PROF.DR.DATO SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM
PHOENIX RISES (Part 3)
The continued existence of UMNO, MIC and MCA are the natural “barrier” blocks to the assimilation and natural union of all Malaysians into one modern nation that find commonality as the glue of shared values rather than as separating walls that divide our respective races. Malaysia today is the same Malaysia as in 1957, the first days of Merdeka. Unlike most nations that have progressed and become ONE PEOPLE since becoming independent from their colonial masters, Malaysia today is still disparate and sectarian and consequently Malaysia is a weak third world and backward nation of a post colonial era, and to illustrate my point there is no escaping from a comparison with what Singapore has become with what Malaysia is today. Yes ! it hurts for you Malays to compare Malaysia with the transformation of Singapore and their achievements. It will not be too remote to say that Singapore exist in a different dimension altogether when Malaysia is compared to her and her people. Malaysia today is 28 million people and Singapore has a population of 4.5 million; will it be too hurtful if I say that the per capita income of Singapore is higher than that of
In a lecture given by MM Lee Kuan Yew to a business conference dinner in DOHA( I think it was DOHA) Mr Lee was asked what to his thinking was the key to the tremendous leap of success achieved by Singapore in such a short time ? His reply was unabashedly and very matter of fact said, he attributed Singapore’s success to the CHINESE AND THE INDIANS. This lecture was reported in the Straits Times (Singapore’s of course) just about a week ago, and if you are quick enough you can still read it on the internet. I am not a Malaysian any longer and I will say what is the truth. To the Malays, I say look at what you as a PERSON HAVE ACHIEVED, IN THE ENVIRONMENT THAT YOU LIVE IN, IN THE SO CALLED AFFIRMATIVE SUPPORT THAT MALAYSIA SO NOTORIOUSLY ENTRENCHED. Do not hide your head in the sand as you are wont to do, but to be honest to yourself and really look at yourself critically, WHAT HAVE YOU AS A PERSON WITH THE CRUTCH OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION.ACHIEVED IN TRUTH. To cut to the chase, so to speak, the Malaysian affirmative action spent billions of ringgit to produce a large class of privileged BUREAUCRATS, because most of those who hold degrees are trained in disciplines that have no practical APPLICATION, as for example in areas mostly in the arts or they were graduated below acceptable academic standards. Yes ! you can go on and protest all you like but we all know don’t we ? It is also the truth that most Malays do not find the study of science & Math. Easy and that is one reason why very few Malays pursue a course in science. In the modern world for a nation to progress, they must produce a large & ready pool of technocrats trained in the sciences; but in Malaysia these technocrats are as rare as whales tooth.
On the other hand the Chinese & Indians take to science and engineering as natural as ducks to water and it is this pool of talents that Australia too is too short of for the booming mining industry fueled by the insatiable demand for mineral resources by the people’s Republic of China. I say to our Chinese & Indian brothers who are engineers and professionally trained to emigrate to Australia; but if you choose to stay then it is mandatory that you must promote change in the Malaysian environment. Our young Indians & Chinese brother must realize that it is the sacrifice of their parents that made it possible for them to pursue their course of study and for them to earn enough to pay off their upkeep while they studied they need to find employment that will be sufficient for them to repay their debt. In Australia the average income for a first degree in his first year of employment is AUD35,000/ year; that will be equivalent to ringgit 100,000/ year. In Malaysia, I believe the first year pays you only a monthly salary of about RM1,500; and that will only give you RM18,000/year, hardly enough for a person to live on his own. Many Malaysian families have skimed to put their children through an Australian school so that upon graduation and after 1 year at work in the country of your origin, you become eligible to apply for permanent residence in Australia.
For the past 40 years, UMNO was the natural Malay party that can form government, because under the Malaysian Constitution, the Prime Minister has to be a MALAY. While the PMIP (Pas known then) was a Malay Party, because it was religious based, they were unable to appeal for support from the non-Malays. There was gridlock in this sense and this went on until the falling out of Dato Seri Anwar with TUN Mahatir; and this falling out created opportunity FOR AN ALTERNATIVE OPPOSITION PARTY THAT CAN ALSO FORM GOVERNMENT UNDER THE CONSTITUTION. To say the least, the existence of Party Keadilan plus DAP plus PAS is a “mirror” image of the Barisan National Party; essentially the opposition too is in composition essentially similar to that of the BN; except for one very big difference, Party Keadilan means “JUSTICE” in Bahasa; the JUSTICE PARTY. This is the big difference from my perspective, and a difference with great positive possibilities for the progress & advancement of Malaysia.
Let us bear in mind that MCA, MIC and UMNO are all race based party that were formed as an expediency, because the British colonial masters were in a hurry to depart Malaya and end their imperial status. However, at the crucial time of these events, the Chinese were represented by a damned “BABA” in the person of Tun Tan Cheng Lock, who was in a cultural sense a damned Malayu. He was a BABA who inherited great wealth, and what does he know about politics; while on the Malay side they had the amiable “Tengku” who came from the Royal family of Kedah, and of course he being a Prince took to politics as duck to water. Today the Chinese are stuck to the “non-performance of Tun Tan Cheng Lock; because Tun Tan did not fully appreciate the long term consequences of the Malay privilege clause; so to cut a long story short we Chinese are stuck with this insanity of the special privileges of the Malays. You can say that we Chinese are fucked by the accident of omission; change must come to remove the stain of permanent second class citizenship.
In a modern day Malaysia, the continued existence of MIC, MCA and UMNO are anachronistic, they are the relic of colonialism and they serve as weapons in the hands of political hacks who would exploit their divisiveness to gain an advantage. Therefore all the components of the BN. Need to be replaced by more modern and more realistic political institutions THAT CUTS ACROSS RACE DIVIDES and to this extent, I had earlier said that Keadilan Party serves this purpose snugly. Please bear in mind that so long as UMNO, MIC and MCA exist our Malaysian society will remain divided because Chinese can only support Chinese, Indians can only support Indians and Malays can only support. Yes, I understand that Indian can vote Chinese, but bear in mind that for those in the rural constituency being member of MIC makes the voter think he is obliged to vote Indian, and so too for the Chinese & Malays. The mold for MIC< MCA< and UMNO has to be destroyed, and in that sense Keadilan being called ‘the JUSTICE PARTY” is just such a party that serves to cut across race divides..
Prof. Dr Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim has won my admiration and respect because he has had the courage to stand by his conviction and he like all those great world leaders,eg. Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela. Aung San So Kyi live by their conviction. I say to dato Seri, I take my hat off to you so to speak (I do not wear hats by the way).
Look out for my 4th part !
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