Saturday, May 15, 2010

Malay Mail on Recolor May 13th :)

Malay Mail
Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Anas feels that people could take wisdom from May 13.

TODAY is May 13 - a date that has lived in infamy for most Malaysians, especially those who've lived long enough to hear about or experience the race riots that happened in Kuala Lumpur back in 1969.

Now and then, we hear politicians or people with political interests - from all sides of the divide - harping on the issue, using May 13 as some sort of 'bogeyman' or 'victim's tale' to further their agenda.

Well, one man has stepped forth with a unique agenda and plans for May 13. Anas Zubedy, corporate trainer, wants to inspire Malaysians to accept and even embrace May 13 as part of our history.

"May 13 pops up now and then and it is always used for negative purposes - 'do this, and May 13 will happen'," said 46-year-old Anas, during a lunch break at one of his corporate training sessions on Tuesday. "However, I believe that May 13 is part of our history and we should not sweep it under the carpet."
Anas believes that Malaysians first need to recognise that there was a May 13, that the riots and the killings did happen.

"We must acknowledge that we - as a country - made a mistake on May 13. We couldn't learn to agree to disagree and respect each other's opinions, which we allowed to escalate to physical violence," said Anas. "Still, the nation did not fail. Only a marginal few got violent, and I believe that 99.9 per cent of Malaysians were more concerned with their own safety rather than trying to kill people."
In fact, Anas believes that Malaysia came away from May 13 better than before. For one, the number of violent rioters was small, compared to the entire Malaysian population. It wasn't a nationwide event, though it was an event of national interest.

"The way I see it, it was just some groups of people who got really physical. Most Malaysians don't hurt their neighbours of a different race. In fact, we protected each other from the craziness happening in some parts."

He also illustrates that there are many uplifting stories where Malaysians of different races protected each other from violent rioters. These stories, he believes, are proof that Malaysians in general care for their fellow countrymen.
"It is in this neighbourhood spirit where Malaysians have shown how May 13 also brought us together in ways we could not have imagined," he said.

Another pet peeve of his is when people point at each other as to who started the violence.

"Look, whoever started it were bad people, no denying that," said Anas. "Whoever reacted to that were stupid. You followed the actions of bad men, so you are stupid."

This is all well and good, but when it comes to the mechanics of actually instilling a new perspective on May 13, Anas believes that it will have to rely on constant effort on his part as well as a slow snowballing of movement on the grassroots level.


Anonymous said...

Dear Anas,

Agreed that whoever started the violence were bad people. But your statement on whoever reacted were just as stupid, is questionable because are you saying that whoever take the parang and chop us, we just let them and shouldn't react since we will be seen as "cannot beat them, just join them" as these are violent people. We, as citizens of the world have a RIGHT to protect ourselves when our safety is being compromised...anyway, good effort on your part to recolour May 13th as it's a massive task and not easy to achieve, but surely one day someone will recognise your effort.


Anonymous said...

Hmm, Malaysian in dilemma.
Entrepreneur grows business through products and services in order to succeed.
Here, socio-political event become tools of promotion and sensation.
Dark memory is the scar in the face, when recall only caused sadness.

IF your wife found sleeping with another guy in the night of May 13 and you witnessed it, will you erased that memory or recolour it in the name of family unity?

V. Kumaran
Batu Pahat

Cruzeiro said...

We must acknowledge that we - as a country - made a mistake on May 13.

Anas- I know & understand very well what you're trying to say.
However- how many who support Umno would accept the above statement from you, and repeat it in public?
I dare say- NONE, Anas.

It is simply becos- they use the infamous day as political leverage (that to with pride, as an "achievement") to justify the so-called NEP, which has all but a shell of its noble objectives. What that means is- "513" is used to justify the corruption & abuse of the NEP.
It is this approach that is being contested by those who deplore the event as a day of shame.

So, at the end of the day- this day, which is 'paraded' with ignorance & pride by Umno and its minions, and with fear by those who have been blackmailed into submission, will be the one event that fractures the "unity" that is sought through the much bandied about "1-Malaysia" concept.

If the Government is incapable and cannot address this issue- and acknowledge Democracy & the rights of citizens enshrined in the Fed Consti, this day will eventually be the unmaking of the Federation of Malaysia as we know it, not too far in the future.
I give it another 10-15 yrs .... then we will see the fruits of Umno's "labour of love & hate".