The myth of second-class non-Malays

Dr Mana | Apr 17, 08 3:37pm

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Tengku Faris: Non-Malays should not seek equality.

It was in 1957 that we achieved independence. The British agreed to give independence to Malaya with the provision that the three major races could work out an amicable solution to sustain unity and harmony in the country. The Chinese and the Indians were given the rights to citizenship and the Malays were endowed with their special rights as stipulated in the Constitution.

Most of the Chinese and Indians of those days could hardly speak the definitive language of the country – Malay. The vernacular schools were retained and many Chinese and rural Indians chose these schools for their education. The government has not done enough to make the national school the definite school of the country – an absolute failure on the part of the government to unite the people.

The country has evolved since, though. Politically, we have failed to achieve what is ideal for a progressive country after 50 years of independence. We are still divided by the types of school our children attend to, the types of schools meant for people of different ethnic groups and the opportunities given to certain race groups in the country. Many have misused these privileges.

This is due to the political fallacy that has made many Malaysians still economically divisive by race and religion. Unfortunately, the politicians are those who have failed them with their own para-holistic ways to deal with many national issues.

For the country to progress, we need this fallacy to be corrected. The recent General Election saw a revolt of some sort by over 50 percent of the electorate who felt that racism is no more the formula to resolve our political and economic woes. In time to come, seemingly, we would see a generation of people who would undividedly call themselves as Malaysians and not Malay, Chinese, Indian or Others.

Unfortunately, there are still some unfashionable politicians who still harp on narrow racial and religious issues to gain power. This, alas, is no more viable as the general perception of Malaysians has changed.

Most Chinese and the Indians of today – including those who came from close neighbouring countries before Merdeka – are the second or third generation people of Malaysia. They have evolved into inheriting a Malaysian identity, but unfortunately some politicians would prefer to deny this fact for their own political mileage. They do not show loyalty to the countries their great-grand parents came from.

It is a social myth to say that the present generation of non-Malays should be treated as second-class to any other race in the country. The present breed of Malaysians has indisputably shown their loyalty to this country. They have learnt the definitive language of the country; they are also culturally immersed and their loyalty to the King is unquestionable. Malaysians of all races have involved into a nation of people with shared values, contributing to the economic well being of the country. Many have defended the country against undesirable elements and safeguarded the country from subversive groups to bring peace for all and sundry. In other words, many have even sacrificed their live for the love of Malaysia.

All Malaysians born in this country hence should be regarded as people of one nation. We should work politically and economically together to see that there is no more politics that harp on racism. Political parochialism to benefit a few power hungry politicians should no more be tolerated. All Malaysians should be treated equal irrespective of race, creed, religion or political affiliation for the country to progress. Talents of all Malaysians should be exploited to bring progress to the country.

More could be done if the national education policy is genuinely carved to cater for all Malaysians to be racially united.

Divide and rule was the colonial way of suppression. It will not work anymore in this country as people have become much wiser and know their basic rights as human beings – thanks for the enlightenment after 50 years of independence.

The poor in the country has to be given special treatment in order to uplift their economic well being irrespective of race. We should not question the Malay rights as stipulated in the Constitution but this should not be taken as a passport to deny the other races their rights and privileges as Malaysians. A civilised society would not condone the fact that there are people of superior and inferior race. Islam does not condone this doctrine either, as it is against the fundamental rights of all human races.

When we are politically wrong we need to have it corrected and diligently find solutions to ensure that all Malaysians are treated equal.


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