Evolving From Gertak to Gelak
May 31, 10 2:12pm'
The Melayu Bangkit programme organised by the People's Awakening Movement (Gertak) which was postponed for security reasons will be held on June 14. ...Gertak chairman Razali Idris said the agenda remained the same, to discuss issues affecting the Malays like the New Economic Policy (NEP), Vision 2020 and unity efforts. ...' - (Malaysia-Today, 30 May 201).
'Doesn't anybody remember laughter ?' ("Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin).
The idea to use the name Gertak (Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat) is novel, for organisations to scare each other off. The idea of Perkasa was novel as a strategy of weakening the mind of the Malays. Hence I once wrote about the evolution of Perkasa to Pekasam.
Growing up in Johor, I often hear the word gertak to signify, connote, and denote "mild childish verbal threats" used by kampong kids when they are about to embark upon a low-intensity kampung-styled gang war. Gertak is a funny word, I still believe, till now.
Growing up further as a student of semiotics, philosophy, politics and the constellation of fields I am interested in to help me understand/teach about power/ideology and genealogy of ideas, I see gertak as more than just a childish and child-like concept.
Gertak is a word that is even funnier as an acronym for an organisation consisting of senior citizens who should be doing the opposite of what gertak requires.
World of threats
We live in a world of threats - from politicians threatening to jump like in Mark Twain's story of the celebrated jumping frogs of Calaveras County, to individuals threatening each other with huge lawsuits, to voters threatening candidates and parties with no-money-no vote for you, to threats of another May 13, 1969, right up till component parties threatening to leave political unions that have been financially lucrative but are now morally bankrupt.
We gertak each other. We are living in a threatening world.
Already the world in general is in crisis threatened by oil spills, a depleting ozone layer, melting ice caps, everlasting war to achieve everlasting peace, computer failures, countries playing with each others' currency, nuclear proliferation, and many other ongoing instances of 'global gertaks' that are threatening our survival as a better twin of the Neanderthals.
Let us stop this game of gertak. Gertak is a threatening word. It is no longer funny as I had used it growing up in Johor. As an organisation that is perhaps well-funded it is even less and less funny, politically speaking.
Gelak is better
I would like Gertak to change its name to Gelak - Gerakan anti-Lawan Antara Kaum., or The Movement Against All Form of Conflict Between Races. I think that'll be a good organisation that a threatening one. I think not only senior and ageing politicians would be happy becoming a member of but children and dispossessed youth of all races would be interested.
Gelak was not popular used in Johor when I was growing up. I am more familiar with ketawa meaning "laugh".
In the language of Instant Messaging it's call "LOL" or "laugh out loud". Gelak means laugh - that's what Malaysians need.
We need to have many more organisations that will laugh at the stupidity of race-based politics, the 13 May 1969 incident, or failing judiciary, our haywire parliamentary sessions, our addiction to materialism, our stupefication of academia, our passion for gambling, and a host of others we need to first laugh off at and next seriously make radical transformations to.
Gelak will be a good way to spend money to promote inter-racial understanding and to teach the next generation what is a whole new world beyond that of merely Umno, MCA, MIC, or any other forms of race-based, race-ailing parties that continue to spread the disease of racism.
Malays need not be awakened, They are already up since the dawn of the concept of 'Malay'. What has put them to sleep is the ideology of feudalism and neo-feudalism that continue to threaten the mind, body, and soul of the Malays.
From their mind being put to sleep by myths, legends, superstitious beliefs, and truncated history that glorify immoral rulers, villains and robber barons to the feeding the mind of the Malays with an educational system that celebrates obedience and pansies critical thinkers, to hunting down students of local universities who wish to exercise their rights to be politically active - all these are Prozacs and Valiums to the Malays.
Laughter therefore is the best medicine for Malaysians. Gelak, and not Gertak should be a better way to help all Malaysians fight the spread of racism.
I hope all Malays in Gertak and Perkasa will leave these organisations and form Gelak (Gerakan anti-Lawan Antara Kaum).
Heaven above will be laughing.