Hear my dream, Permatang Pauh…
Posted by ella-mae on August 26, 2008
This Thursday 45 years ago, in what is still considered until today to be the definitive moment of the American Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr spoke his dream from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
The speech which I first heard as twenty year old year in university left me teary-eyed because for the first time in my life I had to face racial polarisation which I never had to in school or in the neighbourhood where I grew up.
The first few months in my campus surroundings left me terribly disheartened because I was expected to hang out with only “my own kind” and my seniors would express disapproval if I mingled a little too closely with a person of another ethnicity.
Things have not changed since I left university. If anything, it has only gotten worse. “Sifat Toleransi” actively promoted by the BN government in the education system has only left us superficially united.
In my book the word tolerate is probably one of the more despicable words because to tolerate means “to put up with”, “to stomach” or “to endure” something one would otherwise never be quite at ease with. Not a good thing when I have tolerate my fellow countrymen – how can we be united if we have to stomach and put up with one another’s differences?
Barisan Nasional Neraka has done this to us through their many divide and rule policies which have caused us to view one another with distrust and wariness.
Just yesterday I met a fellow “my kind” who thought the only way Malaysia can be saved is through a violent movement in reminiscent of demagogues launched by megalomaniacs like Hitler. I spent a good hour giving him a dressing down: enlightening the guy – telling him the way he thinks very clearly shows that he too is a successful product of evil BN policies and propaganda.
Trust me, there are many out there who still think like him.
Anwar Ibrahim promises Ketuanan Rakyat will replace Ketuanan Melayu when Pakatan Rakyat becomes the government. While the politicians of the BN kind are spewing hate at every chance they got, I was deeply touched when I heard Anwar speak “Anak Melayu, anak kita, anak Cina… anak kita, anak India… pun anak kita. Mengapa harus kita bezakan?”
Of course like you, I too have heard things about him, what Anwar did when he was part of the dreadful BN. But I believe while every man has a past, he also has a future. Six years in prison: away from loved ones and the public eye must have given Anwar much time to think of and ponder on his past sins. I believe the Anwar Ibrahim we see and hear today is indeed a changed man, and that he is the one who can bring about the changes and reforms Malaysia so desperately needs for survival.
Today, the 58, 000 plus voters of Permatang Pauh have the magnanimous task of deciding Malaysia’s future! As Martin Luther King, Jr shared his dream with his fellow Americans, I too would like to share my little dream with the people of Permatang Pauh (and you).
I dream of the day when we will cease to exist as Malays, Chinese, Indians or “dan lain-lain” but for us to truly be united as Bangsa Malaysia.
I dream of the day when all Malaysian citizens will consciously work to encourage national integration while mutually respecting and loving one another.
I dream of the day when Malaysians will not view another with doubt and suspicion but to stand guard against every form of extremism, chauvinism, racism and isolation.
I dream of the day when colour of skin will not matter, ethnicity will not matter and religious affiliation will not matter.
I dream of the day when the same treatment and opportunities will be accorded equally to every Malaysian with no marginalisation of any ethnic race.
I dream of the day when political parties will truly serve Malaysia: the nation, and not themselves or their members with leaders who will rule over the land honestly with integrity, wisdom in financial management and honest stewardship of all things that has been entrusted to them by the people of Malaysia.
I dream of the day when a national commitment is implemented to expose and remove corrupted individuals and may their positions be replaced by people of good standing who are willing to serve the country well while performing their duties effectively.
I dream of the day when transparency, integrity and impartiality will not be mere words used to “colour” outwardly impressive political speeches but to honestly be used in every good judgment for excellent governance of our beloved nation.
Permatang Pauh, I pray for a just outcome of the by election: I pray you will set aside every prejudice, every preconception and vote in all honesty from your heart… for what is best (right now) for Malaysia: She has suffered so much, our nation, our beautiful motherland.
I am in an emotional mood right now but before I go, let me share a simple chorus from one of my favourite songs…
Hear our prayer
Oh Lord, God Almighty
Come heal our land
As we seek you, worship you
Lord, I pray you will restore and recompense all that we have lost in the past. I pray tonight we will see the birth of a Better Malaysia. Amen!