Malam Malaysia menjadi satu

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Tak perlu berdolak-dalik, mari berterus-terus sahaja. Rakyat Malaysia sebenarnya berpecah-belah.

Jika dikupas luaran cantik dan molek yang kita persembahkan kepada dunia luar, kita akan lihat Malaysia yang hakiki. Malaysia yang berpecah mengikut polarisasi kelas, kaum, agama, ideologi politik dan macam-macam lagi.

Perpecahan ini sebenarnya tidak memeranjatkan. Ia boleh dijangkakan. Garis-garis pemisahan kita cukup banyak dan cukup dalam. Pengasingan kita telah terbuku di dalam minda dan sebati dengan diri kita.

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Our xenophobia problem

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There was a small firestorm in the entertainment industry these past few days. A local artiste sarcastically thanked Malaysians for voting a Singaporean actor as the most popular artiste in Malaysia.

The Malaysian artiste’s views were widely criticised as uncalled for and unnecessary. He was accused as being afraid of competition from foreign actors, when he should actually welcome the enrichment of our entertainment scene with such diversity. Yet, I wonder had the artiste not directed the comments at this particular actor, a darling of the industry, would his comments be greeted with the same negative reaction?

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Kanta mata warna singkap diri

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Tempoh hari, saya menonton teater ‘Parah’ di Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac). Pementasan itu ditulis oleh dramatis Alfian Sa’at dan disutradarakan oleh Jo Kukathas. Dibintangi oleh Iedil Putra, Farah Rani, Branavan Aruljothi dan Gregory Sze, ‘Parah’ mengisahkan tentang empat sahabat berbilang kaum yang mempunyai hubungan begitu erat.

Namun, hubungan ini dicabar apabila mereka membaca novel ‘Interlok’ karya Sasterawan Negara Datuk Abdullah Hussain. Apa yang dibaca telah menimbulkan persoalan-persoalan sukar di antara mereka, mengenai sejarah bersama dan juga identiti peribadi mereka. Isu kaum mula mencarik persahabatan, meregangkan silaturahim dan mula sedar akan perbezaan di antara mereka. Watak Hafiz, Melur, Mahesh dan Kahoe mula melihat diri mereka melalui kanta mata warna, walhal selama ini mereka buta akan itu semua.

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Siri Pemikiran Kritis kembali

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Di lembaran terdahulu, saya ada menulis tentang cabaran peguam muda. Pergerakan peguam muda yang bermula pada tahun 2003.

Pada ketika itu, S.46A Akta Profesion Guaman melarang ‘peguam muda’, iaitu mereka yang mengamalkan undang-undang kurang dari tujuh tahun, daripada memegang apa-apa jawatan dalam Majlis Peguam.

Namun hasil usaha pergerakan peguam muda pada waktu itu, S.46A akhirnya dimansuhkan dan kini peguam muda mempunyai kebebasan untuk menganggotai mana-mana jawatankuasa Majlis Peguam dan juga memegang jawatan dalam Majlis Peguam.

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The English-speaking Malay

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Recently, I gave a talk to a community association on behalf of the MyConstitution campaign. There were about 30 to 40 audience members, with the majority of them being above the age of 40. After the talk, some came up to me and told me that they were happy that young people like me are involved in efforts to educate people about the Federal Constitution. Feedback such as these are quite common, I thanked them for their support and encouragement.

I spoke to a middle-aged lady as I prepared to leave. She expressed her support for the campaign, describing it as ‘timely’. She then commended me on my command of English. In her own words, she said that I spoke ‘very good English’. I was flattered of course, but secretly thought that what she said was pure balderdash. She then said that usually, ‘they’ do not speak good English.

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A Humble Submission – Myths of the Constitution (14 July 2011)

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It was recently reported that a Member of Parliament from Kelantan opined that the government should revoke the citizenship of former President of the Malaysian Bar, Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan.

According to the rotund politician, the lawyer had gone against the wishes of two Sultans and therefore had committed treason (menderhaka) and that is why her citizenship should be revoked.

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A Humble Submission – Race and State (16 June 2011)

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The registration of Subang Jaya state assemblywoman Hannah Yeoh new-born child has sparked a simmering debate on race and identity.

According to reports, the first-time lawmaker and her husband wanted to register their child as an ‘anak Malaysia’ but could not do so. They were given a form to fill up and under the column for race (bangsa), they placed ‘anak Malaysia’ but were told that the race of the child must be defined according to the parents’ ethnicity, in their case, either Indian or Chinese. They tried to leave the column blank, but the system could not accept it. Even the option of choosing ‘others’ (lain-lain) was not available to them.

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