Monday, September 8, 2008

And we've waited 51 years to get here

I know I haven't been blogging for some time, but I'm really not my usual self right now, so I'll just be talking a bit about the Malaysian political scene (yes, again).

For those who don't follow the happenings, I'll quickly bring you up to speed.

Recently, during the Permatang Pauh by-elections, both BN and PKR were campaigning like mad to woo the voters. Obviously, Anwar won. Even our former premier, Dr. M thought so. During the whole campaigning frenzy, a local UMNO assemblyman got a little too excited and made a bad boo-boo.

"Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail had called the Chinese pendatang (immigrants) at a ceramah prior to the Permatang Pauh by-election."

Source: The Star (3 Sept 08)

  1. Soon after, the Chinese based parties (Gerakan, MCA, etc) start complaining about his 'alleged' remark.
  2. Najib apologizes on behalf of UMNO.
  3. Chinese leaders don't buy it.
  4. Ahmad Ismail pulls a disappearing act, so not even the PM can find him. Then he remains elusive for some few more days.
  5. He returns and says something stupid that totally screws everything up.
Essentially, he refuses to apologize for his 'pendatang' comment, effectively snubbing the UMNO leaders (Abdullah and Najib). He then insists the newspapers who reported the issue should apologize, for taking his comments 'out of context'.

You know, a lot would have been resolved if he had just said sorry there and then, instead of 'allegedly' going for a sepak takraw match (I bet he spent those days cooking up a good reason for saying what he did). But NO, he had to drag it on and on, trampling on whatever rapport the nation has built among the races. Honestly, I can't help but feel a little hurt by what he said. It's not only insensitive, it's especially idiotic considering his arguments are somewhat weak. It's not too hard to see that he's just beating round the bush, trying feebly to turn the tide back on the Chinese people (who've just been snubbed pretty badly, mind you) by playing the oldest trick in the book, the 'Ketuanan Melayu' issue.

I'm a bit pissed to be thinking coherently now, so I realize my arguments aren't really going wherer they should be. But ARGH! I can't help but feel that whether Ketuanan Melayu or not, what he did was absolutely intolerable (non-sequitur, my reasoning today, sorry that).

What infuriated me more was an article I read on Malaysiakini today:

"Penang Umno leader Ahmad Ismail, the man at the centre of the ‘racial slur' controversy, warned Chinese Malaysians not to mimic American Jews who not only seek to control the country's economy but also its political power."

Dude, it's not like the Jews were there FIGHTING and DYING for the independence YOU now share. GAH, the idiocy really irks me! And then:

"Earlier, Ahmad told the minority Chinese not to go overboard in hurting the feelings of the Malays and Muslims. "I want them to know, I want them to take this as a warning from the Malays. Malays and Muslims have been provoked many times. We have been patient because we want to maintain stability in the country," he said. "Remember! The patience of Malays and Muslims has its limits. Do not push us to the wall, where we will be forced to reject the Chinese for the sake of our survival."

Oh sure, he's the one making idiot comments, and he's warning the Chinese not to hurt the feelings of the Malays and Muslims.
Really, words almost fail me here. I was just furious that anyone could even be this dense. Any semblance of peace we had between races doesn't seem to get into that head of his. Why does he think every other Chinese person wants to usurp the rights of the Malays, or that we want to take over Malaysia and turn it into Singapore? Obviously, the Chinese don't wish to get along peacefully with their fellow countrymen, and they obviously don't want the best for the country that they and their families live in. After all, they're only SQUATTERS (and ONLY since the pre-independence era).
How can you tell someone who has known only life in Malaysia that he is a 'pendatang'? In fact, the Chinese (and Indians, at that) have been shorter-term 'pendatang's than the Malays, who are in fact 'pendatang' to this land themselves! But let's not go there. The point is, after all these years of 'Independence', it's so frustrating that so many are still not 'Independent' of their own thick-headed bigotry. After 51 years, after generations of Born and Bred in Malaysia Malaysians, we still have bigots calling other people names.
These are the issues 'true' racists harp on all the time, and yet he has the nerve to brand himself as a not-racist.
In the same press conference from which I quoted previously, the Malay leaders went really gung-ho about snubbing the Chinese.
"The press conference, which was held at the Penang Umno headquarters this afternoon, ended with shouts of ‘Hidup Melayu' from about 50 local party leaders who were there.
Soon after the event, former Penang Umno committee member Zainol Abidin Hashim, with the help from his colleagues pulled down the photo of Gerakan acting president Dr Koh Tsu Koon which adorned one of the walls in the party headquarters.
Koh's picture frame, which sat next to the photos of the Penang governor and his wife, was subsequently smashed.
As the glass broke into pieces, Zainol removed Koh's photo from the frame and tore it into half.
Koh, who is former Penang chief minister, has been trading barbs with Ahmad, the Bukit Bendera Umno division chief, over the issue."
They were even kind enough to include photos of the peaceful gathering.
Hidup Melayu, bangkit kebodohan?
But really, I don't make any sense, and you can totally discount whatever I've said (or tried, at least). I'm only a kid of the kid of the kid of a 'pendatang', so technically my arguments are already inferior to that of a 'lesser-pendatang', for what it's worth.
I'm sorry if I offend anyone, I'm just really, really angry. I can't think of another word for it.

1 comment:

bryan samuel matthews tai yi siang said...

Yeah! We're about to relive the 15th Century Spanish Reconquista and their quest for "purity".

My dear Malaysia,

While you continue to export your invaluable human capital, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours to develop as a country, for you seriously do need it.

For someone as patriotic as Jon Mah to be infuriated by the actions of your leaders and by the situation you're in, I cannot come to conceive how many more have lost their sense of nationality.

If you sincerely think that you could achieve pre-eminence by embracing racial intolerance, you must then be blessed with the foresight of God/Allah, for civilizations in the past have always strived on some kind of tolerance: Roman - race; Mongols - religion; Dutch/British - religion.

Since you do not possess tolerance towards the diverse and valuable human capital offered by sexually diverse individuals, such as myself, and since you now choose to offer no welcome towards racial and religious diversity, I doubt you could reach any sort of tolerance to attract enough human capital for development.

Oh and Jon, you're always welcomed at my humble abode here half way across the globe, where the words "pride" and "Malaysia" can still go together in a country that is oblivious to our budding political instability.