Goodbye, May 13


Today: Wednesday, May 13, 2008, marks the 39th anniversary of a black day in Malaysia’s young history as a sovereign nation.

Have we come a long way to distance ourselves from the bloody nightmare of 1969? I believe that we have. Why? Because on March 8, Malaysians took a bold step away from the status quo.

Reverberations from what local pundits love to to call a political tsunami are still being heard. The full compendium of effects is yet, i’m sure, to be seen.

The balance of political power is rather precarious right now. However, this has not translated into the angst among a certain race or another.

Malaysians are gradually stepping beyond racial and religious demarcation and towards common ground. I see this a lot. The only ones who are left behind are the race-based political parties and the petri dish of segregation that the civil service (with its largely Malay population).

Lessons learnt? We have to embrace each other as Malaysians. We have to learn about each other’s norms and sensitivities. Learn to respect these differences. It is usually the minorities that learn these things in order to assimilate and survive.

Maybe it is time that the majority learnt to, as well.

Last night I talked to my Malay housemate B about respecting another’s sensitivities. I told her that my other housemate AL and me made a point of not having pork or other non halal stuff in the house so that she (B) can cook and eat with us.

I said she could return the understanding by not cooking beef in the house, which I don’t touch. She didn’t know these stuff. I told her and she took it very well.

Maybe our eventual cohesion as Bangsa Malaysia may not come as easily….but it will have to start with mutual understanding and respect.

But I have great hopes.

And for those who gave their lives in the May 13 bloodbath, may their souls rest in peace.

 

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4 thoughts on “Goodbye, May 13

  1. “We have to embrace each other as Malaysians. We have to learn about each other’s norms and sensitivities. Learn to respect these differences. It is usually the minorities that learn these things in order to assimilate and survive.”

    I highly regard and uphold this belief. But to make it work, we all have to work together regardless of race and religion. We can make it work and learn to love each other for our differences. This does not come from a leader, a PM, a political party, but from WITHIN each and every one of us.

    If all us Malaysians hold true to that belief, our children after us will leave in a peaceful malaysia where they would exclaim “May 13 what??”

    Amen.

  2. Ini May 13 aar, must be relegated to the dustbins of history. There was never animosity between us different communities. The animosity, back in ’69 was ‘manufactured’ for certain ‘expediencies’. We all know what that was all about. See? Now that DAP/PKR has garnered clout in the political arena, some quarters in that Grand Old Party (bolehland version) are raising the specter again…

    Sudah laa tu. We got more important things to worry about these days. A stagnating economy, runaway inflation and all that.

    For those who lost lives in that incident we pray for your souls, and may your families find closure…

    Thanks for giving us your perspective sis.

  3. ahh yes, the darkest chapter of our nation’s history. i said this in some other blog somewhere and i’m going to say it here again; if the history repeats itself, then that would be the day i give my nationality up and migrate to another (more civilised) country.

  4. I’m wondering whether there *is* what we call a “civilized” country in our age… Thinking about it, however bad people are condemning the government for a horrible job done “for the past 50 years”, we are far better off than a dozen of countries in the world. Dont have to look so far, compare ourselves to Thailand, Philipines or Indonesia. Thank God Malaysia.

    But of course if we want to compare ourselves to singapore… well, thats a different story lah… 😛

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