Friday, May 14, 2010

THE 'UPRISING' THAT NEVER WAS AND MUST NEVER BE


The controversial "Bangkit Melayu" or "Malay Uprising" rally did not happen yesterday. It shouldn't even have been planned in the first place. What were the organisers thinking? And who are the men behind it? Terengganu Integrity Institute director Arpin Deraman and Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat (Gertak) chairman Razali Idris.

You would expect leaders like them to know better than to plan a rally with racial undertones on May 13. When asked about the choice of date, Razali, who is also Marang Umno vice-chairman, said it was a "coincidence" that the gathering was held on May 13. Come on, who was he kidding? The event has been 'postponed'. The authorities should have banned it outright.

And where was I yesterday? At OHMSI's 1-day conference on "COMMON GROUND DIALOGUE: FORGING UNITY IN MALAYSIA" held at the Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS). The 6-member panel of speakers were Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin Muhriz, Zarina Nalla, Art Harun, Dato Paduka Marina Mahathir, Dato Ghazali Yusof, and Prof Dr Lim Teck Gee. Anis Yusal Yusoff was the moderator.

Mind-map of main points made by speakers. Click to enlarge.

The roundtable talks that followed gave the multi-racial participants from both the private and public sectors a rare opportunity to discuss 'sensitive' issues to better understand and accept our cultural and religious differences. It was a no-holds barred session as we brainstormed the challenges that lay ahead.

There was a call for politicians who were "out of touch with the realities of 21st century democracy" to "get out of the way" as they "hallucinate and see imaginary monsters" and "exaggerate fears of violence". Clearly, we cannot rely on them to forge national unity. Ultimately, we have to take personal responsibility to build bridges of understanding and trust among all the various ethnic groups.

I was unable to attend Anas Zubedy's book launch on the same day. I like his call to "recolour May 13". It's about time. But "one race"???


2 comments:

Chuah said...

Good on you Lily..getting involved in something positive, proactive and definitely more liberating than the 'other' unproductive rally. Perhaps the main points of the mind map can be widely disseminated. We need to show our fellow citizens that there are Malaysians who are thinking towards racial tolerance and integration.

el-f said...

Chuah, there's a follow-up conference on 16 Sept at UCSI. It's open to the public. I shall post more details closer to the date. Do try and make it.