Posted by St Low
Wednesday, 27 August 2008 11:02
I refer to the letter Understanding the bumiputera's position 2008.
It's sad that after almost 40 years of affirmative policy for the bumiputera population of this country, it seems that the overall progress of the bumis in the areas of education and eradication of poverty is still far from satisfactory. Time and time again we see many Malay leaders and intellectuals express their concern in their various writings and opinions in the mainstream media as well as the Internet.
The writer of the above is but one of many of them. By and large, his view, I believe is consistently shared by many if not the majority of the Malay population. I do not dispute that unless the majority of the population is satisfied with their socio-economic position, the minority who live in relatively better (in the view of the majority) living conditions will find in hard eventually to enjoy the peace and fruit of their labour.
Therein lies the dilemma of a nation which is still in is infant stage of development. How can we make progress as a nation, pulling every one along without sacrificing the needs of the others? Thus far the policy of the present government, as far as I can see is doomed to failure.
The Umno-led Barisan Nasional's government divisive policy is perhaps the mother of all evils. The farcical make-up of a muhibbah government from the various group in the name of Umno, MCA, MIC and the rest is nothing more than hogwash to show the world.
In reality, in its 50 years of rule, Umno has consistently played on the theme of Malay supremacy, instilling fear in the Malay population that unless Umno is supported, Malaysia will fall into the hands of non-Malays and become a second Singapore. This view was shared to me by many of my Malay friends in my schooldays.
This fear alone, I believe, has been enough to keep Umno afloat for the past 50 years. Some one once wrote in a blog, ‘I would rather swing on trees, then see the non-Malays dominate’. It is no wonder that despite scandal after scandal, corruption, murders and all kinds of economic mismanagement, Umno had come out unscathed.
Most Malays were willing to tolerate the failures of their leaders even at the cost of the nation, as long as their needs are provided and as long as the other races are not put in power. They fail to see that after 50 years of managing the country and its economy, the blame should squarely lie with the leaders they have chosen year in year out.
Instead, they are brainwashed into believing that the non-Malays are the main cause of their suffering. They point to the economic pie that is dominated by the non-Malays, they point to the private sector where the perception is the unwillingness of private companies to hire Malays, they point to the private colleges and universities that are dominated by the non-Malays.
They blame everything on other people but fail to see the failure of the leadership they have chosen. Before people like the writer point their fingers and assume that the non- Malays are selfish and are not sincere in helping the Malays and are keeping them from catching up, let me point out that, Dr Mahathir Mohamad before his retirement had said that almost 90% of the taxes are paid by the non-Malays. These taxes are used to finance everything that is needed for the nation.
The non-Malays really have not much say in the matter of how the funding is allocated. In terms of enjoying the benefits of the taxes they paid, it is not difficult to note that the Malays are the major benefactors.
In the private sector, the competition is stiff for jobs. Companies are driven by efficiencies to produce profits to satisfy their shareholders. Though it is not totally absent, the practise of racial discrimination is rare simply because an employer would want an employee who is qualified and efficient to do the job, not because of his colour. If the argument is that many Malays cannot find job in the private sector, then a genuine survey must be conducted by the universities from which they have graduated from to identify the problems.
Such an assessment must be based on facts and not emotions .In the various companies I have resided as director, we have hired Malays without any problems.
In education, many not well-to-do non-Malay parents work their pants off, selling old newspapers, mee hoon, kway teow, you name it, just to save money to finance their children in private colleges and universities so that their children do not have to slog like them. The private colleges and universities accept fee-paying students regardless of their racial background.
Despite the taxes that they have dutifully paid to their government, the non-Malay students do not enjoy the benefit of enrolling into public universities of their choice, but instead have to fork out thousands to finance their education. Are they not the victims also?
We can go on and on to argue and about our difference but the ultimate truth is that both the Malays and the non-Malays are in fact the victims of the current government's policies. That is why Anwar Ibrahim has come like a breath of fresh air
Despite his past, he has taken a consistent position in saying he will uplift the economic well- being of the nation, leading us all as Malaysians forward. We need a leader of his calibre to downplay our differences as Malay, Chinese or Indian, but instead unite as
Malaysians and that all will be treated equally and fairly.
The first step to move forward as a nation is acceptance not dominance. Unless people like the writer begin to see the non-Malays as of equal standing and not the pendatang or a ‘threat’ as projected by many zealots, unless they see that there are also many non-Malays (especially the Indians) who desperately need affirmative action to uplift their livelihood, we will remain a nation divided, ruled by the same people who want to see us divided so that they can continue to plunder the nation under our very noses.