Everyone in M’sia is racist except certain people

By Suresh Kashuerin, Free Malaysia Today

It’s incredible that one line in Malay in the Namewee video – You tak baca? Siapa buat Malaysia kaya? – (You didn’t read? Who made Malaysia rich?) could cause such uproar among the guardians of Malay pride. Is it a case of “siapa makan cili rasa pedasnya (if the cap fits, wear it). Where were these same guardians of Malay pride when school principal Siti Inshah Mansor abused her Indian and Chinese pupils in outrageous language? There wasn’t even a peep out of them. She wasn’t accused of racism. In fact, she’s even being treated by the Education Ministry with kid gloves despite non-Malay uproar. It wouldn’t be surprising if she’s kicked upstairs soon as one of those modern-day heroines in Malay celluloid.

Then, there was the later case of a principal up north who advised the Chinese pupils of the school to go back to China since AirAsia flights were now every cheap. This was after they were caught eating at the school canteen by the principal during the fasting hours. They were accused, in some kind of warped logic, of not respecting the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

What their own gnawing hunger has got to do with Ramadan and respect was not explained to the errant students.

Now, there’s a real possibility that this Namewee character will be charged soon with sedition. This emerged after police, who don’t seem to have better things to do with their time, grilled him for three hours. Sedition, put simply, is the act of stirring up rebellion against the state.

Within any context, a racist can be defined as one who denies others their place in the sun. Déjà vu? If one stands up for his or her place in the sun, without denying others their rights, the question of being racist does not arise.

In Malaysia, the definition of racism is the reverse.

Ibrahim Ali and Mahathir Mohamad of Perkasa routinely twist and turn every issue into a racial issue in order to play to the gallery and force the Malays to circle their wagons under one platform, that is, Umno. They are hailed as great heroes standing up for Malay rights.

Their hidden agenda is to mask the “thievery” that goes on under the guise of development. Government procurements and contracts cost twice, thrice and even up to 10 times what it should cost the taxpayer. So, behind the rhetoric and polemics generated by Ibrahim and Mahathir to pull the wool over the people’s eyes, they are in cahoots with their “comrades in crime” who steal the people’s sweat from the public treasury.

When Hindraf Makkal Sakthi kicked up a fuss over the continuing marginalisation of the Indian underclass in the country, they were accused of being racists. The New Economic Policy (1970-1990) pledged, among others, that poverty would be eradicated irrespective of race, religion, class and caste.

Elsewhere, when Hindraf pointed out that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution provides for the legitimate aspirations of the non-Malays and non-Natives, they were accused of questioning Malay special privileges. In fact, Article 153 doesn’t mention special privileges at all.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim himself, ironically fighting on a platform of change and reform, accused Hindraf of being racists and questioning Malay rights and privileges. He was playing to the gallery, like Umno, to project himself as the great protector of the Malays but at other people’s expense.

Hindraf was further accused of stoking racism when it stressed that Article 153 only mentions a reasonable proportion for the Malays and Natives in four specific areas, namely intake into the civil service; intake into government-owned institutions of higher learning and training privileges; government scholarships; and opportunities created by the government to do business.