By Professor Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi
It has been a few years now that I had toyed with the idea of how to rebuild our nation so that all the citizens of this country can be treated with basic dignity and accept each other as a real family.
For me, we do not need 5G connectivity, 4th Industrial Revolution robotics, super computers or even the tallest building in the world. We just need to treat each other with dignity, compassion, respect and acceptance. Itu saja. Susah sangatkah?
Writing for 20 years trying to change my race and religious adherents, I found it to be a ‘wasteful’ endeavor.
I once thought that my race could accept criticism of its own weakness, a new inclusive narrative of Malaysia’s history and a the idea of a compassionate, progressive and global Islam but I was completely wrong.
Not only middle class Malays rejected my ideas, criticism and suggestions, the so-called academic and ‘educated’ Malays sided with conservatism and extremism.
The Kongress Maruah Melayu shocked me to the core even though I was used to Malay professors bad mouthing others in private conversations.
When I saw a group of Muslim university students threatening Dong Jia Zong with May 13 on the Jawi issue, I decided then that this country is lost and cannot be saved within the cultural, political and education constructs that is present.
I have also noticed how good-intentioned Malays like Siti Kassim and Mariam Mokhtar voicing progressive thoughts but their voices were drowned by criticisms of them not wearing tudung and that these ‘liberal’ women will destroy Islam.
The voices of these ladies were then used to fuel more fears of not only the narratives that the kafir citizenry of non-Muslims, Christians, DAP war mongers and Chinese Communists were threatening to turn Malaysia into Cina Singapore but moderates like Anwar, Tajuddin Rasdi. Siti and Mariam will make all Muslims astray with their liberal thoughts and working in cahoots with the kafir citizenry.
Malaysia will never change while the bulk of the educated and middle class Malays support the conservatism of Umno and the extremism of PAS. We, the liberal citizens who subscribe to the Rukunegara have lost the battle.
What shall we do now, as a defeated citizenry? How do we turn defeat into victory? Well, rightly or wrongly, I have a plan.
First of all, we need to decide to lose GE15 and work towards GE16. GE15 is a lost cause. PAS and Umno will sweep the nation with their combined Malay-Islamic rhetorics.
Sabah and Sarawak parties along with the likes of Gerakan, MCA and MIC will support this conservative-extremist parties under the pretext of providing non-Malay voices but in actual fact it is just a ruse to get personal positions and financial rewards.
These non-Malay parties are worse than PAS and Umno because at least the two Malay parties are frank with their manifesto.
So, GE15 is gone-lah. Forget it. We have six years to build a parallel Malaysia and launch the first political assault in GE16 and a full blown political warfare in GE17.
But we must first build our ‘army’ of parallel citizenry armed with the right values, thoughts and attitudes towards each other. How will we do this?
Firstly, we need to establish a ‘parallel community-nation management’ with a vision of upholding the ideals of the Rukun Negara.
At the core, we must establish a citizenry that has the strongest ‘family tie’ unlike the lame statement of the new PM.
We must have a group of online nation-building cabinet whose leaders are people of vision and spiritual strength across all faiths. Our cabinet portfolios are School Education, University Education, Economics and Finance, Religion and Faith, Housing and Welfare and Property Development. Each portfolios will be held by five citizens of mixed race, religion and age.
The head of our parallel nation is called our Principal and he or she is aided by a Deputy Principal and three other Vice Principals with special functions to be determined by the Principal. Ten Elder Citizens of mixed race and faiths will appoint the Principal, Deputy Principal and heads of all the cabinet portfolios. The Head of National Portfolios will appoint their own team.
The School Education Portfolio will construct Summer Camp programs and Holiday Workshops for all participating private school and vernacular school students. The main core of the curriculum is to bring our children together in camps to eat, cook, play, worship and sleep together and learn to appreciate one another for four weeks in the long holidays. On other school breaks, there would be visitations and programs in all temples, churches and gurdwaras. Since mosques are under the purview of the state and federal authorities they will not be invited to participate. Muslim ways of worship can be observed with Muslim families in our Parallel Nation in rented Halls for a week.
All boys of 16 and 17 shall be welcomed as ‘anak angkat’ to at least two families of different faiths and house stay during some weekends.
The School education Portfolio’s ultimate product will be the launching of several Schools based on an international curriculum and farming concept that will be offered to the children of our own new parallel nation.
The University Education Portfolios will prepare curriculum for courses on Alternate History, Global Spirituality, Politics of Compassion, Independent Living and Environmental Sustainability. These courses shall be offered free to all university students in Malaysia and the world.
The Portfolio will also place undergraduates in meaningful internship at, Corporation, NGOs, MP and ADUN offices who are friendly to the Parallel Malaysia platform.
The portfolio is also in charge of an Institute of Progressive Thoughts of the Malay-Muslim World and Global Compatibility where intellectuals and scholars with progressive thinking can give talks, research and write to change the present conservative and extremist mindset.
This portfolio will offer Fellowships and Research and writing grants.
The final goal of this portfolio will be the setting up of a full fledged online university that is off shore based and that will have no interference from our present MQA or Ministry of Education.
The Economics and Finance Portfolios will provide blueprints for new online business and investment programs that would generate a solid income to finance the Parallel Malaysia’s programs in other portfolios.
The portfolios will also seek endowments and funds from United Nations and other sources that believe in the cause of democracy and a liberal life style towards spiritual fulfillment.
The portfolio of Religion and Faiths will provide a calendar of events where all celebrations will be celebrated together at the houses of worship. The portfolio will also produce educational framework of teaching all about the values of the different faiths and the common ideas embedded in all of them.
The Environmental Sustainability portfolio will prepare checklists curriculum and evaluation tools to promote the 17 SDG on all the activities of the Parallel Malaysia.
The Portfolio on Politics of Compassion will groom the new batch of young MPs and ADUNs giving them exposure and training to be candidates for GE16 and GE17.
Two new political parties will be set up by the portfolio. One is called the Malaysia For All Party and the other to be named Partai Melayu Progressive. Both will compete in the general and state elections within the big tent idea of the PH.
The Housing and Welfare will work to make sure the settlement of young adults and families of members of the Parallel Malaysia even if it means staying at Member Families home.
The portfolio will also design new housing and township together with the Property Development portfolio to build new Parallel Malaysia Townships that will reengineer this country, technologically, socially and spiritually.
The property investment of the new Parallel Malaysia can also occur on foreign lands. A day will come when all of us Parallel Malaysians can stay together, eat together and pray together without feelings of racism, extremism and bigotry.
Finally. I wish to remind good Malaysians that it is better for us to spend our energy, finances and resources to build a Parallel Malaysia rather than try to fix this present one.
This present Malaysia is too sick, too toxic and cancerous as well as infectious for us to save.
Let it die and upon its filth will arise a new idea of a nation of respect and dignity for all.
(Professor Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor at a local university.)