Friday, February 27, 2015
Do we have the moral authority to lead?
One of the greatest worries of parents, teachers, religious institutions and the government today is the declining standards of morality in society. This is not just in Malaysia but a disturbing trend throughout the world.
Recently I was appalled at the opinion expressed by a young woman in her twenties on a number of issues related to morality. According to her she does not see anything wrong ‘having an affair’ with an already married man or ‘snatching’ him away from his wife and children. She does not see adultery and divorce as being morally wrong. A quick survey would indicate that this young woman is not an exception as there are many other young people who share her views and the number is increasing.
Today staying together before marriage is no more frowned upon as it used to be in the good old days. A friend narrated the shock of his life when his daughter introduced her boyfriend at the breakfast table one morning. She had brought him home late the night before without his knowledge and permission.
Pornography which was a real taboo before is being openly circulated without much fear and guilt. Raids on vice dens have become so common that they cause little shame for those caught in such places. It is deeply distressing that what we were taught as terribly wrong when we were young has become totally acceptable as norm by the younger generation of today. Adulterers are even accepted as leaders today. How can such tainted leaders be expected to be role models for the young?
Morality may be subjective but divorce and adultery are vices that are despised by all major religions of the world and it is disturbing that despite claiming to have become more religious we seem to be becoming an increasingly more promiscuous society where sex has become a casual affair.
Not only divorce and adultery but sex outside marriage, group sex, abortion, sodomy and even incest that was strongly forbidden and considered as grievous sins before are being accepted as norms in our society today. Sex parties have become a way of celebrating certain occasions especially New Year for our youngsters. Even religious festivals like Christmas are marred by such sex parties.
Divorce has become a necessity these days to safeguard the peace and tranquility of an individuals who gets into dispute after marriage. The high rate of divorce that is so easily obtained these days for the most trivial excuses is totally destroying the sanctity of marriage and the family unit.
The family unit which used to be the main source of happiness is slowly but surely becoming disintegrated. The moderating influence of the elders in the family is slowly fading resulting in the high rate of immoral activity, crime and neglected elderly parents in our society today.
What has gone wrong? As parents, teachers and religious leaders why have we failed to instill basic moral values in our children? We take them regularly to places of worship, we pray together in the house, we read the holy books and preach morality to others but why are our children going astray? Are we being the right role models for them?
We tend to blame the internet for the declining morality in society today. It may be true but what are we doing to arrest this decline in morality? What are we doing to reduce the undesired effects of the internet on our youths? Internet is here to stay as it has far more beneficial than bad effects and it cannot be eliminated for whatever reasons. We have reached a stage where we cannot imagine living in a world without internet.
We have no choice but adapt to live with the internet. What is more important is to educate our young to attain a discerning mind whereby they can differentiate good from bad. It may be an uphill battle but what choice we have as parents, teachers and religious leaders other than to try our best.
The influence of religion in the lives of the young may also be fading as these institutions of morality have become more obsessed with form rather than substance. As followers we have become more interested in observing elaborate rituals to attain rewards in the life-after rather than following the true teachings of our respective faiths to interact with one another in a more humane manner. Instead we seem to have subtly involved in a war to prove our religion is more superior to others and in the process triggering inter-religious ill-feelings and conversions.
In the fight against the moral decay it is important to ensure that as elders we are ourselves clean and morally upright. If we want to stand a chance to succeed in combating the evil influences of modern technology we have to lead by example not by preaching, as experience shows nobody really follows what we preach. Leading by example has the most profound influence on our children. It is the most important measure but it is also the most difficult to follow. Unless we attain the moral authority to lead there is no way we can arrest the rapidly decaying morality in our society.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
As our Malaysian Chinese welcome their Lunar New Year of the Goat, the nation is undergoing some great challenges in the racial and religious relations among the people of diverse ethnicity. The country that used to take great pride as an international showcase for inter-ethnic peace and harmony is today under serious threats of racial disharmony that threatens the peace and goodwill that Malaysians enjoyed for over five decades.
Over the last 2 years after the 13GE we have witnessed all sorts of racial provocations but fortunately Malaysians at large are matured and wise enough not to succumb to such incitement by irresponsible parties out to cause trouble.
The ordinary man on the street does not seem to be perturbed by these provocations but more preoccupied with their lives, making ends meet to feed his family, educate his children, provide medical care and proper shelter over their heads. The high cost of living has become the main problem not politicking for personal gains.
Everywhere we go we see blatant corruption, misgovernment and abuse of power. Not only the economy is shattered, the education system is in ruins, the law enforcers and judiciary subdued. Freedom of expression and criticism are curtailed and those with capabilities are denied opportunities to contribute to national development. To cover up all these inadequacies, certain parties are allowed to freely resort to racial and religious provocations. Those opposed to the ruling party are threatened with police action and lawsuits like the misuse of the Sedition Act.
Our Chinese friends are celebrating the New Year with great deal of anxiety and fear of the uncertainties that lie ahead. The economy is in chaos, their opportunities are being curtailed and all sorts of unfounded accusations are being thrown at them by those in power, blaming them for all the ills in the country that are more due to an incompetence and mismanagement.
We see a gloomy picture ahead but what happens next depends on us. We alone can determine our destiny. We must be the agents of change that we want to see around us. The most important thing to do now is to strengthen the goodwill among us, the people all races and religion, so that we will not succumb to those who are out to divide and break us. We must get rid of the racial tendencies and suspicion among us. History has shown that unless we stand up and fight the evil we will never win. Running away from it will not give us the victory Malaysia badly needs.
May this year of the Goat enhance the goodwill and peace among all Malaysians so that together we can work hand in hand fight the forces of evil and thereby help to build a better Malaysia for our children.
Gong Xi Fa Cai
Friday, February 13, 2015
A tribute to TG Nik Aziz
Datuk Haji Hik Aziz Nik Mat January10,1931 - February 12,2015
Tuan Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat passed away last night (12 February 2015)
He may have been a spiritual leader but he was a strange politician who lived a non-politician life, being simple, humble and virtuous. He was one of the rare leaders who lived what he believed and preached and did not succumb to the temptations of money and power.
With his demise Malaysians, Muslims and non-Muslims, have lost an illustrious leader who led an exemplary role for all. His life should be lesson for every one of us, most so our politicians.
He may have gone but will continue to live in our conscience and hearts. All of us, in particular have something to learn from this untainted frail old man who is revered by millions as their Tok Guru, who stood steadfast to his ideals till the very end.
Our deepest condolence to his family.
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