Malaysia should probably be classified as the 8th wonder of the world. It certainly has many wonders in its midst.
Every Malaysian remembers that our land is a land of slogans and songs. We have plenty of slogans – ‘bersih cekap amanah”, “kepimpinan melalui teladan”, “gemilang, cemerlang, terbilang” and so on. Go to every “gomen” department and you will find a slogan.
And yet, (this where we are the 8th wonder), we hear and experience major inefficiencies in the civil service, our political leaders suffer from lack of credibility, our universities are not terbilang and neither do we have kepimpinan melalui teladan.
And religion. God, this country has a lot of religion. Every Fridays, you find the Muslims going to the mosques and the hindus going to the temples. Every Sunday, you have the Christians praying at the Church. Every other day, you have the Taoists and Buddhists either praying at their temples or at the altar in their house. And there are the other religions which we do not normally mention in public but claim to believe and worship God nevertheless.
In fact, the government has taken the initiative to adjust the Friday lunch hours to enable the civil servants to pray. One would therefore think that the civil servants must be the most God-fearing of the lot in Malaysia. One cannot be faulted in thinking that Malaysia is almost a holy land full of pious citizens.
It seems everyone wants to be saved and every one wants to praise the Lord. What a wonderful nation of ours Malaysia is? We are so God conscious it seems.
With such pious, God- fearing citizens, surely they are all mindful that this is God’s earth and that we are all here to share. Love, peace, sharing, giving and equitable distribution of wealth. Equal opportunities for all the “children of God”.
We are so God conscious that there is no corruption at all. Our leaders are impeccable. The Muslim ones never forget to praise God before they make a speech.
And look at our priests. They fight for a better environment, better housing, better governance, just laws, education system that cultivates upright and responsible citizens, elimination of poverty, etc. They want to illuminate this country of ours with God’s light of mercy.
How unjust this world will be without these religious experts. They are so relevant in our daily lives.
I wouldn’t like to think that we are encouraging a culture of hypocrisy – saying we love God and behave like satan on earth. Surely, we have the mental ability and the strength of spirit to distinguish between form and substance?
But it puzzles me. I have heard and seen people scream and shout for blood in the name of religion. I have seen deliberate negative discrimination in the name of religion. And I am not just talking of the Muslims. In fact, I have heard of an MP say that he is “muslim first”,whatever that means. Why did he become a muslim (submitter) first before becoming a mukmin (believer)? What do these words mean anyway? Deeds we can evaluate but words…..?
In fact we are so religious that “a chosen few” among us have taken the duty to ensure that it is so even if it means resorting to compulsive measures. These chosen few will “guide” you to think how they “think”. When “guidance” fails, they will compel you for your own good. It does not matter that you are an adult above the age of 40 and have been maintaining a family well and that you are in a position of responsible decision making in your career. When it comes to religion, these chosen few are the experts. What a wonderful holy land we have!
This almost holy land ours is truly the 8th wonder of the world. Don’t you think?