Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I have many non Malay friends, and I even had one Chinese friend from Kedah whom my parents have taken him to be their adopted son. This was because my father was the person who had circumcised him when he was a student in Kuala Lumpur many years ago. Our relationship with him and his family has always been one of an extended family and even during his moments of death, he would not fail to call to convinced us that he is alright.

Being older than me, I would call him brother and every time I get to Kedah, my itinerary includes a call on him and his family. My wife would normally prepare some cookies that he loved very much, and the moment we meet, his first words to me would be, “Macam mana Mak Chik”, referring it to my mother, and speaking in a heavy Kedah accent.

Now that he is gone and so is his loving wife, there is nobody else to fill the lost of my Chinese adopted brother and the only thing that can remind me of him is his phone number that is still listed in my hand phone.

Very early in my postings, I have also written about some of my Indian neighbours whom I had befriended during my formative years and are all within reach of me till today. Some had even brought their aging parents to visit me, and what an excitement I get when their parents would start to remimisce about my childhood days that I could hardly remember. I am fully aware of their 'taboo' when I comes to serving them food. Beef is strictly forbidden; just like pork to a Muslim. And even if I have Indian visitors to my home whom I am not too familiar with, I would tell them what to eat and what not to eat.

Having been raised in a multi racial environnment, I am extremely sensitive to the taboo of my non Malay friends. I feel that I will betray their trust if I were to play ignorant of their racial and religious sensitivities. Likewise, I do not expect them to be ignorant of my sensitivities too. And this has always been my strict observance of the sensitivities of my many non Malay friends.

But of late, we notice that there is a growing disregard for the sensitivity of one race by another, and a good illustration would be the recent Shah Alam 'Kepala Lembu' incident, where even Ministers and some 'rumble rousing' politicians have come forward to claim that what the protesters did was not wrong, and they did it without malice. My spontaneous reaction to this is that they are talking rubbish, and if only my father was alive, he would call them 'Gobblok'. That's been my father's way of venting his anger; though mild but it hurts one's ego.

Clearly, today's politicians have not contributed enough to strengthening racial harmony and tolerance that our founding fathers had hoped to inculcate in the people of this nation. Leaders of today would say one thing, but do otherwise, just out of fear of losing popular support, position and power. They do not care much about what will be the consequence of their words and action, but would say or do anything that will boost their popularity. I suppose what really matters to them is the financial gains that they will harvest by towing the line of their masters.

An incident like the Kepala Lembu must not be allowed to happen ever again, because it it does, the consequences would be beyond rapproach. And to my many Indian friends, the ugly incident at Shah Alam is viewed with utter disgust by the vast majority of Malays who profess that the Quran clearly forbids them from ridiculing people of other faith.

And in this holy month of Ramadan, my only hope is for my many Indians friends who have been grievously hurt by the incident, to forgive the protesters for their ignorance and stupidity, and to allow the law to take its course.



FMZam said...

Dear Dato',

What more can we say when after 52 years we are still at a deadlock over racial and religious issues and not getting any better but worse than when we were living in harmony 52 years ago. While we Malays think about this country as our own, other races are thinking about this country as theirs too but why is that some of us are so bent on making others think they don't belong here by forcing them to think about this country the way they think.

If we ponder for solutions, we have been living with a formula for 52 years to see that there is no real solutions to this problem. In fact the formula itself is surreal and has become the bane of the problem. The bane is religion when Islam is used as the basis to define a Malay, the only race in the world with that kind of definition, even the Arabs are not that exclusive.

We refuse to be like Indonesian Malays because they can be of any religion and because of that they don't refer themselves as Malays but Indonesians and so are Indonesian Chinese, Dutch and all their races are known as just Indonesians and yet still Islam is the religion of their majority people and Indonesia is the biggest muslim country in the world.

And certainly the Malays will never want to throw away this definition no matter what we meant by Malaysian Malaysia or 1Malaysia and that's for sure. Other races can be of any religion but every Malay must remain exclusively a muslim. And we are Melayu, Cina, India and others where Cina, India and others can be any Melayu, but no any Melayu can be Cina, India or others.

Now I do not believe anymore that the blame be put on this government. I now believe that the blame is on the people because the people wants to have this government to be the protector of the Malays and for as long as the people wants it, this government will forever exist.

The government of Malaysian Malaysia can keep fighting with the government of 1Malaysia and maybe one day the government of Malaysian Malaysia would take over this country only to see that they would be defeated in another round over the unresolved definition of a Malay.

Anyone who says to resolve this problem the Malays can retain its definition but must let go the special previleges, you are PKR. And when anyone says then we Malays might as well let go the definition for what is a Malay without those previleges, you are UMNO.

If really we want to be truly Malaysians, we all must have no definition whatsoever other than that we are all born from a mother who was born from a mother of a mother who was born anywhere in Malaysia not before Merdeka but before Malaysia was born.

The definition of a Malay made me think that this country has two sets of people, one that is Malayans and the other that is Malaysians.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear FMZam,

An exciting comment from you and thanks for being supportive of my views. Let us lead a life that is comfortable to us in our relations with our non Malay friends,and not to follow how UMNO Malays treat and view their non Malay friends.

John said...

Thank you Dato, you are a true champion of the 1 Malaysia concept, unlike those hypocrites who are only interested in their political self interests. It seems nowadays even the colour black can be interpreted as white to suit political interests. Sadly, there does not seem to be any attempt to be logical or have any sense of shame.

hussin said...

dear dato and all,

apology alone is not enough. we should be together with our indian friends who have showed their discontent with umno in the 2008 general election. they still do as shown in the by-elections thereafter.

let 'crusade against corruption' walk the talk and not merely wasting bullets just for the sake of it. patriotism is not flying the malaysian flag, it is more than that. fighting against corruption is one.

"The abuse of buying and selling votes crept in and money began to play an important part in determining elections. Later on, this process of corruption spread to the law courts. And then to the army, and finally the Republic was subjected to the rule of emperors: Plutarch - Historian of the Roman Republic" (source:information clearing house (ich)

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it" Albert Einstein (source: ich)