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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ketuanan Melayu and other issues. A Response to tiching99.

I am responding to a very interesting heartfelt comment from a Malaysian Chinese, currently working and living in the United Kingdom, who wrote to me expressing his distress and dismay after reading my earlier post where I state that the concept of Ketuanan Melayu here in Malaysia is a thing to be accepted and submitted to by each and every citizen.

I can understand his worries and even fears of Mahaguru58 being a bloody racist which I am truly and surely not.

Read my replies to him and also learn as to why I said so in the first place.

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Dear tiching99,

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for putting across your comments in a manner that speaks volumes about the kind of person that you are.

It is this kind of comments and discussion that I so love and welcome even if it is a comment that does not agree with the way I have wrote my viewpoints here with regard to the state of affairs concerning the realities of the unspoken Malaysian social contract or accepted 'way of life' of this land.

I would be lying if I just wrote rosy pictures of how things really are in the 'Kingdom of Malaysia', wouldn't I?

Now, would you be pleased and satisfied if i had written that Malaysia is a land where meritocracy is practiced by the day in every aspect of our life?

Would you be satisfied if I had said that any Malaysian regardless of creed or color can become the Malaysian Prime Minister?

I would be a liar and a fool , right?

So dear tiching99, please understand my points and realize that no matter how beautiful the scenario would be for those like you if such a thing ever happens, the harsh reality is that as long as the sun rises from the east and sets in the west, things here in Malaysia are going to be the same as long as UMNO calls the shots and the other members of the BN Coalition parties concur and submit to this agreement, failing which, God forbid, Malaysia will come apart at the seams.

Reality sir..reality!

Not wishing to be a source of bad news to you but just stating the facts of life here as it is and as I assume, will always be.

No one is labeling you as anything for working in UK. I'd do the same if I could. Make hay while the sun shines, they say.

Malaysia is our home sir despite the occasional hiccups that take place within our lives.

It ain't Paradise but sure beats living in any other strife torn war zone, doesn't it?

All these disparities dissipate into thin air when one has attained a considerable income through one's own enterprise and when one is rich and wealthy, all these nitty gritty day to day struggle for existence becomes a distant memory for many, especially the rich and wealthy Non Muslim Malaysians.

You think Michelle Yeoh worries as to where her next meal is going to come from?

You think Ananda Krishnan loses a wink of sleep worrying about HINDRAF, etcetera?

Hell no!

It's all up to us, each and every Malaysian to go strive and earn our keep.

As for those who use the race and religious card to make their money, well..they will have to answer to Our Maker later when they face Him on Judgment Day.

You talk about eliminating 'Ketuanan Melayu’. Easier said than done sir.

Not one ethnicity here on Earth will ever do such a thing. Pure fallacy!

Removing their ownership and control of power in government? Not even in liberal countries such as Sweden, Denmark or any other European country!

You might quote one or two examples of how some individuals from Asia have made it in some big corporations in the West or how some Chinese or Indians have been elected as the Mayor of a county or Governor of a state in the United States of America or in England, etc.

That doesn‘t mean that he or she will make it to the office of the President of the United States of America or even as British Prime Minister. Mark my words. Not in a million years.

People will always remain as they are. Deep down in everyone’s hearts, racial discrimination thrives albeit secretly. Outwardly, they might come across as being nice and diplomatic but when push comes to shove, their true colors will erupt and avail themselves to the whole, wide world.

People are naturally inclined to trust their own race and own faith. Yet we also have come across many beautiful examples of human beings who love just about everybody, animals, insects and plants that they come across as living angels with not a morsel of evil in their selfs save for delusions as to who is their true God that they must submit to and worship?

Basically, each and every human being will naturally prefer to favor their own kind, won't they?

Facing up to such realities is what makes one wiser by the day and not beguile ourselves to a life full of fantasy.

I would like to draw attention to your statements regarding how dismayed you are that I too seem fixated on the concept of the Malays being superior to other races in Malaysia based on the ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ principle.

All this time, I have been aware that a percentage of Malays are fervent supporters of Ketuanan Melayu, but I always assumed that they would be uneducated or poor and were merely misinformed about the alleged "threat" to the Malays. However, to read that you, a seemingly educated and progressive Malay, are of the opinion that I will never be your equal, is extremely depressing.

You are a bit mistaken there dear tiching99.

I am not a racist. I am a Muslim. Being a racist would mean that one is so fixated on one’s origins and one’s preference to put one’s own race before any other in each and every aspect of one’s life.

I am not in any way a true blue racist sir. I am a Caller to Islam. In Islam, there is no race based, ethnic oriented way of thinking and if you would care to read up on the Last Sermon of the Final Messenger of God, Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam reiterating the equality of us the Children of Adam before God except for the matter of Faith in God and one’s own deeds and misdeeds, there is not an iota of discriminating anyone based on the color of one’s skin or the origins of one’s lineage.

I do not even differentiate between any person except for learning as to whom to befriend and worth getting to know better and staying away from those whose hearts and soul are blackened by extreme hatred and animosity based purely on the difference of race and creed.

My insurance agent for so many years is my friend Ramakrishna from AIG’S ALL CARE AGENCY, a devout Hindu. I still give him my business because we both worked in AIG before and also because he is my friend. The man is as Hindu as he can be but still, I have never shied away from acknowledging him to be my friend and have kept him as my agent even when there are hundreds of thousands of Takaful Insurance agents around!

Hell, if I wanted to, I could just pass on over my business to MENJ’s dad, a Takaful agent. MENJ and I are quite close as he is the Secretary General of the Muslim Bloggers Alliance of which I am the founding Protem Committee President.

I am no racist sir. Just stating the facts of life here in Malaysia as it is.

If there’s any discrimination going on in my life, it would be in staying away from misled folks who do not know how to differentiate between right and wrong, fact and fantasy, realities and illusions or assumptions, in which category you clearly do not fall into and should not worry too much about.

I am honored to get this comment from you which reaffirms my belief that there are many Malaysians out there who are still good enough to befriend and discuss these issues in a manner befitting our existence as true blue Malaysians, where some of the nicest people I have come to know belong to.

A comment of yours that needs to be responded to is in this paragraph as shown below:

It is encouraging that you are a fervent champion of the democratic process. However, if a democratic change in government resulted in the abolishing of Ketuanan Melayu, would you accept it as the will of the people? Would your brothers and sisters? Would the 14-million odd Malays? Distressingly, your article has led me to believe otherwise.

I for one sir have no problems in accepting anyone as my fellow brother and sister in Islam as long as they believe in God as I do and observe all the principles of faith and do good deeds.

Having said that, I still regard each and every human being as my brother and sister in the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Mankind as we are all the Children of Adam and Eve.

The only difference is the matter of Faith and Religious Practices.

Although I accept that each human being is a brother or sister to me, the glaring difference in religion remains a barrier that dissipates into thin air once he or she testifies that ‘There is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the final messenger of God’. Period.

I am a Program Consultant for the Shanghai Jiao Tong University - Global Hanyu & Culture Center here in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia sir.

If I am as you fear a racist championing 'Ketuanan Melayu' to the letter as you imply, would I be promoting the learning of Putonghua Hanyu Mandarin, the standard language of billions of Chinese from mainland China in the first place?

No way, right?

I know how to differentiate between a rich traditional social and cultural heritage that is the key to better understanding and business bridge building between Malays and Chinese, sir than to dwell in the petty differences that are usually the result of ill informed uncultured folks and destroy any chances of networking amongst us Muslims and Non Muslims in seeking a better future for all!

Fear is good tiching99. It helps to stop us from taking things for granted especially when it concerns the basic foundations of living together in a multi ethnic, multi faithed nation such as ours.

Realizing the do’s and don’ts when touching on subjects as sensitive as socio-political-religious matters helps keep us on our toes and to realize that in a world as diverse and as interesting as ours here in Malaysia, sometimes such a kaleidoscopic way of life and our various ethnicities and traditional values is what makes us to be so special in the eyes of the world.

When certain quarters amongst us choose to rock the boat and attempt to sink us from within, don’t you think that such unfounded causes and fears need to be corrected by straight talking articles and viewpoints such as mine?

I am for all Malaysians to enjoy a better way of life. Street protests and hooliganism has yet to prove to be the panacea for all their ills.

Sometimes, the source of treatment is right smack in their own self’s. Nurturing the right mindset and knowing what one needs to do to improve one’s lot within the framework of national interests and guidelines is all that it takes.

Having unfounded fears being stoked day in and day out by those with vested interests and foul agendas only serve to drive us further apart and will in turn also start to consume them from deep within.

Living in hatred and animosity towards others only adds to their current miseries in terms of adding on unnecessary mental stress, physical dangers and even imprisonment or worse getting shot and killed on our nation’s streets.

Failure to learn as to how best to go about seeking whatever it is that one is unhappy about just shows to us and the whole wide world, the lack of rationale behavior and commonsense in the movement that tends to destroy more than what it intends to acquire and to build up especially in the life’s of such desperadoes who took to the streets on the 25th of November, 2007, here in Kuala Lumpur and at Batu Caves, Selangor.

Go see for yourselves, the various videoclips and articles plus news reports that are being posted in Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today.

Although both alternative web news portals publish many articles and news reports that are deemed as sensitive by the government's mainstream mass media, you would be able to learn a more balanced viewpoint and editors there than in any other major news papers or broadcasting stations.

Don't worry tiching99. We will still remain as good natured well balanced Malaysians forever.