Wednesday, 12 December 2007

A Malaysian Dilemma

Over the last year or so, I have been writing down my thoughts on the socio political scenario of Malaysia as a Nation, which I started publishing on this blog only in June.
If anything, my knowledge of Malaysian history and culture is at best, that of an amateur- my opinions are in no way the gospel truth, and are therefore, debatable. I'm however quite certain that there are truths to my perceptions which justify thought and debate.

Knowing this, I have been going through these jottings of mine over the last year, and have found that I have not changed my opinions thus far. If I were to put the archived articles I posted in a the proper order (more or less) to reflect my sentiments, it would be as follows:

  1. Where is the Spirit of Merdeka?
  2. A Malay Mindset For a Better Malaysia
  3. The Malaysian Race "Revolution" - "Buang"-isation.
  4. Religion - The Politician's Playground
  5. The state of NEP, and its fallout.
  6. The Matrix: Morpheus, Neo and the Red Pill.
  7. Malay matrix?
  8. 5.13 revisited- MT
  9. Ethnic Envy and The NEP - a reply
  10. What has come of “Us”?
  11. Reply To Dr. Dzul
  12. The PAS factor - A Viable Alternative?
  13. The PAS "Cooperation" and Vote.
  14. Class Politics - the Other Option?
  15. Guilt Concealed By Fear
  16. Now Does Our World Descend - E.E. Cummings

What exactly made me start blogging these things, I cannot say - but most likely, it was the frustration that I feel, at being a voiceless second class "citizen" of this beautiful country. That of course, is not taking Malaysia Today into account - Malaysia Today made me realize that I could share, discuss and debate these ideas with like minded (or otherwise) people.

There was a time, when I thought that all was well and good. However, this "good feeling" was gradually eaten away by the realities that I saw (and faced to a lesser extent) over the years, after I had started working for myself. It was almost an awakening of sorts, to the realities that one is faced with, when you are forced into "awareness" of the differences (and not similarities) between us Malaysians.

Yes - Malaysia is still a great place to live and work. However there is this nagging feeling of discomfort, when we hear the racist rhetoric of the politicians, and policies of race based preferences, justified in the name of affirmative action - when the reality is actually, a process of legalized "wealth acquisition", and not wealth creation by the minority elite.

We (Malay or otherwise) who are deprived of these "benefits" due to reasons known to those concerned, have chosen to create our own rice bowl and lament the system of apartheid, that has been touted as the creation of a "level playing field", which is actually tilted in favour of the ruling elite.

The delusion that I once had of a progressive, just and promising land of opportunity has since vanished into thin air. The reality today is - I have to silently agree to Ketuanan Melayu, and make a living while I still can. For all I know, I might one day be forced to leave this lovely country by the "Bumiputras".

No I do not blame the Malays for it - only certain greedy gangsters who insist on indoctrinating the Malays that they cannot live without the "crutch" called NEP. Those who insist on paralyzing the Malay mind.
Those who subtly, sow envy, distrust, greed and hatred into the beautiful and loving Malay people, for those of other races and religions/ belief/ lifestyles.
Those who use God to highlight differences, rather than similarities.

There was a time when I would've bet my life on the delusion that I would never have to do such a thing as migrating or being an economic refugee - today, I'm not so sure anymore. Despite the love I have for this country, I would be lying to myself if I didn't admit that my confidence has been greatly shaken by events of the last 20 yrs. Seldom do I feel that my country loves me, despite my service to society, despite not being a beneficiery of the NEP, despite paying my taxes, despite being proud to call myself a Malaysian.

When I hear parliamentarians shouting that this is an Islamic nation, you should leave the country if you aren't happy, do not question the NEP (aka Malay supremacy) - I recall Hitler and his "Aryan Supremacy" racist rhetoric, in search of a scapegoat for the humiliation of the German race.
Little do I understand, as to why I, who was born and bred here, should be referred to as a "pendatang", when I haven't taken anything, but have only contributed to the country! It is humiliating, to say the least when a "leader" tells you indirectly that you're not wanted in this land.

I have Malay employees working very well with me - and I'm certain that I'm not biased. In fact, I have been accused of showing favoritism to Malays, and thus was "boycotted" by many of my own race. I'm also certain that the benefits I provide my employees are far better than that provided by some Malays for their Malay employees.

Why then am I a "pendatang", when an illiterate immigrant who robs the Malay of opportunities (and husbands too) is considered a "bumiputra"?

The way I look at it, the thorn in our society is nothing more than the NEP - it is the humiliation of the failure of this plan, that makes the leaders scramble for scapegoats, just as Adolf Hitler did prior to his rise to power. The NEP has only created a super rich elite, and an unsustainable middle-class among the Malays. Those who did not enjoy the fruits of NEP - the majority, are left high and dry. This failure is conveniently blamed on the non-Bumiputras, for not being "supportive".
The leaders seem to be able to play the race-card very well, by keeping a segment of society deprived of economic benefits - it is these people who are instrumental in perpetuating the delusion of "volatile race relations" that requires repressive laws, that determine the one and only viable leadership.

To also perpetuate the idea of Malay supremacy, they (the Malays) are also subtly encouraged to despise the idea of working for a private enterprise under a "pendatang" or "Kufr". The ideas of efficiency or merit are lost with those indoctrinated with these propaganda. As a result many are taught to believe that it is their God-given right to sit in command above the non-bumiputra or Kufr.
That it is their right to have preferential treatment in all matters, rich or poor, big or small. The criteria are only two very basic, simple and easily identifiable things, in all matters - race and religion.

We are constantly "reminded" by racists, that we should be thankful for being allowed to live in peace. Threats of the Malays running "amok" with the parang or kris has become commonplace, in a nation that has been starved of accountability for the failures of the leadership over the last 20 yrs.
It scares me to think that the Malays could fall for the hate ideology that is being propagated by "leaders" in the name of Race, Religion and Country. The possibility of this happening would definitely be very real should there be sufficient frustration among the people who have once tasted the comforts of some promised "security"- bumiputra or otherwise - as a hungry and angry man is most vulnerable to suggestion, political spin, chauvinism and would see no reason during his frenzy.

The only way out of this predicament is for the powers that be to responsibly democratize the nation, subscribe to values of freedom of expression/ information, accountability, meritocracy and a very positive affirmative policy, with a little less of religiosity (not spirituality).
Or else, sooner or later, despite all the racist rhetoric, the people will surely be fighting for a lost cause, and Malaysia would be ripe for economic colonization as it was under the East India Company 50 years ago.
This time around, the economic invaders would definitely rob the nation blind - this time in the name of globalisation or religion.
Listen then, if you have big ears .......

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