Sunday, 11 January 2009

Open Letter to Members of the Malaysian Parliament on the 2009 Gaza issue

11th January, 2009

Open Letter to Members of the Malaysian Parliament on the 2009 Gaza issue

I am a Malaysian. I have learnt that Parliament will be a having a special session on Monday the 12th of January 2009 to discuss the Gaza issue. Allow me to say something about it.

As with countless others, I have followed the situation in Gaza for the past two weeks. It is a blot on the face of humanity that this situation has been allowed to fester for so many decades resulting in this latest insanity and with no definite end in sight. We are all to blame. We are all hypocrites - We human beings.

And I will be the first to say, “I don’t care” about whatever is happening in Gaza.


The entire Middle East problem is by now so convoluted that most people take sides not based on facts or logic, but by affiliations. It has come to the point where we do not even trust the sources of information, be they written or photographs or video. We are moved either by stark emotions or are buried under so much information, accusations and counter-accusations that we end up numb and confused. And; on top of that, we have our daily lives to live.

As with all tragedies, we try to placate our conscience by sending aid to the victims, by protesting via letters, statements, and with a little demonstration here and there with the occasional bonfire. It amounts to a little more than nothing. For all that ink and paper and anger, the situation in Gaza will not change. By following the script that we have followed so many times before we will achieve nothing. It is all a waste of time. Only those who are printing the banners, selling the snacks at the rallies, or charging for freight to transport the personnel and aid will be guaranteed a benefit. The victims in Gaza? Only if the aid reaches them. And we have our doubts/worries.

The stage has been set for the aggrandisement of leaders making bold statements and vague threats along the lines of, “If the situation does not stop, …”. We have seen such statements before. We know they mean nothing. Because in the grand scheme of things, let us be brutally honest with ourselves: Our way of life is more important than any Gazan life. We will not allow the boycott to go on for too long, or against too many things until we start living like the people in Cuba. For if what is said about America supporting Israel is true, then we should boycott and sever all ties with both countries without resumption till the Middle East problem is on the road to a proper resolution. We won’t do that.

Let me put it like this: For now, the strongest message we can send to Israel that what it is doing is so fundamentally WRONG would be to send our military there and protect the civilians of Gaza. If we say what Israel is doing is a crime against humanity and we Malaysians are humans, we should do something that will produce positive result, shouldn’t we? We have the money and we have the military. We have the ability to send aid, real AID, to help the weak. We should do so.

But I know this will not happen. We will follow the same script. Israel will do what Israel will do. Gaza will be whatever Gaza will be. And we will forget soon enough.

This is why I say, “I don’t care.” Because after we have peeled away all the layers of talk, fund-raising, posturing, resolutions and threats, we come to the realisation that we will protect number one: Ourselves. Then our families, our community, our country, and lastly, only lastly, our world. It is a sad indictment of humanity. But that’s all we are: Human.

I wish you all, “Happy debating”.

Jason Kay