“AVOID RACISM AND RELIGOUS BIGOTRY: WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT NEW MALAYSIA?”

By Zaliha Binti Idris

MALAYSIA is a multi-ethnic nation, with a predominately Muslim populace. Allegations of bigotry come from racial inclinations epitomized inside the social and money related strategy of the Malaysian government, as appropriately as more extensive pressures between quantities of ethnic gatherings. The possibility of Malay matchless quality is normal in the political circle by numerous Malays. Separation is broad, freely showed and acknowledged,going from suggested ethnic matchless quality to strict bigotry (Hong-Hai Lim,2007).

Image result for racism versus islamophobia in malaysia
Image Credit: Berita Harian, 4 November 2018. Retrived on 13 November 2019, from https://www.bharian.com.my/berita/kes/2018/11/494558/himpunan-bantah-icerd-berlangsung-aman.

Around 179 countries have confirmed the Global Show on the Disposal of All Types of Racial Separation (ICERD), be that as it may, Malaysia isn’t one of them (Norshahril Saat, 2018). The specialists of the day had demonstrated an availability to confirm ICERD, anyway presently can’t seem to do as such because of the convention’s contention with the Malaysian constitution and the race and strict standards in Malaysia that had set up since its autonomy in 1957.

Islam in Malaysia is spoken to by utilising the Shafi’ie model of Sunni philosophy and the act of any extraordinary type of the religion like Shia is vigorously limited by the administration. The constitution makes Malaysia a mainstream nation and guarantees opportunity of religion, while sorting out Islam as the religion of the Alliance to symbolise its criticalness to Malaysian culture. Malaysian Chinese practice Mahayana Buddhism and run of the mill Taoism. Hindu is rehearsed by methods for most of Malaysian Indians. Christianity has built up itself in certain networks, essentially in Sabah and Sarawak. It isn’t attached to a specific ethnic gathering.

Image Credit: Bernama, 12 Disember 2018. Retrieved on 13 November 2019, from https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/bahasa/2018/12/12/perhimpunan-jalanan-demonstrasi-hanya-kes-terpencil-rakyat-malaysia-kekal-bersatu/

Relations between exceptional strict gatherings are usually really tolerant, despite the fact that individuals from the diverse ethnic associations do tend to have more noteworthy homogeneous private relations, fundamentally dependent on ethnicity and religion. Different bunches have been set up to endeavor to advance strict handle among the uncommon gatherings, with strict amicability saw as a need through Malaysian government officials.

For instance, both UMNO and PAS have resolved to be additional elite, and have confirmed that deliberately they had been never again support to sit around idly on non-Malay and non-Muslim votes. Be that as it may, it is very danger in political games and it re-underscore how edgy each UMNO and PAS have end up being in its attempt to hold onto the government specialists (Pakatan Harapan), by means of playing the passionate race and religion cards. Both these gatherings – one a race-based festival and the diverse an Islamic festival – are in risk of bringing us down the elusive way. Another Malaysia has come to fruition. A Malaysian likes to proceed and it is better that UMNO and PAS offer themselves as a decision that is inestimable and believable.

The Malays people have been defrauded because of their own conviction which has made them be marked as racists even as they endeavour to advocate their privileges. Different races which undertaking the Malays and which chat on the privileges of their races are never again alluded to as racists on the establishment of human rights. Are Malays or Muslims to be destroyed from seeing the world and suffocated in the trademark of the ‘Malaysia Baru’ race? Malays acknowledge this predetermination due to their Islamic confidence. In the event that Malays didn’t typify Islam, much the same as different races, they would now not be marked racists. PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had expressed Muslims have been the “greatest foes” of the colonizers right up ’til today while referring to the records of Malaysia’s colonization.

The compassionate nature and proclaiming of all humankind brought by methods for Islam enabled the Malays to easily acknowledge the appearance of the Chinese, Indians and others with the guide of the colonizers who acquainted their motivation with make issues in the multi-strict and multi-racial network, to amplify their hold on financial interests. These had put Malays and other Bumiputera people group in country regions to rely upon farming and away from the monetary focuses of the towns. They have been not able snare up with different races post-autonomy despite stipulations in the Government Constitution to protect privileges of Malay and Bumiputera.

The recent controversial Malay Dignity Congress confirmed the upward push of the Malays comprising more than a few political leanings, NGO, lecturers and graduates. The congress had sought Malay rights that have been allegedly challenged and oppressed, besides any show of enmity in the direction of other races. Only Malays that are too dull and weak spiritually lose their identification in their own land. Instead of tearing the country apart, with fictional fears, citizens favour to see what it can offer to convey Malaysia to the high stage and get recognise from the global. It is very interesting how Malaysians get truly worked up when it comes to racial and religious issues in the country.

Even though, the Malays keep political power, they cannot without problems have an impact on financial changes in an ecosystem of political freedom and competitive economics that is unethical and undignified. The current scenario is being influenced with the aid of the party of an intense race to achieve political strength which seems via democracy that is influenced by excessive racist behaviour and very ungrateful to the deeds of the Malay-Muslims towards them. If Malay- Muslims had been surely racists, they would now not have allowed the Chinese, Indians and others citizenship’s, financial control, political rights to come to be parliamentarians, Menteri Besar or Chief Ministers has the freedom to exercise their religions. The recent controversial Malay Dignity Congress confirmed the upward push of the Malays comprising more than a few political leanings, NGO, lecturers and graduates.

The congress had sought Malay rights that have been allegedly challenged and oppressed, besides any show of enmity in the direction of other races. Only Malays that are too dull and weak spiritually lose their identification in their own land. Instead of tearing the country apart, with fictional fears, citizens favor to see what it can offer to convey Malaysia to the high stage and get recognise from the global. It is very interesting how Malaysians get truly worked up when it comes to racial and religious issues in the country.

References

Hong-Hai Lim (2007). “Ethnic Representation in the Malaysian Bureaucracy: The Development and Effects of Malay Domination”. International Journal of Public Administration.

Norshahril Saat (16 December 2018). “Commentary: Malaysia’s anti-ICERD rally a reality check for Pakatan Harapan”. Channel NewsAsia.

“Racism has poisoned Malaysian politics for far too long”. The National. 26 November 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2019.

Virginia Matheson Hooker, Norani Othman (2003). Malaysia: Islam, society and politics. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Westerlund, David (1996). Questioning the secular state: the worldwide resurgence of religion in politics

LISTENING TO THE HOLY QURAN CAN REDUCE ANXIETY DISORDER

By Sakinah Ismail

Anxiety disorder is among most common mental health condition which effect one’s life. The major classes of anxiety disorders are panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, genera anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anxiety also can be defined as a feeling of tension, nervousness, apprehension, worry and phobia over things that are unnecessary. It is important to manage anxiety disorder as it can be associated with negative effect and lower down the quality of someone’s life. According to The Global Burden of Disease study that was conducted in 2010 (GBD, 2010) there are 28.6 million of disability that contributed to anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder may be caused by stress from personal relationships, financial problem, working situations, peer pressure. Apart from that, there are also other factors such as genetics as well as medical factors that can contribute to anxiety. However, it can only be diagnosed by medical check-ups.

Recently, there are a lot of pharmaceutical methods being practised such as aromatherapy, massage therapy, relaxation techniques and music therapy to reduce anxiety. The music therapy is the oldest way of therapeutic approach being used in ancient Egypt, Greece, China, India and Rome. Studies indicate that religious music may also have a positive effect on mental health (Bradshaw, 2015). The Holy Quran recitation is a form of mystical music that can release endorphin by stimulating alpha brain waves (Almerud, 2003).

The Holy Quran is very important as guidance of Muslims as it is always associated with religiosity and spirituality. The language is basically in Arabic. The Holy Quran recitation can be classified as natural music with calmness sounds which can reduce the stimulation of the brain and comfort a person’s state of mind.  It means that, the Holy Quran recitation is useful in various places such as hospitals where it can help to give relaxion sensation to anxiety patient or any stressful working environment. With the softest and lightest music in nature being recited by expertise, it can sooth someone’s mind, and ease tense to improve brain’s health.

The soothing effects of the Quran can increase levels of dopamine when it is being played to an anxiety patient. The sporadic nature of a person’s mood can be greatly influenced by taking other external stimuli into consideration. The Holy Quran can be used as an optional method to give a relaxation sensation to anxiety patients. Therefore, it has the highest effect to healthcare intervention and not only people who suffer with anxiety can listen to the recitation of the Holy Quran, it also can be used during any tense situation. However, there is a lack of research and evidence that indicates listening to the Holy Quran is useful to treat anxiety patients.

References

Bandelow B, Michaelis S. Epidemiology of anxiety disorders in the 21st century. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2015;17:327–35.

Carroll DL, Malecki-Ketchell A, Astin F. Non-pharmacological interventions to reduce psychological distress in patients undergoing diagnostic cardiac catheterization: A rapid review. Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2017;16:92–10

Bradshaw M, Ellison CG, Fang Q, Mueller C. Listening to religious music and mental health in later life. Gerontologist. 2014;55:961–71

Almerud S, Petersson K. Music therapy–a complementary treatment for mechanically ventilated intensive care patients. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2003;19:21–30

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: CAN THE GOALS BE ACHIEVED?

By Noralea Adzhar

The Sustainable Development Goals are the efforts and actions that need to be done in order to achieve a better and more sustainable future all everyone. They emphasize on global challenges humans are facing related to poverty, climate change, the environment, and peace. (The United Nations, n.d.)

Key transformations are required in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations based on the major drivers of societal change, such as human capacity, consumption and production, decarbonisation, and the digital revolution.  (European Commission, 2018)

Firstly, sustainable development is a societal rather than an environmental challenge. Substantial advances in human capacity are needed through improvements of education and healthcare resulting in higher income and better environmental-related decisions.

Secondly, by adopting a circular economy approach and reduce demands, much more could be done with fewer resources through responsible consumptions. Besides that, clean and affordable energy could be provided through renewables and electrification. (Cann , 2015)

Moreover, in order for the society to achieve access to nutritional food and clean water while protecting the biosphere and the oceans, more efficient and sustainable food systems are required. One way to do so, is by increasing agricultural productivity and reducing meat consumption.

Furthermore, the transformation of settlement patterns into smart cities such as decent housing, smart infrastructure and high connectivity will benefit the world population and the environment

In terms of digital revolution; science, technology, and innovation are needed to support sustainable development. It highly depends on the way the world will put the Information Technology revolution to use; either by continuing present trends or inverting them by asserting societal control.

In conclusion, the society needs to cooperate and a collective effort is required in order to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations could be achieved to secure a better living for all. Without a mutual understanding among the society, the world we live in today might be at risk in the foreseeable future.

References

Cann , O. (2015, September 23). How can the development goals be achieved? . Retrieved from World Economic Forum: Sustainable Development: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/09/how-achievable-are-the-sustainable-development-goals/

European Commission. (2018, July 16). Six steps to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals . Retrieved from The European Commission’s science and knowledge service: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/science-update/six-steps-achieving-sustainable-development-goals

The United Nations. (n.d.). About the Sustainable Development Goals . Retrieved from Sustainable Development Goals : https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

A LANGUAGE THAT IS UNDERSTOOD BY ALL OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION

By Nor Nabilah Abdullatif

Most of us have experienced going into a place that nobody speaks our native language but there are languages that we can used to make other people understand us. Chinese, Spanish, and English are among the most spoken language in the world. However, what would happen if we are stranded in a place where the people couldn’t speak or understand any of the languages that we speak? How do we communicate or ask for help? The answer is nonverbal communication. According to Nordquist (2019), nonverbal communication refers to a communication process without using spoken or written words. This type of communication is also called manual language. Nonverbal communication can be considered as universal language because it is innate and people in different cultures and countries have a common understanding of these cues.

As humans, we express our emotions through facial expressions. Frith (2009) claimed, the emotion of facial expressions are not simply reflective but also consist of communicative components.The message of fear can be conveyed via the facial expression of widen eyes, eyebrows are raised and pulled together, and lips slightly stretched horizontally. This type of cues can help other people to understand our emotions and helps us to deliver our message. No matter what kind of culture or language that we speak, we will always be able to read facial expressions.

“There was speech in their dumbness, language in their very gesture”. The quoted line was taken from one of William Shakespeare’s writings. Some of us tend to move our hands and arms while we speak. This gesture reveal important insights into the speakers’s thoughts (Holler & Beattie, 2007). A simple gesture like “thumbs up” could easily be understood as a sign of good or everything is under control. These gestures are important in giving clues to the message that we try to deliver.

We have used symbols in our daily lives. These symbols help us to understand or interpret something better. Arrows are one of the symbols that are commonly used. According to George (2005), the meaning of symbols are more easily perceived and comprehended. Thus, it can be disseminated quicker. Most of the people around the world have the same interpretation of a symbol. As an example, red colour symbolizes “stop or danger.”

Knowing the functions and interpretation of nonverbal communication is important because we are communicating with people from various cultures everyday in our lives. Being a bilingual or multilingual speaker is absolutely beneficial but if none of the spoken language works, we can use nonverbal communication. Although we do not speak the same language around the world, we still share the same ground in nonverbal communication. A language that is understood by all of the world’s population.

References

Frith, C. (2009). Role of Facial Expressions in Social Interactions.

George, A. (2005). Communication through Symbols: Study and Analysis. Calicut: University of Calicut.

Holler, J., & Beattie, G. (2007). Gesture Use in Social Interaction: How Speakers’ Gestures Can Reflect Listeners’ Thinking.

Nordquist, R. (2019, July 26). What is Nonverbal Communication. Retrieved from ThoughtCo.: http://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-nonverbal-communication.

MALAYSIA AND PEACE

By Noorhabibah Bahrum

As a multiracial country, Malaysia is always emphasizing on the importance of peace, not just locally but also internationally. The peaceful message is not just regarding races in the country but also between other countries which have conflicts among each other.

For example, at the national level, the Prime Minister of Malaysia; Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad stressed that the government will ensure that no one can disturb the national harmony and peace (Bernama, 2018). At the international level, during 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he urged that Pakistan and India must find a peaceful solution regarding Jammu and Kashmir conflict (Yunus, Harun, & Yusof, 2019).

With peace, it will bring the harmony and tolerance not just to the nation but also to the world. Galtung (1996) did mention that negative situations can be described as civil wars, separatist conflicts, and conflicts of interest whereas positive conditions involve situations and atmospheres of peace and tranquility where all members of the community can live in harmony.

At the international level such as in the meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), United Nation (UN), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and more Malaysia loudly criticizes the violence made by Islamic State (IS), the government of Myanmar towards Rohingyas, Israel towards Palestinians, terrorist attacks targeting congregations in two Christchurch mosques, bombing attacks around the world such as in Jakarta, and many others.

The UNGA, on 2nd April 2019, has adopted without a vote, a resolution entitled “Combating Terrorism and Other Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief”. Malaysia, alongside Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar and Turkey sponsored the resolution while another 36 Member States co-sponsored the resolution (Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia, 2019). This shows that Malaysia seriously wants to spread the message of peace to the world.

In order to spread  peace to the world, Malaysia is not just voicing out but also taking actions through Malaysia’s role as intermediaries of peace negotiations between the government of Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as well as between government of Thailand and it’s Southern Regions.

Other than that, Malaysia also gives protection to refugees from Myanmar, Bangladesh, Syria and more. Malaysia is also participating in peace missions by sending our army to the turbulent countries such as Syria and Lebanon. The Minister of Defense, Mohamad Sabu said, the involvement of the army internationally demonstrates that Malaysia is committed to fulfilling the humanitarian aid the country needs to ensure that the aspirations for universal peace can be realized (Bernama, 2019).

Not only the government, but other private bodies and NGOs are also contributing to spread peace around the world such as Mercy Malaysia, Global Peace Foundation, and Angkatan Belia Islam (ABIM) by providing food, health treatment, teaching aids to countries in need. This is indirectly boosting Malaysia’s image at the international arena.

References

Bernama. (2018, November 29). Dr M issues warning over mockery of national harmony, peace. Kuala Lumpur: Bernama.

Bernama. (2019, October 1). Pasukan pertama MALBATT 850-7 berlepas ke Lubnan. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Galtung, J. (1996). Peace by Peaceful Means: Pace and Conflict, Development and Civilization. Journal of Peace Research, 42.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia. (2019, April 4). Adoption of Malaysia-Sponsored United Nations General Assembly Resolution Entitled “Combating Terrorism and Other Acts of Violence Based On Religion or Belief”. Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Yunus, A., Harun, H. N., & Yusof, A. T. (2019, October 22). Malaysia to continue to speak out on Jammu, Kashmir. Kuala Lumpur: New Straits Times.