Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Malaysians, do we have answers for these questions? Malaysiakini

It is true, when Malaysians are overseas, they are less susceptible to racism and feel proud to be Malaysians irrespectives of creed, race and (some times) political inclinations. We are Malaysians, full stop.

When you see Malaysian from outside of our own tempurung, we can differentiate the myth and reality, the propaganda and lies. We are humans and Islam never differentiates people on their skin colours etc.

Yes, like other Malay kampung boys, I was brought up under the United Malays National Organisation brainwashed idealisme and ketuanan propaganda. I had my other than Malay friends and we were colour blind and very close. Then during the growing years, politics and racism became part of life....we are suspicious to each other because of our differences!

The diversity should be the strength and pillar of Malaysia in this 21st century. Obama can, so can we? Mana Malaysia boleh? Just for gimmicks and money wasted efforts like dropping Proton on the north pole?

Tu UMNO/MCA/MIC etc racist bigots, move on please or be obsolete.

Questions and answers for Malaysians
WE WORRY for this beloved country of ours. We worry for its future. We worry that political rhetoric is putting the country in jeopardy. We worry that the vitriol spewed by politicians and wannabes have reached a point of no return. We really worry that things may turn ugly. Like most law-abiding Malaysians, we worry that the resources, time, money and effort which is supposed to be used in nation-building is being used to further the political ambitions of a handful.
We don’t have a crystal ball to look into the future. We are no soothsayers or doomsayers. We are just citizens whose minds go on over-drive each time we see the images on television; read reports in the newspapers or the Net. Why are people dropping the race card each time they want to get a point across? Why should the colour of the skin be an issue when the law is broken? Why should it matter if the offender is white, black, brown or yellow? After all, the law treats everyone equally irrespective of race, colour, religion or creed, right?

There are many out there baying for blood. Have we adopted an "eye-for-an-eye" policy disregarding the written laws that rule this country? Even finding jobs for the retrenched and unemployed has taken a racial connotation. Didn’t we in the past, repeatedly tell the whole world that we are a model nation where different races live in harmony? Haven’t we boasted about our ability to share the wealth and correct imbalances? Why then are we allowing a select few to destroy what we and our forefathers have built over the years?

Is this "open house" concept which we all hold during festive seasons just a show? Are we "putting on" smiles when greeting each other while our hearts are filled with hatred? Are we all acting as if we are all after the coveted Oscar? Have we all lost our bearings and our ultimate goal has been changed to power which can translate to money?

Where did we go wrong? Didn’t we stand united when Tunku Abdul Rahman and his coterie of like-minded souls from various ethnic backgrounds stood up to the British and demanded for our right to rule this country ourselves? Why then are we getting embroiled in petty issues of race and colour? Why are we diverting our thoughts and making police reports on the medium of instruction in schools?
Has a crime been committed by our policymakers to warrant such an action? Didn’t we elect the government which makes policy decisions for the betterment of ALL Malaysians? Everyone has a right to disagree but there is a right forum for such disagreements to be debated in a civil manner without resorting to name-calling, threats and demands to "balik negara asal"?

Why are certain sectors of our leaders provoking the people? And don’t the people realise that they are being made use of? Stopping VIP motorcades with coloured headbands is not heroism – it’s a sad state that we have forgotten our very own core values which we have been brought up to practise and treasure. Is power all that important that we can dispense with our culture and tradition?

Can’t we accept the fact that each of us can differ in opinion and yet agree to disagree? What’s wrong with offering a view on issues? If you have to disagree, then use the right forum instead of reading between lines and innuendo to interpret such a view. These are basics.

Has our education system changed so much that the "new" generation has been taught to convert their disagreement into anger and violence? Can’t we, the right-thinking majority, have our say without being shouted down by those who claim to be mighty and powerful? We will not have unpopular policies shuffled down our throats and if we have to express our feelings, there’s always a forum which would be accorded at the right time. Why then all the noise and threats?
Was Dr Mani Jegathesan running for the Indian race in the Olympics? Was Lee Chong Wei playing for the Penang Chinese? Is Shalin Zulkifli now competing in the United States for Malaysia or is she proving Malays can compete internationally? We don our national colours, not the colour of our skins by which we are classified by some quarters.
Dear readers, you may want to say that I have an advantage in the form of a permanent forum, this column, to articulate my views and express my disappointment over certain issues. I don’t deny that. Not many are given such an opportunity. But having had this advantage, you would be the first to stop reading if I ever misuse the privilege accorded to me. Yes, we all have our own platform to deliver our messages – at meetings of organisations or political parties which we belong to. These messages can be carried to the nation’s leaders who will then assess, consider, dissect and deliberate on them. The bottom line is that all of us can’t have it our way.

Therefore, in these circumstances, why can’t we use our own avenues to get our point across? Why do we have to resort to working up the people and using crass language to get the message across? Can’t we be civil in our mode of communication?

We dare say, all the senior leadership of political parties know the race card is an absolutely unmitigated wrong! Speak up, for goodness’ sake and for the sake of all Malaysians. Honour the founders of our political system, the founders of our nation. Besides the politicians, bureaucrats and those responsible for the implementation of policies cannot escape accountability. There could be many reasons why many of you couldn’t thwart what is happening but now you see the results.
Stand up and speak out against this racial hooliganism. Decent people, please tell your children, your relatives, friends, neighbours, the fish monger, the supermarket counter girl and the waitress at the pub how you abhor racists. Enough is enough! Tell everyone. Let the whole world know that you treat racism with utter contempt.

Dear readers, speaking as a true-blooded Malaysian, I worry because if we allow these people to trod all over us, there will no longer be voices of reason. People who act and behave moderately will be over-shadowed by those with extremist views. That, ultimately, will be the beginning of the end.
R. Nadeswaran hopes like-minded Malaysians will stand up and speak up against bigots and racists. He is editor (special and investigative reporting) at theSun. He can be reached at:

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