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2013 in Perspective

2013 must have been the most sensitive year for Malaysians, whereby the words and fight for ‘change’, ‘different’ and ‘dissent’ were tabooed.

I, too, had to take a compulsory leave of absence from DM blog, so as to evade from being blacklisted by the BN-government’s eager-to-please cybertroopers.

How bad could it be, you may be attempted to ask. Okay, let’s not go deep into politics. Lets just talk about our daily lives.

Recently one of my children asked, “what was it like to celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday when you were young?”, or another innocent question, such as, ‘what was sports day like in your school”?

My immediate response was:

“Life in Johore was much different that in this state. In Johore, during my time, we celebrated Prophet Muhammad’s birthday only once a year, that is, only during his purported date of birth.

We walked a five-kilometer journey from an Islamic School playground, all the way to the state mosque, singing songs of praise for the Prophet.

At the end of the journey, we were given ‘nasi minyak’ (an Arab-originated dish) served on a huge ‘dulang’. Four persons were supposed to share a ‘dulang’. We ate together by making our own make-shift border on the dulang. It was fun, wierd and certainly, different!”

(In contrast, the present norm is to have numerous small scale celebrations within a month of the purported date of birth, and each person would be given a foam-container, containing mere mee goreng or kueh.)

“Likewise, a school sports day was the school’s most important event of the entire school year. Whereby, all parents would be invited and temporary shelters were made to house and seat the parents. Food and drinks were provided and those in uniform, be it Girl Guides, Red Crescent, etc., were mobilized to assist the program. It was a major event, which will be talked about for years to come.

Unfortunately, here the norm is to make a sports day as small as possible to reduce costs. Only PIBG (Parents-Teacher) committee members were invited and covered seats were only provided for teachers and PIBG members only. Should any other parents made their way to the school during the prescribed day, they can either choose to stand under the hot sun or sit on the grass.”

Innocent answers? I thought they were. If not innocent, at least the answers were honest enough. That was what had happened before, and what is happening now.

Well, guess what? I was blacklisted for being…against the government. To be ‘pro-government’ means one have to like whatever change the government introduces, no matter whether one likes the change or otherwise. To be ‘against-the-government’ is to indicate displeasure or disagreement with anything that was adopted.

I am now officially categorized as a ‘government-dissenter’. And I must be grateful that they have not categorized me as traitor and ask me to leave the country, just as other dissenters.

Yikes, Yelp!

-DM

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