Of starting and stoking fires

Will it be a never-ending story? Heaven forbid.

Justice must take its course and must prevail. I am glad the knots are being tied and pieces of the jigsaw are now being firmly put into place.

However, it does not cease to amaze me that in spite of the evidence staring at our dumbfounded faces there are still the pleadings of “I did not know”, “I was not aware”, blah blah blah. Then there are the laughable “excuses” to “explain”.

And of course, the ultimate statements: “My conscience is clear … I did it to save the nation.”

At the moment California is fighting wildfires. And it occurred to me to relate that to the aforementioned statement. That “rationale” can be likened to someone who maliciously started a forest fire for his own nefarious reasons.

Then when the fire began to rage, he got some friends to steal some fire engines and other equipment from several fire stations, and furiously tried to put out the fire, which by then had caused untold damage.

When accused of stealing the fire engines and other equipment the arsonist’s reply was, “I did it to put out the fire, and to save the forest”, when in fact he was the arsonist who started and stoked the fire. And he wanted to play the hero when caught?

Another “fire” that some people seem to enjoy starting and stoking is one which can be easily fuelled by sentiments.

These are the fires sparked by futile and totally unnecessary debates and arguments or sensitive issues such as race and religion.

Especially so when the debates and arguments are politically motivated and addressed to particular galleries.

We are seeing how distorted interpretations of religion in some countries have resulted in heinous treatment of fellow human beings; torture, killings and ethnic cleansing, all supposed to be in the cause of religion and race. In the global context, it is an almost daily happening.

There continue to be those who simply want and must enforce their own beliefs and convictions on others. They regard those not in line with their thinking as the “enemy”.

Regardless of the fact that all religions preach moderation, doing good, being compassionate and humane, and subscribing to good universal life values and principles, there are those who choose to misinterpret, self-interpret and act in the most irreligious ways.

Islam, for example, does not teach Muslims to be divisive and fractious. Islamic values are indeed universal values as invoked in the Surah Al Kafirun in the Holy Quran.

Say: O disbelievers (of Islam).
I do not worship what you worship.
Nor are you worshippers of what I worship.
Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship.
Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship.
For you is your Religion. And for me is my religion.

Is that not crystal clear? Why make religion a source of contentious divisiveness when it actually guides us towards a peaceful society of diverse peoples who should be respecting each other?

Worse still, why inject religion into political discourse? Preach the good values that religion teaches us to hold on to. There will be less crime, less social problems and people in authority will lead by good example and function with strong integrity.

They will not have to start forest fires because they know it is wrong.

As a country with such diversity of race and faiths, Malaysia’s resilience should not and cannot be continuously “assaulted” by unproductive and negative debates on race and religion.

Let us be good Malaysians. Do what is right and beneficial to society and the nation.

Let our respective faiths guide us with the principles of life that clearly show right will always prevail.

We are all the creations of the almighty God. We live in His keep. Let us not play God on this earth.

Each of us needs to strive to be as good a Malaysian as we can be. We do not need to be our brother’s or sister’s, keeper.

We go to face our Maker alone. We are each responsible for our own sins. We do not drag others together with us.

So please, do not start and stoke any fire. And give the unacceptable excuse, “I did it to save the forest”. In other words to “save” after mindlessly triggering the havoc and causing fractiousness.

Malaysia moving forward must not be held back by parochial and xenophobic mindsets, and people driven by greed for what power and authority can bring. Sejahtera Malaysia kita.