The ‘green wave’ means the Talibanisation of Malaysia

Moderate Malaysians fear the ‘Talibanisation’ of the country – the regressive and parochial conservatism – that the ‘green wave’ will bring.

Shankar R. Santhiram, Free Malaysia Today

Malaysians, regardless of colour, creed, race or religion, all have parallel aspirations.

We want to live in a safe, harmonious, and prosperous nation. We want our future, and the future of our kids to be safeguarded and guaranteed.

We want to go about our business and really want others to “mind their own business”. We want to pray, eat, and socialise peacefully, and in a manner we choose and prefer.

We want our schools to educate our children to ensure that they grow up to be competent and competitive citizens of a global market. We want our healthcare and social welfare system to protect us when we are vulnerable, and provide security when we need it most.

We want the administration of our nation to be fair, just, and accommodative. We want our legal system to be uncompromised, and be seen to deliver justice to everyone.

We want our roads, and public transportation system to be safe, fairly priced, and to work properly.

We want both traditional as well as progressive art forms to be duly understood and respected. We want every denomination’s house of worship to be treated with dignity and due respect.

We want our leaders to show us that first and foremost, they are public servants. We want our government to have tangible plans for growth, safety, race-relations, and economic stability.

We want all the regions of our country to be cared for equally, and with the same attention that is given to the big cities and towns. We want the natural beauty of our magnificent country to be preserved and protected.

And, we want to stand tall when we go abroad and proudly proclaim that we come from a fantastic nation.

Isn’t this, ultimately, what all Malaysians actually want, and deserve?

This is why non-Muslim Malaysians and moderate Muslims are weary about the oft touted “green wave” that landed on our shores at the last general election. This phenomenon is extremely worrying for reasonable and sensible Malaysians.

Because we want all the aspirations I listed above, panic has set in. Many feel that these goals and objectives will be derailed and thwarted if a fanatical, racist, and an extremely religious faction, takes hold of governing our beautiful nation.

For nearly seven decades, what started off as a glowing example of a progressive multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation for the rest of the world, has slowly deteriorated to become a polarised nation.

Through unbridled parochialism and incessant power plays, politicians have wreaked havoc in Malaysia.

This is why even after the Federal Court, the highest court in Malaysia, declared six years ago that it is unconstitutional to convert a child’s religion without the agreement of both parents, about half of the states in the country still have laws enabling unilateral conversion.

This is worrisome for non-Muslims in Malaysia, and rightfully so.

A few weeks ago, the home ministry seized over 170 Swatch watches using the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) 1984. They seized the watches for allegedly having lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) “elements.”

This is worrisome for moderate Malaysians.

There is a political party at the forefront of this “green wave” that wants to ban all concerts featuring international artistes or else they threaten to stage protests and cause disruption.

Most Malaysians worry about this ridiculous backwardness.

Malaysian stand-up comedians walk on eggshells when they perform at home for fear of a backlash from the government or the fanatics. Yet they can be free and true to their art-form when performing abroad.

There is no guaranteed safety for artistic expression and this worries many progressive Malaysians.

So, you know what is worrisome about the “green wave?”

Moderate Malaysians fear the “Talibanisation” of the country. This is a label used to describe regressive and parochial conservatism. This is what people fear. And this is what the “green wave” will bring.

If the citizenry cannot go about their life without being intrusively told to adhere to the standards set by fanatics and extremists, then the entire “Project Malaysia” fails. If you ask anyone from Sabah and Sarawak if this is what they signed up for in the Malaysia Agreement (MA63), what do you think their reply would be?

No Malaysian should fear a non-existent threat which opportunistic politicians regularly spin. Non-Muslims are not interested in “ruling” the country. They only want their rights to be safeguarded. Just like Malay Muslims.

Let us not allow these radicals to destroy our harmonious country. This nation does not deserve to be punished with a “green-wave.” Instead, we need to start creating a “Malaysia wave”. Yes, we are a diverse group of people, but we are one nation, standing together.

Remember, this is what Malaysia is all about. Period.