Friday, April 03, 2009

Long ing

Got this from an email:

The battle between the common Malay and UMNO is just beginning :

Cry my beloved Malay soul
AB Sulaiman

When Alan Paton wrote 'Cry The Beloved Country' he was lamenting over
the inhumanity of man over man, of how the whites can devise,
construct and implement race- and colour-based social and economic
injustices over the blacks in apartheid-era South Africa. The whole
world had condemned this practice; we (Malaysian Government) were
among the loudest screaming against it.

South Africa has moved on since then, and today it is one shining
example of an emancipated, open and progressive country, enjoying a
respectable place in the community of nations. It has thrown apartheid
into the bins of its history.

Here in Malaysia, yes we condemn apartheid, and quite rightly so. But
in the same breath we were and are still its major proponent our
version of apartheid. We do not call it apartheid; of course not. We
call it instead 'Ketuanan Melayu' under the guise of 'championing
Malay rights,' and implementing it under the New Economic Policy
(NEP). It's smart, right ? In none of them does the word 'apartheid'
appear !

Yes, we are smart. We do not blatantly call it apartheid, we merely
perfected the process of social separation. First of all we ensure the
great majority of civil servants, the police, and the military are
manned by Malays (the target benefactors). We give them good salaries,
good perks and assured employment. We then devise rules and
regulations, and even laws, to ensure the NEP's easy implementation.
We then brainwash our Malay brethren with the notion 'untuk agama
bangsa dan negara' that there is a higher ideal beyond performing a
duty with professionalism and dedication, and that is doing things in
the name of religion and race.

We devise rules and regulations, and even laws, to ensure the NEP's
easy implementation. Then we design and implement social and economic
policies like channeling lucrative government contracts, separate
education streams, housing rebates, banking and financial support, in
favour of, you guessed it, the Malays.

It does not stop there. We devise measures to prevent the people from
raising too much objections to all these by introducing or continuing
legislation and religiously implementing them. The Sedition Act for
example stops people from talking too much about language and
religion. The Official Secrets Act prevents people from gaining access
to government files. Students and lecturers are not allowed to discuss
and make public any subject that would appear to be critical to
government (yes, government, not political) policies and philosophies.
All publications must, first of all, get operating licences.
Newspapers must not only get a licence before publishing but it must
be renewed every year.

Sacrifices conveniently forgotten
The king of all of the suppressive and oppressive laws is the Internal
Security Act, when a citizen can be put under detention without the
benefit of any charge ! All said and done, we sacrifice the rule of
law in favour of rule by private individuals. To show that we are
really smart, we pooh pooh the loyalty and patriotism of the non-Malay
segment of the population.

We call them pendatang or immigrants bearing the stigma that they are
social discard from their original country, similar to rogues,
rascals, refugees, mercenaries and scoundrels. We just ignore their
proven talent and ability in wealth creation and economic
productivity, as well as to their demonstrated loyalty and patriotism.
Many of such pendatangs have made the ultimate sacrifices as military
personnel defending its security, during the Emergency, the
Confrontation period with Indonesia and as policemen while policing
the social environment. They have contributed and are continuing to,
in sport and the arts. Their record as loyal and patriotic Malaysians
is quite impeccable. But we do not really care.

The perplexing thing is that despite these attributes and positive
records of the non-Malays, we are still going about championing and
implement apartheid principles. In this new year, perhaps we can do
with a little reflection: why are we doing all this?

We do this apparently to recover our lost soul. We perceive that we
have been victims of colonisation when the Portuguese, Dutch and
British colonisers all but butchered the Malay entity, psychology and
culture. In the process we perceive that we have lost our Malay
identity.
With independence, we thought we could recapture the lost glory of
Malay suzerainty by becoming masters of all facets of a nation,
especially its commerce, and economy. We found out that the Chinese
community had beaten us to it. We felt the Chinese had capitalised on
our weakness and captured the economic initiatives (and wealth) as
well as the social characteristics of the country. We lost 'face'.

Now we want to regain the mertabat or dignity and pride of the Malay
race! Yes, we feel that we have to recover our soul and it is here
that we are reminded of Paton's book title, but in this case suitably
paraphrased to – cry my beloved Malay soul. Our Malay soul needs to
cry for doing the right thing for the wrong reason or the wrong thing
for the right reason; even for the wrong thing for the wrong reason,
but not for the right thing for the right reason.

To start with colonisation is really not an excuse for our
psychological malaise and ineptitude. Colonisation has been a feature
of human history and felt all over the world. There are very few
countries that have not been colonised in the world. It is thus a
neutral concept in human social and economic development. It is
certainly not an impediment to social or economic progress as we are
wont to portray it. We should dump this notion that we hold dear into
the bin of history.

Rethinking our way of thinking
Just look at the records. The Koreans were once colonised by the
Japanese, but today Korea is an industrial power house. Singapore was
once colonised by the British and was indeed a part of us, and today
we see this tiny country being a solid financial, trading and
industrial entity. Most pointedly of all, the US was once a British
colony and today it is the mightiest nation in the world. Our second
grouse - that the Chinese have cornered the economic sector of the
country also needs re-looking into, on two counts.

First, the Chinese did not become successful based on any conscious
and concerted economic programme to economically marginalise us.
We did this self-inflicted wound ourselves. As proof, we have to note
that most of the Chinese came to our shores with only their feet,
hands, guts and brains and perhaps a bundle of clothes, nothing more.
They become successful for their hard work, both physically and
mentally and for the sacrifices they were prepared to make and had
undertaken. They were successful for having the mental fortitude to
seek opportunities, grab those that come along and worked extra hard
to realise the potentials of these opportunities.

Secondly, we have been given a chance to be equal with them, both
under numerous 'special privileges' enshrined in the Constitution, as
well as under its NEP implementation programme. The special privileges
have always been in the constitution while the latter began in 1970.
In short, we have been given the chance - the opportunity - many times
over, to better our Malay polity. Whereas the Chinese had to struggle
just to find and identify the opportunities, in our case they were
handed to us on a silver platter! Thus far we have failed to
capitalise adequately on them. It rather shameful we missing out on
these chances specially created for us in the first place.

Either way the root cause of our weaknesses and the strength of the
Chinese lies in two words - positive thinking. Our thinking is mired
with so many dos and don'ts, so many musts and musn'ts, so many cans
and cannots, may and may nots, plenty enough to created and
internalise doubts and fears in our minds. So much so that we have
doubt over what we can and what we can't do, what is allowed and what
is not. We spend a lifetime looking for these highly complex cans and
cannots, musts and must nots, that we have hardly any mental energy
left to develop and self-confidence to get on and face the realities
of life.

Let's refer to this case as the 'can't don't and won't syndrome'. The
Chinese by the way are not encumbered by such syndromes. What appears
to have happened is that this syndrome has affected our mental ability
to conceptualise. We see things on the straight and narrow. We accept
wisdoms handed down to us by our elders as the gospel truth.

Blinded by sentiment
We do not see that things can be seen and interpreted in many
alternative ways. We feel we have the monopoly on truth; we therefore
think that we are right all the time and other people are wrong all
the time. Witness the way we see religion for example.
We think that we as Muslims are right and other people who profess
other religions are wrong, all the time.

We need to cry for thinking that we can and have doctored the way the
people think and do things. We have been intimidating the people with
what they can read or write or think and do. We seem to be saying "you
can think anything, do anything, write anything so long as it does not
criticise or condemn the government".

Soul-searching and resuscitating is not or should not be about
pointing accusing fingers at some bogeys. That would be a most
negative thing to do. It would be better for us to be open-minded and
be able to identify our own strengths and weaknesses. We improve upon
our strengths and dump our weaknesses. Mainly we must be able to
develop the awareness that we have both the strengths and weaknesses
in the first place. To illustrate, the NEP has proved many time over
as a failed strategy for our socio-economic advancement. Let us be
aware of this in the first place and move on seeking other ways with
better chance of success. How about secularising the Malay mind? It
might make for a good start for we can see many of the don'ts, can'ts,
musn'ts dissipating into the wind. In the meantime, here we are in the
early days of a new year. We should begin by realising that whatever
'smart' moves we had undertaken all this while have not really been
that smart after all.

The joke is on us. Everybody says so – the liberated Malays, the
non-Malays, our neighbours and the rest of the international
community. Only those of us basking in our closed mind and benefiting
from the profits of the status quo say it's alright. Happy New Year
all the same and here's hoping this year we can get a good perspective
as to what propagating a good mertabat really means. It's long
overdue.

In the meantime, cry my beloved Malay soul.







:( I feel so sad for my country. So much potential, so beautiful.

But wrecked and blinded by greed, corruption, dirty politics, self righteousness, closed minds.

It's home.

There's no where else I belong, no matter how many countries I visit, how hard I try to blend in.

Fact is the blood in me, is Malaysian.

Ancestors were from China, but would the Chinese accept me as one of their own with open arms?

I doubt it.

There's no place like home, really.

4 comments:

Malaria Max said...

hey at least u re not the one stuck here ok!

bs said...

Oik! Stop complaining bout being stuck there ok!! Lol

HeartLess-Angel said...

hey, long time din see u online. MISS U!!!!!!(exclaimed x10000)
i abso-fucking-lutely agree with what u said, the blood in me is also malaysian no matter what....LOL

Ji Yan said...

too long..lazy read. yeah la cant change d fact tat we're malaysians wtf..but i can't exactly say tat i'm shameful 2 be malaysian oso. dunno la~i have a love hate relationship with malaysia