Saturday, November 2, 2013

East Malaysians ! Beware the Malayan Disease

By SakmongkolAK47

The Allah issue between Muslims and Christians in Peninsular Malaysia does not affect Sarawakians because they are a tolerant people, said Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud. Here is an interesting statement coming from Taib Mahmud. Are peninsula Malaysians intolerant?
In other words, he is saying to Najib, keep out from Sarawak. Since you can’t handle an issue regarding Allah, don’t burden Sarawak with your indecisiveness and morbid intolerance. Najib and his brand of politics has no place in Sarawak. Even though Taib invited Najib to officiate and be present at the PBB congress, Taib didn’t waste any time in giving Najib a few lessons in mature politics.
Taib has the mental disposition to disassociate himself and PBB from UMNO’s machinations.
In regarding the issue as being simple and localised, Taib Mahmud adds salt to injury by instructing Najib on living a life of tolerance. Taib went on to say- “To us (people in Sarawak) there is no issue. We have lived with people of different races and different religions for many decades, even before Malaysia,”
See, the issue wasn’t even heard of before Malaysia was formed. Once Malaysia was formed, the aggressors in peninsula wanted to invade the east Malaysian states and wanted to superimpose their stupidity in East Malaysia. They brought in the Malayan disease- intolerance and racism.
When Sarawak and Sabah joined Malaysia, they entered into agreement as sovereign states with the Federation of Malaya as a single entity. That put both Sabah and Sarawak on the same level as Malaya as a whole, not placed Sabah and Sarawak as component states in the federation. The inclusion of Sabah and Sarawak isn’t like the inclusion of Hawaii as an additional state into USA. The chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak should be styled Prime Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak respectively.
So 'PM' Taib Mahmud declared the ruling was not binding on Sabah and Sarawak. PM Najib, the PM of Malaya must take note of the hidden messages in Taib’s comments “We cannot alter the status quo in Sarawak”.
He then went on to instruct Najib on how to live a life of tolerance; the use of the word was not a problem in the state as the “spirit of tolerance” among Sarawakians is high, one of the features of multi-racial Sarawak which made it a bedrock of stability and harmony. “When I travel to the longhouses, I'd just look for a Muslim cook from the city and they (the longhouse folks) would buy the food and even buy praying mats for me to pray in one of their rooms. “This is quite natural with us in dealing with people of different religions.
In other words, the way peninsula Malaysians deal with the problem is unnatural. Taib said it did not bother him when other people made the sign of the cross because it’s their religion, expressing their respect for the Almighty. I can understand it.”
Najib and the UMNO right wingers don’t understand it. Taib said he would bow and offer his own prayers the Muslim way when his Christian friends made the sign of the cross in their prayers. “The Chinese would probably do it their way. The intention is the same. “It's all praying to the superior being which we believe is the Creator of this world.”
“It's this kind of spirit we have in Sarawak,” Taib said, stressing again that it is not the thorny issue that is in the peninsula. “The Ibans, the Malays, the Chinese have shown their respect for other religions and cultures even before Malaysia. “When we came to Malaysia, we carried this with us and it has become one of the features of Sarawak.”
 In 2010, Taib had also spoken out against an attempt to prevent Bahasa Malaysia bibles from being freely brought into the state. He described the order to stamp the Bahasa Malaysia bibles with serial numbers by the Home Ministry as a “stupid idea” that should not be applied to Sarawak. He had also called the strictures on the Al-Kitab nonsense.
Taib uses the PBB Congress to turn the tables on PM Najib- instead of East Malaysians being looked down, Taib is saying, the west Malaysians are the stupid ones.
The AG and then the Home Minister both said, the banning of the word applies only to the publication of Herald. What happens if the Christians now decide to publish another paper using the term? Will the ruling on Herald which everyone said was specific thereafter be extended as a general rule applicable in almost every means of dissemination?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Malaysia: Nation of Strangers

Where have all the non-Malays gone?
This is the excerpted text of an address given by Malaysia’s former finance minister recently to a breakfast meeting at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center organized by Paddy Schubert Sdn Bhd
As you are aware, our nation became free from the fetters of colonial domination about five and a half decades ago. Sadly and strangely, after 55 years of independence, I think we are now farther apart than we have ever been before. On Aug. 31, 1957, our freedom from the shackles of a colonial past was greeted with euphoria by the different races who came together on the basis of a common vision for a shared future.

We then had a prime minister who believed that the purpose of independence was the pursuit of happiness for the different races in the country, and our success in that pursuit was to him the ultimate test of our success as a nation.
Tunku Abdul Rahman’s vision for the newly independent nation was based on the “greatest happiness principle,” a subject of intense political discourse in 18th and 19th Century Europe. Like the enlightened political philosophers in the western world, our father of independence believed that governments existed to provide for the happiness of the people, and nothing more.
Tunkuʼs policies were tied up with the golden rule that we must have respect for one another and treat others just as we wish others to treat us. This golden rule was an important principle in an interdependent, multi-ethnic society such as ours.
Tunkuʼs basic concept of happiness is best expressed in his favorite maxim, “live and let live.”
It is a maxim that calls for acceptance of people as they are, although they may have a different way of life. Tunku applied the maxim in the public domain.
If Tunku had boasted that he was the happiest prime minister in the world, it was only because the people were happy. In Tunkuʼs words at that time, “I pray and hope that this happy state of affairs will continue for all times.”
Unfortunately, however, Tunkuʼs dreams were dashed to dust by the events of May 13, 1969.
This once happiest prime minister expressed the pain he felt as Father of Merdeka (independence) as he relived those traumatic moments:
“I have often wondered why God made me live long enough to have witnessed my beloved Malays and Chinese citizens killing each other.”
Such was the man that Tunku was. He was the moving spirit of the nation. He has long gone, and today his premiership is a distant memory. Since the time he left, inter-ethnic relations have taken a turn for the worse on all fronts.
Today we have a regime that promotes the concept of 1 Malaysia with all its contradictions.
We have an official document that explains the 1Malaysia concept as a nation where every Malaysian perceives himself as Malaysian first, and by race second.
However, we have a leader who openly transgresses his own official policy by declaring that he is “Malay first” and “Malaysian second”.
The statement comes as a severe blow not just to the concept of 1 Malaysia, but also as a nullification of Jiwa Malaysia or the National Spirit that Tunku was trying hard to inculcate.
No wonder that people can no longer recognize the jiwa — they just don’t feel as though they are fully Malaysian.
It is strange that after 55 years of freedom, we have not learnt the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters. The country’s source of strength is unity, and this source of strength has been slowly whittled away over the years. We have become a nation of strangers, as evidenced in the fields of politics, the economy, education and the civil service.
The strong presence of communal political parties in the country is chiefly to be blamed for the sad state of race relations in the country. These political parties invariably support racial policies and imbibe racial sentiments among the people whom they represent.
In their day-to-day administration of the country, the powers that be often give scant regard to the constitutional provision contained in Article 8(1) which states that “all persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law”; and Article 8(2) which states that “there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent or place of birth in any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment”.
One major sore point in the area of race relations is the New Economic Policy, whose original intention to create unity has been subverted to become a major source of disunity not only between the various races but also among the Malays and Bumiputeras in general.
The New Economic Policy, which was conceived in 1971, not long after the Tunku had retired as prime minister, was primarily created to address poverty and to raise the level of Malay participation in the economy.
It was intended for all Malaysians, and not just for the Malays or Bumiputeras. As a former finance minister, let me emphasize that it was never the intention of the NEP to create an incubated class of Malay capitalists.
If we visit the government departments or universities, we wonder where all the non-Malays have gone. After 1969, suddenly there was this attempt to recruit mostly Malays into the civil service.
It is tragic that the civil service does not reflect the racial composition of the Malaysian population, as the predominant presence of only one race tends to engender a sub-culture that is antithetical to the evolution of a dynamic and efficient civil administration in the country.
Our school system is not as it used to be. The non-Malays prefer to send their children to vernacular schools, as the national schools have assumed an exclusively Malay character.
Needless to say, national schools have become even less attractive to the non-Malays as English is no longer used in the teaching of mathematics and science. The situation will be very different if all discriminatory practices in the education system were to be abolished, and a common system of education for all is adopted.
National unity is the one area that we cannot afford to ignore, and the real genesis of national unity, I submit, is from an unlikely source: Parliament, warts and all. It is the Parliament that has the final say in charting the direction the country is heading to.
We must have a strong and resolute government which recognizes the needs of all Malaysians, and formulates the right policies for the propagation of a cohesive and integrated society. If Parliament enacts policies that are just and fair for all Malaysians based on meritocracy and need, more than half the battle for national unity would be won.
In this respect, the rakyat’s [people’s] voters must realize that in the ultimate they alone hold the key to the future of this country.