Yin: On August 31st we turned 62 years old.
What have we to show for it?
Singapore is a little younger but in that time they have made themselves the richest country in ASEAN. Singapore has one of the highest GDP in the world.
Singaporeans earn more than three times what we earn. Their government is almost corruption free. And best of all they are a UNITED country. Institutional racism is not part of government policy.
Yes Singapore has its problems and frankly I don’t like them but you cannot deny their achievements.
How can a country with no natural resources perform so well? Yes it is a city state and so they have less social problems but that’s not the reason. There are other city states too but not all of them perform.
The difference between them and us is that they are a united country. They look at their problems as a national problem.
We are divided – deliberately by self-serving politicians . We look at problems through race tinted glasses.
Calls for defending the Malay race and Islam grows louder with every Merdeka. Now we have mufti’s calling for racial dominance and accusing the government of succumbing to minority demands.
We have a government minister making U turn for a foreign Islamic preacher instead of taking the side of his fellow citizens.
Our trouble is, those who hold the reins of power think of themselves as Malays first, Muslims second and only Malaysians as an afterthought. They want to perpetuate racist policies to give their race an advantage even if there are poor ‘other’ races who need help just as much. They prefer to take second or even third best rather than take the best whatever the race. How can we progress if we shut out our best talents?
Choose one: Dishonest Muslim or honest non-Muslim?
And how can we run a clean government if the mentality is: It is preferable to take a dishonest Muslim than an honest non-Muslim as PAS has advocated.
Instead of fighting this kind of idiocy the other Malay leaders play along because they think it is the only way to gain or stay in power – play the race and religion card.
62 years on we are even more divided as a nation than in 1957. Anyone from the earlier generation (before 1970) will tell you when they mixed freely with their Malay friends. Eating and drinking together in coffeeshops. Visiting each other’s house – it’s ‘open house’ everyday – not the contrived ‘open house’ we have now during festivities.
We had our problems but we were of one heart and spirit. Our Thomas Cup team was not a Chinese team, our football team had all the races. Ghani was as much a hero to a Chinese or Indian boy as Eddy Chong was to a Malay.
We were Malaysians then!
Now when the non-Malays say they are Malaysians the Malays tell them they are only ‘guests’ – to accept what they are given and shut up.
Guests? Here are some facts:
When Long Jaafar could not find any Malay to work in the mosquito infested swamps of Larut to mine the tin. The Chinese did. They paid with their lives, many of them.
Frank Swettenham in his book on Malaya (British Malaya – An Account of the Origin and Progress of British influence in Malaya).
“. . . I have said that the protected Malay States depended mainly on the tin mines for their revenue . . . “ Referring to the Chinese he said “ . . . whose efforts have succeeded in producing more than half the of the world’s tin supply.”
Frank Swettenham goes on to say “Their energy and enterprise have made the Malay States what they are today, and it would be impossible to overstate the obligation which the Malay Government and the people are under to these hard-working, capable and law abiding (sic.). They were already the miners and the traders . . . the planters and the fishermen before the white man had found his way to the Peninsula. In all the early days it was Chinese energy and industry which supplied the fund to begin the construction of roads and public works, and to pay all the other costs of administration . . . They brought capital into the country when Europeans feared to take the risks . . . “
There’s no need to go into a long history lesson but for those who want to know the real history – not the distorted one which is taught in our schools – they can research the various archives in UK etc.
Even Mahathir Mohamad, the arch Malay nationalist admits that it is the non-Malays who pay the bulk of the taxes which pay for the infrastructure and the salaries of government servants.
Melayu muda lupa.
History is one thing. What about now and the future?
The Malays hold all the power in this country. They have to decide whether they want to go down the road of Ketuanan Melayu and further entrench Malay dominance through racist politics or do they want Bangsa Malaysia where everyone is an equal citizen.
Whether the Malay elite want to seriously address poverty (and the bulk of the poor are Malays) or use it to stir up ordinary Malays against the others by falsely blaming their poverty on the ‘greedy and rapacious Chinese’ while they (the elite) enrich themselves beyond what their limited talent will bring. To put it bluntly, Malay leaders are screwing their own people – not the non-Malays. They want Malay dominance to enrich themselves not to help the poor Malays. How does Azmin Ali think that RM980 is enough – let him try to live on that.
“Dominance has given us 1MBD, the third car, Lynas waste, Zakir Naik and billions unpaid PTPTN loans. It’s dominance that gives us massive corruption over the years. How much more dominance do the Malays want?” Zaid Ibrahim.
We don’t need to look back to see what we can be. Just visit Sarawak and Sabah; see how the different races get along; see how the different religions coexist. They don’t ban Zakir Naik from going there for no reason. They do not want religious zealots who preach hate. I suggest the muftis of Perak and Perlis not bother going there too.
If Sarawak and Sabah open their gates I can guarantee you thousands or non-Malay West Malaysians will flock there to live. Nobody wants to be second class in his own country when an Indian preacher is first class.
Will we have the Malaysia Baru PH promised us this Merdeka? Will we have Bangsa Malaysia?
I won’t hold my breath.
(The views expressed are those of the contributor)
Letters from Ward 5, Tanjong Rambutan