Were we in a crisis? Were race relations as bad as the Prime Minister had implied? Did the specter of May 13 loom just beyond the horizon?

I find myself at the top of a hill and ahead I see only green fields as far as the eyes could see. The sky is blue and the breeze is soft. There wais s no wolf and the sheep are safely grazing.

Yet, behind me there is a commotion of the grandest scale. On their soapboxes, the doomsayers preached of an impending disaster that may tear down the towers which we have built. Amid the sordid apocalyptic tales, the doomsayers offered a panacea so conveniently held in their possession. Only they could save us all from the Leviathan.

“To me, to me, rally to me”, they shouted so rude and loudly. The future, according to them, would be haplessly bleak. Dare I ask why?

There beyond is an open plain and an open sky for all. Never was a day tailored so perfectly for victory and there is no better day than today to reach for the sky. It’s perfect and if we miss it now, the next time this moment comes again, we will be laying on our beds waiting for the end to our miserably lives. As the inevitability of death comes upon us, we will look back and wonder why we did not take the leap.

That will not be my fate. My fear of that worthless fate is greater than the stories spewed by the doomsayers. I fear not of the bogeyman outside my window and I fear not the monster under my bed. This is because there are none to fear.

Only fear is holding me — and us — back.

The doomsayers have nothing for us but this illusion of fear. Of disorder. Of death.

The fear, however, is theirs alone and not ours.

They need us to alleviate their fear. They need us to cower in the cold rain so they can live immorally in the warmth.

They want us to bend over and satisfy them. They take pleasure in doing so. We believed them once too many times, holding on to our false prophets’ promises.

No more. No more. Enough seeds of lies have been sowed and enough have been reaped. It is time to till the land, weed out the lies and begin anew for we know they need us and we know we do not need them.

All we need to do is to march forth and leave them behind on their rotten soapboxes half eaten by termites. Leave them be with their foolish blabbering but we shall march forth.

There are only limitless possibilities for us to explore. Or were.

Crisis only hit us when they imposed their crisis on us. Who was it that started shouting, ”Fire!” first?

Why has suddenly trouble in their own camps translated into our trouble?

How did the problematic internal relationship between parties within the Barisan Nasional translate into our problem?

The fate of the Barisan Nasional and the fate of Malaysia should never be the same. The fate of Malaysia must be independent of any political party, be it the Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Rakyat or any other. The fate of the country is far too important to be tied to a political party. For this reason alone, it is crucial to weed out any political party that embeds itself into the state.

Any conflation between the two fates requires urgent erasure and correction. Even the blind differentiate the day from night and why should there be a conflation?

There was a moment of cognitive dissonance for me when a mainstream newspaper paraphrased the Prime Minister: “Race relations not at healthy level.”

Dazed, my question was whose relations, really, are at an unhealthy level here?

I find it hard to believe such statements when I have no problems talking to friends of different backgrounds. I look around and I see no opportunity for a spontaneous riot to take place. People are sharing jokes and laughing and even going as far as ignoring the dull political clowns of this huge distasteful circus.

When the Prime Minister has so little credibility left in him, I prefer to trust my own faculties instead, and my faculties tell me that it is not relations between various races in Malaysia which are at stake. On the contrary, it is the relations between race-based parties of the Barisan Nasional instead. This whole fiasco began in the Barisan Nasional and the adverse effects are shaking its very foundations.

The clowns in the circus were too excited and cracked the tall pillars supporting their tent. When the tent threatened to come down, they wanted us to pay for the repair.

But why should we pay for it?

Let the clowns pay from their own pockets. Unable to humor us with their woefully inadequate sick jokes, they switched their profession and assumed the role of doomsayers, trying to impress upon others that their problem was ours too.

Sick and tired of these old clowns and doomsayers, I turned to Facebook to relieve myself from the filthy lies they tell incessantly. There, one of the status updates: it is high time the insecurities of our politicians be decoupled from the security of the country.

I have had enough of clowns and doomsayers. The green plain awaits me. And you too if you care to join me.

Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved

A version of this article was published in The Malaysian Insider.

One Response to “[1782] Of clowns and doomsayers”

  1. on 22 Sep 2008 at 17:27 Hamilton Bacon

    I was at a resort hotel in Kuantan the other weekend with my wife. We went to swim in the pool, and lo and behold, there were happy holidaymakers having fun in the pool. From what i could see, there were all the ethnic groups represented. Everyone was having a good time, and although we were strangers to one another, we still accorded each other with regard and courtesy. We exchanged smiles and greetings. Okay, so we were all on holiday, but the point is, we can all be that way after the holiday too.

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