Malaysia has had its own share of racial and cultural conflicts as all other multicultural nations do. 13th of May 1969 marked our darkest day in history when two of the more statistically significant in population rioted against each other due to political and racial arguments.
The death toll was marked at 196 by the authorities while Western diplomatic sources suggested it to be close to 600. This happened 48 years ago, and it still echoes in the hearts of historians and older politicians as what perspired was completely undesirable by both political divides in Malaysia.
The death toll was marked at 196 by the authorities while Western diplomatic sources suggested it to be close to 600.
Authorities are aware of such said words and actions are being taken, while not as swiftly as many other nonsensical cases. This is another topic altogether and requires one’s much care and tiptoeing as not to be marked seditious.
Tolerance is a practice that has been actively promoted and nurtured in the hearts of all Malaysians. The ability to withstand and bear with bold differences between one another is said to the key to peace and openness in Malaysia by many.
I agree that this is true and we should all be tolerant towards anything that can enrage us be it politically, racially or religiously motivated. But what about ‘innocent’ attempts by certain sectors than can easily tip the vessel of one’s tolerance.
I am sure many of us are forced to look away or console ourselves when a different practice of another person or organisation provokes us to react in an inappropriate manner.
Well, I tried doing the same yesterday when I received this bulk-sent email by MMU’s Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) on behalf of Mr Toha representing MMU Cyberjaya’s Mosque.
The title read “Jemputan Menghadiri 'Kursus Penyembelihan' / Invitation to 'Kursus Penyembelihan”. At a glance, I thought it would be something beneficial to me as it was sent by CCU to all MMU students.
But, how on Earth is this in any godly way related to me? I am a Hindu, not a Muslim so the knowledge of zabiha is not relevant to me at all. In addition, I am a vegetarian, so I could easily be butthurt as this is equivalent to educating people the ways of slaughtering something haram to certain sects of the masses. In this case, any form of any animal slaughter is haram to me.
So, I tried to be tolerant and pretended to have moved on from the email that was sent yesterday (17/1/2017). But I failed, hence the articulation of my thoughts in my column today. I find this to be insensitive and not well thought through.
But, how on Earth is this in any godly way related to me?
But, I am sure not all might agree with my stand, and some might even consider me overly sensitive, to which I am completely fine with. But this is a tipping point for my vessel of tolerance.
I hope the management of the university can be more sensitive in respecting people of other religions and faiths. We too have certain sensitivities that we are sometimes too afraid to highlight as not to be branded racist, overly-sensitive, intolerant, an extremist or downright absurd.
The Corporate Communications Unit of MMU should know better. Don't step on sensitivities of the minority just to win hearts of the majority. There are subtler and more sensitive ways to do just that.