Side Views

How’s your CNY? —  Tay Tian Yan

FEB 18 — The Chinese New Year was more than half gone when I returned from a trip abroad. It is good to see the Chinese New Year aura is still so strong in Malaysia. However, it has been mixed with the choking smoke of politics.

Did the audience respond “Yes” or “No” to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s question at the Han Chiang High School field?

Did Psy receive a death threat for performing in Penang? If he did, what was the intention behind the threat?

What kind of “taboo” did Taiwan-based Malaysian singer Gary Chaw violat at the state level CNY celebration?

Was Najib’s move of attending a Chinese New Year celebration organised by the United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) an ice-breaking symbol or did he just attend empty-handed?

Why did Dong Zong’s invitation provoke a burst of criticisms from the BN?

It might be a sick society in the eyes of foreigners if they saw how Malaysians filled the Chinese New Year with unnecessary disputes and invectives.

However, it is indeed the real situation. Many people were immersed in such controversies during the Chinese New Year, particularly those suffering from political mania. They have engaged in the controversies whole-heartedly and turned the harmonious atmosphere of the Chinese New Year into hostility before venting it online or in coffee shops.

To tell the truth, I sympathise with them for making their Chinese New Year so manic. Why should it be? Why couldn’t they just celebrate the festive joyfully?

Perhaps many people have forgotten the true meaning of the Chinese New Year?

The new year means a new start with hope. People should put aside past grievance, prejudice and hatred and face the brand new year more maturely after calming down.

If we still see the world with the old mentality of perversity and resentment, we can never find a way out, but will continue sighing and hurling invectives.

We should also rethink our social relations in the new year. Some people just keep being self-plaintive and viciously attacking others, thinking that the whole world owes them.

It makes me think of German novel “The Man Who Sells His Own Shadows”. The man cursed all who did not agree with him to make people afraid of him. In fact, he made such attacks as he was afraid of others.

However, these people are, after all, the minority. We thought that there are many of them just because they have made so much noise and brought a misconception.

In fact, many people still understand the significance of the Chinese New Year. A meaningful Chinese New Year should be filled with harmony from family reunion, and unity among members of the society. There should also be more understanding and mutual acceptance among the people.

Excluding a small number of malice and hostility, from a positive point of view, the Chinese New Year this year is more vibrant than ever with more goodwill from politicians and more interactions among different racial groups. It is a positive transformation for the Malaysian society as it produces more energy in the brand new year.

The attitude towards Chinese New Year that you choose can determine your happiness. —

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.


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