldn’t anyone have the freedom to speak? What of the golden rule - do unto others as you would have opthers do unto you?
If we want to stand up, speak out and be counted - why deny others to do the same?
However, my only caveat is: those who speak should be ready to defend what they say intelligently. And those who oppose should do so intelligently as well. Those who cannot fulfill these criteria should be laughed off the soapbox.
For the poison-spewing opinionists, nothing steals their thunder more than being intelligently exposed for the fools they are. They may rant and rave, but in the end, their foolishness is just being more and more exposed. To correct them (and those like them) is a complete waste of time.
However, since these fools do have their following, I believe it is of great importance and urgency that a complete change comes to Malaysia.
The ruling government has brainwashed a large swath of Malaysians with their myopic racist propaganda and polarised the races as never before. After March 8, they have proven again and again that nation-building is the last thing on their mind. Their continued stoking of racist hatred is lighting the fuse on the many powder kegs they have installed in the nation over the years. Thank God that many Malaysian no longer subscribe to the BN’s propaganda.
Be that as it may, it would be naive to assume that race politics no longer holds sway in Malaysia. As a minority-race Malaysian, I am keenly aware of the political slights against me, simply because I am not of the Bangsa Tuan. And it cannot be denied that many non-Malays are also reacting foolishly by trying to out-racist their perceived offenders.
How can we counter this trend of attach and counter-attack? What we need now are leaders in all levels of society who consciously make a decision to go against the grain and make “unity in diversity” work - as an example to the rest of the nation.
That’s why YB Khalid Samad has my unending admiration for his willingness to engage Christians in their own church. My respects also for the DAP & Tunku Abdul Aziz for making efforts in this direction.
That’s why we also need more popular heroes in the same vein as Sudirman, Sheila Majid, Shebby Singh, P. Ramlee, etc. These people’s popularity transcend race and unites people in a common passion.
Most of all, we need many, many Malays to lead the way in this endeavour, as only then will the rest of the nation be convinced of its rightness. With the generations of ever-bigger lies that has been spread to the citizens of this fair land (UMNO’s “the non-Malays are stealing the Malays’ wealth” nonsense vs the equally damaging “we need to fight off the Malays to preserve ourselves” mentality of the rest of the BN parties), we need the Malays to take the lead and show the rest of the nation that Malays have nothing to fear from non-Malays and vice-versa.
The only way to achieve this is to have a complete change of government and in its institutions. We have devolved in our nationhood to the point where it will take one or two generations before we manage to build up a national cohesiveness that will make our great country competitive again.
But, another one or two more generations of BN will corrupt us forever. As it is now, we are creeping ever closer to the level of the world’s despot nations in various international rankings!
WE NEED CHANGE NOW!!