In his continuing series, Pepper Lim’s missive to his daughter explains why Malaysians should have done more than just complain.

Dear Paprika,

Recently, Raja Petra predicted another May 13. Based on the intolerance and hateful actions of many Malaysians on the internet, it seems we can no longer settle our differences peacefully. We have turned from a nation that used to embrace one another and celebrated our differences to a nation of bickering racist thin skinned bigots.

We organise bus loads of of demonstrators to threaten violence if our demands are not met or when we feel hurt. We threaten bloodshed on everyone who do not see our point of view. We have descended to the level of beasts.

And it is all our fault.

We did nothing but complained on Facebook when Perkasa threatened to behead those who insulted Islam.

We did nothing but complained on Twitter when ISMA promoted their racist agenda.

We did nothing but complained to our friends on Whatsapp about politicians who fanned the flames of religious intolerance.

We did nothing but complained on our blogs about our government who seems more interested in their personal agendas than the well being of our nation.

We complained. We did nothing but complained.

If only complaining would solve problems, then we would have played our part in making our nation a better place for you and every Malaysian child.

Looking back, I notice we thoroughly enjoy complaining. We complained when we thought the general elections were rigged to favour the ruling party. We complained when the courts ruled against transgender women who were attending a wedding. We complained when racist groups threatened bloodshed. We complained when the media played down the issues of corruption and wrong doings by those in power. We complained when the Opposition did not hold local elections as promised. We complained and complained and complained.

APOSL Science Club taking action by doing a street survey about the public's understanding of science Source: APOSL Science Club Facebook Page

Why didn’t we do something instead? Why didn’t we take action?

Why didn’t we write to the editors of The Star when they did not highlight the many wastages and alleged corruptions pointed out by the Auditor General’s report?

Why didn’t we meet our ADUNs when the rights of gays and transgenders were threatened with violence by religious extremists?

Why didn’t we call our members of parliament when the prime minister pushed his “new ISA” bill called SOSMA?

Why didn’t we get our friends to boycott of Utusan Malaysia and companies associated to them when they fanned the flame of racism with, “Apa lagi Cina mau?”

Why didn’t we join the few NGOs like Project Dialog and Sisters In Islam who organised forums to educated the public about use of the word Allah in our country?

Why didn’t we contact the Indian embassy to bring attention to the plight of Indians in our country when their Prime Minister visited Malaysia?

How long till we realise keyboard warriors seldom change anything? When will we wake up the fact that it is the doers who get things done.

I hope we do before it is too late.

Your loving father,


PS. There 198 ways of non-violent actions that we can take besides being a “keyboard warrior” including writing letters of opposition or support, declarations by organizations and institutions, signed public statements, slogans, caricatures, and symbols, newspapers, radio and television, mock awards, wearing of symbols, delivering symbolic objects, “haunting” officials, vigils, singing, marches, protest meetings, walk-outs, social boycott, boycott of political kenduri, total personal noncooperation, collective disappearance, consumers’ boycott, hartal, refusal to accept appointed officials, and refusal to dissolve existing institutions.



Pepper is the father of two adorable children named Paprika Lim and Saffron Lim. "Dear Paprika" is a series of letters written for posterity. When Paprika is 20 years old, he will be 61. He prefers to...