Eradicate Jingoism and Supremacism at Its Roots

The Southeast Asia Games 2017 held in Malaysia has planted seeds of jingoism (blind patriotism) and supremacy amongst Southeast Asians, especially Malaysians and Indonesians. It all started when an imbecile decided to hack into the promotion team’s computer and invert the flag of Indonesia. When the brochures came out, Indonesians blew their hats off seeing the symbol of their country upside down. To steer the ship the right way, the Malaysian political representatives made an official apology, and the Indonesian political representatives have accepted the apology. However, the grassroots are still not satisfied and they have aggravated the situation.

What bothers the people gifted with common sense the most is that there are some hooligans who love to smother salt on an excruciating wound—as if this were the medieval age and the only solution is to burn every evil they see—instead of curing it. In retaliation, some Indonesians inverted the pictures of Malaysia’s Prime Minister, the KLCC, the Malaysian flag and the Sultan of Malaysia with pig filters on them. A few nasty and derogatory hashtags were posted along with these pictures and have become viral. After the incident, there were more technical errors on the results displayed on Malaysian television whereby some countries were mislabelled with other flags.

These provoking incidents might cause a continental catastrophe. No country or race is superior to another. As Asians we must not become like the engrossed white supremacists. These repulsive actions are childish and demeaning. It is not expected for a country to be having a ‘beef’ with another in the 21st century. We must emulate a quote from the Dowager Countess, Lady Violet Crawley who said, “When something bad happens, there’s no point in wishing it had not happen. The only option is to minimize the damage.”

Let this be a lesson to all of us, that we must not get too impulsive when we are angry. We must consider our actions and the consequences that entail them. It’s better to cry in prayers or over romantic comedies than to cry over spilled milk. We should be able to accept and embrace our differences. Moreover, when we are at a high place sometimes we do not look down, and that makes us vulnerable to what’s coming from below or even above, just like Icarus. Let’s pray that the seeds will not grow into strong bulky trees but are uprooted when they are seedlings.