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Thursday, May 31, 2012

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AND MALAYSIAN


By : STEPHEN YAMAN
THE LEADER of a ruling BN Chinese political party in Malaysia recently said, “An opposition party has given a false impression or lied that Penang has a successful administration to impress the Chinese community”.
In order to convince the voters in Penang, BN will have to do a lot of work to ensure that they have in fact in the past umpteen years done better than the opposition in administrating Penang compared with the opposition’s 4 years. So, the only way is to win back Penang which they claim that they will do at the coming general election. Let us see what will be the voters’ choice.
Many independent world journalists and AFP have reported in several newspapers that the opposition has made great strides in Penang and Selangor since taking over the two states in the 2008 general election. The books, which were coloured red after 5 decades under the control of Malaysia’s authoritarian ruling coalition, were quickly balanced in their 4 years and debts were virtually eliminated.
For a leader of a ruling BN Chinese party to say “that if a certain party gets the Chinese support all the problems faced by the community will be solved”. The same party has for many years got the Chinese support but how come they never seemed to solve many Chinese issues.
Yes, we agree nobody is a 'superman' as he said but give “credit where credit is due”. Don’t we all know that Penang has done pretty well in the four years since 2008 – a visit to Penang would be the best way to judge for oneself, other than reading from parliament reports?
Former MCA President Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik was quoted in the newspapers saying that many opposition leaders in PR states were not bogged down with moral and corruption issues. He even said that Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as examples of PR leaders untainted by corruption and abuses of power.
In Penang, CM Lim Guan Eng has launched a campaign to halt official corruption. Penang and Selangor are the first states in Malaysia to have the Chief Minister and all its excos declared their personal assets and income to the public.
Many credit Lim’s attempts to clean up the rampant backroom deals and political patronage that are typical of Malaysia. Lim said, “What is sad about Malaysia is that things that are the international norm (clean government) are abnormal”. And he continued, “If you can show that you can govern well, it will be a model, a showcase… a precursor of governing the federal government”.
Tun Dr. Mahathir recently talked about greater skill in managing the country and the difficult task of managing a democracy in this modern situation. He cited, “Human rights, various forms of freedom that could lead in destruction and instability… and a little democracy would be good”.
What is he hinting at? Does he want an authoritarian government forever or do Malaysians want or need many “Changes” on governance? BN has been the government for more than 5 decades. He knows that the minority has never in history affected BN, and never will because they are minorities. Perhaps he is feeling “the East Malaysian wave or the wind of change” that probably may affect the voters’ decisions in the ballot boxes in the coming 13th general election.
In a recent newspaper report, the DPM was saying that “The Malays depend too much on government”. I agree with him because they are spoon-fed by the government. He expects the Malays to gain control of the economy. Is the government giving equal chances to all Malays (including Malays from all walks of life) in Malaysia to participate in all economic and business activities?
The government has just allocated RM500 million 'grant' to cover 10% of the costs of projects in Sabah worth about RM5 billion that includes an international convention centre and infrastructures such as roads, lamp post, water, electric and drainage system among others… the timing of this grant is perfect.
In Malaysia, instead of categorizing people as Malays, Chinese, Indians, natives, lain-lain, etc, why do we not start calling ourselves “Malaysians” to justify PM’s “1Malaysia concept”? In the USA everyone is called American regardless of different races and ethnic groups. So, today a great grandson of a slave in USA is the first black American President.
We have seen major changes in Malaysia over the last few years and are getting a certain level of political maturity yet not enough to fully practice a two party system seen elsewhere overseas. We should really start thinking that “we are Malaysians” rather than categorizing ourselves as people of different races. In Sabah and Sarawak, people have been very closely knitted and the 1Malaysia concept is nothing new. People of all races and religion mingle freely all these years and inter-marriages were very common.
As an East Malaysian, I find it hard to understand why Malays in Semenanjung Malaysia would want to avoid sitting in a Chinese coffee shop. In Sabah and Sarawak we are very flexible and tolerant because we have more rural areas where people sit in any 'kedai kopi' or stall for refreshments when they break their journey.
I worked in Kuala Lumpur and many states of West Malaysia for more than 10 years - people tend to be oriented towards “UMNO for Malays, MIC for Indians, MCA for Chinese, etc” since the independence of Malaya. I think it is time to start orientating ourselves to be Malaysians in spirit to be truly Malaysians.
Until we really “Change or Ubah” and become Malaysians, we stand segregated. - Sabahkini

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