Every country in the world has good and bad points – but even considering that, we Malaysians can honestly lay claim to the fact that our nation can qualify in so many ways as one of the best, if not the best, nations in the world.
What is there to dispute? We are a fairly spacious country blessed with minerals and natural plantlife that are beneficial to us; we are about the only country that does not suffer from direct natural disasters (man-made disasters notwithstanding); we have a multicultural mix that has produced amazing synthesis (which is already under trouble); and we definitely have the most amazing mix and match of food that puts other nations firmly to shame.
Yet, despite the bountiful fortune that we are been blessed with – a fortune so overflowing that you could share even a small fraction of it and still be able to keep literally everyone free from starvation and deprivation – there are people here who think that only some are deserving of these riches, that the “others” are just free-loading foreigners who should go back to where they came from, and who should learn their “proper” place.
We can see it in the way that some people blame other nations for their woes. “Thailand’s prostitutes are to blame for the HIV cases we have here!” “That no-good neighbour is causing our haze!” “All these foreign artists are corrupting our youth and our culture with their music, deviant sexualities, and eye-poking fashions!” To them, human rights are a “Western” invention that create anarchy and unbridled chaos.
These are the same people who hide behind stereotypical racial cliches. “That race always cheating and swindling in business! Those fellas always drunk or lying, usually both at the same time! Those other fellas so lazy, always want handouts!”.
They hide behind the most lame excuse: “That race is always out to get me, so better I get them first!” And whether you get in trouble for uttering such statements sadly and literally depends on who you are, and who you know.
These are the same people who insist that theirs is the only way that matters, never mind that the nation’s constitution was crafted in such a way as to ensure that everyone who was born here has fair and equal rights in all matters.
“You must speak our language to prove your loyalty! And you must respect our religion above all else, because it is the only one worth respecting!” And yet, even those who are practitioners of said religion are persecuted if they do not toe the line of an increasingly totalitarian conservative faction that will brook no arguments nor different ideas.
These same naysayers rail against “liberals”, not realising that it is the international culture of liberalism that allows them to have the freedom to have their ideas in the first place.
They never fail to make snide and racist comments about media reports on Malaysia, regardless of the actual stories being reported. All they want to see is someone to blame, who can be conveniently pigeonholed as puppets of whichever conspiracy-theory villain they wish to denigrate.
Bad enough that Malaysia has failed to take any action to atone itself from its shameful human trafficking record, as was reported in July.
The glass ceiling still hovers over women, in the workplace and even at home. Since Malaysians don’t seem to respect the rights of others, should they be accorded human rights, then?
I say yes. Because these so-called Malaysians do not represent everyone.
Those who blame others for disturbing the peace (but who are themselves the actual culprits) may not understand that everyone has rights, not only those who support them – but that is OK. They already know and fear the truth – that the truth shall set you free.
At any rate, if all else fails, they can still blame US President Barack Obama – even his own countrymen do. Oh wait, he’s leaving office soon, and depriving them of a scapegoat? Gee, thanks, Obama…