Friday, August 21, 2009

Ada telinga dengar ada mata lihat

Salah satu ruangan yang sering menarik perhatian saya apabila membaca akhbar adalah ruangan surat dari pembaca. Ada akhbar yang ruangannya sampai memuatkan dua muka, ada yang cuma satu dan ada juga yang langsung tiada ruangan ini.

Ada yang memilih-milih (saya pasti yang menulis ramai tetapi kerana ruangan terhad hanya yang tertentu sahaja akan menemui pembaca) berdasarkan selera pemilik akhbar, tetapi ada juga yang melepaskan walaupun bertentangan dengan haluan akhbarnya (yang pasti tidak adalah Utusan Malaysia).

Dalam akhbar The Star hari ini saya dapati ada dua surat yang menarik. Satu adalah dari penulis yang mengenalkan dirinya sebagai Benjamin Sipaun (keturunan Kadazan, Sabah) yang menulis berkenaan usaha kerajaan mengugurkan ruangan bangsa atau kaum dalam borong-borang rasmi. Beliau menulis:

I REFER to the letters “A step closer to unity” and “Move will help us achieve our objective” (The Star, Aug 20).

Personally, I have no objection to the Government’s proposal to do away with stating ethnicity in official forms. However, I also do not object, or have ever had any objections, to the current requirement that we state our race when filling up official forms.

Any racial barriers that are existent in our country will occur regardless of whether or not we have this requirement to state our race in official forms.

I do not believe the requirement itself has led anyone to develop racist tendencies, or left him or her feeling as if they are not Malaysians equal to all other Malaysians.

As a Kadazan, I have never felt that having to state my ethnicity has made me feel any less Malaysian compared to any other race.

Thus, I disagree with Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye’s connotation that it is undesirable to have anything which “continues to remind us of our individual race when we should instead be regarded and accepted as Malaysians”.

It is not a zero sum game to be reminded of our individual race and to be regarded and accepted as Malaysians at the same time. Is it really conceivable that each individual race is willing to forego its own unique identity, all in the name of achieving unity?

I prefer to believe that we are all regarded, accepted and treated equally as Malaysians despite coming from different races and declaring it. That, to me, is true unity.

I have ticked the “dan lain-lain” checkbox countless times without giving it a second thought. It is a non-issue to me. I do not feel any less Malaysian, nor do I feel racial barriers are being created because of it.

I am not saying that racial barriers do not exist. They do, but it is in people’s attitudes, behaviour, policies, beliefs, discriminatory actions and a whole range of other intangibles.
These are more a consequence of upbringing, rather than of filling up forms.

I am concerned that scrapping the need to state ethnicity ends up as a cosmetic gesture, while our future generations continue to be brought up in an environment that festers racial barriers, with or without tickboxes by race.

Dan keduanya dari Marisa Demori, Ipoh, yang menulis berkenaan keburukan arak atau minuman berakohol. Beliau menulis:

I CANNOT but smile in amusement while reading the letter “Educate people on evils of consuming alcohol” (The Star, Aug 20),

The writer’s argument is technically flawless but in reality man was created weak, and teaching and educating will only have a limited impact. When an item is easily available and affordable, people will not think twice about getting it.

The damage alcohol does to a person is indeed considerable. Like all drugs that have an effect on the brain, alcohol soon has one addicted.

The side-effects of alcohol consumption are poor health, impaired judgment, violence, broken careers, broken families, lost opportunities, lost fortunes, incoherence and disorientation in society.

I doubt that talking and preaching about the evil effects of alcohol will have a substantial impact on the majority of the people. Everyone knows what is bad for them, yet they go on doing it anyway. If everyone around you consumes alcohol freely, chances are you will too.

The government has gone all out to fight smoking but has done almost nothing about alcohol consumption even though it is probably an even greater evil than smoking.

Alcohol has a long-term effect on both the body and the mind that will ultimately force the person into a state of self-denial which will render him or her practically useless and almost without dignity.

Alcohol does this to its devotees slowly but without fail, even to those who think they drink in moderation.

Indeed few situations are as demeaning to a human as the state of being drunk.

For a Muslim who values his religion, alcohol is particularly to be abhorred.

Since the residual of what we eat and drink remains in our body for up to 24 hours, and the space between prayers is no longer than six hours, drinking alcohol would effectively prevent a Muslim from performing his obligation to God. It would certainly be impiety to say the prayers with your breath still smelling of alcohol.

I am all in favour of removing the item from the shelves completely so that people don’t have a chance to start drinking in the first place and also do not have the opportunity to continue drinking.

For the Muslims, I believe the Quran sums it up best when it states that in both drinking and gambling there is some profit for man and also some sin, but the sin is greater than the profit. Thus, man is advised to eschew both these vices if he wishes to prosper.

Bagi surat pertama dari Benjamin, saya merasakan ada asas dan kekuatan pada hujahnya. Saya sendiri berbangga dengan keturunan Melayu saya, budayanya serta adat resamnya sebagaimana saya percaya kawan-kawan yang berbangsa India dan Cina dan dari suku keturunan Kadazan, Bajau, Iban, Melanau dan lain-lain.

Tetapi berbanga dengan bangsa masing-masing tidak semestinya menjadikan seorang taksub dan ekstrim seperti kaum Serb atau Israel lalu mahu memandang rendah kaum lain sehingga mahu memusnahkan mereka.

Di Malaysia kita masing-masing sedar dan insaf akan kehadiran kawan-kawan kita yang lain yang walaupun dari berlainan bangsa tetapi satu warganegara. Bagaimana kita mampu menghapuskan identiti bangsa dan kaum masing-masing? Apa yang penting adalah sikap memahami budaya dan adat resam masing-masing dan berusaha untuk hidup secara aman dan berkasih-sayang di atas bumi Malaysia yang satu (bukan 1 Malaysia).

Selain berbeza bangsa dan kaum kita juga berbeza agama dan kepercayaan. Cuma yang berlainan di sini adalah kemampuan agama itu untuk menyatukan antara bangsa-bangsa dan kaum-kaum. Seorang Muslim mungkin dari bangsa Melayu atau Cina atau India, kesatuan aqidah ini sesungguhnya merapatkan lagi ukhuwah dan ikatan antara mereka namun tidak juga memadamkan nasab keturunan masing-masing.

Saya akan terus menjadi seorang Melayu (berketurunan Bugis) yang beragama Islam dan insyallah akan membesarkan anak dan keturunan saya begitu dan dalam waktu yang sama hidup secara aman dalam negara Malaysia yang sama-sama kita cintai ini.

Kemudian surat kedua yang ditulis oleh Marisa saya kira sangat menarik. Beliau walaupun memerima hujah bahawa bahana alkohol perlu dididik pada masyarakat namun katanya manusia ini lemah sifatnya, sedangkan rokok yang diberikan publisiti meluas akan bahaya dan keburukannya pun terus dibeli oleh masyarakat, apa hal pula dengan arak.

Arak diketahui umum keburukannya, kesannya kepada kesihatanm, kepada otakl dan tubuh badan manusia, tetapi dijuak juga kemudian mahu dididik agar dijauhi. Kata beliau arak ini jika mahu berkesan pembenterasannya maka perlulah ia tidak dijual lagi kepada masyarakat!

Kerana itulah bagi masyarakat Islam di Selangor, di tempat majoriti penduduknya Islam PAS minta diharamkan penjualannya sama-sekali. Bagi kawasan-kawasan lain, Enakmen Jenayah Syariah akan dikenakan ke atas umat Islam yang menjual, menghidang atau membeli dan meminumnya,

Bagi masyarakat bukan Islam, atas nama kebebasan, maka bebaslah mereka berjual-beli dan meminumnya. Mudah-mudahan umat Islam bebas dari minuman haram ini dan rakan-rakan bukan Islam akan turut menjauhinya demi memilihara kesihatan masing-masing serta kerukunan masyarakat.


Shahrin_CLR UK said...


Absolutely agree with the first letter...

An my humble opinion, you can not and should not aim to unite people by eradicating the differences...
the differences are there because the unique nature of human society itself, we were created in groups of races , religions, we can learn from each other...and learn from the differences....

Respect the differences...

I am proud to be a malaysian. and yet, i am also proud to be a malay (jawa..if u ask) and muslim...

To unite people...we have got to find a common objective, a collective goal....

We cannot stop the flow of the 'river of differences'...we can't dam will only lead to flood...
Instead, build a 'bridge of unity'...and let the river flow freely as it should be...and together we understand and benefit from our differences...

Saya rakyat Malaysia, Saya berbangsa Melayu, Saya beragama Islam.....nothing more...nothing less

Firdaus Rahim said...


I totally agree with our abang Kadazan here. (hehe)

Sorry to say, but I personally regard those who suggest the abolition of race as extremists.

God has stated in the Quran that indeed Allah have created us male and female, and Allah has made us nations and tribes that we may know one another.

Even those who don't believe in Quran will accept that we do come from different tribes and nations! Its the way we're made from.

It is absurd for us to deny that we are created in nations and tribes.

But it is not meant for us to remain separated and being judgmental in many ways. Establishing our very own perception about others, and labeling others with our self made tags.

its for us to know each other, and we must come to common terms in order to know each other...

lesongbatu said...

...agama boleh bertukar2 tetapi bangsa tak boleh ditukar. jika dilahirkan sebagai bangsa bangla.. tak mungkin boleh tukar kpd bangsa jawa. itu le hebatnya Allah swt menjadikan manusia dari bebagai suku/ kaum/ bangsa tetapi boleh punya satu kepercayaan yang sama; agama. we need to learn & appreciate each other and learn from the differences...[49:13]