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    Does life provide meaning?

    (Updated )
    Azly Rahman  |  columns

    COMMENT | Do we live in a rational world, one in which things make sense, explainable by the simple logic of cause and effect and correlation? Or has the world been an unpredictable universe of chance and randomness, and unpredictable events, from which we try to find patterns, meanings, explanation and console ourselves with the lessons learned?

    Could an event that happened years, or even decades before, one that is seemingly insignificant, impact today’s world in a momentous way? Like a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon jungle in the 1970s, creating ripples with its wings and the ripples creating bigger ones as they interact with other ripples and over time, bigger ripples becoming waves of energy, consequently creating changes in the weather pattern. Plausible? Correlational? Consequential?

    This is a world of randomness we are in, of unpredictability we are trying to make sense of, before assigning their effect to the force of deux et machina, or fated determinism, or “God’s will”.

    Consider these “butterfly effects” in Malaysian politics:

    Dr Mahathir’s revolt against Tunku Abdul Rahman narrated in “May 13: Before and After”, in all its chaos and complexity, order and randomness, Fate and Determinism, has buried the possibilities of the emergence of a truly multicultural society, with the rise and Machiavellian control of Malay politics.

    The chance of non-bumiputeras to get equal opportunity and fair access to resources in education and social services continues to be sealed, as a “butterfly effect” of the victory of the Umno-Ultras during the post-May 13, 1969, political consolidation and institutionalisation of race-based politics...

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