Sunday, August 31, 2014

Which Malaysia do you want? Some serious questions

Just returned from a Sunday morning worship service at church wherein the children dressed up in traditional Malaysian costumes and said a Merdeka prayer for our nation. The sermon was about Christians being involved in Nation Building and contributing to the welfare of the nation and praying for the nation.  I come home and read about a friend bringing joy to street children in KL by caring for them and spreading love. I remember my friend in Penang who gave up her job to join Teach for Malaysia so that she can inspire some young Malaysians. All over Malaysia there are random acts of kindness which go unnoticed performed by citizens who believe in a better Malaysia. 

Then, on Merdeka morning we wake up to the news that Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s home being hit by a homemade molotov cocktail bomb.  Last week politicians from the Federal opposition were suddenly charged under Sedition Act.  Today, a lecturer is charged for sedition when giving his constitutional view on the Perak crisis.  We also have right winged groups in Malaysia like ISMA and PERKASA who demand their  entitlement and who consistently remind the non Malays of their secondary place in Malaysia.  They insist they are not racist but decry the superiority of the Malay race and the fight for the cause. A day before Merdeka, BN Minister Ismail Sabri says if Malays unite, no one will dare challenge them.(?) Yesterday, Home Minister Zahid Hamidi said that the "Malays allowed them (non malays) to be indebted without needing them to pay back. They are now insulting Islam on the pretext of democracy.." This is inciting mistrust and animosity among the races. This dialog has been going on for decades.

It occurred to me that there are those who seek a very different Malaysia from what the majority of us would like it to be. They seek a Malaysia which is divided according to race, where race is the motivation behind college scholarships, jobs, discounted houses, school systems (vernacular and mainstream)etc.  They seek to ensure that Malaysians understand the differences and the minority races understand and remember their place. 

 We are at the crossroads of a new Malaysia. This I believe was the dream of our founding fathers; The Tunku and his colleagues in 1957.  Like what the current Sultan of Perak said; “A place for all under the Malaysian sun.” Several things I believe stand in the way and chief of that is the continuation of a race based political party. It should be faced out.  Perhaps in the early years of Malaya, the needs of migrant Malaysians were unique as our forefathers learn to adapt to the new adoptive country. They sought the help of their own ethnic groups to settle and to do business and to trade but for goodness sake, surely we ought to be working ourselves out of the need to be divided by our race. Today, there is no reason why a Malay should only help a Malay or a Chinese look after the Chinese community and the Indians in the Indian affairs. If we are truly Malaysian we should work towards the welfare of every Malaysian irrespective of race or religion. We should be color blind and our children should learn to be color blind.  Having a political party based on the formula of the BN is counter to the progress and advancement of the nation. Political parties admitting only one particular race should be banned in time.

Non bumi supporters of BN say this is naive thinking. We must be realistic about living in Malaysia. The MCA and MIC must remain strong as a counter balance to the extreme Malay rhetoric. You  see the 3 component parties create a need for their own existence. They each insist the rights of their individual ethnic groups to the detriment and destruction of Malaysia. While the nations around us are forging ahead, we are busy fighting among ourselves, arguing who should get the biggest piece of the pie.

Malaysians must be resolute to end race based political parties and reclaim a Malaysia envisioned by our fathers of Independence. Maybe our children can live in a beautiful country which is color blind and where the poor, weak and destitude can be protected and helped. Perhaps one day, we will identify ourselves only as Malaysians. Not Chinese Malaysians, Indian Malaysians or Bumiputera but just Malaysians. One day we will end this obsession about race. 

Today, we prayed for Malaysia. For God to bless Malaysia and for people to live in peace and harmony. May God hear our prayers and unite us as Malaysians.