Monday, September 05, 2005

Malaysian... Am I really?

[disclaimer: long, boring and serious post ahead. always have trouble making the posts short and sweet, but my fingers wouldn't stop. post may also offend some people but hopefully not...sorry in advance if I did]

Malaysia is one of the most racist country I know.

Yes, people discriminate, some silently, and some openly. But that's not what I'm talking about. Our political parties are generally divided by race. Read any new housing area advertisements, there's always '*Bumiputra price' or '11% discount for Bumiputras!'. And these are in the newspapers, billboard down the highway, in brochures, you get the idea.

How obvious is that? Foreigners who notice this and understand what it is are already tsk-tsk-ing, but I'm so used to it, I don't consider it unusual.

There's still some things I daren't write, because after 48 years from its setting, it is still a sensitive issue, an issue nearly everyone know about but keeps mum.

I'll admit, even though I dislike hearing people for dissing other races, even though I disagree with blatant categorization without knowing someone truly, I have a little discrimination myself. [Everyone does, one way or another. But that's another blog post.] Especially sometimes there are 'official/legal' unfairness just because the skin colour is different and because of believing in another God or path. May 13th 1969 is over, we mix and talk with other races, we laugh and have fun. But within a group of our own race, the sinister threads are seen.

But to split it in major groups, it's between bumiputras and non-bumiputras.

It's a bit weird bringing this up suddenly, considering Merdeka was just a week ago. What triggered this post? A forum post in The question is 'Will Malaysia reach its 2020 goal?". I disagreed.

Because we are not united. We fulfil our roles but without the whole heart in it.

I am proud to be Malaysian. I'm proud of its peacefulness, that I was fortunate to learn cultures other than my own. I'm happy that I'm allowed to mix with the opposite sex without getting stoned to death. BBQ-ing on a Malaysian beach is damn fun too =P. I'm glad that despite many censorships, Malaysians are generally an open lot. But I can tell you I am not truly a Malaysian and so are many others. They preach, Sini adalah tanah air mu; anda dilahir di sini, dibesarkan di sini. Kamu adalah anak Malaysia! But the thing is, kita tidak dilayan sebagai anak Malaysia sepenuhnya. Yang sepatut. Beritahu saya, patutkah saya benar-benar mencintai tanah air ini, yang dari masa saya dilahirkan, mempunyai polisi 'pilih kasih' dari segi pendidikan dan peluang di kerja?

This is the reason why a lot of talents are leaving the country. At least the professionals, and the government is trying to get them back. Because overseas, even though they are not citizens there, their talent is recognized AND rewarded. Sometimes I wish the government can make up their minds. Make their objective definite. Go through what they promised. Like the whole Malay -> English thing, educational-wise. Changing science subjects into English I mean. It was a half-assed job imho. They have the right dreams, but rarely see it through and well. Right, anyway, back to topic.

I do not have anything against bumiputras. When I talk with them, my first thought isn't 'Bumiputra! Enemy!'. No. A friend is a friend.

Actually this policy, to me, it's not really totally felt. I barely feel the effect, although have experienced it before, however it's not such a biggie to me, but it's most evident in my parents' generation where most of them experienced this policy first hand that really affects them. Even now, the situation is better and opportunities are opened more to non-bumis as well. We live normally. Those who needs help are given help, no matter the colour, etc. In this post, I may have exaggerated a little about the policy. Like said, we accept each other, only occasionally we get that 'tak suka' feeling, lol.

Besides, I don't think the policy is that good. Maybe when it was starting out, yes, because 'immigrants' were monopolizing the economy, and Malays were falling behind. But now it's more stabilized. And too much help isn't good is it? It snuffs out their potential because everything is too easy.

As my friend, who is a Malay, said, "This whole thing somehow lowers our credibility. The things we do with our own effort, and finally reaching the top and people who don't know us think we got there on by shaking our leg, working slow and with silver spoons stuffed in our mouth. Memang frus, you know?" Actually she said that in BM, but it's quite a long time ago, and I can't remember the exact words. But that's the gist.

Someone in that post mentioned that "the 'tongkats' have to be removed from the Bumiputra slowly, but with certain conditions". If the policy had worked, would there be someone declaring that there is a need for 'Towering Malays'? It's definitely achievable. I find many Malays intelligent, they just need that little push. And hands off that tongkat.

Non-Bumis also have 'tongkats'. Here, somehow there's a need to protect our own 'kind'. Welcome to Malaysia.

Why only 'Towering Malays'? People has brought this up before, 'Towering Malaysians'! Maybe one day, 'Towering Humans'? This may sounds like a whimsical thing, but when will the day come when we let down all this differences, accept that we're actually citizens of the World?

When aliens arrive I suppose.

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