Friday, January 30, 2009

Malays are always concerned about their sensitivities

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Pewaris, a non-governmental Muslim advocacy group, today appealed to MIC president Datuk Seri Samy Vellu to urge the Indian community not to get involved in any protest demonstrations during tomorrow's (yesterday’s) funeral procession for A Kugan, a suspect in a car theft case who died while in police custody.

Pewaris deputy chairman II, Rahimuddin Md Harun, told a press conference here that any protest during the procession was inadvisable as it might offend the sensitivities of others.


How many of you detected the ‘hidden messages’ and the contradictions in the message by the Malays compared to the non-Malays? And I must add that as much as I do not like to use the terms ‘Malays’ and ‘non-Malays’, I have no choice because this is how the mainstream media and the politicians always talk. So I have to use the ‘normal’ vocabulary or else many may not understand what I am saying.

How would the citizens of America be called? Would the ‘original’ inhabitants of the land be called ‘Indians’, or ‘Red Indians’, and the immigrant British, Italians, Germans, Jews (from Russia, Germany, Italy, France, the Middle East, etc.), Arabs, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysians, Indonesians, Filipinos, and what have you, be called ‘non-Indians’ or ‘non-Red Indians’?

I am just using the ‘agreed’ standards adopted by Malaysia. The Malay, the ‘Lord of the Land’, is called Bumiputera, or son-of-the soil, and all those who came slightly later are called non-Bumiputera.

Okay, I know this opens up an entirely new debate. What about Tian Chua, some may ask, whose family came to this country 500 years ago, and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whose father was born in India? Mahathir is Bumiputera and Tian Chua is non-Bumiputera. If ‘he who came first to Malaya’ is the yardstick, then Tian Chua would be Bumiputera and Mahathir would be non-Bumiputera, many will argue.

Unfortunately, it does not work that way at all. Even if Mahathir himself were born in India and even though Tian Chua is 20th generation Melaka Malaysian, Mahathir would still be Bumiputera and Tian Chua would be non-Bumiputera. And that is why I, who was born in England, am also Bumiputera, while many of you whose grandfathers and/or grandmothers were born in this country are non-Bumiputera.

Now, before you scream ‘not fair’, remember, life is never fair. So quit grumbling like a good non-Bumiputera. You are the ‘pendatang’ whether you like it or not.

Okay, let us look at what Pewaris said: any protest during the procession was inadvisable as it might offend the sensitivities of others. He meant, of course, the sensitivities of the Malays when he said ‘others’. ‘Others’ here means those who are not Indian. He knows the Chinese will not be sensitive about the matter so he did not think that ‘others’ meant Chinese as well.

Saying that Malaysia’s race relations has improved is not enough, especially when it is Barisan Nasional politicians who are talking. This is mere rhetoric and even those making the statements know this is true. We need to do more than just talk. We need to act as well.

How can we explain why an estimated 90% of those who die in custody are Indians when Indians are not 90% of those behind bars? I have been behind bars many times myself and I can tell you that those who share the prisons or detention centres with me are not 90% Indians. In fact, 90% of the ISA detainees are Malays while the majority of those under EO are Chinese (with quite a number of Indians as well of course). In the lockups, more than half are Malays. In some lockups, depending on where it is, it is an almost all-Malay population.

This means the high number of Indians killed behind bars does not reflect the proper ‘racial quota’. Is it any wonder that the Indians are upset? And if the Indians demonstrate their unhappiness, who are those ‘others’ who are going to become ‘sensitive’ about it? Certainly not the Indians, and the Chinese could not care a damn.The Malays and Barisan Nasional politicians must guard what they say. What comes out of their mouths reflect what’s in their minds. And what’s in their minds is that Malay ‘sensitivities’ come first and the sensitivities of all others are not important. How can we shout about how much improved Malaysia’s race relations are when what you say does not give this impression?

Parti Keadilan Nasional (PKN) once threw a dinner party back in 1999 (before it became PKR) and the food had beef in everything, even in the vegetables. I asked the organiser why he did not provide for a vegetarian alternative for the Hindus and vegetarians. Even the vegetables were ‘not halal’ to Hindus and vegetarians.

The reply the organiser gave me was that Malaysia is a Muslim country so they have prepared a ‘halal’ menu according to the Muslim tradition. The non-Muslims will have to learn to live with this, the organiser added. They can always not touch the food, the organiser said.

Why would anyone want to come to a dinner party and not eat the food? Would they rather not come? The late MGG Pillai pointed this out to me and said that keADILan should be more sensitive to the feelings of those who are Hindus or vegetarians. At least one vegetarian table should have been prepared, he said.

I apologised to Mr Pillai and promised to take him to dinner later to make up for it. “Oh, it’s not about me,” he replied. “I am just pointing it out to you.” And he went and whacked the chicken and fish. Mr Pillai was not grumbling because he could not eat what had been prepared. He was more concerned about the party’s image and what people might say about a ‘multi-racial’ party that caters only to the Muslim diet and tells those guests who can’t eat the food to “jangan makanlah kalau tak boleh makan.”

Malays are always concerned about their ‘sensitivities’. But when others also get ‘sensitive’, the Malays get upset and get the impression that the non-Malays are becoming too much and too demanding. This is a Malay country. Why are the non-Malays complaining so much? If they don’t like it then why not they go back to India or China or wherever they came from?

But that’s just the point. They came from Malaysia, just like everyone else. They can’t go back to China or India. They did not come from China or India. They came from a town somewhere in Malaysia, the place where they were born. And they are as Malaysian as everyone else. How to make the Malays understand this?

There is no way we can reinstall the program in their heads. We can’t even reformat the hard disk. The old program is so corrupted and the hard disk practically destroyed. We need to buy a totally new hard disk. This is what Malaysia and its race relations have been reduced to.

Indonesia is not safe for the Chinese, many Malays will tell you. They kill Chinese in Indonesia. And that is why many Chinese have left Indonesia and have migrated to another country. The Chinese are more fortunate in Malaysia. In no other country are the Chinese as lucky as the Chinese in Malaysia. This is the belief of most Malays.

Well, in November 2008, Indonesia passed the Non-discrimination Act (UU No. 62/58) that makes it a crime to discriminate against any ethnic group. Indonesia’s aim is to unite all the races. Sure, there may have been problems in Indonesia in the past. Malaysia too has been having problems on and off since even before Merdeka. But Indonesia is trying to change all that. Malaysia is not only perpetuating racial problems but we even have institutionalised racial discrimination.

Indonesia is no longer the ‘cowboy’ country that it once was. It has taken a giant leap into the new Millennium. They even give the opposition parties equal airtime on the government-owned television networks. Malaysia, unfortunately, is now far behind Indonesia. I know many Malaysian Chinese who have shifted their business interests to Indonesia. If we are not careful all our money is going to exodus to our neighbour and one day, soon, we are going to be poorer than that largest Muslim country in the world.

Then what will come next? Indonesian maids will stop coming here to work? Instead, Malays will go to Indonesia to work as maids? Don’t laugh! It not only is not funny, it can even happen, though maybe not in the immediate future.

In the 1960s, the Pakistanis used to go to England to work as labourers. 50 years on and many Pakistanis are now the towkays while the ‘whites’ work for them. Stand on Oxford Street and see for yourself. Look at all the Rolls Royces passing by. The ‘white skins’ are driving the cars while the ‘brown skins’ sit in the back seats. Okay, some Pakistanis still work as the kuli. Not all are towkays. But the streets are no longer being swept by the ‘brown skins’. The ‘white skins’ do that dirty job. And the ‘white skins’ rent apartments owned by the ‘brown skins’.

Muhyiddin Yassin talks about Umno going downhill and what they should do about it. The problem is, he is totally clueless about the reason. The doctor can’t cure the disease until he can diagnose what is wrong with you. My late father was suffering from heartburn, said his doctor, and he recommended anti-acid tablets. After he suffered a heart attack and died at a young age of 40 plus, the doctor said maybe it was not heartburn after all. Maybe it was a mild heart attack that became worse because it was not treated.

A friend of mine, DJ Tate, went to the Tawakal hospital because he was not feeling well. Just fatigue, said the doctor, go home and rest. Tate phoned me to tell me he would not be joining me at Anwar Ibrahim’s house for tea that day. He was not feeling well, he said. He hung up, slumped into the chair, and died within seconds. Five minutes later the wife phoned to say that Tate had died. I was shocked. I spoke to him barely a few minutes before that.

Yes, unless the doctor knows what is wrong with you he might recommend an afternoon nap or some anti-acid tablets. You then lie down and die. Umno needs a better doctor than all those quacks. It is dying, not just tired. And unless they treat it with the right medication Umno is going to soon be buried like how I buried my father and Mr. Tate.

Monday, January 12, 2009

"... you don't like it, you get out of Malaysia!"

Lest we forget!

The infamous exploits of UMNO MP Badruddin bin Amiruldin barked in the Dewan Rakyat:

“Malaysia ini Negara Islam, you dak suka, you keluar dari Malaysia!”
(Malaysia is an Islamic State, you don't like it, you get out of Malaysia!)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Malaysian Government Using Our Children!

Are you going to make this person your kid's role model?

Posted at The Dandelions Blog: 09 Jan 2009 03:13 AM CST

Dear Mr. Minister Of My Child’s Education, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin,

I am writting to you as a very concerned mother of a child who goes to a Sekolah Kebangsaan somewhere in Selangor.

As it is, parents like myself already have it up to our ears with concerns for issues that shouldn’t be issues in the first place………but I’m sure you’re trying your “darnest best” to resolve them although we’ve yet to see any actual action plan being executed since you took over this ministry in March 2004.

Infact, some people say things have actually gotten WORST…..the quality of teachers and school heads, physical condition of schools especially those located in Pakatan Rakyat districts, school syllabus, etc……… to counter that? Btw, I still think having Pendidikan Moral as an exam subject is one of the worst idea ever.

Then there is the introduction of the compulsory National Service. Despite constant assurances from your future party president and government and numerous damage control steps taken, our children are still very much at the mercies of poor execution…..from food poisoning (still happening, mind you), “hamsap” trainers, non-existant qualified medical personnels, to dangerously and poorly constructed camp sites.

Yes, I know National Service doesn’t fall under your category….just pointing out what else us average Malaysian parents have to suffer through besides trying to overcome the crappy education system.

If I’m not mistaken, our children are still guinea pigs in your ministry’s never-ending experiments……….one minute it’s English, next it’s Bahasa Melayu, then Bahasa Malaysia……..perhaps that’s why your teachers are no longer motivated.

We’re also told that our children, even those coming into adulthood, are not allowed to initiate or participate in well-intented causes or whatever healthy activities that may be associated with them, including cycling, regardless of whether their parents have given their blessings or not… long as the government say “cannot” it means “cannot”.

But on the other hand, “rempit-ing” seems to be OK up your alley. Why?

Now, right after giving all sorts of crappy excuses about children not being allowed to participate in rallies for fear of being exploited, you must have thought Malaysians really forget very easily and in what I assume to be an attempt to boost your deflating political popularity, our children are now made into your personal political pawns once again.

PUTRAJAYA: Nearly all schoolchildren in the country will be mobilised to protest against the Gaza offensive by Israeli forces.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said about five million pupils and 360,765 teachers from more than 10,000 schools would be involved.

“This is to create a wave of pressure for the Israelis to stop their violence and oppression of Palestinian civilians.”

He said the ministry would be working with the Information, Foreign, and Youth and Sports Ministries, as well as Peace Malaysia, to expand the campaign to a mega scale.

“We are confident that youth leaders from political parties, including those in Pakatan Rakyat will join us in this fight against the Zionist regime,” he said after his ministry’s New Year gathering at Putrajaya International Convention Centre here yesterday.

Hishammuddin said the directive was passed in the cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Asked on the danger of exposing children to such atrocities, the minister said: “When they grow up, they will have to face global issue like peace, environment and the economic crisis.” - nst

So, being exposed to and fighting for global issues like peace, environment and economic concerns is ok and not considered child-exploitation, so long they don’t concern or disturb your rice bowl!!???

Who cares if the kids get emotionally or mentally disturbed after seeing pictures of dead bodies, right?

But hands-off local issues as that may threaten your political ambitions? Is that what the police harrassment of the JERIT cyclists incident all about!!???

And in the first place, who gave you the green light to USE our children to fill up the numbers in your proposed protest against the Israelites?

I believe in teaching my children to make right what’s in their own backyard first before preaching to the others, least we be called “HYPOCRITES“!!!

Anyway, thank you for your time and patience.

Yours Sincerely,
Ernie Jean.

P.S. Just a word of advise, you should seriously consider quitting your keris-kissing act, for you do look absolutely ridiculous.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Causing Disharmony and Threatening to Create Unrest!

Taken from The Dandelions blog:

Remember this?

”We don’t take sides. Even if an NGO, or even government parties were to organise such a gathering without permit, we would have acted in the same way,”
- Selangor Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar, Nov ‘08

“…..since the group had not applied for a permit, the gathering was illegal and police had taken action according to the provisions of the law,” - IGP Musa Hassan
“……the fact that they were at an illegal gathering showed the PR leaders did not respect the law. This is an example of bad leadership, allowing activities which are against the law in the state. They have to understand that the law was created to educate the people and preserve harmony and security, especially as they are leaders.”
- Botoxed former Selangor MB, Khir Toyo.

So, can someone from the Home Ministry or the PDRM please explain how these group of crazy folks under the banner of UMNO Malacca in Masjid Tanah on December 2008 managed to get away with it!!??

And how this is “absolutely” not causing disharmony or threatening to create unrest amongs Malaysians but cycling and holding candles are!!??

I really hope the voters will think deep and hard before casting their votes……for no matter what crap assurances MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the rest of them parties in the BN coalition have given, it’s evident that they’re just mere consorts in UMNO’s harlem.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Malaysian diaspora speaks up....

I am a female Chinese Malaysian, living in the Washington DC area in the United States. I have read many of the letters that often talk about foreign countries when the writers have no real knowledge of actually living in those Countries.

Many draw conclusions about what those countries are like after hearing it from someone else or by reading and hearing about them in the media or after four years in a college town in those countries.

I finished STPM with outstanding results from the prestigious St George's Girls School in Penang . Did I get a university place from the Malaysian government? Nothing. With near perfect scores, I had nothing, while my Malay friends were getting offers to go overseas.
Even those with 2A's got into university. I was so depressed. I was my parents' last hope for getting the family out of poverty and at 18, I thought I had failed my parents. Today, I understand it was the Malaysian Government that had failed me and my family because of its discriminatory policies.

Fortunately, I did not give up and immediately did research at the Malaysian American Commission on Education Exchange (MACEE) to find a university in the US that would accept me and provide all the finances. My family and friends thought I was crazy, being the youngest of nine children of a very poor carpenter. Anything that required a fee was out of our reach.

Based on merit and my extracurricular activities of community service in secondary school, I received full tuition scholarship, work study, and grants to cover the four years at a highly competitive US university.

Often, I took 21 credits each semester, 15 credits each term while working 20 hours each week and maintaining a 3.5 CGPA. A couple of semesters, I also received division scholarships and worked as a TA (teaching assistant) on top of everything else.

For the work study, I worked as a custodian (yes, cleaning toilets), carpet layer, computer lab assistant, grounds keeping, librarian, painter, tour guide, etc. If you understand the US credit system, you will understand this is a heavy load.

Why did I do it? This is because I learnt as a young child from my parents that hard work is an opportunity, to give my best in everything, and to take pride in the work I do. I walked away with a double major and a minor with honours but most of all a great lesson in humility and a great respect for those who are forced to labour in so-called blue collar' positions.

Those of you who think you know all about Australia , US, or the West, think again. Unless you have really lived in these countries, i.e. paid a mortgage, paid taxes, taken part in elections, you do not understand the level of commitment and hard work it takes to be successful in these countries, not just for immigrants but for people who have lived here for generations.
These people are where they are today because of hard work. (Of course, I am not saying everyone in the US is hardworking. There is always the lazy lot which lives off of someone else's hard work. Fortunately, they are the minority.)

Every single person, anywhere, should have the opportunity to succeed if they want to put in the effort and be accountable for their own actions. In the end, they should be able to reap what they sow.

It is bearable that opportunities are limited depending on how well-off financially one's family is but when higher education opportunities are race-based, like it is in Malaysia ; it is downright cruel for those who see education as the only way out of poverty.
If you want to say discrimination is here in the US , yes, of course it is. Can you name a country where it doesn't happen? But let me tell you one thing - if you go looking for it, you will find it. But in Malaysia , you don't have to go look for it because it seeks you out, slaps you in your face every which way you turn, and is sanctioned by law!

Here in the US , my children have the same opportunity to go to school and learn just like their black, white, and immigrant friends. At school, they eat the same food, play the same games, are taught the same classes and when they are 18, they will still have the same opportunities.

Why would I want to bring my children back to Malaysia ? So they can suffer the state-sanctioned discrimination as the non-malays have for over 30 years?

The injustice the non-Malay have to suffer in frightening silence is the most damaging problem one has to face throughout one's life. You just have to look at the mighty govt structures which completely favours only one race, the Umno Malay. The Chinese and Indians are treated no better than the illegal Indonesians. Racism and corruption are openly practised by the Malay politicians everywhere, Courts, schools/Uni, police, govt offices, contracts, GLC, NEP, ISA, local govt. Its so powerful and intimidating that you walk with fear and keep your mouth shut on anything and everything political. Religion is taboo unless you talk good about Islam.
As for being a slave in the foreign country, I am a happy 'slave' earning a good income as an IT project manager. I work five days a week; can talk bad about the president when I want to; argue about politics, race and religion openly; gather with more than 50 friends and family when I want (no permit needed) and I don't worry about the police pulling me over because they say I ran the light when I didn't.

Have we seen the light at the end of the tunnel yet? Or is it the head light of an oncoming Umno train? Lets hope its the former for the sake of all fair minded Malaysians. The dream of a Malaysian 'race' in the future is nowhere in sight with the present BN govt. Where is Negara-Ku???

Nancy Goh