Civicness, Musings

Peace4Msia: The Experience

After the recent hoo-ha of the cow head protest and the sheer helplessness I felt, it was a relief to hear that I was not alone. There’s something about civil society in Malaysia that gives me hope that my country is not as bigoted or narrow-minded as the politicians make her out to be.

It’s initiatives like Peace4Msia, Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia, Rescue the Pulau Ketam Dogs, and so many others that make me feel proud to be a Malaysian. It’s people like Haris Ibrahim (who I’ve never met), TVSmith, Regina (founder of the Pixel Project), the IRC gang and the Comic Fiesta Committee, Marina Mahathir, my godfather, Anthony Pinto, and countless others who make me proud to be alive in this country.

Fasting yesterday was an eye-opener for me. Like I’ve said before, I’ve never done a full fast, so I was rather surprised by the results. I didn’t really feel the hunger pangs (by this I mean the sharp, stabbing pains I get when I skip breakfast) at any time yesterday. I didn’t really feel thirsty either which was a blessing when my colleagues made coffee (I did not advertise to them that I was fasting till it was nearing lunch time. See: My Twitter :P).

Instead, most of the time I went about my business as I did usually (except lunch; I stayed in the office playing Scribblenauts till Jerry asked for my Sachiko to try the game for himself). This included acting a bit over the top (my colleagues will tell you this is nothing unusual) and shooting at people with Marauderz‘s nerf gun.

It was only later in the day that I started feeling sluggish. By later I meant around 6pm onwards, when I was eagerly counting down to the end of the fast with NikiCheong on Twitter. I couldn’t wait till 7.14pm came around, and at 7pm, [Grayfox] and me went downstairs to search for food. When we went back to the office, I was happy to realise it was already 7.15pm and bit into my chicken sausage bun (sorry couldn’t go vegetarian).

I didn’t have heavenly bells and what not ringing when I bit into the bun. Instead, I simply recognised the food for what it was. Sustenance. And then I went home to have dinner with my family.

That night, I slept early, slightly worried that I didn’t manage to do a kind deed as Peace4Msia suggested. While chatting with a few friends, something the good Reverend Sivin Kit said suddenly clicked in me, which led to this entry. Before I slept, I said a prayer for my country, thanking the Father for the blessings he’s showered, and that today went off so peacefully.

[Erna] said that being kind wasn’t always synonymous with being nice, and I agree with her. Sometimes you have to be cruel, to be kind, they say. Fasting, in a way, is an embodiment of that. You starve your body to clear the mind.

It’s like living in Malaysia, really. Only when you step out of the ugliness and the hate and the prejudice can you accept Malaysia in all her imperfection. We’ll always have arguments, we’ll always have disagreements, but if we can’t agree to disagree, doesn’t it benefits only our detractors?

When one family member backstabs another and considers themselves holier than the others, then we have a recipe for disaster.*

*This isn’t just for Malaysia, but also mine.

Happy Hari Malaysia.