Chaos, karma and MH370


Azly Rahman
Malaysiakini
Mar 20, 2014

Waking up this morning I wrote this, concerning the fate of MH370:

in karma there is chaos
in kudrat there is iradat
in qada’ there is qadar
in randomness there is order
in silence there are screams no one will ever hear
in the falling of a tree in a forest there is no sound heard
in seeds of hope there are microbes of destructive forces
in memory there is forgetfulness
in history there is fractal geometry
in the rustle of language there is the violence of semantics

in 1414 these were not made to manifest
because the protagonist of the story and the antagonist are one
in the longest story told
whilst the white noise
of chaos
plays in the background…

If there is a watershed, a tipping point, or an apocalypse now to the limits of the neo-feudalistic culture of information suppression and cult of secrecy of Malaysia’s ruling elite, it is in this case of the missing aircraft MH370. In this case of international proportions lies Malaysia’s swan song – her chaos and karma in one.

Chaos Theory, drawn out of quantum mechanics and metaphysics or bio-cybernetics of living things in which an occurrence that seems to be an isolated case and random, may have its origin in an orderly pattern whose seed of its design contains both force of construction and destruction.

Karma is a concept borrowed from the Hindu-Buddhist philosophy signifying a rebirth or a reincarnation or even a reward or retribution governed by the Law of Manu or loosely put, the ‘wheel of life’.

We reap what we sow and as a government the ruling regime, too, may have followed such a pattern of randomness and order and is undergoing karma, judging by the hellish time the international media is giving the country in its attempt to arrive at an explanation of what is the truth is behind the story of the missing MH370; signified and symbolised as a ‘national carrier’ and hence representing the Malaysian government itself.

It is a ‘butterfly effect’ of an arrogant, well-guarded and well-deployed act of patronage especially in the way information is monopolised and how freedom of information, free speech, and freedom of the press is handled.

A cult of government secrecy

The ripples that created the waves from the flapping of the wings of a butterfly during the feudal times of the Malacca kingdom has travelled through space of time and traversed multiple epochs to create a cult of governmental secrecy and a culture of political repression used to suppress dissenting views, and now only to be faced with a karmic situation of epic proportions.

The truth behind the fall of Malacca, the truly legitimate rulers of the Malay kingdom, the reasons behind the countless usurpations between and amongst the degenerative rulers, the conspiracies of the traditional rulers with the colonial powers, real story of the interregnum, the deal made circa the granting of Independence, the riots of May 13, 1969, the many political murders unresolved, the numerous high-profile corruption cases still unresolved and the culprits unpunished, right till the brutal murder of the French-speaking Mongolian arms negotiator – these will never be known.

But all these are narratives useful as data for the chaos and complexity theory applied to the fractal-geometric evolution of the cult of secrecy leading to the inability for this regime to handle an international investigative audience whose culture is that of transparency and accountability.

The butterfly effect is here. Herein lies the effect of a degenerative culture of monopolising and manipulating information that existed even in feudal times – when the sultans of Malacca monopolised knowledge and asked the subjects or the ‘hamba sahaya’ to kow tow to them in the name of the ‘divine right of kings’ or the ideology of ‘daulat’ in which those ruled must be ruled by force and coercion and must never question the feudal rulers’ wishes, commands, and intention.

The international media is demanding all-out transparency and the current regime is learning to abide by the demands.

This is a moment of the deconstruction of the space of knowledge and power and the realisation by the public that the ruling regime cannot subscribe to its own Law of Manu in a post-modern weltanschauung or worldview that demands high-speed access to timely information on a case so crucial to the future of air travel safety specifically and to international standards of the cult of knowing and to the global citizens’ right to information, in general.

This is Malaysia’s swan song – a poetic justice moment of a karma.

Years of putting many in jail without trial, destroying the power of the independent judiciary, silencing the academics, punishing university students for speaking up, waging war on dissenting views, obsession with the big-time economic ideology of monopoly capitalism via a hideous form of crypto-chronic-crony-cultural-capitalism of half-baked Friedmanistic-run-wild form of neo-liberalism deployed liberally to support race-based political ideology – this is where our moment of chaos and karma meets.

It takes a missing plane to craft Malaysia’s newly-found need to totally dismantle her culture of secrecy. A sartor resartus of a post-modern informational sensibility.

It is time to make peace with ourselves. As a nation, we are imploding – this time while the world is watching.

DR AZLY RAHMAN, born in Singapore and grew up in Johor Baru, holds a Columbia University (New York City) doctorate in International Education Development and Masters degrees in four areas: Education, International Affairs, Peace Studies and Communication. He has taught more than 40 courses in six different departments and has written more than 350 analyses on Malaysia. His teaching experience in Malaysia and the United States spans over a wide range of subjects, from elementary to graduate education. He has edited and authored four books; Multiethnic Malaysia: Past, Present, Future (2009), Thesis on Cyberjaya: Hegemony and Utopianism in a Southeast Asian State (2012), The Allah Controversy and Other Essays on Malaysian Hypermodernity (2013), and the latest Dark Spring: Ideological Roots of Malaysia’s GE-13 (2013). He currently resides in the United States.

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