On March 28th and 29th, The Annexe held a film screening attended by a few of us from EL and BC.
I intended to ask a few questions but didn't know how to put it, so i figured it is better to write.
I startled myself for attempting it with the wrong note :P ... also because my area of studies does not cover the topic that the movies were centralized upon. It was impromtu, without a chronology of the words that I can use to convey my thoughts to a group of thoughtful, well-read graduates in all aspects of life who are very concerned about their people and the order of the society.The attention that I wished to bring forward is the fact that we are living in Malaysia,that’s been contrarily claimed to be a multi-racial country. In retrospect, the reality is far from it.
To correlate it to the movies that we have watched: what happened in Germany or in Rosenstrasse is in fact, happening in Malaysia today.Why does the young generation seem to portray an apathetic attitude towards their nation and its interior problems that are happening right before their eyes.They know what the problem is, how they feel,or what to do. But the question is, CAN THEY DO IT?
Is there a law enacted to protect them when they want to convey their opinions about their government to the public? Even when they are most certain there might be a portion of like-minded people share the same sentiments as them, ideas for a particular area of interest and their love for their own people for a better nation? Because they are governed under the same laws and are sworn to the very same Constitution that grant them their freedom.
To be frank, I come from a conservative traditional Chinese family that is not uninformed about what’s going on in the nation. Because they are aware of the simple rule that this group of people(politicians) that they read about in the newspaper everyday and watch on television during news hour are those who have the power to allocate them with the basic necessities in life, food, clothes and peace to be exact. Within and out. Therefore, it ain’t easy to divert from the teachings that our elders have imposed on us throughout our upbringing, because to do so is like seeking the permission to denounce the central system that upholds the core value of the family institution, filial piety. To be a non-conformist is disobedience amounting to deserving of ties to be severed. (shrug, roll eyes, pout)
What we can see in all history of mankind is, the people that are in charge and have the power to decide the flow of system and ensure food and clothe for every member in a home within a country, are indeed those who have a spanking safe number of supporters from the same community, meaning the leader, more often than not, is a representative from the majority group. I understand talking race is sensitive to some quarters, nevertheless I’ve never seized trying to understand the need of its existence. What is race anyway? What for? Especially in Malaysia, when we are not any better people ourselves. The sound of it is not sweet at all, unless we’re talking about Formula One Car Racing, then hell yeah~
During discussion, we practically nodded as we laughed at a joke told by one of the guys,“ It’s okay to kill your own people, but it’s NOT okay to kill other people…”.
But, what if it rings true? Except that it’s not a matter of taking another person’s life.
The situation we have in Malaysia does not come off to a point where bloodbath is necessary in order to reign supreme in a nation that comprises of a number of different ethnic groups practising different cultures and belief systems..What’s going on here, is that the problem manifests itself in terms of rights to proper access in all areas and equal opportunities that see past the colour of the skin.
Contrary to popular belief that a large majority of Malaysians would like to see it to be, if we were to study it closely, the government is indeed trying to find ways to overcome that social barriers of which we cannot possibly deny, exist among us. Probably, in one way or another, we were used to being brought up with too.
Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, defining the meaning of a word, the citizenship and most of all, the right to this chuck of land, so minute in size on the Atlas. Supposedly a “taboo” discussion and remain an unchallenged subject. To challenge and to question it, is an act of mutiny, betrayal, slander and defamation to the Ruler, the Constitution and to the rakyat whose loyalty to this land they are born into, goes beyond the realization that their achievements are the outcome of another group’s rights being denied.
The next generations of babies born into this country become the victims of misapprehensions passed down to them by the elders who developed prejudice and sense of ethnocentrism that are products of laws and government that are seen to favour one over the rest.
In this case, neither side is the winner. Hence the government should reconsider if their implementations and policies should be altered. Because times change and people do too. Yes, the green and the fresh ones can be moulded into what we want of them. But, the old ones who lived each and everyday over the years, witnessing the denial of opportunities by the ones that dominate over them without being able to stand up for what they know they deserve, will never be able to forget their pain and years of silent resentment. Hence, the segregation. Sad, sad reality.
Black and white are discernable, but…human conscience is gray. Why should we be allowed to even consider twice before befriending another, or entering our friends’ places of worship, or be reprimanded for being too close to a boy or a girl who is of different race from us, or worse still, be judged on the way we choose to pray to The Almighty and how we want to call His Name.
What I’m trying to put forward is that, we see and we observe the events unwrapping in the political scene. We feel the pressure at times. But does it justify our actions if what we do risks putting ourselves in trouble with the upperhand, for they often say,no one is above the law. And written laws are indisputable. This is a question that plays in the minds of the young ones, torn between two worlds.
However,on another tone, Sophia Scholl’s unwavering convictions in her call to freedom, the incarceration of Aung San Suu Kyi by the military junta, the undeserved period behind bars that activist blogger RPK had to endure for the sake of their people have indeed liberated others.
Maybe one’s selfless sacrifice will be the other’s cause to fight for a better tomorrow.
And in the words derived from the movie Sophia Scholl: The Final Days, “No one loves more than one who dies for friends”. These are the brave ones who have become icons for a later inspired generation of youths torched with the undying will and burning spirit to speak up for global peace and human dignity that they inherited the moment they come to this world.
Guess, this was what I meant to say in my capacity as a student.