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What have we come to? Where’s the harmony cultivated all these years? We have  been independent for over 56 years but instead of moving towards unity, we are becoming more segregated than ever.

The A word has become a focus of unbridled paranoia, the scale of which  is increasing. The current paranoia about the A word has been attributed to the heightened religiosity, preoccupation with life after death and deepening fear of a divisive flock.

The news on the latest seizure of the Holy Books from inside a premise, picked up by the the International press Reuter and the BBC is disconcerting bordering upon an embarrassment for the country. It reflects  a growing scale of  enforcement by the state-supported faith on another that is  helpless with no one to turn to, except perhaps to the foreign media.

It is sad when faith which is a private matter between an individual and his/her maker, is teased out forcibly in the open as a means to garner support from the indoctrinated masses. It is about us and them and when such an action has the tacit and systematic support of institutions and politicians, then we, Malaysians, are in for a never-ending crisis.

Nope, no light at the end of the tunnel!

Nope, no light at the end of the tunnel!

The issue  of the A word has continued to plague this country. It  won’t die down unless  a genuine effort is made  to manage it. To bring this about we need leaders of Malaysians and not of specific groups. Leaders who mean what they say and say what they mean. In the current context, PM Najib’s silence on this issue is deafening (and frightening). I notice he usually chooses to be silent on major issue like PPSMI. A strange kind of (unopposed) leadership.

By getting the court to decide on the use of the A word, Malaysian political leaders have abrogated their responsibility to  promote a healthy debate and to mediate in a challenging multicultural environment. At the moment, it is either black or white: the grey area is a non-option. The law on sedition, the position of certain man-made rulers and ethnic groups appear to favour a stalemate. And currently there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

A stalemate is dangerous because it fans the perpetual fire of discontent giving rise to an entrenched disharmony and mistrust.


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