It’s quite funny to see Malaysians accusing each other of being racist. This, is from the Ministers right up to the working class ( the cow head group).
I think we Malaysians are in denial. We are all racist. I will outline below why I say so..
All Malaysian political parties are somewhat race based; this includes those who claim to be multi racial. Multi-racial political parties while claiming to be all equal, conduct their ceramah targeting particular race at various spots usually frequented by a particular race.
For example, DAP, MCA and Gerakan have their ceramah at Chinese restaurants, complete with dinner and drinks. UMNO and PAS like to have their campaigns near mosques and open areas within usually a Malay majority area while MIC and Hindraf like to do this in Indian Majority areas and even temples.
The only time these political parties do otherwise is when they campaign for candidate from another party, only then they share the same stage. This is quite evident during by-elections where campaigns are more focused one various ethnic groups apart from the customary door to door campaigning.
Why is that certain political party leaders give their speech in Mandarin and Tamil, aren’t we supposed to be communicating in Bahasa Malaysia or English. The whole objective cannot be other than delivering messages targeted at certain race.
We have various school streams based on mainly race and not really actual mother tongue. We have so called vernacular school champions, whose statement and overall outlook are racist in nature, supported vehemently by MCA, MIC, and not surprisingly self appointed multi-racialist, Gerakan, PKR, DAP and various other mosquito parties.
Why PKR and DAP supports vernacular schools, even to the extend of marching the streets in pressuring government to reverse the Maths/Science in English policy, is beyond me. They were also the first to denounce single stream school idea put forward by a racist party, UMNO (Mukhriz brought it up first in the parliament).
Of course, everyone, including UMNO, MIC, MCA and multi-racial parties often rely on the clauses in the federal constitution which guarantees vernacular education as well as special privileges for the Malays. While Multi-racial parties wants Malay rights to be abolished and the government to treat everyone equally, they are unwilling to accept the idea of having children study in the single school system, even though Mandarin and Tamil will still be taught.
When Vision School idea, a compromise of sorts to maintain Chinese and Tamil schools in it’s current form while sharing a common venue/building, the same racist vernacular school champions objected and not to our surprise again, their objection were supported by so-called multi-racial parties such as DAP. Why, because DAP’s support is mainly derived from one race, hence race is a main factor in DAP’s political strategy. Why is that there are hardly any Malays in DAP, the answer is the same, the actual focus is on RACE, RACE and RACE.
What is the reason for Selangor state government, helmed by a multi-racial party back track on their decision to appoint a Chinese as the head of PKNS. Why is that their representative line up for EXCO and councilors are various local council in all states (including those helmed by multiracial parties ) is based on racial quota, not on basis of experience and competency.
Why do ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ leader Lim Guan Eng, who want equality, and champions ‘Competency, Accountability and Transparency appoint a Malay and Indian Deputy Chief Minister, who have no administrative experience, if not for the reason none other than the candidates RACE!
Why is that DAP is very much focused on the PKFZ scandal and not say MIED or Maika or even the roof collapse of the stadium in Terengganu, if not for the fact that the scandal is linked to MCA, their arch-enemies in vying for Chinese votes.
It’s also normal for all these politicians to take advantage of certain incidents to become champions of certain race. Good example is Kugan and Teoh Beng Hock’s death, though Malaysians as a whole deplored such tragic events, certain politicians found it fit to use it to their advantage and in the process, become hero of the particular race.
In Kugan’s death, Indian politicians from both opposition and BN came to the fore but when innocent and not so innocent Indians are dying on almost daily basis due to violence perpetrated by fellow Indians, these Indian Champions are no where to be seen. I am not exaggerating here, almost one Indian is killed everyday by usually fellow Indians, due to fights, gang fights, crime gone wrong etc. Those who read Tamil newspapers will agree. In fact, I had a relative who became a victim, whose case is never resolved until today.
The same applies when known criminals are shot dead by police, more than usual, only politicians of certain race comes forward to slam the police but when policemen are killed or injured while on duty, the same racial heroes are nowhere to be seen. You must have realized that similar scenarios prevailed in Teoh Beng Hock’s case.
Actually I need not go far to illustrate this point, just go and have a look at the vernacular newspapers. They are full of reports on certain race only. A non-record breaking Sea Games gold medal win by an Indian were glorified by all 3 Tamil newspaper while a double gold medal win by A Sarawakian were left in a small column of the back page in two of the 3 newspapers. Another just highlighted it in the summary.
I pity most of our Malay friends who can’t read these vernacular newspapers. Even for Chinese or rather Mandarin newspapers, one need not know the language; you can know what’s going on, where the focus is, what the main issues etc are by looking at the generous amount of pictures in the pages. You will never go wrong if you conclude that the main issues are about Chinese and key personalities are none other than MCA, leaders as well as Chinese leaders from the so-called multi-racial parties.
In Tamil newspapers, you can also easily detect the media conduct of Indian politicians from so-called multi-racial parties. People like Manikavasagam, Sivanesan, Gobalakrishnan and even Dr Ramasamy (DCM, Penang) . They pander to Tamil media, appearing almost daily basis on stories exclusively focused on Indians. The war between politicians in the Tamil newspapers, who are generally more independent than English or Malay mainstream papers are quite ferocious and these politicians from so-called multi-racial parties use the papers to slam MIC and BN leaders. It is so obvious that the only reason they do this is of course to slam BN but on the other hand, to be seen as a hero to their own race. They hardly invite Tamil Media to cover events involving other races.
On a personal basis, it is common for Malaysians to criticise and make racially insensitive comments about another race when their own kind get together. We would be lying if we deny this. We deplore the habits of certain race and the only opportune time to talk about it is when the same race get together. We make all kinds of accusation against another race when we can easily find similar deficiencies or weaknesses within our own race.
It was apparent in the case of Indians, where all the blame for their misfortunes are leveled against the government and Malays in general when the actual fact, most of the problems faced by the community is their own doing but none of the racial heroes have come forward to criticise their own community for their failures.
I had similar feeling when reading ‘The Chinese Dilemma’ where the community, despite being quite well of in general, was portrayed is being in denial of their own weaknesses. Most of the facts presented were quite true, says a Chinese friend of mine.
In summary, we are all racist and politicians should accept this fact and stop accusing each other of being racist. No country in the world is without racist or people with such tendencies. We just have to minimise such rhetoric’s and focus on bridging the divide.