POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 481, WITH NOTES
shadowy play on race drum
shouts on nightmare scream
fearful forced hegemony
shrill voice of subdued
cultural art skill
conscripted script with brush stroke
hairs of foxy tail
Calligraphy is a decorative visual art in lettering or scripts; it dresses forms into stylistic graphic art with symbolic meaning for the eyes of beholder. It has value only for those who appreciated it. Chinese script calligraphy will be meaningless to the Arabs; the same applies for other culture. Coercion in learning will turn the graceful art and culture into a disgraceful assimilation. However, it is not uncommon for smart ass to think it’s silly choice is the best for all. Thus we encounter many cult leaders, who are charismatic and authoritarian, but manipulative and motivated by personal agenda, in the cloak and hood of religion and unity of sorts. The cult of personality knows the way, and must be in control of the reins of power.
The Jawi script is Arabic, and thereby, the learning is infused with Islamic values; indoctrination in subtle ways. Behaviour modification or” brain washing” is based on compulsion with a religious twist. The cult, a four-lettered word, is rape without consent; a rage or hate against the other culture or religion. It is hard to believe that leaders will resort to divisive racial policy in a multiracial and multicultural nation, especially when the coffer has yet to recover from theft. Either it is the intention to distract the public or it is playing the usual race cards. Unlike Singapore, the dominant group is protected against racial incite. The protagonists play “wayang kulit” (traditional shadow show) behind the screen, and expect the other to watch the drama with quite acceptance. With the dominance in numbers and the might in military, administrative and finance, the beats of racial drum echo across the land. Despite that, they still feel insecure, and need crutches to walk.They are unconcerned about the chaos and destruction they caused; nightmare screams shouted aloud for half a century. Yet the instigators are not common citizens, but prime leaders in government; this is a retrogressive policy towards real national unity.
Like it or not, it’s compulsory for all students (Chinese, Indians and others), above primary four to learn Jawi calligraphy next year. It is considered a national treasure, but really a pressure forced upon others, There is thus fear of gradual assimilation due hegemony. All dissenting voices would be subdued. All are forced to obey by law, liked conscription into the military. It is done by the mere stroke of the brush (foxy hair) or pen of calligraphy. All pre-election promises are ignored; the minorities are tricked, and feel betrayed by their own parties and government.
It should be noted that there are many fair thinking Malay Muslims who are against such compulsion and injustices. They speak their hearts aloud, against the hypocrisy and corruptions around. That is a ray of hope left for the future.