My initial reaction was how she would react to it, not whether it was gonna be ok or not for her to be away from us for days while her teacher's concern was if I would give her permission to go.
Today, at church I was pleasantly surprised that the visiting priest had said that whilst some have opinions of their own, religion freedom is pretty much how one chooses to see ones own. If their faith is strong enough, having one's church anywhere is good enough for its not the physical sense we should be concerned about.
Which brings me back to the title of this posting.
Which Malaysian are you?
Are you the type that would encourage your friend to stay on abroad after their studies so that they can have a new life?
Are you the type that would shun any attempt at nation building just like you do at the National Service camps?
Are you the type that would tell your children that they should not befriend their classmate because of their different belief?
Or are you the type that silently agree to the ways and means introduced to bridge the gap between Malaysians of different ethnicity?
Why is it that we are so readily to accept dining on different cuisine yet so indifferent to our fellow Malaysians of different culture?
There will always be extreme elements in society, but to simply generalise these elements as 'agencies' of the government, whilst encouraging public dissent to confront the law is simply irresponsible on the part of those inciting.
Are we ready to embrace the nation and set aside our prejudicial ways?
I do not see anything wrong with MINORITY groups like Perkasa voicing their concerns for Malays nor do I see anything wrong with Chinese lobby groups for Chinese education to stay. For if Hindraf did not blatantly lie about 'ethnic cleansing', they would have got my support too.
In my observations, the people whom I engaged in different issues almost completely believe in the information they received from unofficial sources.
For example, the Lynas issue would mean for them what was being said by pressure groups, and for as long as someone was arguing for Lynas, they would have been bought. Never mind official responses from government as they too are branded as lies. Someone up there is making money from this.
So, do you fit into this category?
Have we forgotten that this is indeed a democratic country and that we all did our part in the last elections? With that, this country has to move on.
I guess before I get carried away, all I am saying is, start looking a things positively and do your part. Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for her.
Just Friday, a day after I got the call, Cikgu Habsah called again to say that my second girl aged 10 will also be selected for the camp. She thanked me for saying yes, I guess this because others have said no. Naturally as parents, my wife voiced her concern for safety. I believe that both the education ministry and teachers know their responsibilities.
I know my children will learn something from this, and get a sense of pride when told that their effort is for building a better Malaysia for themselves not us.
Why not us? Some of us have already given up hope as Malaysians, choosing to badmouth a young country like ours, whilst some are more focussed on ensuring that Malaysia remains behind in the region.
But yet, there are still some of us who are committed to this Malaysia we all come to love and call our home.