Since I cancelled my last posting I found myself with a problem. How am I going to deal with the barrage of self-righteous accusations and arrogant posturings about UMNO ( a useful ploy to denigrate the bumiputera) by Malays and non-Malays both here and abroad.
I have been exploring Mr Lim Kit Siang's (the DAP's Chairman Mentor) blog and I must take off my hat to him for the way he has cleverly selected articles from many sources, but mainly from the Malaysian Insider, to feed his political agenda. He's truly a sifu in the art of data collection and some people in Barisan should take a tip or two from the LKS team.
There is of course the Malaysian Insider's (MI) Clara Chooi taking a piggy back ride on the Economist. See blog.limkitsiang.com/2013/05/11/rapprochement-tough-after-bns-divisive-campaign-says-the-economist/
Then there's the article by Penang-based Aliran waxing lyrical about Dr Bakri Musa and his book "Liberating the Malays". blog.limkitsiang.com/2013/05//18/umnos-unpardonable-sins-against-the-malay-rakyat/#more-24191
On 24 May LKS revived John Pang's 4 May 'holier-than-thou' article in the New York Times, (meant for the American market, both the locals and the Made-in-Malaysia groupies). See blog.limkitsiang.com/2013/05/24/in-malaysia-a-historic-chance-for-reform/#more-24280
On 9 May, LKS cast his eyes over an article by Dr Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied (assistant professor of Malay Studies at National University of Singapore) taken from the MI (where else?) Read blog.limkitsiang.com/2013/05/09/how-malays-voted-at-ge13/#more-23941 .
The Professor from Singapore did say something nice about Malays in Malaysia, that "they have and will continually move along the path of moderation, shunning the extremist and communalistic tendencies ......"
He went on: "The new breed of Malays have their eyes now set on cosmopolitan leaders (???), regardless of which party they are from, leaders whose forebears have had Malay interests in mind and, above and beyond that, the interests of all Malaysians at heart".
What about the 'new breed' of Chinese and Indians, Prof???
On 21 May LKS featured an article byYang Razali Kassim (senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University) entitled : "The de- racialisation of Barisan National" in of course the Malaysian Insider. He had this to say, "While BN was relieved to have been returned to power, the results were a body blow that sent it into deep introspection. A significant upshot has been a proposal to transform itself from the current model of a coalition of communal parties into a single, merged multi-racial party". blog.limkitsiang.com/2013/05/21/the-de-racialisation-of-barisan-nasional/#more-24258
Aaaah - a resurrection of the PAP's (when Singapore was part of Malaysia) and DAP's clarion call of 'Malaysian Malaysia'?
Well, if the Malay Peninsula had over 75 % Malay majority and the economy was in their hands right from the beginning without hindrance or competition from abroad and were tolerated and encouraged by the colonialist powers to lubricate the wheels of the Empire ( like down south - just change the race and the country) then we could all be a happy-clappy multi-racial Malaysia! And should the dominant proportion of Malays begin to dwindle, just import a million or more Malays from the Malay Archipelago. But make sure they're healthy, young and well-educated.
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In 1954, my mother packed me off to stay with her best friend at a kampung in Bukit Panjang, Singapore over the December school holidays. On the 25th of December I said to Macik Ayik, "Macik Ayik, hari 'ni hari Krismas". She looked quizzically at me and asked, " Krismas 'tu apa, 'nak?
I thought of this when I read Aliran gushing over Dr M. Bakri Musa's book "Liberating the Malay mind".
Here's a quote.
Malays have been addicted to the comfort of life underneath the coconut shell for far too long. Now with the shell breached by globalisation and the digital waves, it is dawning upon us that our 'comfort' is anything but. There is a far greater, more open, and definitely more wondrous universe out there that we have been missing.
I guess I must be missing out a lot on this 'wondrous universe' thingy. And so would Aisha, our road sweeper who comes from a kampung near Kampar, Perak.
If I mention globalisasi and gelombang ombak digital as a catalyst for 'improving' the Malays, she would look at me quizzically and ask, " Digital dan globalisasi tu apa, kak?"
Aisha is about 55. Her father died when she was quite young and her widowed mother worked as a rubber tapper and 'tangguk udang di-sungai' to sell at one ringgit a tin ( a cigarette tin size) to feed the family. At 15, Aisha went to work as a farm labourer at a Chinese farm in Cameron Highlands. She was allowed to go home once a month.
She became an 'urban Malay' when she married Osman and moved to Kuala Lumpur. They both got jobs as road sweepers in the Setiawangsa area and were employed by Osman's aunt who was given the Job Contract because of those 'nasty' affirmative-action policies for bumiputeras. Such policies of course are the bane in the lives of LKS and his acolytes and according to some urban middle class Malays, in agreement with their Chinese/Indian counterparts, should be dispensed with. After all, we should all be equal in Malaysia and have the same rights notwithstanding.
|Aisha and Osman having lunch al fresco by the roadside. Note the cat behind Osman. They also feed the stray cats in this area.|
Osman and Aisha decided not to bring up their son and daughter in KL because they were aware of the problem of drugs among Malay teenagers. They feared the consumerist temptations of urban life which they cannot afford, unlike those of the urban middle class, who deplore the electoral weightage given to people like Osman and Aisha. It should, of course, be one man, one vote. All Malaysians are equal!
Their daughter died 3 years ago, aged 16, just after her SPM. The kampung clinic was not equipped to diagnose what was actually a cancer. Their son completed his SPM 2 years ago, but jobs were scarce where he was. Getting further education involved too many logistical problems ( his mum can't ferry him about in the family SUV like the middle class urbanites) and he was not brilliant enough to get 10 'A' s ( his mum and dad could not afford to give him tuition you see, - unlike the middle class urbanites, and the "one man, one vote" mob? ).. He now works for a Chinese taukeh transporting oil palm fruits from the estates. He has been promoted - from coolie to lorry driver - even though he has no driving licence.
They are both diabetics and they are grateful to the (Barisan) Government for they pay only 2 ringgit for their regular medication at the Government clinic. This was part of the reason why they voted BN. It was certainly not because they were swayed by racist propaganda emanating from UMNO. Osman is bright, he is concerned (like the middle class urbanites) about the malfeasance of the BN Government, about Malay malingerers who 'tak sedar diri '. Yet he sees Indonesians working so very hard in Malaysia and wishing they could have what Malaysians have, back home in Indonesia.
Osman and Aisha have their grumbles but theirs are a world away from middle class urbanites' complaints. Middle class urbanites complain about heavy construction work too close to their gated communities. They're almost neurotic about crime. They rant and go to the law sometimes to stop the construction of low-cost flats in their vicinity - but they do get their rubbish removed 3 times a week (it's only once a week in Leicester and Osman and Aisha have to dispose their own rubbish in the kampung).
Osman and Aisha on the other hand are waiting for a macadamised road in their kampung. In this hot season, the dusty road adds to their discomfort on their way home. Public transport from the village to the nearest town is abysmal. Would the one man, one vote system solve their problems?
As a matter of interest, these two recipients of the rural weightage system, especially Aisha the magpie, managed to pick up all sorts of goodies discarded by the middle class urbanites - stuff like rucksacks, lamps, sliding glass windows, crockery, potted plants, ladies' and men's shoes (elok-elok lagi kak, says Aisha), jackets and windcheaters meant for cold climes, and even 3 bicycles! They collected so many discards from the townies they had to be stored in our porch. I was relieved when their nephew brought a lorry to send them back to the kampung.
It is people like Osman and Aisha that 'rural weightage' should be all about. Yet the call goes on from the liberal, political pundits and middle class urbanites, to end the 'disgraceful gerrymandering' which only serves the "Malay heartland' and perpetuates 'Malay supremacy'. So the middle class urbanites felt disadvantaged, and demanded that this injustice should be abolished for the sake of a clean and fair election - because we are all equal, like Osman's family in the kampung and the well-heeled (social activist) professional and his BMW 7 Series in Taman Kiara.
One man, one vote - very democratic. Rural weightage - how very racist!
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We've been hearing a lot about how disgraceful it is, that BN could win 60% of seats when they have won only 47% of the votes.
I think this is more disgraceful!!
SOURCE : Economic Planning Unit
TABLE 1 - Mean monthly gross household income by ethnicity, Malaysia 2009
Look at these figures, and read what The Economist has to say:
"..... if UMNO is to have a future in a prospering Malaysia it needs young urban voters, not poor rural ones".
See www.economist.com/news/leaders/21577390-after-tainted-election-victory-najib-razak-needs-show-his-reformist-mettle-dangerous/print (para 6)
"For their part DAP leaders argue that the result was not so much the consequences of a Chinese tsunami as an urban one. The heartland of the party is in urban and semi-urban seats, where it increased its share of the Malay as well as the Chinese vote."
See www.economist.com/news/asia/21577375-government-scrapes-homeallegedly-aided-vote-rigging-tawdry-victory/print (para 6)
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REFORMASI AND UBAH
TABLE 2 - Mean Monthly Gross Income by State 2007
Kelantan 2,143 *
Negri Sembilan 3,326
Pulau Pinang 4,004 *
Selangor 5,580 *
TABLE 3 Mean Monthly Gross Household Income for the Top 20% of households by ethnicity 2007
TABLE 4 Mean Monthly Gross Household Income for the Bottom 40% of households by ethnicity 2007
Over the past 50 years, it could be argued, the greatest beneficiaries of BN Government policy have been the middle class urbanites and the captains of Commerce and Industry , who are mainly located in Pakatan territory.
The need now, is to swing development more in favour of the Osmans and Aishas in the kampungs and their cousins in Sabah and Sarawak.
It is time that BN (especially UMNO) clean up their act and seriously undertake to serve those in greatest need and not those in greatest want!
As for the successful Malays, their responsibility to those in need goes beyond paying zakat and fitrah and visiting and bringing parcels of food to the destitute during Ramadan and Hari Raya.
And all anak anak Melayu worth their salt (or belacan) should get off their backs and read and write to rebut, expose and counter the half-truths, the crooked thinking and the insidious mockery of their tong pao (of the same womb), that is, their keturunan and not their ketuanan. And do this in the English language. No more ceramahs and seminars - just get cracking.