The problem is Race

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

Will remain

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

Siapa aku?

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

Since childhood

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

Negara kita

(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

Rebuilding Malaysia


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