Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The Bases of National Unity
Somebody with authority must teach the Malaysians, the bases of national unity again. The older ones may have forgotten while the younger people have a human relations vocabulary based on pop songs and raps. The attitude, language and mannerism we see in use today, be it in Parliament, at political meetings and caucusses, in roadside discussions and verbal exchanges, and especially on the websites, often suggest a total neglect of all the principles of promoting healthy intercommunity relationship, through proper communication skill.
The words we Malaysians pride on before as the bases of out multiracial strengh and harmony include: MUTUAL RESPECT, TOLERENCE. GOODWILL, MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING, GIVE AND TAKE, COOPERATE, PARTICIPATE, SHARE ETC. Do these words hold any meaning to the Malaysians anymore? Or have we all been so INDIVIDUALIZED, MONITIZED, and POLITICIZED that we couldn't care less about our fellow citizens and neighbours anymore in our search for a name, fame, power and fortune. The language of politics has often become so crude and vulgar, the blogging lingo so brusque, daring and bizarre, while the language of the mainstream media has become so equivocal and cliche-ish that we can never get at the real truth about anything important. The language of mutual respect, tolerance, goodwill, mutual understanding, comradeship, friendship and brotherhood etc., seemed to have disappeared from our vocabulary. What we hear more often today is: go to hell, 'pergi mampuslah'. kiss my a**, f***off, it sucks, a**hole, motherf*****. etc. The 'f' word is now commonly used in what is passed on as literary works of international standard.
Malaysians can certainly achieve modernity without aping the linguistic subculture of the west. The young people of today often act as if they're not 'in' if they don't litter their vocab with the the cuss and 'f' words. One would not mind if they use all the swear and cuss words just among themselves but change the mode when talking to their elders or the ordinary member of the public. The trouble is the older folks 'in parliament', in State Assemblies. at political rallies, public debates and discussions etc. are teaching them the most effective ways of using those unsavoury terms - terms that can throw national unity and multiracial harmony to the wind - as an example of fine locutionary and debating skill. And some of the best examples of their
adult words and performance are picked up by the tv and news media for all to enjoy.
We're developing a new culture here- the culture of foul language and offensive oratory. Can these ever lead to the promotion of inter-racial understanding and harmony? I think it's high time we relearn some of the vocabulary of the past when Malaysians of all races lived in peace and harmony. Let's relearn the meaning of mutual respect, tolerance, goodwill, mutual understanding, give and take. cooperate etc. Or have we all become so brazen and insensitive?