When will the existing majority of right-thinking Malaysians stand up and be counted?

umar mukhtar

Umar Mukhtar

Is it possible that most Malays who did not vote for UMNO did not do so not because of their protest against UMNO for being a moderate Islamic party but because it is a party perceived to be allowing corruption and power-abuse to be endemic and also neglecting nation-building?

Is it possible that non-Malays who voted opposition, especially DAP, reject Barisan Nasional not because they are not proud or don’t want to be Malaysians but because they feel threatened by policies that sideline or marginalise them and by the corruption and power abuses that are tolerated that retards nation-building?

Is it possible that if you combine these two groups, each already existing, they could form a majority of Malaysians and be capable of continuing the legacy that our forefathers left us in the founding of this nation?

Is it also possible that there are no real great differences between these two groups that will make the above unreachable?

So what’s stopping Malaysians from getting their act together? Sure, we have militant Muslims who see only their point of view, as much as we have non-Malays who think they have the choice of living separately from other Malaysians in this country. But the majority can always prevail.

The common thread that runs between right-thinking Malaysians is their hatred for corruption, power-abuse and cronyism. The issues that separate them are possibly the New Economic Policy, the implementing of sharia laws and the perceived desire by non-Bumiputeras, especially Chinese-Malaysians, to not assimilate with other Malaysians. Maybe one problem causes the other.

Muslims are bound by their religion to practise their God’s laws as soon as that is possible, and so they do have to take into account that there are substantial non-Muslims who are citizens of in this country. Until they came out with a policy that recognises this reality and that equal justice among the citizenry is imperative, they have to deal with the situation without it making them to be less Muslim, for or against whatever.

The non-Malays especially the Chinese-Malaysians must also recognise that they are a minority. To live separately in one nation is not an option. They cannot just live among Malaysians like expatriates do. They have to live with Malaysians, their fellow countrymen. Otherwise, the long term negative consequences of that folly will be devastating and self-defeating.

Living in gated communities, with their own driver and maid, shopping in exclusive stores and supermarkets, mixing with their own kind, sending their kids to separate schools, refusing to learn the national language, employing their own race, watching their own tv channels and laughing down their own country with pride, is not a scenario of a future peaceful and prosperous Malaysia.

The option of migrating is the privilege of only the very few. And dreams of being ‘rescued’ by kinship from abroad are the pieces of shit floated around by desperate bigots. The rest of us will spend the rest of our life here in Malaysia. The only reason the situation has come to a head is simply that we do not have the benefit of a firm honest government that is committed to real nation-building. Maybe the families of those in government have the option to live elsewhere when things turn ugly. Hence the greed and the urgency.

The NEP is not something new to Malaysians and they have agreed to it in principle and in practice, in the early years of its implementation. But anxiety over an open-ended public policy, its shoddy implementation, its abuse and leakages, its use specifically to make one politically popular and the opportunities it afforded to officialdom to line their own pockets. and then its dividing the nation by pronouncing it almost like an apartheid policy, is totally unforgivable to right-thinking Malaysians, both the Bumiputeras and non-Bumiputeras.

Most non-Bumipteras know that a minority group cannot live in conspicuous wealth among a sea of poverty for long. In good times, it is tolerated, but in bad times the haves become a target of violence by the have-nots. Add to that the existence of racial, language and religious differences, you have a potent mix for the bigots.

Even in normal times, are we to let vested-interest opportunists take advantage of our lapse? Like what happened in Jakarta in the revolt against President Suharto, even though the conflict was not initially racial in nature, it ended up being one. What is the guarantee that that won’t happen here?

After all, not all Chinese are wealthy, and poverty among other non-Bumiputeras are obvious too. The poor should be our utmost concern, irrespective of race. Article 153 of our constitution intended that and not for the eventual division of this nation. So let’s ignore those bankrupt politicians of all races who advocate sectarian politics.

Let’s revert to the human beings we are. More than with anybody else in the world, we share with each other the most commonalities. Those who do not think so, understandably, should be packing their Channel luggages. But don’t let idiots chase you away from the land that is yours and mine.

Perhaps it is time to form a real alternative to corrupt hate-politics, and boycott self-serving hate-mongers and rip-off artists.