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By Alan

Surau row another 1M'sia moment down the drain

Every time I hear or see 1Malaysia I cringe. Why? It’s obvious there’s no such thing as 1Malaysia. Who said so? Why, the government of course. Every now and again they announce to us, on full front page newspaper headlines, that 1Malaysia is rubbish.

It’s a sham sold only to the country’s minorities by BN’s lame duck component parties and by Umno leaders when attending functions attended by supporters of BN’s lame duck component parties.   

Case in point is the issue being blown up by the BN media of the Buddhists meditating in a surau. Apparently it’s the surau owner who permitted it as he had no other venue for his guests to meditate.

That to me would have been a perfect example of the so-called 1Malaysia at work. If you choose to look at it from a positive angle, it is generous of the surau owner and a warm gesture of comradeship between religious practitioners.  

Sadly instead of seeing the positive side of this otherwise infinitely minuscule occurrence in the mundane lives of Malaysians, the politicians have jumped at yet another opportunity to act as the defenders of the 3R (race, religion and royalty) by choosing to take the most negative possible reaction on the matter.   

So who are the losers? No prizes for the right answer. It's not the Buddhists and Chinese, we don’t mind that the newspaper articles on the matter are actually insulting to us. As if Buddhism was such an abhorrent and repulsive act that it defiles the surau just by meditating there, well, the reports certainly make it seem that way.

It is as if, hypothetically, you asked your friend if you could use his room for prayers, and he said, “No, I don’t want you to defile my room and insult my religion.” How would that go down?    

But no matter, we have had 50 years to get used to being insulted and maligned. You will not see angry rallies and burning of effigies. You see, it has no bearing on us, or our religion. We do not need to beat our chests to defend Buddhism.

People have shot missiles at the image of the Buddha and blasted it to smithereens, but Buddhists in general only feel pity for the perpetrators, and move on. To practitioners, our religion remains unscathed as far as we as Buddhists are concerned. We do not need to form NGOs to protect our race or religion.

We only know what to do next time a BN politician comes round to ask for our votes.   

Ironically those people, our great defenders of the community are probably in hiding somewhere waiting for this, and other incidents, to blow over. You will not hear a squeak from the MCA, Gerakan or MIC presidents, maybe their low-ranking wannabes will eventually say something insignificant.

And meanwhile other lame politicians like minister Joseph Kurup will wax lyrical about how tolerant and multiracial the government is and how they have zero tolerance for religious insults. Yes, we know, it is true only when it comes to one religion.   

For the rest of us, this incident is just another sick joke reminding us, once again, that 1Malaysia is rubbish. Sorry lah, no one put this slanderous idea into our heads - you guys in Putrajaya did it all by yourselves.

I only feel the pain over this once a year - each time I pay my taxes, knowing it is going into paying for rubbish.