When Man plays God

Freedom of choice

Ex-Convent Girl

Does one really need to follow a religion to believe in God? Does one really need political parties to believe in change?

Religion and politics are pretty much like oil and water – never the two shall mix. Yet they have enjoyed a risky alliance in Malaysia where they have categorically corrupted and systematically antagonised ties between the races for years.

So fractured a society have we become that I do not see the point in the government racing to achieve our 2020 Vision of becoming a high-income nation when we remain morally corrupt and politically divided along racial and religious lines.

Instead of reinforcing the fundamentals of a civil society, the government of the day has plunged headlong into filling everyone’s wallets with easy cash that has no value to begin with judging by the rising prices of everything we touch or use.

Religion teaches tolerance, respect and unity. However those very principles are turned on its head in Malaysia because our religious differences have made us a suspicious, angry, confrontational and critical lot. Temples are demolished, bibles are seized, kidnappings take place and archaeological sites are desecrated as our society erupts into splinter groups ‘for’ and ‘against’ it.

Our politicians have no intention whatsoever to tackle this bull by the horns, preferring instead to keep us divided so they can work their evil in relative peace.

We have endured the whims and fancies of Barisan Nasional for way too long and many have pinned their hopes on Pakatan Rakyat to take us out of this darkness and into the light. We clamour for a strong, united and enlightened opposition that is bold enough to stand up to Najib and his cronies.

What we ended-up with instead is a disunited bunch of short sighted, small-minded boys and girls who have consistently demonstrated that the ABU movement is a hollow promise for a better Malaysia. Anything But UMNO does not necessarily make us a better nation as we are still anything but civil. How can we so carelessly vote Barisan Nasional out when the goons coming in are just as greedy and bent on plundering the nation till kingdom come as well?

While Barisan Nasional is blatantly guilty of stoking religious fires in our schools, in our workplaces and in the form of Perkasa, Pakatan Rakyat is guilty of burying its head in the sand when it comes to pertinent issues like the use of the word Allah by Christians and the implementation of Hudud law.

When they do come up for air from their little sandpits, their members of parliament prefer instead to indulge in childish flashmobs and festive comedy skits that ridicule prominent political figures and which they defend as ‘satire’.

In the meantime, our society hurtles recklessly into more turmoil as we consistently lose respect for our ruling administration and become increasingly frustrated with our opposition when they fail us time and again.

It is pretty clear that both religion and politics have left us maimed for life. By 2020, we will have fuller wallets but even lesser morals. We will continue to denounce lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders because this was what we have ‘interpreted’ from our holy books. We will continue to let ourselves be used by politicians because this is what we have ‘interpreted’ from their un-holy yet impassioned speeches when they promised us the world on a silver platter.

As responsible citizens of Malaysia, it is our right to demand for a more civil society. We must use our religion to enlighten us, not drag us back to the dark ages where everything was taboo and way too literal in terms of interpretation and understanding. And we certainly need to make our politicians more accountable for their actions whichever side of the political divide they’re on.

To become a more civil society, we must learn to make the most of our religion and politics to unite, not divide us.