By: Choo Sing Chye.
It is good that your reply to my article is without amity.
To begin with your letter, I ponder, where is the issue?
Firstly, The logical representations of your reply is that you reject Pluralism because it means Religious Pluralism, and in this setting, all religion cannot dissolved into one.
This is the very same argument that I am advocating, i.e. Religion cannot be moulded into one super-valued entity (Value Pluralism). It cannot be done. If it can be done, then what you call the new moulded religion? But, it is not the same with Pluralism, it does not mould all religion into one, it only bring all races together peacefully and unite them, to become Malaysians.
When you use the term, Pluralism, you think of Melting Pot, that is the reason why you say “dissolve”. In Pluralism, there are two constructs of uniting the people, one is the Melting-Pot (USA) and another is the Mosaic construct (Britain, Canada, Malaysia, Indonesia and many others).
This explanation will be given in part 2 of my article. Therefore, you should wait for my second part. I hope you would email me direct to debate on points that I will be bringing out in part 2 of my article.
Secondly, Professor, you mean that we cannot imply/say that leaders are unintelligent, and if we do, we are unintelligent too? Sir, Tun Dr. Mahathir too, talks about unintelligent leaders in UMNO.
Please read with care my article, I only criticise unintelligent leaders, not the intelligent ones.
My statement says: “We have weak, and unintelligent leaders in UMNO to begin with”. I, on purpose said, “we have” which means to say that “we have” intelligent leaders in UMNO too. I didn’t say, “We do not have strong and intelligent leaders in UMNO to begin with”. This statement means what you mean in your reply.
Thirdly, of course, I am biased and against unintelligent leaders in UMNO because UMNO is the GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY, and whatever policies they passed in Parliament affect my family, and the whole country.
Fourthly : You said in your reply: “Look at Malaysia today. That (There) is enough testimony of the farsightedness of the leaders in containing racial tensions and moving the country forward. Of course the leaders are not infallible, but they deserve credit and credit should be given where it’s due”.
My Reply: It’s the other side of the coin that you are answering from, but do give some strong facts, if not people will see you as a “apple-polisher,” but not me. I stand on the principle of the Greek Sophist Protagoras’ (500-430 BC) that “Man is the measure of all things, of things that are that they are, and of things that are not that they are not.”
Simply said, “things are to me as they appear to me and to you as they appear to you.” This is same as yours, “for you your way of life and for us our way of life”.
In sum, Professor, don’t you think we are talking and agreeing on the same argument, but not the term. I, too, disagree with Religious Pluralism, and not Pluralism, because Religious Pluralism is not plausible, and it is not represented in the mainstream arguments by philosophers/intellectuals/professors past or present as in the form you are talking about. Most importantly, in reality, it cannot latch onto any society anywhere in the world.
We should not use the word “religious” as a NOUN or an ADJECTIVE, to describe Pluralism, because its like treating Pluralism as water which takes the form of any container when poured into it. This is incorrect, and it will cause misunderstanding if our minds are not precise enough to tell the difference between the container and the content of the water.
I hope that you would kindly send me brochures, pamphlets or give me title of books that you think I should read about Pluralism. Thanks