Too many of them continue to persist with bigotry and racialism under the guise of politics.
There seems to be a sense of calm in the country following the last general election in November 2022.
There is a greater sense of hope under Anwar Ibrahim’s “unity government”, despite the hard hits to our economy.
The people seem to be more hopeful compared to the time of at least four prime ministers before Anwar.
There is still a pile of problems to deal with, though.
For one, the country must put up with desperate politicians who persist in bigotry and racism.
There are troublesome mental contortionists who twist history just to discredit the current government. For example, one recent accusation is that Anwar is so oppressive that he is worse than the British colonials.
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Such a statement lacks historical depth.
I think this statement has had a boomerang effect. The people can quickly recall that Anwar wrote The Asian Renaissance and not The Malay Dilemma.
People are also aware that both books focus on how values contribute to the success or failure of a nation. One book was about nurturing civilised values inherent among Asians, the other about the inherent laziness of the ethnic Malays.
The Asian Renaissance argues for Asians to stand up for their values, and not abandon them for what might be thought of as more progressive alternatives.
Respect our cultures
The key is moderation and selective adaptation. To be held captive by another cultural value system such as the European, American, or even Arab system, would be problematic.
As a multi-ethnic society, Malaysia should refrain from the complete abandonment of one value system for another. We are culturally, ethnically, and religiously very mixed.
For example, we should not reject the kebaya or baju Melayu (tradition Malay attire), for the Arab abaya (loose over-garment or robe-like dress) or the jubbah (long-sleeved, ankle-length robe). All that matters in Malaysia is that modesty and human decency are preserved.
Similarly, the idea of dressing in formal attire should not be rigidly understood as the blazer or the western suit and tie.
Malaysians have many ways of dressing formally. We have such a rich, colourful and elegant tradition of dressing. We should also use fabrics and styles that complement our weather and climate.
Noise about Malay rights
The Malay Dilemma is an emotional book, contrary to the book The Asian Renaissance.
The discussion throughout reflects the disruptive racialism that describes current Malaysian politics. Furthermore, the ideas in that book about “lazy Malays” are oppressive and reflect an exploitative colonial mindset.
So, it is not Anwar who is oppressively colonial.
Earlier this year, some politicians pushed for a ‘Malay proclamation’ gathering. They claimed it was not going to be a political event. It would discuss issues pertaining to the Malay community. But in fact, it would definitely have been a ‘political’ event.
The very fact that it was proposed in the first place is that it would pander to the political objectives of certain attendees. It was childish to declare that an event like this would not be “political”.
The main ‘issues’ that were to be discussed at the gathering were about the ethnic Malays, who are no longer dominating the economy. The claim is that ‘others’ have wrested control, monopolised the nation’s wealth and that the country is spiralling out of control.
Let me propose a ‘Malaysian proclamation’, to expose the dishonesty of these politicians, ex-leaders and other opportunists.
Other bumiputras left in the shade
Why not focus on the indigenous peoples of our nation? They have been marginalised and oppressed for decades. Many of the country’s bumiputra communities have lost their rights to their lands, territories and resources.
Their populations are decreasing as well. Many live in squalid conditions. Greedy politicians have robbed them of their dignity, and these thieves are billionaires today.
The typical narratives about “rights”, ethnicity and religious “sensitivity” conveniently leave out the plight of our indigenous bumiputras, who include our Semang, Senoi, Sakai, Jakun, Bajau, Rungus, Iban, Kayan and many more communities.
Among those politicians who scream about Malay or bumiputra rights, they are silent on this. Rather, it would be less hypocritical if they travelled to Pahang and Perak’s interior, or Sabah and Sarawak.
Organise a ‘proclamation do’ there. If they really care about the issue of monopoly or control over resources in the country, what better way to address it than to expose the plight of our indigenous communities, right? They have been brutally marginalised, cornered, and oppressed.
Towards a caring society
We should all work together, to help the nation recover. We must allow the new government to carry out its challenging tasks.
An indication that the Anwar administration is proactive was the policy move by the Education Minister, Fadhlina Sidek. Her decision not to close school canteens during Ramadan was an excellent step towards a caring society. It does not reflect an oppressive government.
Furthermore, Fadhlina set a precedent. She registered a critical initiative within the bigger framework of the government’s commitment to reform.
We want more news like this instead of monotonous, ethno-centric and bigoted comments by political hypocrites. – Free Malaysai Today, 29 March 2023