Give nonracialism (policies based on needs) a try

Certain politicians are playinga very dangerous game by saying that in this election, the Malays are losing power, and the non Malays are gaining power. Which is nonsense. In this election, BN is the loser and not the people. The people in fact is the winner. They have now a better system of check and balance by having a 2 party system. The people includes the Malays and the Non Malays of course, and all are winners. Do not forget either Malays or nonMalays alone would not be able to produce this election results that give rise to the 2 party system. Only when Malays are voting DAP, and non MAlays are voting PAS, can Pakatan win the 5 States and so many of the Federal seats.

With regards to the recent speech by a royalty advocating the concept of “Ketuanan Melayu”, I would tend to agree with what Anwar Ibrahim said in Malaysiakini. I qoute Malaysiakini:

  

Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said the ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ card increasing played up by Umno is to divert attention from the party’s internal problems following its unprecedented setback in last month’s general election.

The former Umno deputy president said this today at a hotel in Shah Alam when he was asked to comment on Utusan Malaysia’s ‘Ketuanan Melayu tercabar’ front-page headlines in the Umno-owned newspaper.

At a gathering organised by newly formed Barisan B Tengku Faris Petra told the crowd that it was not appropriate for other ethnic groups to seek equality and privileges accorded to Malays.

“We didn’t hear much about this (Malay rights) issue last month or before the elections. I believe their intentions are to divert the attention of everyone,” said Anwar.

He said that instead of the ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ concept, the more important cause is ‘Ketuanan Rakyat’.

“And when we say ‘rakyat’, it includes the Malays…especially the downtrodden ones and not the rich ones,” said Anwar, who is former finance minister.

“Our approach should be to help the people who are sidelined, denied their rights and opportunities. As such, it should include Malays, Chinese, Indians and other Malaysians,” he said.

After 50 years of Independence and after this election, I appeal to the  people as well as government leaders to cast aside race and instead work on the basis of social needs. Give this concept a try and if it does not work, the Malays would have nothing to lose. They are the majority race, and their number would be bigger with time given the higher birth rate,   they can always vote in future to choose back the old way if they think this new method cannot work. BUt , please, at least give this new method of non racialism a try. Give it a try of at least 10 years or 2 parliamentary terms. I am sure once they have tried out the nonracial way, no one would want to go back to the old way of basing everything on race.

This is the best time to try out non racial policies. Just  try it out, like test driving a car. I am sure if good governance prevails, affirmative policies based on social needs would be much better than that based on race. So the first thing to do is to try to pressure for better governance. An indpendent Judiciary, and independent Agency for anti corruption, a more transparent and open government would be the first steps to take.

Pakatan governments in the 5 states would be closely watched by the people. If they can cast away raced based policies and yet succeed in practising affirmative policies based on social needs, then the Federal Government would have no choice but to follow so. Otherwise they would be out of office the next time around. So Pakatan legislators have a very heavy responsibility and they have to tread very carefully.

Further readings:

Race and nonracialism

Race and nonracialism 2

 

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Peter Yew
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 15:00:00

    Dr Hsu,

    It is quite clear from the recent election results that the voters are quite sick of the way BN has politicized almost everything, from race relation to religion to education to business. Everything in our country is tainted with political connections. It is as if the BN government wanted to infiltrate its policies and values into the lives of the ordinary citizens, our systems and work culture. I write specifically of the damage the Mahathir Administration did to our nation, that a whole generation has grown up recognizing what the government wanted them to believe. BN won but the nation suffered. People walk around distrusting each other because of the seeds of distrust sown by the government in its practices. Not that we want to distrust our neighbours of other races but how not to feel this way when day after day we see the BN government doing exactly the opposite of what they preached?

    Now that Pakatan has won 5 states, we really must not lose this golden opportunity to stamp out racism and extremism because they destroy our nation. However I am a little pessimistic here because I think PAS will still want to exert its Islamic values on the non-Muslims when they become powerful. I guess we need to continue to confront this issue to protect the rights of the non-Muslims in the country.

    Like

  2. Dy
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 15:07:22

    WE ARE MALAYSIANS.

    Like

  3. romerz
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 16:38:20

    Now that we are being given this fledgling of a chance to put in place a 2 party system, how do we in our own way, contribute to strengthening this system?

    For some, they had already done so when they voted for non-race based parties recently and sent out a loud message that communal politics can no longer be the way forward for modern Malaysia.

    For others who did not do so, for fear of the unknown and untested, should now realize that more of the ‘safe’ option is no longer in line with an ever larger growing segment of society, which cuts across all races.

    In some ways, we have the more ‘courageous’ voters to thank for jolting us out of our ‘safe’ slumber all these years.

    Communal politics had its practicality because the ‘political settlement’ of post-independence Malaysia had been to hitch the ‘race issue’ to ‘stability’ by giving a coalition of race based parties the legitimacy to ensure balance, with an aspiration for fairness.

    1969 posed a major threat to this narrative, and the non-UMNO coalition partners had to go along with the dominant view that some rights and freedoms had to be sacrificed to maintain stability.

    It seems to me that the ‘tsunami’ of 12GE has breached – if not washed away – many of the old assumptions. I am certainly not saying that this is a new dawn, where the opposition are present, prepared and worthy of forming a government.

    But at least they offer an alternative to the communal politics as practiced by BN. Give them a chance to see if they will not fall for the past mistakes and that they will ‘walk-the-talk’ of a Malaysia for all Malaysians.

    We have finally woken up to the reality that our desire for maintaining stability had come at the expense of fairness.

    So what then?

    IMHO, the thing to do now would be to convince the component parties of BN that race politics is a thing of the past. Remove all obstacles to membership by virtue of race then leave the BN and offer a 3rd alternative.

    Neither be in Government nor the opposition but act according to issues of the day and vote according to conscience.

    This gives the perception that the 3rd alternative is not hungry for power nor is it against those in power, so long as those in power do the right thing.

    We have already seen the ‘fairness’ of BN, now we need to give time for PR to show ‘fairness’ and viability.

    This in my opinion will at least prevent a massive ‘swing’ either way come the 13GE and wreck the 2-party system concept.

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  4. daffodils
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 17:09:12

    Really sick to the core that we have people in our midst who speak in dangerous terms such as these.

    50 years of indeoendence and we are backtracking. People who were birthed here, toil and work in this land are regarded as if they have no sense of belonging. How do you think the rest of us feel? Very hurtful indeed.

    “Thus, it is not appropriate for these other ethnic groups to have citizenship, only (later) to seek equality and privileges,”

    I thought regardless of race and colour all creatures are equal before God. Does God make any race supreme to others?

    Thank goodness there are actually fairminded progressive Malays who do not subscribe to such views. These are the ones who make Malaysia truly Malaysia.

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  5. A true Malaysian
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 17:55:02

    I have commented in many occasions that for Malaysia to change and move forward, the Malays, which form easily 60% population of Malaysia, need to lead other races toward the direction.

    To the surprise of many of us, whether from BN or opposition parties, 12th GE has proved that the Malays indeed, were leading other non-Malay Malaysians toward this new aspiration of multiracial based politics. So, for those who say that Malays losing power to non-Malays are ‘incorrect’ because if no such overwhelming support from the Malays, the most Pakatan Rakyat could win was Kelantan and deny BN 2/3 majority in Parliament.

    For far too long, politicians from Umno have been rested in their laurel comfortably without realising the mentality of the Malays have changed vastly, which realised that ‘irrespective of whether the cat is black or white, so long as it can catch mice, the cat is a good cat’. A lot of non-Malays and those Pakatan Rakyat politicians do not even realise this change of Malay’s mindset until after 12th GE concluded.

    In short, majority of the Rakyat aspire non-racial politics and policies. Many in Umno still unable to accept this reality and instead of concentrating in reinvent Umno, they play up racial sentiments through the mainstream media under their control. This, to me, is very very unfortunate.

    The big losses suffered by Umno and BN parties do not mean that these parties will be gone from now on. In fact, they still have the support of around 51% of Rakyat based on popular votes. All they need to do is to ‘respect’ the decisions of the other 49% voters, instead of playing up racial sentiments.

    My opinion is, the BN controlled Federal Government need to co-operate with Pakatan Rakyat controlled state governments, instead of victimising these states through bias policies. In fact, Umno and other BN parties need to be impartial in this, or else, I will expect there will be more BN MPs change camp sooner, especially those from East Malaysia. Issues like Ketuanan Melayu and Malay rights are in fact, are very ‘irritable’ among Sabahan and Sarawakian.

    If this ‘change camp’ happened, then that will spell the end of ‘Umno’ and the rest of BN parties.

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  6. novice101
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 20:50:59

    Dr. Hsu, your plea seems to have fallen on deaf ears. The UMNO leaders are still talking about ‘the supremacy of race and religion. MCA and MIC , together are still holding on to their communal platforms. UMNO is still speaking up for the Malays, the MCA for the Chinese and the MIC for the Indians. Non racial politics is being ignored and social needs are put on the back-burners!

    The leaders in the 3 parties in the Perkatan Rakyat are still pushing for supremacy of their respective ideologies!

    Non communal poitics is given a chance at all. Old habits are hard to break!

    Like

  7. Pegasus
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 23:30:53

    The chaos in this country is only due to 1 reason- UMNO!.Yes, from the very begining they have divided the Malaysian by saying Malays and Non-malays,Bumiputera and non-bumiputera,muslim and non-muslim with this policy, they have played the racial card to the max,and kept the people divided and by instilling fear among the respective races.The Malays by nature are nice people,so are the Indians ,theChinese,Kadazans,Ibans,Sikhs and other races in Malaysia. The BN regime with UMNO in the lead has destroy the trust we had with each other races,the 12 GE is really an eye opener for everyone except UMNO,who can’t except the reality where all the Malaysian have join forces and rejected this disgusting party. For far too long the UMNO leaders have robbed the nation and cheated the Rakyat. The people have rise up and topple the arrogant leaders,who are out of touch with the common people. The Malays ,Chinese and Indians are basically peace loving people and only expect the elected goverment to govern the country in righteous manner being fair to all races, but this was manipulated by UMNO to enrich themselves and relatives while the majority of the Malaysian people irrespective of races and religion were neglected. There were poor Malays,Chinese,Indians, Ibans,Orang Asli and others who needed help but which never came. Now that the rakyat have spoken through Pakatan Rakyat.lets rebuilt the country to gain its strong structure and foundation among its people.Lets bring the country back to top where it should be in all fields.

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  8. novice101
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 02:01:15

    Non communal politics is not given a chance at all.

    Like

  9. jeff
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 07:04:34

    I am totally agree with Dr Hsu view. PR won 82 parliament seats has nothing to do with Malay losing political power in Malaysia, it is just usual umnoputra racist tactic after every election upheaval, to use “fear” factor in Malay heartland for possible emergency rule, so election result can be overturned.
    It is disgusting to hear that Kelantan royal son claimed that our citizenship are given by umno racist thug instead of it is our natural rights where our ancestors scarified their life to fight for independence from British colonist. Obviously this racist want to rewrite the history of Malaysia.

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  10. jeff
    Apr 17, 2008 @ 03:43:26

    All those “seditious speeches” given by kelantan royal son n Penang umno racist leaders on minority Malaysians are dangerous and can potentially stir up Malay sentiment, hopefully my fellow non malay Malaysians are well prepared for the possible violent outburst of some umnoputra hired thugs in Malaysia.
    The young should remember how to use their skills in national service training to defend self if facing attack.

    Like

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