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I was tagged by Bakaq - Penarik Beca about a post started by A Voice on Muhibbah. I am supposed to write something on Muhibbah. Then I have to tag 2 others whom I feel are very qualified people to talk about this subject.
Well lets look at the word Muhibbah in the Malaysian context, roughly when it surfaced, why, and why now. Roughly without the aid of any dictionary, Muhibbah can be translated as a successful integration of various ethnic groups and races. It has got to be successful.
I can't remember when exactly did Muhibbah as a slogan became famous but I was still very young. What the tv did was to portray the 3 different races getting along fine. There was the spirit of friendship, understanding and tolerance amongst the races.
I think the friendship part is already addressed. Most Malaysians have friends from the various races. There is not much of a problem there. The understanding part is a little blurry but the tolerance part is the part which we have to address if we want to have Muhibbah the Spirit, not Muhibbah the Slogan.
Even back then, I still do feel that Muhibbah was just a propaganda slogan picked to win elections. Back then Muhibbah had no meaning to me because I was already living Muhibbah. If people complained about Muslims celebrating Thaipusam recently, let me ask them a question. Did they celebrate Thaipusam as Hindus or Malaysians wanting to share the happiness of their friends?
I did not celebrate Thaipusam when I was young simply because it was held on the island and I was a mainlander. I did join the Ti Miri though. It was very much like Thaipusam but in the end there was fire-walking. I would go to the place where they pierced the devotees, follow them on the long walk to the temple and watch the fire-walking.
My friends and I would celebrate St Anne's Feast every last weekend of July. We would join the tens of thousands of people to the old St Anne's Church in Bukit Mertajam. Heck I have even been to the big cross of the church.
Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Christmas and Hari Raya were truly celebrated together by my friends and I. I even led the Christmas carol group singing from house to house . I didn't sing all those songs as a Christian. I did it to help my friends to raise money.
Now back to the question of Muhibbah. Do we need the spirit of Muhibbah? In this multiracial country like ours we would be fools to say no. What do we need to have Muhibbah the Spirit? Not political slogans, that is for sure. We need to realise that we need each other, like it or not. We need to know that we depend on each other. We need to know that we are equals, all children of god. None of us are children of angels and none children of devils.
Knowing all of the above is not enough, the difficult part is the tolerance part because with tolerance there must be sacrifices. This is where we have failed. There just aren't that many people willing to make the sacrifice to make Muhibbah the Spirit successful. Lets not mistaken being forced to make sacrifices and willingly making sacrifices as the same.
Some non Malays would say we have sacrificed a lot. That I agree, but I would like to add that most did it because they were forced to. They did not do it willingly. Would the Malays make the sacrifices needed? Some would say that they have been making sacrifices from day one so much so that they are beggars in their own country. My answer would be, yes sacrifices were made but those sacrifices were forced unto the Malays by their leaders. Would the Malays willingly make all those sacrifices? I seriously doubt so.
We seem to be a united lot but I do maintain that our unity is a 'balloon unity': tight and smooth on the outside but at bursting point. A slight prick and boom goes the balloon. We have seen minor explosions before haven't we?
Why then are we in this predicament? The answer is simple. Muhibbah in Malaysia today is a political word and political tool. The very people who talk about muhibbah practice racism behind closed doors. In meetings with people of their own races, they are as racist as PW Botha. This goes for the Malays, Chinese and Indians.
Do I have a formula? Of course I don't. I am not a magician. Can we do it then? Of course we can.
I can only suggest, which some people would say as wishful thinking. By implying that it is wishful thinking we are actually saying that we are not willing to participate which God approves of.
What then is my suggestion? Try to see the next person as a human being, period. Yes, the next person, be he/she a Malay, an Indian, a Chinese, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Christian, a Bangla, an Indon, an OKU, a beggar or whoever is a human being. Oh, yes, one more thing and this is paramount, believing in god is not enough, do what He commands. No god is unfair. No god approves of hatred amongst races. Treat religion as divine, not a convenience and not an identity tag.
I don't know if I have contributed anything to this discussion but I dare say that what I have said comes from the heart.
I would like to tag 4 people
1. Doc Tokasid
2. Shah Cakapaje.
3. Kerp. (Would like to hear from the younger generation and he is a good sport)
4. Mat Salo (hope you can find time, I know you are busy but I know you have a lot to contribute.
If you have the time please do join in.
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- Is It That Difficult To Be A Human Being And Apolo...
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- Tag on Muhibbah
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- Syukur Alhamdulillah
- This Hearing Is Adjourned.
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