Tuesday 8 December 2009

Get your facts right before protesting

I really wonder if the inability of some Malaysians to differentiate between Hak-hak Keistimewaan orang Melayu, Ketuanan Melayu and Dasar Ekonomi Baru, is intentional, or are they honestly confused?

I write this in response to the protest by an NGO, against DAP MP M. Kulasegaran. Yes, he's from the DAP, I'm from the MIC. We may be on different sides of the political divide, but I think the man deserves a little breathing space, rather than the unjust hounding he is receiving of late with regards to his questioning the Ketuanan Melayu slogan. The NGO has promised to 'look for him no matter which corner of the world he is in, unless he apologizes'. Why apologize?

First, let us look at the three issues. Hak-hak Keistimewaan orang Melayu, or the Special Rights of the Malay community, as enshrined in the constitution, states that Islam is the official religion of the state, but non-Muslims are allowed to practise their religion without fear or favour. It also states that Malay is the official language of the state. THAT is it. Religion, language. THAT is also what our forefathers agreed during the Social Contract.

Ketuanan Melayu on the other hand, is a slogan. It has no official bearing on the nation. It is more of a battle cry, something without a proper legal definition. Instead, it literally means Malay Supremacy, which as its name suggest, is inherently racist. It is NOT something in the constitution, neither is it anywhere in the policy of the nation or government. In fact, it is well against the concept of 1Malaysia, which is exactly what YB Kula has said. So what is there to apologize?

Dasar Ekonomi Baru or New Economic Policy, is a national economic framework, espousing economic benefits, originally meant to give a helping hand to the Malay community to get a slice of the economic pie. It originally came with an expiry date, which is now conveniently forgotten, and has since been extended with every 5-year Malaysia Plan. Again, it is NOT something in the constitution. It is just an economic plan, which by the admission of no less than our Second Finance Minister himself, is crippling the nation's competitive edge.

Nowhere in the constitution does it say that a Bumiputera must receive a discount when he buys a house. It is just something part of a governmental policy, and again, it need not be forever, and is certainly not beyond question or review. Nowhere does it say, also, Bumiputera students should get an easier ride into places of higher education, or should be given priority for scholarship. All that is government policy, done for a certain reason, good or bad, and is certainly not beyond question or review. It is certainly wrong for me, or anyone else, to ask that these policies be reviewed to better suit current times, and a globally changing competitive climate.

The non-Bumiputeras, the majority at least, have no problems with the Special Rights of the Malays, as enshrined by the constitution. That's the Social Contract. We respect that. No problem. Let Islam be the official religion. But don't force it upon us. Because THAT violates OUR constitutional rights. Let Malay be the official language of the Federation. But don't rob us of our rights to speak, read, write and be educated in our mother languages. Because THAT is our constitutional right.

What we ARE asking, and questioning, is merely the OTHER two. Get rid of Ketuanan Melayu. It's racist. Instead, let us embrace 1Malaysia. Get rid of DEB. It has outlived its usefullness. Replace it instead with a system that helps the poor across all race and religious boundaries. Again, that is 1Malaysia.

Just because someone questions something well within their rights to question, doesn't mean you can claim that the person 'should not say anything that can jeopardize the harmony among the races'. In the first place, if I, or anyone else, asks a LEGITIMATE question, and someone gets upset unnecessarily, arrest him instead! Of course, if someone DOES question the Special Rights of the Malays as enshrined in the constitution, then one can at least justify condemning him. But to confuse Ketuanan Melayu and DEB with the Special Rights, is not only wrong, it is downright cunning.

So the next time you want to come out on the streets and protest, and ask for our blood, get your facts right first!


Suresh said...

So what is MIC's formal position on Ketuanan Melayu?

crash4me2day said...

'Keling' - they helped make this country greatLt Col (Rtd) Mohd Idris Hassan
Dec 11, 09
5:23pmI refer to the Malaysiakini report Of noisy Indians and 'keling' blood: Utusan strikes again.

The attacking of fellow Malaysians by the mainstream media Utusan Malaysia because of their race is unwarranted and most uncalled for. I remember in the late forties when I was a little boy living in my hometown of Raub, Pahang.

I used to pass road gangs of Tamil labourers toiling in the midday's scorching sun from dawn till dusk. Armed with only picks and shovels, they would be hacking at solid rocks to carve out roads along the mountain side.

They had no proper attire, just a withered white towel tied in turban form on their heads. They would wrap rags around their spindly legs to prevent the hot molten tar from scalding them as they went about their chores.

Yet they had time to smile and wave at passing cars. They used to be referred to as 'coolies' and their slave-like living quarters as coolie lines. My late father used to tell us that most of the roads in Malaya at the turn of the century were built solely by Indian labour.

They toiled in the malaria-infested rubber estates, living with their families in filthy inhuman conditions. The white 'tuan' treated them like slaves and allowed them to indulge in drinking toddy to forget their woes .

Yet again it was the same coolies called 'toties' who serviced our bucket system latrines until the early sixties as there were no takers for this job from the other races. I have seen for myself these 'toties' cleaning the rubber tubs at a stream not far from my house with their bare hands.

In short, when there was any dirty, menial job to be done, it was this Tamil coolie, then often called by the derogatory term 'keling', that did it for us.

Now times have changed and their offsprings have made much progress in all fields and want to take their rightful place in our society .Let's not pour scorn on them and laugh away their pride.

As a soldier I know that many of my Indian/Tamil friends who fought and died for this country . They all are a part of those who stood by us during the good and bad times, they have helped make this country great.

A country which rightfully belongs to all Malaysians.

crash4me2day said...

Some bloggers do not adhere to journalism ethics

KUALA TERENGGANU,: Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said some bloggers, unlike local journalists, do not adhere to the rules and ethics of journalism in their bid to garner popularity.

The local journalists adhered to ethics but these bloggers did not, and this was what differentiate the journalists from these bloggers," he said at the presentation of the 2009 ExxonMobil Journalism Awards here last night.

Hishammuddin said journalists in the country would have nothing to fear as long as their reports adhered to the ethics of journalism, adding that they would be accepted by the people.

He said journalists who reported the truth would not be penalised and those who spread slander would not be successful.

At the function, two Bernama journalists were among those honoured. Wan Affandi Wan Mahadi of Bernama TV was awarded the second prize (RM1,000 cash) in the audio visual category while Ibrahim Abu Bakar won the third prize (RM750) in the sports writing category. -- BERNAMA
I suppose UTUSAN follow ethics....