Following up The Merdeka Survey

Posted on July 9, 2010

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The results of the Merdeka Survey gives one an impression that our Prime Minister 1Malaysia concept and promotion of acceptance is a futile exercise. It is very obvious that the country is divided , split roughly into two . Some had now labelled the situation as 2Malaysia – what a fitting description!

The question of racism now arise . After the racial riots of 1969, I’d say all the races had learned to live peacefully with one and other with understanding and tolerance. Non-Malays had accepted that part of the economic cake had to be apportioned to the Malays so that they are not left behind in the country’s development. During my time in the 80’s, entry into local public universities was very tough for a non-Malay. Then we need to have an outstanding all A’s to pursue professional courses such as Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering and Law in local public universities. Comparatively , Malays with just an average grade of B to C+ were instead offered such courses. I see these very clearly during my days in University Malaya. Even at a disadvantage, I have learn to accept it as part of the non-Malay sacrifice for the betterment of our fellow Malay brothers. During the 80’s , private colleges to do such courses were virtually non-existent. Those who can afford, send their children overseas. For those who are poor and with limited means either take up other courses offered or just join the working world. It was in this environment I’d grown up , finish my studies in the local university and got a job in the private sector. I do believe the government had been right implementing such a policy to raise the standards and livelihood of the Malays. Without this effort, I don’t think we can have the peace that we have enjoyed the last 40 years.

Of late , especially in the last one year, the racial issue have surfaced, all thanks to racialist minded politicians and NGO’s eg Perkasa. Their efforts to fight for Malay rights and quoting Article 153 of the constitution everytime in rally and public opening of Malay based events further aggravate the situation. It is very obvious all such efforts are engineered to achieve greater political statues. To the politician, with power comes great opportunity to acquire wealth. The attempt to stir up racial needs and opportunities, religious differences is disgusting and to the weak minded ones will only tear further apart the relationship between the races. Now I get the feeling that as a non-Malay I am growing threat to my fellow Malay brother ? Is this what the politician brain-washing of the Malays is attempting to achieve ? It is now “hate and distrust the non-Malay” as they are a threat to you and your future.

In my student days and working career I have the opportunity to mix and work with many Malays. I’d say to the best of my understanding, my Malay friends, acquaintances and colleagues are not racist. Like me they are concerned about basic human needs – roof over their heads, meals for the family and a better future for their children. We have come to acknowledge that as a common working man, we will not enjoy the fruits of benefits accorded to those who are politically aligned or have connections aka jalan/lobang to become rich and possibly millionaires. We may not end up wealthy laden with cash, properties, assets etc but we will depart knowing that the wealth and richness is in our life.

I question the purpose of the Merdeka Center in this survey. Looking through all the questions, I can only say they are only trying to get confirmation of what all of us already know. Will all these data collection serve any purpose to improve the country racial “issues” or “problems” ?

Our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib had initiated a very good program in 1Malaysia. Of course there are many doubts about him succeeding as his ideas are deemed idealistic and unachievable within few years. I beg to differ. As the Chinese saying goes , every long journey start with the first step. The initial steps of the journey on the road will be rocky with potholes everywhere and will be fraught with dangers. It is already a year and we could see the actions of few Ministers in his cabinet and senior UMNO VIP’s who are not making it a easy job for Najib. Najib could be very sincere in his efforts but his biggest obstacles are his gang of little Napoleons who appear supportive but are actually Judas with the knife waiting to strike his back. Worse of it, Najib instead of reprimanding them always tried to explain away offering another version of their actions. Sometimes I wonder whether Najib is weak and cannot afford to offend these guys due to the political support he needs or is it just another wayang show ? So far all the iMalaysia efforts are mainly promotional exercises in the media.

We have yet to see physical and tangible actions taken to address the implementations of the ideas. I quote here one classic and academic example : The proposed New Economic Model sounds promising and fair when announced. But before even take-off, it was grounded just because Perkasa complains about affirmative action is still needed to protect Malay rights. Next thing, we hear Najib said the NEP of 30% bumiputra will be maintained. As long as racial pressure is exerted and continual harping by those Malay rights protectors , Najib will be unable to move ahead . The country will continue to be divided until we see concrete implementation of fairness – example in offering positions to non-Malays in the civil service, positions of authority in all the ministries, schools, universities, army, police etc. What we have now is – Malays dominated 99 % of them. Dr Lim Teck Ghee of CPI has written a very good analysis of this, which I posted earlier on in my blog.

Our ex PM, Dr Mahathir had said he don’t understand what is 1Malaysia. He further added saying , his slogan “Malaysia Boleh” everyone can understand. If you ask me, both are equally delusive .