Title: Can We Save Malaysia, Please?
Author: Kee Thuan Chye
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Pte. Ltd
This book discussed the concerns surrounding the issues arisen following the 13th General Election (GE13) event in May 2013. Writer Kee Thuan Chye calls to attention to the need for saving our most beloved country and he laboriously done so in this book with nine sections of articles, carefully selected to high-lights several aspect of concerns surrounding the government’s shortcomings post-GE13; issues such as the rising racial politics just an itch away from another racial riot, the controversy over the use of the word ‘Allah’ by Christians in Sabah and Sarawak, the media constantly being controlled by government, the distress on our financial leakages, and even the suspicion on our very own judiciary system that begs the ultimate question – can we save Malaysia before it’s too late?
Throughout the volume; Mr. Chye provided the reader with eye opening insights on what has being going on with the politics in Malaysia and how he feared that we might ended up being divided, misgoverned and perhaps even in dire financial straits if serious reforms are not made. Each of the articles Mr. Chye had presented in the book was originally published in his weekly column in MSN Malaysia (‘Shame the Devil’), Yahoo! Malaysia (‘Bull Bashing’) and his bimonthly column in Penang Monthly (‘Talk Talk Only’) with extra notes on the side for easier understanding and reference.
Honestly, the book had a great impact on me, particularly the chapter God Almighty! that consists of a conversation between him and his Malay friend, Saidin regarding all these fatwas coming out as of late. Shisha was declared haram to Muslim because it is harmful to health, and smoking cigarettes was once haram in certain states for 2 years before the Government deemed it to be unenforceable by law. On more recent note, a dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof was arrested for posting a video of her and her dogs on the ground that she had insulted Islam. It was then made clear that she made the video to show that dogs are not haram, and that we should also celebrate Hari Raya with animals as well. On the subject, Osman (their mutual friend) said to Saidin and I quote;
“My beautiful religion is being mutated; it’s becoming something appalling to other people. So much so, I don’t know if I want to be called a Muslim. Can I stop being called a Muslim and just pray to Allah, study the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet, and embrace the oneness of humanity?”
Kee also voiced out his doubts on Judicial Decision centering on major cases like Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial, Anwar Ibrahim and his infamous Sodomy II and Karpal Singh Sedition case and how the government continues to control the media which are co-opted to spread its propaganda.
In light of the recent event, Mr. Chye made a last effort to bring up the mismanaged situations of the missing flight MH370 that inevitably caused the observers to question Malaysia’s competence in handling the crisis. Read as the plot slowly thickens; as speculation after speculation were made that leads to more questions than answers. Who can believe Malaysia now?
Like a big sum up after a long complicated storyline, writer Kee Thuan Chye ended his book by taking us back to his home, where he felt a strong sense of belonging. As he reminisced about the good old days; he lets us in on his favorite food, his go-to persons, even down to his deep affection for Malay music and its culture. He tells us about the age of innocence, and how everything changed soon after May 13 happened. He had seen Malaysia at its best and all he wanted for now is a chance to get it back to the way we all used to know.