21 July 2007

The articles are captured from the original writer, MsMarina (with her permission). SambalBelacan is just compiling articles to make easier to find. Any comments received will remain un-respond because it's not mine.Reach her at her very own blog at
http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com Please.
Wednesday July 18, 2007
Currents hide beneath the calm
If most of us continue to believe that life is a whole string of peaceful Sunday mornings, then we are closing our eyes to dangers that await us.
AS I write this on a quiet weekend, I have to ponder on the strangeness of our existence these days. There are Sunday mornings that are so peaceful that it makes us feel that everything is right with the world, and to complain about anything is sacrilegious.
It would be so nice to believe that our future is secure, our well-being guaranteed, our safety assured and our lives will go on as they always have.
We have been so lucky in the past 50 years to have never really known hardship in our country.
We have to read books about other countries to know what it means to have your lives turned upside down overnight, from one where you can walk freely down the street to one where it is unsafe to even look out the window.
Most of us will never know what it’s like to hear a knock on the door and fear what it means, like they have done in Chile or Argentina.
Nor what it’s like to feel constantly choked by the lack of freedom to do anything, not even to go about your business without fearing harm from anyone.
In many countries, people languish in prison without knowing why, apart from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When I ponder these things, I breathe a sigh of relief that I live here.
Yet I can’t help but feel pessimistic that all these things we take for granted will last forever.
Things change, very quickly, for the worse.
I was always taught to be fair and to empathise with those less fortunate.
Therefore, I find it hard to understand why others insist that injustice is fine for some people because it is apparently religiously correct.
I have never heard of religions created to sow injustice among people, only to bring good.
So when I hear of people being subjected to cruelty and punishment in order to make them believe in something they don’t believe in, it is hard for me to understand that it is good for that person’s faith.
I don’t join clubs that have rules that I don’t believe in and I would not dream of forcing anyone to join mine for the same reason.
Why do people not believe that love and compassion is more persuasive than hate and cruelty?
Today I read in the papers that caning of schoolchildren will be banned because it does more harm than good and infringes on children’s rights.
Why then is it all right to punish adults even though they have harmed no one and expect them to love the punisher’s community afterwards?
I don’t expect any of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay to ever harbour goodwill towards the United States after what they have been through.
Likewise, I don’t see how anyone who has undergone “rehabilitation” at our religious Guantanamo-like camps can come out feeling any love for the ones who put them there.
It is easy to dismiss as mere rumour that such camps are unsavoury places where bad things go on.
If so, why is the existence of these centres kept secret?
Why not have open days to show what happy places they are, filled with friendly people who only want others to be more knowledgeable about religion?
Otherwise, why not investigate whether they are run properly, with minimum standards of care and hygiene?
In fact, why have rehabilitation camps at all, since faith is not something that can be forced on people anyway?
Yet there are people in this country who believe this is the right way to go about things.
Worse, they think not enough is being done and more repressive measures should be put in place.
There are people who really believe, 50 years after independence, that the very foundation of this country, our Federal Constitution, is all wrong at least for the majority of our people, who are quite prepared to ignore it and even change it to a more oppressive system. They seriously think this would make this country a better place.
If most of us continue to believe that life is a whole string of peaceful Sunday mornings, then we are closing our eyes to the dangers that await us.
If we remain ignorant and oblivious, then there will be a very black Monday ahead when our belief that we are all equal under the law in this country will be severely shattered. By then, it may well be too late.
But maybe we do need to undergo some hardship to make us less complacent. The point is: do we want to subject our children to it?