A message from this anak bangsa MalaysiaPosted: August 28, 2008
In my previous post “Dear UMNO…”, I received a comment from Yingturen that goes like this:
Hah ‘anak bangsa malaysia’ my foot! So easy to create a foolish idea on such wishful thinking and ones pigment of imagination. The letter to me is just full with arrogance. Winning on one ‘permatang pauh’ which by the way is your own backyard and shouting like the whole world is under your feet is just boasting like a small child. I would rather respect silent gratitude than the show of such arrogance. The ‘win’ was helped by PAS who only wants an ‘islamic’ nation, not Avril Lavinge by the way. Isn’t that anak bangsa malaysia too? Stop pretending that you are interested to see change in UMNO by advising what is good. Just be true to your self and admit that your interest in all these are just to see more rights to non-malays, and at all cost! Its better to be true rather than hiding in good intention when your motives are clear to be seen. Who are you to doubt people when they ’swear’ on the Quran. For heaven sake, stop bitching as if you know what is in the heart of every human, your high moral is above all and give you the right to belittle others. Your biasness can only see what is bad in others as if you are free from fault, such arrogance. It is so easy to attack on ‘ketuanan melayu’ as if your ulterior motive is not obvious. Is it equality that you are championing of just plain more rights than what you have already enjoyed. It is so easy to ignore the economic imbalances that is real. If you are truly fair, why not questions the majority non malays that control the economy to share their spoils with the rest of underpriveledge bumiputras? Why blame just UMNO for when such priveledge does not deny the non malays to be richer than most bumis. You certainly are not interested in equality, just demanding more and more. Claiming under the pretext on ‘anak bangsa malaysia’ as if the whole bumis community is behind you is just so insulting. ‘Anak bangsa malaysia’ my foot. You don’t even know what it means.
At the beginning, I decided to ignore this comment. Non-constructive criticism, was what I recognised it as. Later, I decided that anyone who is willing to spend time posting a comment here on my blog is worth that little bit of my time to contemplate on what they have brought up.
I found two things worth thinking about from this comment.
The first, is whether I know what “anak bangsa Malaysia” means. In all honesty, I did not even know of this term until I started blogging, which was sometime after the March GE. To me, I was always just a Malaysian Chinese. Nothing more, nothing less.
So then, why is it that I’ve come to adopt this ideology of “anak bangsa Malaysia”? What does it mean to me?
Simply put, being “anak bangsa Malaysia” to me means being a part of the Malaysian civil society context in which I was born and bred. It means recognising that all citizens in Malaysia are “anak bangsa Malaysia”. It means that my neighbour who can very well be a Muslim who drinks alcohol is as Malaysian as my other neighbour who is an Indian woman with 12 adopted children from all walks of life. It means that we are all sons and daughters of this land we call Malaysia.
That basically sums up what “anak bangsa Malaysia” means to me. Not everyone will agree with me. But this is my belief, and I am fine with it.
The second thing I found worth thinking was the downplaying of Anwar’s win in Permatang Pauh, equating it as our “own backyard”.
Browsing through the blogs and news portals, I’ve come across statements from BN politicians who have said somewhat similar things:
Mohd Nazri: Permatang Pauh has always been an opposition fort.
Shabery Cheek: And in regards to his win in Permatang Pauh, I think all those in BN don’t have to feel sad as that constituency has always been Anwar’s base and stronghold for a long time. (The StarOnline reports that they were expecting Anwar to win with a bigger majority anyway)
Perhaps we should also look at those who have talked about the importance and significance of Anwar’s big win in Permatang Pauh:
Dr Mahathir: Mesej yang hendak dihantar oleh pengundi Melayu, Cina dan India menjadi sia-sia kerana Dato Seri Abdullah tidak ada telinga untuk mendengar, tidak ada mata untuk melihat. Tetapi ahli UMNO daripada pemimpin lain UMNO perlu sedar dan faham mesej daripada pengundi Permatang Pauh. Sejak Mac 2008 sokongan kepada UMNO dan BN bukan pulih tetapi merosot.
Mukhriz Mahathir: [T]he Permatang Pauh by-election was yet another signal to Umno to change. “It is clear the voters did not see any visible changes in the government. It has remained the same since the March 8 elections,”
Muhyiddin Yassin: [T]he results also showed that the voters’ mindset had shifted and that they now wanted something which “are fairer, not racial-based (politics) but one that is based on the profile of the multiracial and multi-religious Malaysians. Umno should be prepared to make the change,”
Tengku Razaleigh: Today is proof that this wave cannot be held back. UMNO must change.
“Change” is a prominent word in the above statements.
This brings me to a second comment, left by Paul Warren. Among other things, he had this to say:
UMNO by its very charter cannot but be a Malay party for the Malays. Therefore, it is a race based party.
He asked me:
What really do you want those in UMNO to learn?
Thinking about it now, I don’t think I know. Perhaps what I want them to learn is that the rakyat is significantly different from 20 years ago. That it’s about time they open their eyes and ears to the messages being sent by the rakyat that they must change.
But is UMNO the only one that should change? I believe not.
Like what Paul Warren said, UMNO cannot help but be a Malay party for the Malays. The same goes to MCA and MIC. They cannot help but be race-based parties that only cater to their respective races.
What they should do, in my humble opinion, is reform the entire Barisan Nasional. Take off those layers of self-delusion, and face the music. Change is a time-consuming process that will inherently hurt like never before.
BIG question is: Are they willing?