There is a storm of hype that is threatening to tear apart some of the principles this nation is founded on. As with all storms, this one has caused considerable damage, damage that can only take decades to fix. I’m talking about national unity here. If something is not done now, I fear that whatever is left of the so-called interfaith tolerance we are said to be enjoying would soon be a thing of the past.
Take a look at some of the comments the Chinese have been posting against the Muslims of late. On the 8th of July earlier this year, Perak DAP leader Nga Kor Ming is said to have posted a cartoon on his Facebook page depicting children requesting for dedak instead of duit raya. The Malays viewed this as an insult to Islam.
Nga denied ever having posted the cartoon. But to date, we have yet to be given a clear explanation as to how such a posting could have ended on his page. And neither did Nga have anything to say about the remarks by his supporters in the comment thread. They seemed just as bad, perhaps even worse. Most of those who commented were Chinese.
The Malays are finding it difficult to believe Nga, and for a good reason. A month earlier, the Member of Parliament for Taiping featured on his page an image of an evangelical Christian with the slogan “In God We Trust.” The slogan was perched against a backdrop that depicted the American flag. The picture, which included a lighthouse and hands in prayer, bore a large headline saying “Lord, Guide Our Nation Back To You” at the base.
Everyone saw this to be a cheap pot-shot against the Muslims. Everyone but Nga, who gallantly defended himself by opening his mouth wide and spewing rubbish. Nga reminded the Muslims of how Teresa Kok was once associated with a video that had seemingly mocked enforcement personnel who had given their lives defending our nation. Like Nga, Teresa stubbornly denied she had targeted any particular group with the video.
The Malays have never forgiven Teresa since. Her video was viewed by them as an act of contempt against Muslims who were martyred at the hands of Sulu terrorists. Between the 11th of February and the 24th of March in 2013, eight police personnel and two military officers lost their lives defending Lahad Datu against Sulu militants. Nine of those who perished were Muslims.
Then, just three days back, Malaysian citizen Leong Chuan Cheok reacted to an article titled Muslims threaten to leave the UK if it will ban the burqa. Chuan added to the article a caption that read “Please go,” a gesture many took to mean the Muslims could ‘go to blazes’. The comment thread under his post was no better – it was filled with disrespectful and scornfully abusive remarks by the Chinese against persons professing the religion of Islam.
Attacks on Islam have reached anomalous and worrisome levels. Just take a look at some of the comment threads under postings made by our leaders. You will find all sorts of derogatory and abusive remarks against Islam and the Muslims. It’s no longer a cybertrooper team that is behind these abuses. These are everyday Malaysians who were emboldened by DAP cybertroopers to wage assaults against the Muslims and Islam.
Yes, things are quite bad.
So bad, I was forced to come out with this piece just to say it as it is. Yes, I’m going head on with a bang on a very racial issue, so you can go ahead and call me a racist. But at some point, someone has got to come out to speak the unspoken, to express what has heretofore remained silent. And today, I am going to be the guy to tell you what many a Malay has been keeping concealed in his or her heart for a very long time.
Let me begin by saying, that the very notion of unity in this country may just be something of an illusion. How can it be not? I mean, the government has long told us that the Chinese and the Malays are in solidarity, that they’re willing to work together to build the country.
But I have never known the average Chinaman to want to work towards an equitable distribution of the economic pie for the sake of his Malay or Indian brothers. Not by his own free will anyway. So how could the country have possibly been built without government intervention in trade and commerce? How could the Malays be where they are today if our government leaders had stood by with hands folded and let the Chinese get away with murder?
Take my word for it – to the average Chinaman, the thought of making sacrifices to help bridge the socio-economic divide is as taboo a subject as the thought of making love to your mother. If current indicators are anything to go by, it’s just never going to happen. Yes, call me a racist if you must. But I speak the truth.
The Chinese of the sixties and the seventies were no better. As a matter of fact, they were worse. They didn’t care less about the socio-economic disparity that existed between them and the Malays. As far as they were concerned, it was the mouths of their young that needed feeding. To them, the Malays were sufficient feeding their kids ikan tongkoi. After all, the Malays were “not a very bright or hardworking race.” At least, that is the impression the average Chinaman seemed to have.
Yes, to the Chinese of the sixties and the seventies, the Malays could go to hell. But through forced intervention, the government of the day did assist the Malays in gaining a stronger foothold in the economy. Like I said, had the government not intervened, the Malays would be synonymous to a group we could go ahead and name kumpulanikan tongkoi.
There wasn’t much of a choice back then, and neither is there one now. The government has to have a say in the manner wealth is distributed between the Chinese and the Malays. I find intolerable that Lim Kit Siang had for years accused the government of intervening by extending spades and shovels to the Malays. The way I see it, Kit Siang had spent the better part of his life fighting to keep the Malays docile by denying them their right to be assisted.
But the senior Lim was not to be blamed. He was merely echoing what the late Lee Kwan Yew had said before the Chinese chauvinist leader and his Singapore were booted out in disgrace from the Federation. Still, had the senior Lim gotten his way, the Malays would probably be under the heels of the Chinese today.
I mean, why would anyone expect the Chinese to be concerned about national unity or the question of integrity in the first place? I never once saw the average Chinaman defending the Sultans when Kit Siang inspired attacks against the local Monarchical institution during Langkah Kajang. Do you honestly think the average Chinaman reveres our rulers?
Not a cat in hell’s chance.
As a matter of fact, let me tell you, the pre-independence Chinese never really gave a hoot about the rulers or cultures that were endemic to the Malay Peninsula. But don’t take my word for it. Ask the rulers themselves. The will tell you how the Chinese were given a free pass by the British to detach from the local Monarchical framework to do as they wished.
To the British, the Chinese were a tight knit community that had a penchant for hard work and an unmistakable appetite for money. Their arrival contributed immensely to the growth of plantations and the tin mining industry. By 1872, there were about 40,000 miners in Malaysia, a large number of them being Cantonese and Hakka. These miners would work like there was no tomorrow and helped develop both Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
But all through the while, the Chinese never thought of themselves as being subjects to the local rulers. When asked, they would regard themselves as traders or merchants who were domiciled in the Peninsula strictly for business reasons. Although the British were well aware of this, they made no qualms about it.
After all, it served to their purpose that the economy was prospering. Without the Chinese, the mining industry would never have soared to heights the British had only imagined was possible. So it didn’t matter to the Mat Salleh what the average Chinaman thought of the Sultan. As long as the tin chests were getting lined and the plantations minting money, the Chinaman was to the economy what the Sultans were to the Islamic Syaria.
Believe me, I speak the truth.
Hate me for saying this, hate me all you want, but the Chinese were never sincere in assimilating with the main body of the Malaysian culture. Since the days of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, they went about their business in domineering and egocentric ways. Nationhood and nation building in the collective sense meant nothing to them.
As long as the bucks kept coming in, they rarely gave a hoot about the welfare of the Malay farmer or fisherman. The budding Malay entrepreneur was almost always driven to bankruptcy as he became saddled with debt owing to crushing credit terms the Chinese mercilessly imposed upon him. The Malays, peaceful and forgiving as they are, were always looked upon by the Chinese with intimidating eyes. Over the years, the Malays grew increasingly wary of the conceited and puffed up mannerisms of the Chinese.
Today, the government speaks of national unity, peace and harmony. To me, it’s all hogwash. The Malays have never really trusted the Chinese, and neither have the Chinese ever trusted the Malays. The Chinaman wants nothing but the betterment of his people. He is quite the cryptic communalist.
The Malays, on the other hand, are quite a relaxed group, taking everything as it comes with a pinch of salt. They subscribe to the idea that life is a journey everyone must endure and cherish. They believe that one must do one’s best to make an honest living, that everyone has a choice to do good or bad. But they also believe in fate, that what one regards to be his or her free will is ultimately by His design and constitutes a part of His impositions upon humanity.
And fate has it that the Muslims are drawing the line.
They are, for the simple reason that Islam requires them to defend the religion by whatever means necessary, so long as those means are honourable and just. By that token, a Muslim is permitted to engage in acts of aggression within proportion and with intent to ward off threats against Islam if he or she sees no other alternative. At present, the Muslims see the religion being threatened and rulers assigned to protect its sanctity attacked by infidels who refuse to subscribe to reason.
And they’re pissed as hell.
To them, all avenues towards a peaceful recourse have been exhausted. They’re wounded and have just about had enough of the ‘Chinese nonsense’. The way I see it, the Chinese had better start packing before the Muslims pack them off to China.
I’m not done on the topic. Look out for my next article…