Monday, October 5, 2009

OPEN HOUSES


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on September 29, 2009 5:15 PM

1. I don't know whether we should copyright open houses but they are certainly a Malaysian invention.

2. I was gratified to see everyone, Malays, Chinese and Indians congregating at open houses during Hari Raya. They all seem to get along fine with each other. The Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sabahans and Sarawakians all seem to behave like true Malaysians, greeting the Malays with "Selamat Hari Raya" and being thanked by the Malays. Even little Chinese and Indian children were taught by their parents to shake hands and try to say Selamat Hari Raya.

3. It makes we wonder whether the country would not be better off if we don't have politicians. Of course I am one. But it does seem that it is the politicians who keep on stoking the fires of racism. Left to themselves the people would accept the way of life that has kept Malaysia almost conflict free all these years.

4. Malaysia has different schools for different races. They also live in racial ghettoes, speaking their own languages and promoting their own cultures. Few have friends not from their language groups. They really never get a chance to truly mix with each other. We are truly different from Thailand or Indonesia or the Philippines or indeed any other country in the world.

5. But the religious or racial festivals are celebrated together. We had four days to be together for the Raya. And the open houses would continue for at least one month, giving us a chance to forget racial politics and be just Malaysians. Even leaders of the opposition parties went to the Prime Minister's residence.

6. Maybe we should have continuous festivals throughout the year. Then we would come together the whole year long to celebrate and get to know each other. Maybe then we would be able to create a bangsa Malaysia.

7. Selamat hari Raya, Kong Hee Fatt Choy, Happy Deepavali and Merry Christmas to everyone.