Monday, May 28, 2007

Our Prime Minister Dato' Seri Abdullah Badawi

Malaysia's prime minister has just recently delivered a speech at Meiji University, Japan, on the schism between the western Christian civilizations and the Muslim world. Diplomatic in his speech, gracious in his words, humble in his deliverance. Truly resemble a national leader.

In the speech, he suggested many constructive proposal to bridge the gap between both civilazations. Some of his brilliant points worth mentioning:

20. Malaysia is thus fully supportive of various efforts at the international level which are designed to generate greater understanding between cultures and civilizations, especially between those of the west and the world of Islam. This dialogue is essential to expose and establish the fact that Islam is a religion which espouses universalism, not exclusivism. Islam is a religion which does not make any distinction between any race or culture.

21. This dialogue between cultures and civilizations should take place at all levels of the international society such as between scholars, writers, activists, academics, journalists. Non-governmental organizations can play an important catalytic role in this endeavour. Over and above that, the dialogue must have the support of governments.

22. The support of governments is crucial for such inter-cultural or inter-civilization dialogues to succeed because, as I have stated earlier, the root cause of the conflict between cultures and civilizations is not religious but political and strategic in nature. There is no possibility of creating a true alliance of civilizations except with the involvement of governments, ideally through multilateral processes of inter-governmental deliberations such as at the United Nations.

23. The discord which has divided cultures and civilizations may have gone beyond disputes between the leadership of governments to the hearts and minds of their populations. It may not be possible to achieve consensus except by way of persuasion. But the role of government remains critical because governments have the power of enforcement, including preventing the recurrence of future conflicts. Above all, the dialogue cannot be effective unless we are able to establish our common goals and values. And we need the governments of the world to provide guarantees that these goals and values become enduring.

24. Malaysia believes therefore that a dialogue which can effectively bridge the gap between cultures and civilizations is a discourse based in the multilateral process. Malaysia is fully committed to promoting the preeminence of multilateralism in the management of world affairs.
(emphasis are mine)

That's part of his speech which seem to shed lights and pave the way forward for world peace. But wait a minute... Isn't more than a week earlier prior to the PM's beautiful speech at Meiji University, he CANCELLED the 6th Building Bridges dialogue which aims to serve the exact proposal in his Meiji U's speech?

So much for our PM's beautiful speech for world peace. What he lack of is just a crown. Muacks, PM.

But later on, our PM clarified that it is not really a cancellation. He 'postponed' the dialogue so that he can attend. Postpone till when, PM?

After months of preparations by many international scholars from both civilizations, the PM 'postponed' the event just because he wasn't available to attend. He halted the whole world to and for his convenience. Has he ever thought of video-cam? Dont you know, PM, those hand-held recorder that ppl use to record events? Nowadays we can record events in colors, ask Sony. Probably our PM is thinking too much of his crown and forgot about technologies; worst about the nation's image of a harmonious multi-religious society. It's alright. We understand, PM. Muacks.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Joshua Woo @ Sze Zeng,

Thank you very much for your following my humble comment up on the Kairos Reserch Centre's website.

Yes, before posting the comment,
I fully knew that your PM had announced that he had just
'postponed' the seminar and not 'banned' nor 'cancelled' it simply because he could not attend it due to his tight schedule.

Yes, I understood it well. For outsider's eyes, however, it sounded just an excuse again. If
the reason explained to us was true, he should have offered the alternative date instead at the same time. Then I would not have
written such a comment mentioned above.

Since the 1960s, these kinds of
dialogues have been quite rare in Malaysia to my best knowledge. Please correct me if I am wrong.

But please do not misunderstand me.
I am not accusing your dear PM of this case. I have been just waiting to see the real, in-depth dialogues between religious communities in Malaysia.

Yours sincerely,
Ikuko Tsunashima

Sze Zeng said...

Dear Mr. Tsunashima,

We share the same disappointment over the leadership of Malaysia. My post was sarcastic, if u noticed. I've edited it to make it more obvious.

I know you are not accusing our PM, but i'm accusing him of his inconsistency (worst: hypocrisy?).


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Joshua Woo@Sze Zeng,

Thank you for your reply.

No, your PM tried to be as sincere
and honest as possible, but because of the national priorities(the Malay identity and Islam as the religion of the Federation), he had to behave like that, I suppose.

The Federal Constitution of Malaysia contains ambiguities and contradictions by nature from the beginning, if you look into the history of it. Therefore, interpretations based on the contexts are very significant.

By the way, please call me 'Ikuko'
and delete 'Mr.' because I am a female. Dr. Ng Kam Weng knows me.

Ikuko Tsunashima

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Ikuko,

Sorry for the 'Mr' title. I didn't know. Pls accept my apology.

If he is really that sincere to promote dialogue, he wouldnt had 'postponed' the 6th building bridges. His reason for so doing is lame. He wasted people's time, strength, and money just because he wants to attend the dialogue!

Besides 'sincerity' and 'honesty', a leader needs 'maturity' and a less self-centred.

Postponing the dialogue which took months and ten of thousands of dollars to prepare doesnt show any such qualities, no?

And the cancellation was 2 weeks before the dialogue! This is worse than not having the dialogue in the first place, dont you think so?