Thursday, May 28, 2009

THE EXTREMISTS


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on May 27, 2009 10:35 PM

1. We are all held to ransom by extremists. We want to be rational and we all want to do what is best for ourselves and our country. We all want the best for our children and their future. But we cannot do all these because if we do we will be accused of being traitors, not supporting our own community or our own religion. We will be demonized etc.etc.

2. So willy-nilly we become the instruments of these extremists and their narrow jingoism, to our own detriment.

3. In Malaysia we are constantly being asked to confront each other on racial issues. Disputes cannot be resolved by rigidity in our stand. But we have to be rigid if we do not want to be vilified.

4. It is a miracle that this multi-racial country has remained stable and peaceful for so long. If the extremists can have their way we would all be at each others' throats. We would be demonstrating in the streets and at the airports. If we do not accede to the wishes of the extremists then we cannot even make a living, there will be no investments and no jobs for the workers.

5. Today we are grappling with the problem of education. We have three streams and woe betide anyone who suggests that we should not have them. We talk of liberal society, of free speech, but if you express some commonsensical views you would be labelled racist.

6. Then there is the controversy over the teaching of science and mathematics in English. We curse the person who had proposed this, calling him a betrayer of his mother tongue, of the national language. Then there are those who want to carry out a nationwide strike if the policy is not changed.

7. I am ready to surrender to the extremists, to pay the ransom demanded. What does it matter if the country goes up in flames, if the extremists win the day? What does it matter if the life of our children and their children is blighted? Anything for a quiet life. I want to be a member of the silent majority and just acquiesce. However the habit of a lifetime just refuse to go.