As we mourn Nelson Mandela’s passing and celebrate his lifetime of struggle for a democratic South Africa, there are a few things we can learn.
1. Much has been said about his genorisity of spirit, his magnamity and his ability to win over old adversaries, there was also tremendous personal sacrifice, hardship, hard labour, and emotional pain arising from separation from his family. The struggle involved tremendous sacrifice. For those from whom much is expected, much will be demanded in terms of personal sacrifice. Let us not forget the plight of prisoners of conscience everywhere and those incarcerated without trial or after sham trials.
2. Mandela was an iconic and inspirational figure, but there were also countless other activists inside and outside South Africa involved in the anti-apartheid campaign… Luthuli, Biko, Hani, Tambo. Mandela also had an indomitable spirit. The apartheid regime tried to cage his body but they were unable to crush his spirit. Instead his spirit soared and transcended the divisions in the country. Ultimately, the world embraced the person once regarded as a “terrorist”. And he knew when to step down gracefully, rather than attempt to cling on to power.
3. Real change does not happen overnight. We may labour and work for change now, but we may not see the result – just like many other anti-apartheid activists did not live to see the outcome of their strugle. But others down the road will. It may take years, even decades to see change. For change to take place, a critical mass has to be achieved. But truth and justice will triumph over oppression and injustice in the end.
4. Mandela guided and led South Africa in its transition from apartheid to democracy and racial equality. But the struggle against racism around the world, and even here in Malaysia, is far from over. Let us hope the racists in our midst realise their thinking resembles that of the Jurassic Age fossils should be discarded.
5. Mandela and the anti-apartheid activists may have succeeded in ending racial inequality. But in terms of income inequality, the country remains one of the most unequal in the world with a Gini cooffecient of around 0.69. The corporate agenda and neoliberalism threaten to bring about new forms of economic oppression. Global civil society struggle must now take on this yawning inquality – the stupendous wealth of the top 1 per cent vs the plight of the struggling masses – as well as other critical issues facing humankind such as climate change.
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What certain people here offered the fledgling ANC was the same racism inspired in Sri Lanka, Fiji and some other African countries. A certain dynamic leader, since reformed, was involved. An attempt by our racial parties to benefit from Mandela’s popularity through a rally fell flat. ANC was clear-headed in rejected the local influence. However, it was corrupted by the common problem everywhere: greed. That is why many SA citizens still live in slums, and mine workers are holding major strikes for minimum wages.
Important to highlight the late Nelson Mandela’s post apartheid era efforts.
Just about every comments and write up is about apartheid and nothing else.
Mandela is more and much bigger than that .
He knew well about segregation and suppression are against humanity.
The great man advocate and extend the rights of the LGBT community.
And which Malay leaders will mention or even acknowledged that Nelson Mandela is a pro LGBT?
Similar fate suffered by Chin Peng. He fought in 2 wars.
But painted as a super enemy while omitting his heroic deeds (during the war).
A giant among men and a larger than life character. The only man comparable to Mahatma Gandhi.
Rest in Peace, Madiba. You are indeed inspiration, courage, compassion and humility. We will miss you 🙁
As we approach new year 2014, let’s sustain the justice river flow by remembering the significant comments on Kua Kia Soong who champions nothing but the truth like Mandela : “As always, this public intellectual and activist, freed from partisan allegiances, doesn’t shy away from public interest issues that others wouldn’t touch with a barge pole. In so doing, he sheds much needed light on issues lurking in the shadows while puting forward valuable alternative perspectives for a wider audience. Indeed, when Kua writes, concerned Malaysians sit up and take notice.” – Anil Netto, Aliran “Among dissidents in the country,… Read more »
Ironic that Malaysia was prominent in the anti-apartheid struggle (in the community of nations) while creating a system of semi-apartheid here at home.
Here’s an excellent article on ethnocracy in Malaysia:
it’s called afirmative-apartheid ?
More things to be learnt from the man himself
What does it say that UMNO GA is over-flowing with exactly the opposite of what Nelson Mandela stood for?
It is ironic that Umno’s Najib equated Umno’s struggle to the battle Mandela had fought to end apartheid in South Africa. I am afraid that such concept could be included in the Sejarah syllabus for our students under the new education blueprint.
Unfortunately for (certain) Malays Nelson Mendela is not and cannot be their role model. Its a wonder how Mahathir the racist and the unforgiving can ever consider him a friend!.
rajraman. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.” Nelson Mandela”.
Rest in Peace Madiba ,you have done more than your words.
Suhaimi Baba ought to watch this bio-epic “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” to learn how to stay true to historical facts:
Ling Liong Sik said he learnt to forgive from honest Mandela; hinting to rakyat to forgive whatever has happened at PKFZ scandals ???
While the world is cherishing the mankind contributions of Mandela, UMNO appears to overlook the work of Tun Razak judging by the two commemorative KOMTAR (Komplex Tun Abdul Razak) projects ?
At least the Penang state gomen is revitalizing Penang version of Komtar unlike the Johor Bahru’s Komtar still undergoing renovation at snail speed ? Looks like The Star’s Jocelin Tan needs to highlight this matter in her column to polish kilat kilat PM Najib on Komtar significance which Penang Gomen has done better rather than harboring on other insignificant hoo hah weekly !
Unfortunately in this part of the world a political party is having its General Assembly pressing (‘BEEP’ing) for (the interests) for a majority group despite more than 50 years of independence.
Is apartheid really abolished completely in this earth?
How can you teach a dog how to sing ?
Madiba Nelson Mandela was and still is my hero. He was born in a society that despised the race he was born into. As a young man, he raged against apartheid and was put behind bars where he stayed for 27 years, the longest held political detainee in human history. When he was finally released in 1990, he negotiated peace and reconciliation with the white South African government. He was elected president in 1994, the first black president of South Africa. A lesser man would have gotten back at the white supremacists of South Africa who made his life and… Read more »
Well said, Street!
Mandela gave his people, the Blacks their dignity of human compassion and humility to recognize their White fellow citizens as human beings and not to seek retribution for all the sufferings of Apartheid discrimination they underwent. The heart matters most of all and love must prevail among human beings, more so for the people who live and love South Africa, white or black.
This ‘1Melayu’ call (by Umno Penang?) is a real insult to the Mandela’s legacy: