Yin says, “I am a trusting person, idealistic, naïve even, so I will take a broad interpretation of what Anwar said.However people who know better, urge extreme caution and for good reason…”
Yin says: Anwar has come out to say that the NEP as it is will go because it is unsustainable. He has said this before and after repeating it so many times one has to believe the man . . . or has one? After all he is the great chameleon with the tongue of one.
Mahathir on the other hand is adament that the NEP as it is (based on race) must stay. He thinks the Malays are not ready. Not ready despite his very robust pro-Malay policies the first time he was prime minister? Not ready despite 61 years of mollycoddling? When will they be ready then?
Handouts like drugs, the more you take the more dependent you are on it. Mahathir and all the other PMs know it yet they push the drug to their own people – how else to stay in power?
Anwar’s reason is principally that the country cannot afford it. We are not a rich country and the oil money is finite. The economy is not in great shape.
Bear in mind, much of the money has been siphoned off by the well-connected and powerful. If the money had been properly spent in honestly uplifting the poor Malays, they would have reached parity with the others long before now. Meanwhile the poor Chinese and Indians (and they make up the majority of their respective communities) are left to fend for themselves.
Anwar, to his credit also suggested the moral indefensibility of race based policies. Why now you may ask? Maybe because he was never really in charge or because age has mellowed him. Or because he has just discovered what the Koran said about racial discrimination.
On a practical level, he knows Malaysia cannot continue as we are. Our competitiveness has slipped and we are falling behind even countries like Thailand and Vietnam. If we continue with our race-based policies we will fall behind Bangladesh even.
Investors are not interested in our politics. Who wants to invest if you insist they cannot hire or fire as they like – that they must meet your racial quota. And if your labour force is not as skilled or as educated as your competitors’ why would they come here? This is what happens when we lower our education standard to pander to racial chauvinists.
By discarding a race-based affirmative action policy, is Anwar suggesting that there is no more bumiputraism? That we are all Bangsa Malaysia? That we will be treated equally without racial discrimination and only those who meet the ‘means test’ will qualify for government assistance?
I am a trusting person, idealistic, naïve even, so I will take a broad interpretation of what Anwar said.However people who know better, urge extreme caution and for good reason.
Anwar’s track record
Let’s look at his track record: Anwar was very against the Chinese Schools when he was Minister of Education. He was also one of the proponents of the National Culture Act which all but banned other non-Malay, non-Islamic Culture – both were blatant attempts at assimilation. So much for his Bangsa Malaysia belief. And the Chinese Schools can kiss UEC goodbye.
“Pak Sheik” (as he was once labeled because of his Islamic credentials – he is allegedly a member of the Muslim Brotherhood) was the person who Islamised the education system and the civil service. Will he protect the system. Will he encourage the present Minister of Education (another alleged Muslim Brotherhood member) to continue furthering his Islamic agenda?
Will Anwar renounce all that he stood for? Is he for Bangsa Malaysia?
Even if Anwar is sincere; will the Malays allow him to remove the racial NEP?
He will surely be branded a traitor to the Malays and Islam by his opponents if he attempts it.
Will the Malay members of his own party support him?
This is the problem Malaysians face.
Do they take Anwar’s word that he has changed?
Or do they continue with the (old) devil they know?
What are our choice? None really; I cannot think of any Malay politician who will be a prime minister for ALL Malaysians. From the kris kissing Najib, Khairy and Hishamuddin to Nazir, Azmin and Rafizi; they are all Islam and Malay first and then only Malaysian. They are all Ketuanan Melayu politicians despite the GE14 promise of “Ketuanan Rakyat” – we know what happened to much of the PH promises.
Yes, it’s depressing that the potential second echelon Malay leaders are no more enlightened than the old guards.
Whether or not there will be a colourless NEP, one must acknowledge Anwar’s courage to declare his intention vis a vis racial policies. He has his work cut out for him. Good luck to him . . . and to us.
Looks like heads we get Mahathir and tails we get a chameleon.
But we at “Happy Farm” refuse to lose faith; that’s the only thing we have left.
(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily represent the view of Rebuilding Malaysia)
Letters from Ward 5, Tanjong Rambutan