As usual, cartoonist Zunar has captured succinctly in a picture (above) what might otherwise take a thousand words to describe. It is a battle between the new more inclusive Malaysia and the old Malaysia, where the politics of race and religion reigned supreme. Pests (the toxic old communal politics) are now trying to devour the young shoots of a vibrant new nation.
This second cartoon (below), drawn a couple of months ago at an Aliran dinner in Penang, shows us that the roots of race and religion run deep. While the crowds celebrated the fall of the rotting BN tree on 9 May 2018, uprooting the poisonous roots hidden beneath the ground will take a lot more hard work and awareness-raising.
But it can be done. Each of us must rise above the barriers that (artificially?) divide us and together ensure that the young shoots survive and grow unhindered.