Tuesday, 28 April 2020
I finally know how many days have passed since the MCO in Malaysia. Well, I guess I stopped counting, which I think was a mistake. Thankfully we have the internet, and things like timeanddate.com. In phase 4, we’re seeing some hopeful news: the number of new positive cases are slowly going down into the double digits, and we may actually be starting to flatten the curve.
It’s also the 5th day of the Ramadan fast: and like clockwork, the number of fellow Muslims who continue to demonstrate the antithesis of what the fast is supposed to teach them seem to have doubled, unlike the COVID-19 stats.
The race-based hate and xenophobia continues, and surprisingly, even normally conservative Islamic authorities who empathise with the target community gets the abuse. It’s surprising because the kind of curses thrown at them is normally reserved for “filthy” liberals, socialists, and other non-mainstream communities. It’s embarrassing, really, and goes to show that what we have been taught for many years, that “religion makes you better human beings” is an empty promise. There is nothing that shows these online profiles that curse muftis and other scholars did not receive the same kind of pervasive Islamic education most Malaysians got during their school years.
What they’ve shown, inarguably, is that decades of race-based grooming in the political and educational spheres have brought forth its expected fruit. Malaysians are no less intolerant and inhuman than any other people when they want to be, and absolutely do not mind capitulating against the very same religious scholars who taught them in school, or in the communities.
Not surprising, to me, anyway. Malaysia, like many other countries, has long been the stage for the deployment of theologists to bolster, endorse, and even give excuses for bad policy-making, and now we all have to live with the results.