The most recent discussions among the Malaysian politicians seems to be centered around the above slogans; and honestly I am totally lost by what everyone’s meanings of the slogans. What seems to me is everyone is saying the opposite: that are we are not one “Malaysian Nation”, not all of our citizens seems to think that they are “Malaysians”, and as if we were in state of a split nation. Issues, if we highlight them in certain ways, means one thing, and if we highlight it another way, means something else. That is the case that we have in front of us here.
Why not we go about how to make Malaysia as a more prosperous nation, whereby out of the prosperity, all of us, the citizens will benefit from it – because a growing economic pie will always provide enough room for everyone. Whereas shrinking economic pie cause everyone to scramble to ensure that they get their share before the others. May be we should repeat what was said by James Carville during the US election sometimes back: “IT IS THE ECONOMY, STUPID”.
I am not that happy when our leaders are trading jargons, one after another, from both sides of the political spectrum. I have to admit that I was never a fan of DAP’s “Malaysian Malaysia”, and also of PAS “Islamic State” conundrums – even though I do respect the people from both parties since they are at least more sincere in about bringing change. The reality is however, everyone fails to really address the core issue that we are facing now: that is the economy.
I can’t see and have not heard of anyone who can deliberate and concisely described to what level the Malays are “behind” other races; or what are the “disadvantages* that the Chinese have or the Indian have; except that all are mumbling along saying what they wish to say. But can anyone back it up with hard data and analysis? Aren’t we living in scientific enough age such that statistics, numbers, surveys, etc., can provide us some reaonable guides -f or us to have better sense of what we are debating about?
My casual observations have been that if we look very carefully, each race has its advantages and disadvantages. Due to historical development, some race are better in some fields (and hence more exposed to it) than others. Every race have their own sets of billionaires, middle level businessmen, professionals, and are relatively free to start their own businesses. If we have the data at our hand: can we say that the median income of the Malays (or Indians) lower than the Chinese? If that is so, then by how much? How about land, home and property ownerships – what are the percentages that we have? From my readings of so many articles and books – I never had a good hold of these numbers. If that is the case, then how do anyone “decide” that a race is behind another race, so that we need to “protect” one race from the other; or we have to unravel certain things so that another race can have equal chance.
Hey, for that matter, I am having even a much more difficult problem: how about within each own race? Are the Chinese Tycoons doing enough of their fair share to support the Chinese (or other Malaysians)? How about those UMNO people who are littered with projects – aren’t they helping other Malays? How about the Indian Tycoons and politicians – where are they when it comes to help eradicate poverty amng Indians? Why aren’t the DAP being critical of say Genting Group, YTL, Berjaya Group, and others as much as they are being critical of UMNO? And UMNO being critical of the rich Malays that seems to be creating wealth only for themselves?
Why Jeff Ooi, for example, at one time was critical about myself, and now seems to be a bit toned down? And Ibrahim Ali, who seems to be the champion of the Malays, while he himself helped a lot of Chinese businessmen to get some projects from the Government? We have so many royalties who are running big businesses in their own rights, using unfair advantages by virtue of their positions under the constitutions? And Kelantenese PAS which hand outs a lot of logging concessions to their cronies and friends?
In a nutshell, the problems are deeper than the slogans; and I hate sloganists because through it they hide their full hypocracies and inconsistencies. There are more basics things that are required: to establish rule of law that are fair and opened to all – which among others to abolish monopolies and unfair business practices; to have a court system that are fair and just; to have accountability for all politicians at the highest order. To allow media to be open and transparent – by allowing alternative media to thrive and challenged establishment owned media. To eradicate people’s fear of the Government; To have a police force that aren’t biased and at the same time free from corruption. And so on.
To be able to have One Malaysia, or Malaysian Malaysia, or whatever you want to name it, we need to have the prlatform for such things to happen. The platform is a just and open society. Without it, then all slogan will just adds more flare to everyone’s emotions and incite further prejudice and hatred among the races – without them understanding what is really going on. It is rather unfortunate.