It just occured to me that two consecutive May 13s have taken place since the political map-changing Malaysian General elections of 2008.
Despite a record number of Parliament and State seats falling to the Opposition, there was a telling absence of widespread insecurity on the part of this country’s majority voters: the Malays.
Life was still the same in the streets. The makcik who sells nasi lemak in my predominantly Chinese neighbourhood still enjoys roaring business, her only troubles coming from the City Hall enforcement who wants to put an end to her illegal makeshift stall.
I have yet to lose any friends because of politics, Malay, Chinese, Dayak, Indian, Ceylonese, Kadazan or otherwise. The major disgruntlement was over how the establishment screwed the people over. But that was a complaint even I have.
You see readers, in the matters of civil rights, common interest, nation-building, economics and other sober goals, I ceased to see myself along the lines of ethnicity, if I ever did to begin with.
52 years after Independence, I guess Malaysians of different ethicities have ceased to be suspicious of each other on grounds of skin/race/religion. Except for the politicians and their likes.
Which is why it is baffling why a certain newspaper editorial still continues to fan the embers of racial sentiment.
Awang…oh Awang, you cannot be as dumb as to write this sort of drivel.
I take offence at the insinuation that my life here is at the behest of the kind people of Umno. I’m a child of this tanah air too. I was born here. I’d die rather than betray my country.
But if people don’t care for Umno, that should not be equated as anti-Malay. To say that is just plain stupid.
Why do people (Malays and non-Malays alike) hate Umno? You don’t have to be rocket scientists to know.
The excesses we have seen over the years just makes the bile rise. Again and again. The corruption, the crimes, the violation of trust, the abuse of power….I could go on.
It’s not that the Pakatan Rakyat is clean as a whistle. It’s just that the scale of excesses on the BN side of the fence is far more dirty, so dirty that anything looks white by comparison.
Look at this PKFZ scandal. RM10 billion ringgit! I can’t even fathom how much one billion ringgit looks like. And that much money is squandered through shady deals, inept governance, lackadaisical attitude to the taxpayers’ money and sheer negligence.
That’s what we are opposed to. The status quo is a horrible state of being, for this country, Awang! And this is what many Malaysians feel. I think I can quite safely assert that we have moved beyond seeing people along racial lines.
Zaid Ibrahim is a Malay too, last I checked. And yet he too finds it disturbing to read yesterday’s editorial.
Yes, I agree that thousands of the immigrants were granted citizenship in those early days after Independence. But post-1970 it was another story wasn’t it?
The system was such that the likes of Khir Toyo, whose father wasn’t a citizen here, could go as far as to become the MB of Selangor, but a friend of mine who has lived here since 1953, still can’t get his citizenship.
Why? With Indonesians, it is always “kita serumpun” isn’t it? You buta sejarah fellas actually forgot the Konfrontasi period? Remember Ganyang Malaysia?
And since you embraced the Indons and they started turning up here in droves to work and to settle down like Khir Toyo’s father, the numbers grew.
But today, you don’t treat them any better these days, do you?
In fact, Malaysia can be positively evil on immigrant workers and refugees. Yes, there are bad apples here and there but imagine without those immigrant workers, who would work your construction sites?
The poor blokes who died last week in Jaya Supermarket collapse are cases in point. Now they mati katak. I hope the government has the decency to send their bodies back to their homeland to be buried.
Another thing, the part about kindness and generosity you guys at Utusan so readily associate with Malays certainly does not extend to the monsters that are in authority today. Monsters like those who tortured Kugan to death. Monsters like those who bombed Altantuya to pieces.
This government allowed for these heinous crimes to happen. This government screwed its own people by allowing the folks in resource-rich state like Terengganu and Sabah to remain poor.
This is what we object to. Not Malays, not bumiputeras. Imagine guys, maybe RM10 billion could have built roads to Bario.
RM10 billion could have built several universities and funded hundreds of scholars, so our kids and sisters and brothers who aced their exams need not fight over university places or scholarships.
This is one of the real costs of corruption and of absolute power. And we all suffer in the end.
While the likes of Awang Selamat lament about the loss of status quo with such narrow, parochial views, the country is slowly sinking into the abyss. But of course Utusan doesn’t care. After all, it didn’t even bother running the story about the PKFZ fiasco.
Sorak la Awang. Jangan tak sorak. Kampung dah tergadai dah.