Monday, 28 January 2008

Tag on Muhibbah

To all visitors, I would be indebted to you if you could spare half a minute to participate in the poll I have running in my sidebar. I know it won't be reflective of the general mood in the country but at least I could kind of gauge what visitors to my blog think of the subject. Thank You for participating.

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.


Kerp (Ph.D) said...

well said, cikgu.

what we are being fed, especially in ads during festive season are surreal. you dont need no ad to tell you the spirit of muhibbah amongst us. if one is color blind, he befriends other races not because of any government's muhibbah campaigns but because of the person behind his skin color.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Exactly, its the person behind the skin that matters.

tokasid said...

Salam che'gu:

InsyaALLAH will do the tag soon

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

I have just put in an entry, and will try to do the tag by tonight, insyAllah.

Mat Salo said...

Hmmm nampaknya "Infamous IV" dah kene.. will try to oblige Chegu.. BTW,, well said Chegu! Let's look at people as human beings first, and if the happen to be female, as sex objects second. Alamaak after being branded racist now kene sexist pulak..

frankie said...

Muhibbah is something we need to work on everyday cikgu, and not only during festive season. Sadly though we know the importance of Muhibbah but no one seems to emphasis the Muhibbah spirit.

Everyone needs to make effort to get to know each other, we cannot expect others to come to us. Once we got to know each other, we will realise, there is actually very little difference among us and we have more similarities than we ever realised.

Let's make an effort.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Nampaknya strimik dah okay la kot? Glad you are back.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Take your time, don't rush.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Are you back to civilisation?
Anyway, hoping to read your entry.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Exactly my sentiment Frankie. Lets not make a mockery of the word Muhibbah.

"Once we got to know each other, we will realise, there is actually very little difference among us and we have more similarities than we ever realised."

I love those lines.

monsterball said...

Up to 50, years later..we are still talking if...we just got Independence few years ago.
I am not going to argue or debate....who is right or wrong...but put my own thoughts out. It all started by rightfully... bringing the Malays to be at par with the Chinese.
But a good loving responsible father should be simultaneously groom them to have a strong education and mind.. by teaching the children to be fast proud humans...and do not feel inferior to other races in Malaysia. And the way to do sometimes...expose all their weaknesses. But no..that will make UMNO loose alot of votes!!And then... these were twisted by their race and religion dirty politics....on and on and on....never sincerely helping their own race at all. It is based on greed and desires...two wonderful ingredients to capture votes for UMNO.
Just look at the art...protecting the race....the religion and the party....sound so nice to one race....but did that person who said that...really help his race without favourtism?
If he does....then..why majority Malays are hating him? I am talking non other than Mahathir.
So with so much tilted to one you expect other races to be faithful and sincere like bloody fools? They have no choice ..but to play the same game...started by the one who hold all the aces. In short...don't blame other races .....but look sincerely how unfair and unjust UMNO is. Forget the BN parties..they are all selfish stooges to UMNO.
Just look at China with more than 25 different races.....and by nature....very hard to get them united.......YET....they united..all because they know the leaders are uncorruptable and are sincerely leading them to be one strong NATION.
Malaysia with 27 million people...such a mall country..with so much easy to unite...yet it is the only country in the difficult to do so...yet people are living peacefully..because by nature...the three great races are peaceful people....not due to UMNO great leadership at all.
This is the good fortune of UMNO...but they are so corrupted and I long as it is...who you know and not what you know makes one a successful person .....then Malaysia has a clear signs of a hypocritical government.
Good luck to those Malays still feeling proud to be spoon fed.
As for me...I don't really care who is the next PM......but hope opposition be given a chance to run the country. We have nothing to loose to try new formulas.
Why no change for 50 years..and the Melaka MB said UMNO will manage forever and ever ...can you beat that arragont talk? Yet PM and others in UMNO are so proud of this Melaka idiot talking cock and bull.
You long as words spoken are nice for Malays to hear and do bring in votes for is always okay.
It really brainy and
with self confidence ...UMNO is guiding his own race. One wants to be spoon feed like a 50 year old baby seems to suit so many voters.
But majority Malays are feeling shameful and want a change. Go think about it.

A Voice said...


I like the way you put it ...

"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."

... I learned something on Muhibbah here more than repeated singing of the Muhibbah sing in early 70s in school.


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