The truth shall set us free

– May Chee
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 13, 2012

NOV 13 – This is 2012. We live in Malaysia, purportedly progressive, modern and the best democracy in the world. We want to trail the Guinness World Records in everything we do, even weddings. Yet, we are deemed unable to think for ourselves and when some of us can, we are threatened with legal action from the powers-that-be. We have been a people for almost half a century; we are not primitive nomads threatened with destruction in a pagan environment. How can anyone, living in today’s reality, think that by wiping out dissent or an alternative way of thinking can protect one’s faith or interests?

How can those of us who write, whether we are supporters or detractors of causes or personalities, commenting on current affairs or for that matter, anything at all, be threatened with such absurdity? How can we continue to flourish as the best democracy in the world if we have to live in a climate of fear? How do we progress as a people if we do not have freedom of thought and speech, among others?

Are the powers-that-be in touch with reality or not? I thought someone said that he would listen to his people. If he did, he would know that the responsibility of thinking and deciding for oneself cannot be entrusted to another, what’s more in progressive, modern and democratic Malaysia. As a liberated people, we cannot be fearful of taking initiatives, especially those that are for the larger good. As liberated people, we cannot expect everything from civic or religious authorities. That could cause us to sink as a people or suffer political tyranny for is it not a dictator who would uses propaganda to convince his people that he is indispensable?

If we criticize what must be criticized, does that make us any less patriotic? On the contrary, it is because we care and worry about our beloved motherland and the direction she’s heading that we say what must be said. It is because we care for our fellow Malaysians, that we cannot take it sitting down when they are not accorded their dignity, one made in the image of their Maker, that we say what must be said.

How can anyone rob another of his dignity, his every being? A human person is more sacred than anything, no?

Surely all these witch-hunts lately on Ahmad Abdul jalil, Nurul Izzah and Steve Oh on what they have said or written do not reflect well on those who would like to think the height of our skyscrapers go in tandem with the size of their IQs or perhaps, it’s their egos instead? The three of them spoke their hearts’ conviction and with a clear conscience. Is that even a crime? In today’s age and time, in the best democracy in the world, can we force any one to subscribe to another’s belief system? We are not in a primitive era – “to govern” is not synonymous with “to judge”!

All three articulated what must be said. We should applaud them, not give them a slap on their wrists or handcuff them! Even if we disagree with what they said, then let’s debate on those issues raised. Is there such a thing as some things cannot be uttered or discussed? Discourse is not the way to go in the best democracy in the world?

To alienate the likes of Ahmad Abdul Jalil, Nurul Izzah and Steve Oh is to alienate the truth. That, in my opinion, is most unwise. For we, Malaysians, that is the majority of Malaysians, are people of the light. We embrace the truth. We intend to do all we can to bring our beloved country out of the darkness. We do love our motherland and in doing so, we must say what has to be said. To do what has to be done.

My fellow Malaysians, I urge you to be brave for the sake of our beloved motherland. To know her is to love her and we cannot do that unless we embrace the truth that’s her. We are supposed to be a free people. If we are not yet one, then I say we can be a free people, for the Truth shall set us free.

God bless, especially Ahmad Abdul Jalil, Nurul Izzah, Steve Oh and all those who are persecuted for the sake of the Truth. Thank you.

  1. #1 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 - 12:40 am

    ///How do we progress as a people if we do not have freedom of thought and speech, among others?/// – May Chee. Truth is that which is in accord with fact or reality. What May Chee’s quote amounts to is that everyone should be accorded the right and freedom to express his truth as he sees it (whether or not it is actually true). The rest should tolerate even if they think it false. After all what’s the problem in such toleration? The author however should not invoke “truth set us free”. [It has a religious flavour- (John 8:32)]. This is because of the problem that different people have different interpretation of what is true, fact or reality. The religious scholars and clerics too have their interpretation of truth that they think “set them free” which is contradicted and manacled by what (to them) is falsehood said by Nurul Izzah. They want to suppress this “falsehood”. Steve Oh is in trouble because he argues and defends her right to express her point of view. For those who think they have the monopoly to the truth, the action or harassment against both is justifiable because if the former think they hold the truth derived from divine origins, how could there be other truths to the contrary that freedom of thought and speech encourages? Hence the justification to silence these contrary voices, the beginning of oppression. To progress there should not be a fanatical claim to monopoly of truth and a desire to enforce it – there should be an acceptance that there are possibilities of other truths by others, that can be learnt, but even if this were not the case, the falsehoods if allowed to be expressed by others, cannot harm one’s truth but only serve to reinforce it more vividly by the collision of debate.

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 - 1:35 am

    Not just one side but the opposite side of a point of view too have claims to their version of truth. Often when truth is embraced as so self evident or divine and becomes dogma requiring protection and enforcement against contradictory views, then “truth” actually locks and imprisons the ones who hold claims to it than set them free.

  3. #3 by Sallang on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 - 9:04 am

    “for the sake of our beloved motherland. To know her is to love her”
    The song, ‘Oh Malaysia’ seems too sad to be sung until we have a new government.

    My Chinese friends explained to me that, the Chinese saying of country, ‘Kuo Jia’, means Country Home.
    Our country is our home.
    Our parents shower us with love and freedom, our government cares for us in every way.
    We will in return love our parents and country.

  4. #4 by Sallang on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 - 9:18 am

    Oh! the video of ‘Oh Malaysia’ is not available on You Tube. However, I discover a better version, everyone must listen to, its ‘Oh Malaysia’ Karaoke video on You Tube.

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 - 10:23 am
    Anneke Gronloh: Oh Malaysia

  6. #6 by Noble House on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 - 4:17 pm

    Is it true that “the truth shall set us free”? Absolutely! But it is a “crock” when it is used by hypocrites to force “facts” or “possibilities” or their own opinions as “truth”. “Facts” are not “truth”. “Facts” tell us what has been, not the “truth” of what will be. “Truth” is what is or what will definitely come to pass. We do not know what tomorrow may hold. While this may seem to be logical nitpicking, it is not. This is not simply an “emotional game” for avoiding the future. This logic is “truth” in itself. And while logic cannot give hope—for hope is a spiritual matter.

    If we wish to exist in the world of reality, it would be wise to understand “objectivity” as a tool that is used to conceal biases and generate a false sense of trust to manipulate the masses.

    There are two ways to be fooled: One is to believe what isn’t so; the other is to refuse to believe what is so. –Soren Kierkegaard.

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