Some food for thought

I’ve come across several articles by several people that are very interesting, and provide much food for thought. They present, in their own way, several questions that I think are worth pondering, and maybe brought up for discussion.

On 1Malaysia, Hafidz Baharom, The Malaysian Insider:

Just what exactly is the meaning and definition of the “1 Malaysia” concept that our dearly beloved Prime Minister has been promoting since his elevation to office?

[…] The Prime Minister also states, on record, that the 1 Malaysia concept is the guideline on how to achieve “bangsa Malaysia”, which translates into English as a “Malaysian race”.

Now I’m just wondering while reading the Hansard, just how many DAP stalwarts perked up, and how many government MPs frowned?

Besides, is this not an objective for the DAP?

The full article goes on the compare the ‘meaning’ of the 1Malaysia concept as explained by our Prime Minister in Parliament, with Sun Yat Sen’s Three Principles Doctrine. His thoughts are interesting.

*

On Equality, Marina Mahathir, RantingsbyMM:

As Barack Obama himself says, while he benefited from affirmative action, it doesn’t mean that his daughters should also benefit from it. Obviously they are growing up in a very different environment from their parents so they can make it on their own. While the need for affirmative action remains in the US, it now needs to be a needs-based one, that is, one that is aimed at anyone from poor backgrounds, regardless of race. This would still mostly benefit African-Americans because they are still the poorest but would also cover Hispanics, Asian-Americans and also poor whites. (And if anyone is making comparisons with our situation here, it might be useful to remember that the NEP started off as a needs-based affirmative action programme meant for anyone who was poor.)

I think it is interesting that Marina brought up the NEP in this instance. I am one who believes that the NEP started with noble intentions back in those days. A good deal of what is being discussed today is not so much what it was intended to do, but how it has skewed from its initial goal, and the pitfalls that have ensued from there.

It is also interesting to note that although affirmative action in the US is now a needs-based one, it is widely known that the ones who would benefit most would still be African Americans. I think if the NEP were to be reviewed and restructured so as to be needs-based and not race-based (as it was initially intended, according to what Marina wrote), it will still be the rural Malays who will form the majority of the beneficiaries.

The full article includes also gender equality.

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On Bahasa Malaysia, Dzof Azmi, The Star Online:

We cannot deny that those who support a pro-Bahasa Melayu agenda are themselves Malay. Why should that be? Where are the other segments of Malaysian society in this debate? After all, this is our national language, and any argument that purports to be about saving that element of our national culture should involve all Malaysians. Even the Ministry of Information, Communicate and Culture talks about a “Bangsa Malaysia” in its Vision Statement. Bahasa Melayu isn’t just for the Malays.

I’m waiting for those of other races to stand up and say we should value our national language, and we should be proud to be able to communicate, converse and – yes – teach in it.

Incidentally, he starts his article with this statement:  If we are serious about moving towards a ‘Bangsa Malaysia’, then any argument about saving our national language should involve all Malaysians.

I would find no reason to disagree with him.

In the full article he goes on to say that he think we should be fluent in both Bahasa Malaysia and English. Again, I agree whole-heartedly.

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On Separating Muslims and non-Muslims right from ‘Hello’, Dr Azmi Sharom, The Star Online:

I’m sure you’ve noticed, it’s never just “Assalamualaikum”, it is almost always “Assalamualaikum dan selamat sejahtera”.

Even when we greet each other, it is as a divided people. “Hey for you Muslims out there; I wish you all peace. And for everyone else; I wish you well being, man”!

Why do we do this?

I’ve been asking myself the same question for quite some time. Indeed, I’ve been asking myself the same question since they started doing this during school assemblies.

We used to greet teachers when we met them in the corridors, or when they entered the class, with “Selamat Pagi”, or “Selamat Petang”. During assemblies, Muslim teachers greeted us with “Assalamualaikum”, non-Muslim teachers with the same “Selamat Pagi/Petang”. There also used to be no doa during assembly.

Then they introduced “Selamat Sejahtera”. I think that was when I was in Form 2, which would be the year 2000 1999 2000 (I seem to keep on mixing up my years..).

With “Selamat Sejahtera”, it relieved me of the momentary fear of not knowing morning from afternoon from evening every time I met a teacher while walking the halls of my school, which was very often.

But with it, came the “Assalamualaikum dan selamat sejahtera”, and the morning doa during assembly which even I could repeat (with some degree of accuracy, but without understanding an iota of it) after some time. As the Muslim students would say Ameen after every line of doa being recited, the non-Muslim students would just be standing there idly, but respectfully quiet, and with their heads (most of them, anyway) bent down.

As for me? I was in the office, handling the PA system. But I digress.

The full article has a humurous touch, but I think it addresses just how deep the divisions have cut into our society today.

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6 Comments on “Some food for thought”

  1. Richard Loh says:

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  2. anakpakross says:

    Of all the points noted here, the ones that caught my attention most is Form 2 (14 years old), year 1999. So that makes this year 2009 (10 years later), you are now 24 years old. Hmmm .. sorry for the distraction!
    ________
    I’m getting all my years wrong. Must be losing my memory sort of. Turns out it was 2000 after all!

  3. Antares says:

    Oh goody… your blog is ACTIVE again, Michelle! Thought you would tell the world you’re back online but you kept pretty quiet about it! When did you reactivate? Anyway, I’m reinstating onmy blogroll you right now 😉

  4. Paula says:

    Hi dear Michelle,

    Pertinent issues for this generation but how many are serious about dealing with these? Many go about achieving their malicious agenda. *Sighs*

    I pray more people will be aware of the importance of adopting the right perspective and having the right motives in what they do or hope to do…

    Take care.

  5. Joon says:

    Dear Michelle,

    Very often I asked myself why as a Malaysian born here I am not given the same rights as other Malaysian? Why do they get a discount when buying houses? Why do they get special allocation for scholarship? Why the discrimination? Will things change in Malaysia? I think it will be difficult. It will be a political suicide for any politician to remove the special rights of the Bumiputera. If I am not wrong, it’s in the constitution too the special rights. So as a non Bumi in Malaysia, born a second class citizen always a second class citizen. So will our children and generations down the line. WHY ARE MALAYSIAN PUTTING UP WITH ALL THIS DISCRIMINATION?


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