In 1995 I wrote (printed in Aliran Monthly 1995:14)
The Ghost of Mahathir
It amazes me how one normal human being like Mahathir has assumed such a powerful influence over intelligent thinking humans to such an extent that they make their decisions based on his presence or absence in officiating and delivering a keynote address at a function.
A man like him, who is a drop in the ocean compared to the vastness of the problem, will come and go. He, you or I were not present in 1492 when Colombus landed on the soils of the New World. He too is as helpless as you and I when confronted with the dying children in Africa or the thousands of women raped in Bosnia- Herzegovina.
One must also note that as a human being he too is not an absolute Satan only bent on doing wrong, or an absolute angel with one hundred per cent goodness. He is just a normal human being. He has done wrong, he has done right. Just like you and I.
I wrote the article in defense of a seminar organized by JUST ( Rethinking Human Rights) and my friend Dr Chandra to the immature attitude of certain human rights groups who went into conniption disagreeing almost wholesale the entire effort we undertook simply because TDM was the keynote speaker. (To read the entire article click here)
Sadly, our state of affairs has yet to see much progress. The attitude to curse those who we do not agree with to death and follow those we agree with blindly is still the fashion of the day. No wonder our country is still not moving forward as we wished for.
In a recent facebook discussion (with reference to TDM’s accusation of 9/11 being staged) one of the entries suggests that TDM’s day is long overdue and that it is high time he “kick the bucket”.
To my bigger surprise was when I wrote back to say that his statement is not right and uncouth, decent fellow Malaysians tried to justify his position!!! How sick can we be?
This epidemic of hatred is not confined to one side. It goes both ways. Last year an acquaintance I met at Bangsar, knowing that I am critical of Anwar (eg read here ), openly told me that his one BIG wish for Malaysia is to see Anwar dead! When I told him off, he was taken aback.
How did hate consume our hearts and make us uncivilized? We need to apply the Ghandian mantra “Hate the Sin and not the Sinner”. We need to cleansed our hearts of hatred especially those of which we have towards our enemies.
C'mon brother and sister Malaysians, we are better than this. We need to take action based on a good heart, even when we dislike the other. We can, if we look deeper into our humanity.
As I said, I too have been critical of Tun Dr Mahathir(read here as published in DAP's Rocket in 1988) but in no way I have allowed my heart to hate him.
"Hate in your heart, will consume you too,"
Will Smith's advise to his 5 year old son in the song, "Just The Two of Us" click here for the music video:)