Kidding ourselves in an estranged land

How should Malaysians deemed not constitutionally Malay teach their children citizenship? To explain belonging, when mum and dad aren’t sure if they belong.

Praba Ganesan, The Malay Mail Online

I’m convinced if any political leader answers without qualifying segments — what to bestow the indigenous who subscribe to the appropriate faith; how birth-rights have less impact than race-rights or not, depending on which international observer or local ulamak is present; and why national identity can’t overwhelm historical inheritances — then perhaps, I’ve stumbled into the true Malaysian leader.

Someone who is Malaysian first, and unapologetic about it.

As it stands, there’s no one. A vast sea of opportunists.

How do the selfish operate?

They’d defend the old with great rigour, only to condemn the old with matching rigour. They’d celebrate the new, with unyielding courage, only to remind themselves and others not to celebrate a new age with too much optimism.

They pretend it’s centrism. It’s not. It’s nothing-ism, or in vulgar society, referred to as populism.

In short, they’d love the past, present and future, in every order possible, or reject all in a flash, if the stratagem gives votes.

Dysfunctional does not begin to cover it. There’s not an iota of intellectual honesty among these leaders, just cunning. This country needs therapy as its mental health deteriorates. [1]

The prime minister and his heir apparent are complicit, as much as their teams, and as are their opponents, contributing to the reducibility of the Malaysian identity.

To win Malay votes, to out-Malay all others. To win Chinese votes, to out-Chinese all others. [2] Few seem to be interested in Malaysian votes, because it’s a fable. The existence of Malaysian votes has been relegated to fairy tales.

So how do the parents teach their kids, citizenship?

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