Sunday, August 31, 2008

ARE MALAYSIANS TRULY MALAYSIANS?

I watched the programme 'Ambang Merdeka' on TV last night which I thought was very impressive and colourful. I also wanted to see who will be hoisting the Jalur Gemilang this time, and surely it was not Khairy Jamaluddin or members from Permuda UMNO. The Jalur Gemilang was appropriately hoisted by students of PLPKM.

As I viewed the ongoing events, I began to recall a similar event in August 1957, especially the lowering of the Union Jack, and the hoisting of the flag of independent Malaya which happened at the stroke of midnight.

There was no TV than, and I wasn't brave enough to leave the house and to walk several miles to the Padang in front of Sultan Abdul Samad building to watch the flag lowering and hoisting ceremony, as well as to welcome Merdeka Day. I was 14 years old than; old enough by today's standards to leave the house with or without the parents consent. However, I wasn't one of those who dared to defy my parents, to leave the house and to return home pass midnight.

Fortunately, we had the radio and it was through this media that we followed the historical events of the night of August 30, 1957, and the shouts of Merdeka at the stroke of midnight.

Malaysia is now 51 years old, and the physical development that we see in Kuala Lumpur and around the country today is so obviously different. There was no bus service to school, and walking to school was a joy as it wasn't too hot. There was no fear of me being knocked down by a car, because the route to school was usually empty. It is so different today, and I would not dare allow my 11 year old grandson to walk to his school, which is just a short distance away from my house.

Despite all the wonderful things that we see happening today, I just wonder whether Malaysians are truly Malaysians. We still call ourself Malays, Malaysian Chinese, Malaysian Indians. Why this race categorisation? Why not just Malaysians? This is the central issue that has made us suspicious of each other. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just walk into our neighbour's house, not thinking that he is a Malay, Chinese or Indian? I also believe that UMNO, MCA and MIC in its present racially bias distinguishable entity, should not exist any longer.

Many will disagree with what I have said above. But I can't help but to express my views about what Malaysians are today, because I grew up in an environment where my neighbours and schoolmates were truly Malayans.

16 comments:

WaliMuar said...

Dato,

Pada pendapat saya nak jadikan satu bangsa Malaysia ni senang aje.Sekolah Kebangsaan Cina dan India tu semua tutup, sekolah satu aliran saja ia itu Sekolah Kebangsaan Malaysia.Kemudian semua Cina dan India tu mesti ada nama Malaysia sebagai
nama kedua.Cuba tengok Indonesia dan Siam, mereka yang lain bangsa kan ada dua nama. Contoh Susilo nama Cina Indonesia ,dan Thaksin Sinawat nama Cina Siam kan senang macam tu.

Lepas tu RTM dan media lain cuma ada 2 bahasa ia itu Melayu dan Inggeris sahaja, lain bahasa haramkan atau dialih bahasa.Umpama cerita Hindustan ,Jepun, Cina alih bahasa Melayu.

Kan ni Tanah Melayu dan gugusan pulau Melayu mereka ni Cina dari Benua China dan India dari Benua India.Kalau mereka masih nak kekal bahasa Ibunda mereka kena balik negeri asal Datuk nenek mereka la. Dont be offended ya.

Contoh yang mudah Dr Mahathir Mohammed tu kan atuk dia dari India (Indian Muslim) kenapa orang UMNO parti Melayu ambil Mamak jadi ahli dia.Ramai mamak mamak ni dalam UMNO, mereka ni semua patut masuk KIMMA (Kesatuan Indian Muslim Malaysia) baru le tepat.

Oleh kerana orang orang Melayu yang berasal dari Pulau gugusan Melayu tidak tekankan bahawa mereka adalah tuan bagi negeri mereka dan bagi peluang kepada Cina dan India ini menguasai negeri mereka maka lihatlah apa sudah jadi disekeliling kita.


Kalaulah kita orang orang Melayu ditakdirkan dapat migrate kenegara Cina dan India macam mana, boleh ke kita cakap bahasa Melayu di China dan India.Boleh buka sekolah Kebangsaan Melayu diChina atau India tak? Boleh jadi PM ke, Menteri Kewangan Kedua ke, Penasihat PM ke,Ketua Pakatan Rakyat ke? Jawabnya jangan mimpi.

Dari itu kalau dasar yang sedia ada dikekalkan maka sampai bila lah bangsa bangsa Malaysia ini akan berpecah seperti yang ada sekarang ini.Mungkin kita boleh tunggu "Kuching bertanduk" untuk menunggu penyatuan bangsa bangsa Malaysia menjadi satu......I dont Know when will it happen.

Untuk menyatukan bangsa Malaysia ni saya rasa Bahasa boleh memainkan peranan utama.

captazhar said...

Dear walimuar,

Based on your comments, therein lies the problem of creating the bangsa Malaysia.

The bangsa Malaysia that you envision is one of comformity, everyone to wear the same clothes and to speak the same language.

But this would only be on the surface, within every individual would lie a rebel who at any opportunate moment rise against the system. There would be no trust, no honesty in this environment.

The experiment that you talked about was already implemented in Indonesia, as you have also noted but it had failed miserabily in 1997 when the country decended into race riots and saw the sacking of most major cities.

captazhar said...

The rebellious attitude that I mentioned can be seen even within the dominant race in Malaysia today. The Mat Rempit culture is almost exclusive, evident in almost every corner of the country. The cases of extramarital sex and unwanted babies is another to note. On top of it, are the cases of incest despite the taboo this society has placed on it.

The civil service today has evolved into one of almost exclusive, single race service, notably on the higher echlons of decision making. But just take a look at the latest release of the Auditor General's report and you will find corruptions reeks and premates in almost every ministry. Similar reports over the past few years have done little to improve the situation, probably due to the lack of enforcemnent or maybe the lack of will to enforce the laws.

http://www.projectmalaysia.org/collections/2008/08/theme/The_Politics_of_race_full.html

captazhar said...

Some interesting reads here.

http://www.projectmalaysia.org/home.html

captazhar said...

Yet another enlightening read!

Surely there is enough discourse in just this few days to satisfy the hunger for insights and opinions into this subject!

http://harismibrahim.wordpress.com/2008/
08/31/bangsa-malaysia-you-and-i-can-make
-this-real/

maurice said...

Of course, it will be a long way yet before we could achieve a truly Malaysian identity from our present multi-racial societies.The eventual Malaysian identity will be the cross cultures of all the present ethnicities in our country.

We have to be patient with the creation of a truly Malaysian identity bearing in mind other successful countries like Switzerland, USA and others have taken them a few centuries to be where they are today.We should be proud just over 51 years we are have achieved so much in nation-building.

The journey is far from easy; there will be the extremists who are out to derail the Malaysianization process.The principles of human liberty, freedom and equality are important instruments to forge the Malaysian society.

captazhar said...

Maurice,

The so-called Malaysianization process or the Malaysia identity that was being pursued for the past few decades seems to be nothing but an enforced policy of cultural/racial hegemony. There was never a policy for every citizen to be an equal in the eyes of the government.

That is why the rakyat has chosen to rebel today.

maurice said...

Dear Captazhar,

Please remember Rome was not built in one day.

What see today is just a tiny part of one gigantic process.

To my mind, it is going to be a long journey of several centuries.

Justice said...

I totally agree with you captazhar re your comments about the hegemony and may I add the "Ketunan" policy of the Barisan Govt.Man has been to the moon, we are not living in the kingdom of Pelesu (somewhere in Pahang around 1885(6).)
For those who want to proceed at the pace of Rome and fear "gigantic steps" can continue to mark-time.But the rest of us want to move on and we are confident of making progress. Malaysia boleh.

Justice said...

Maurice said "Rome was not built in a day". Could it be because it was built in "a night"? That's not too long is it?
Perhaps he should revisit his history books.(Just tongue in cheek!)

maurice said...

Justice,

Show me one country where such national identity could be accelerated against the normal natural evolution.Then I believe you.

You go against history at your own peril.

WaliMuar said...

Dear Capt azhar,

Dont equate Malysia and Indonesia my grandfather land who manage to uphold its PANCASILA policy until today.For us Malaysian I beleive it is easier to unite under one language as the proverb said "bahasa jiwa bangsa". It is the mode to unite the people of a Kingdom is through the language they speak. If u or your family have stayed in Malaysia for decade and yet cant even speak the National Language I think it is wise for you to consider migrating somewhere else or back to your roots. I have no problem because my grandfather is a Javanese and Javanese on record is one of the races in this Malay Kingdom.Record in the Malay History does not cheat .........If I may repeat what Sdr Sulaiman Abdullah the (convert lawyer said) The Malays in Malaysia does not emphasised strongly that they are the masters in their own land..........this is the biggest problem.Perhaps you could read my mind when I say this.....

captazhar said...

walimuar,

I do not understand why you commented, "Dont equate Malysia and Indonesia". I mentioned Indonesia just because I think what you suggested in your first comment is just what Indonesia has implemented since its independence. However, the widespread race riots in May 1998 (I mentioned 1997 earlier but in error) showed the world the failure of the experiment. Even today, seething racial tension is the underlaying fact of live throughout Indonesia, not only against the ethnic chinese population, but also the Achehnese, the Dayak, the Timorese, etc.

The point to note here, is that those involved in the riots, the perpetrators, the victims, the onlookers, they all wore similar clothings, spoke the same language, have the same names, as per Indonesian laws. Yet the racial riots happens.

The reason for this is that racial integration actually did not exist despite all the window dressings.

So, here in Malaysia, we have the opportunity to do something right, or we can choose follow another failed experiment in nation building and do it the wrong way. Yes, it may take many more years, in view of the number of years we have wasted, and the extent of the damage that have already been done, but at least we can start on the right footing from the start,

maurice said...

Bangsa Malaysia is the appropriate political concept to unite the people.We want to be known as Malaysians with certain national characteristics which we can be proud, for example the Germans for their engineering skills, the Japanese for their innovativeness, the English for their trading skills etc.

TDM has achieved a great deal in nation-building during his time.The momentum must be maintained for the sake of future generations.

WaliMuar said...

Dear Captazhar,

Please check our history May 13 1969, is the worst racial clashes that we have in this country caused by an inbalance economic control. We dont want this to repeat neither to happen again.

Om record the Javanese is still in control of Indonesian politic ever since their independance. So what is wrong for the Malays to be dominance in their own land and sharing the space with others who subscribe and prosper jointly.

Anyway we have the choice to choose a better live some wherelse if we hate this country.

captazhar said...

walimuar,

As far as I can remember, the spark that set off the 13 May 1969 riots was the loss of power by some individuals after the general elections that saw Perikatan (pre-BN) losing crucial seats around the country. It was these individuals plus their political masters who were out to oust Tunku Abdul Rahman that played the key role in that charade. It had little to do with economic control at that time. The NEP came many years after that.

That politicians have to continue harping on that shameful incident after 51 years of merdeka only shows the shallowness of their intellect and their refusal to lift our society into a fully developed and progressive one.

And to say that politics in Indonesia is being dominated by the Javanese alone is probably too simple. Indonesia is heavily fractional with the local government having almost absolute power in the provinces, adherence to Jakarta's directives are on the whims of the local leaders and the local military commanders. The situation in Acheh and Timor comes to mind, not forgetting the Sulawesi islands, the Madurese, the Dayaks in Kalimantan and dozens of other major ethnic groups.

There was no question of the malays dominating politics, economy, culture or anything else in Malaysia. However, what seems to be creeping in these recent times is the question of race supremacy that is being advocated by some high placed politicians. I personally believe that the thinking of race supremacy itself is against the teaching of Islam. That makes me wonder why more people are not speaking out against this notion of racial supremacy.

As for your comment on the hate of this country, I do not have the slightest idea on how you have come to that conclusion. Speaking out against the individuals/organizations that are wrong, manipulative, corrupted, exploitative, etc surely cannot be construed as hate for the country?