Monday, August 2, 2010

The Raging Fire

A page from JJ's Bahasa Malaysia text book. For the benefit of those who're not well-versed with the language, let me try to translate it into English:

"Malay Warriors

Dato' Sagor and Dato' Maharaja Lela were brave Malay warriors. They dared to fight against the English colonists in Perak. Whereas Seputum was the one who murdered J.W.W. Birch, the first English Resident in Perak. He was killed because he did not respect the Malay customs at the time.

Their good deeds and sacrifice are now immortalised in the Kompleks Sejarah of Pasir Salak."

If that was indeed how it had happened many, many years ago, I have nothing much to say about the history part of it. But JJ raised an interesting question to mommy.

She said, "But isn't it wrong to kill the man, mom? Why is a killer praised for what he did?"

The mind of a child who's free from hatred and the will to kill another human being. She is confused about why a man who took the life of another was praised and remembered for his "good deeds".

Mom and dad had to tell JJ that killing another man is wrong no matter what. The world is made of so many people from so many backgrounds, sizes, colours and creed. We can't please everybody, and we can't expect everybody to agree with our ideology. There will be times when they may even belittle us because of what we believe in. Likewise, we may also not share their beliefs.

It is good if we can respect each other and live in harmony. But there will be some who are disrespectful. That still does not give us the right to kill them.

Anger is a dangerous thing—it is like a raging fire. If we failed to control it, it will eventually burn all of us!


Sarah Elizabeth said...

"He was killed because he did not respect the Malay customs at the time."

I assume that is the children's book version of saying Whites were trying to Colonize Malaysia?

Isn't innocence amazing? I can still remember how I used to think before I found out about how the world really works. :)

Cornelius said...


Yes, innocence is amazing. And I can accept that a child may be affected by all the positive as well as negative influences of her living environment. Just that it's a bit harder to swallow the fact that she's getting negative influences from her education as well.