By Yin, Letters from Ward 5, T.R.
Race is the core of all our problems in this country. Racial discrimination has divided the country into “them and us” when once it was “We”. Admittedly it was so long ago the younger generation is ignorant of it.
Our government make policies based on race. Certain colleges are exclusively only for Malays. Admission into public universities are along racial lines. Our Vice Chancellors and deans are appointed along racial lines. We make decisions on what is good for our children along racial lines and not what is best for them and the country. Hence you have the incursion of religion into the school day when the time would have been better used to teach English and the STEM subjects.
The same racial reckoning decides who our police and military and the civil service will employ and promote. Even Petronas employ on the basis of race.
Invest in ASNB or buy a house and you pay more than what a Malay has to pay. Not because the Malay is poor. Many of them are richer than you and I and can buy several houses. Simply by being Malay they pay less than the poor Non-Malays. Never mind the rich Non-Malays they can take care of themselves but even so the question of fair treatment arises.
Racial policies have divided the country. The races do not mix anymore except as a “show” during festive occasions or to con the tourists. Not like in the past before the era of Mahathir and the “I am Malay first” (and only Malaysian after) leaders.
Sarawak is the exception.
What is the government doing to unite Malaysians?
Aaron Ago Dagang . . . Doesn’t ring a bell? I don’t blame you.
Most Malaysians would not have a clue who he is because the Minister of National Unity is practically invisible.
What is the Minister of National Unity doing to unite Malaysians?
What has he done to counter the divisive propaganda of Bersatu, PAS and Mahathir?
What has he done to bring the races together?
Why wait for ‘Open House’ of the different festivals to get the different races to come together. The ministry should come up with events that encourage inter racial mixing.
We read about inter-racial marriages – why not the ministry use its cyber experts to publicise them. Recently an article came out in one of the papers about Malays eating and drinking at a kopitiam with other non-Malays in Kuala Kubu Baru. Imagine this being a news item. In the ‘old days’ this was normal but not today. Why not the ministry use such news articles to push its message of national unity.
I remember in the early days after Merdeka the government had songs and slogans to promote national unity.
The White Flag movement during the pandemic lockdown was a spontaneous act by Malaysians to help other Malaysians in need irrespective of race or religion.
Race has never been an issue among Malaysians. People are not naturally racist. It is the politicians who have divided the people. When PAS accuses the DAP of trying to turn the country to Christianity; when UMNO, Bersatu and Mahathir go around telling Malays that it is the Chinese who are stealing from them, no wonder they are wary of their Non Malay Malaysians.
Just last week I had a drink of coconut water at my regular and I watched two Malay boys play with the Indian children of the stall holder. It heartens me to see that. Children don’t have prejudices and certainly they do not hold racist sentiments. They are taught to be racist.
There is so much the government can do to counter the racist propaganda of PAS, Bersatu and Mahathir.
Will Aaron Ago Dagang, Minister of National Unity please stand up!
Sahabat ku di manakah ‘mu?
Where are you my friend?
We played together as children
Sat together in class
Together faced the teacher’s wrath
Teammates in football
Against one and all
Where are you my friend?
We visited each other
Not only at Raya, Diwali
Or Chinese New Year Open House
With us it was ‘open house’ everyday
They have made you a prince
But not I
Why? You did not ask
Protesting you are made Bumiputra
And not your friend
I always thought
The bonds of friendship
Struck in youth
Though strained by time and space
Though different paths we take
I thought our hearts were one
Your silence is a denial of our friendship
A kind of betrayal
Is it not?
How do the ideals
Of our nation’s founding survive
When blinded by the thirty pieces
Your mind is closed
And we are divided
Usman, sahabat ku
Kalau mereka tuli
Kepada permohonan anda
You condemn others for their racism
Foreign flags you wave
Yet blind and silent
To our own disgrace
The world cries for George Floyd
Who cries for us?
I have known you
You are more noble
Than what you seem
But we are so easily tempted
Even I in your place
Led astray by knaves
Who use us
For their selfish gains
We can become one again
Though of many colours
Of that I am certain
Listen to your heart
And not the noise
Of those who divide us
Bhinneka tunggal ika
(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)
by Yin, Letters from Ward 5, Tanjong Rambutan