Issues are not sensitive, people are. There is nothing wrong in being sensitive, it is human nature. However the problem is when people react irrationally and emotionally towards an issue. The recent series of emotional outburst in Malaysia clearly suggests that Malaysians are a bunch of emotional and insecure people.
In Malaysia there is a culture of fear, a perceived prevalence of fear and anxiety in public discourse and relationships which affects the way they behave with each other.
This fear is actually hollow, sadly, just like many other things in Malaysia, yet this is the same fear that divides us. Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd. Allow me to apply two theories in explaining the Malaysian culture of fear. Firstly the theory of constructed fear, I believe many sensitive issues in this country are actually devised to be as such by parties that have certain interest to maintain the status quo of the issue.
The reasons behind such deliberate fear propagation can vary, but the consideration of potentially increasing social control on the emotional and insecure Malaysians would be the main culprit. Those in power would always want to maintain the social support to benefit their interest, and the easiest way to do that is to create fear amongst the ignorant crowd and provide them a false sense of security.
Secondly the theory of emergence fears, a reaction that is born spontaneously. This is due to the historical evidence of our society. Some historical dark past maybe the reason why there is so much anxiety in public discourse on the so-called sensitive issues. Is the fear still relevant? Perhaps not, but it is effective and thus maintained by the scaremongers I mentioned above.
However discourse is inevitable in the age of the internet. Open dialogues will happen if not in reality then virtually. There is nothing to fear except the refusal to engage in discourse, for you fear what you do not understand and fear creates aggression.
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