The week that was

AS I REFLECT on events that took place last week I feel sad that after 60 years of independence the Malaysia we have today is far from what was envisioned. We assured our colonial masters that we could be trusted to be independent and live as one big family in peace and harmony. Have we lived up to our dream and kept our promises? I wonder.

Our week began with DBKL banning the staging of a two-day beer festival based on flimsy unfounded excuses. This one time exhibition of 43 worldwide breweries educating us on 250 craft beers would have been good general knowledge to see and taste international brews without having to travel worldwide.

We would be having the world at our doorstep. Or maybe we are content to remain "Katak di bawah tempurung". One does not have to drink the beer to be educated and exposed.

Wouldn't we as a nation be walking the talk in professing to be a moderate Muslim nation by hosting such a festival here?

The irony is such festivals and much more are being staged in Palestine and Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country. This speaks volumes about the truth. The demos after Friday prayers in town demonstrated how shallow and narrow minded we are.

Actions do speak louder than words. Where is self control?

The week continues with a public laundry not accepting clothes of non-Muslims and Sekinchan hotel and restaurants not allowing Chinese to dine there. To top everything, we have a self-appointed vigilante in Flora Damansara issuing warnings and deadlines prohibiting a laundry list of issues to be adhered to.

Why are we professing to be "holier than thou" when as someone pointed out our backyards, as in the statistics of Kelantan, are dirty. Don't we need to clean up our acts before we can point fingers at anyone else? Where is love, harmony, friendship and tolerance in our actions?

I did find some light at the end of the tunnel in a one-day seminar between Lutherans and Catholics in dialogue on Friday. This was attended by over 200 Christians trying to understand each other's beliefs better and in the process building bridges. Maybe baby steps, but in the right direction.

At Sunday mass, my hope was further restored as we celebrated Migrant Sunday. It was so beautiful to see the congregation in their national dress and participation of Africans, Indians, Myanmarese, Kadazans and Ibans in the liturgy using their own language.

To me, this is what Malaysia is all about. All of us are migrants to this country. We want the same good things for ourselves and children. I prayed for Malaysia that we individually can have clarity of vision in working selflessly towards the greater good of the whole. Only then can we be true to what our fight for independence was all about.

Angeline Lesslar
Subang Jaya