Thursday, November 6, 2008

Malaysia must have hope and dreams


PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has said that it is possible for anyone from a minority group to be a nation's leader, even in Malaysia. He was asked by reporters if it were possible for a person from a minority group to become Prime Minister in Malaysia. Pak Lah has certainly given a positive and reassuring response, particularly when there are groups, including those from Umno and PAS, who tell us that a non-Malay should not be a general manager of PKNS. The dispute in PKNS isn't even about qualifications but race.

Sometimes we just need to calm ourselves down and think. Imagine, if you have a massive heart attack, do you really care what is the race of the cardiologist? Who cares if the doctor is a Malay, Chinese or Indian so long as he can save your life. Or for that matter, do we want our leaders to be clean, capable and competent or one who projects himself to be a hero of his community but is downright corrupt and surely a traitor to his own race, regardless of his rhetoric and claims of being a champion.

Does one's religion really matter? PAS leaders are saying that the party does not care about race or creed but they have stopped short of saying that the choice must be Muslim. Theocratic tyranny is as bad as racial tyranny, don't let PAS fool us. PAS president Hadi Awang has said it over and over again - he cannot accept the idea of having more non-Muslim MPs from Sabah and Sarawak.

So, let's not bluff ourselves into believing that under PAS, the non-Muslims will get a better deal. What PAS is saying is this - they will accept a non-Malay as a PM but he has to be a Muslim. Soon, the same principle would be used in senior government positions.

I think the non-Malays in this country are realistic. They are not asking for the sky. They are not asking to be Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister. But they are concerned, rightly so, too, at what is happening around them. The world has changed but for many, time seems to be at a standstill, in Malaysia. Or rather they are resisting the changes that are taking place.

Malaysians cannot afford to lag behind as the world opens up. It would be the greatest disservice we can do to our children. It cannot be business as usual or more of the same.

In Singapore, when people talk of immigrants, they talk of mainland Chinese, Indonesians, Indians and others. It has brought Singaporeans together because they find they have many commonalities. The Chinese grumble about the mainland Chinese, not Singaporean Malays and Indians. They have found the mainland Chinese kids to be smarter and more hardworking than they are, with more government scholarships going to the latter. But they have accepted this - competition is good and necessary.

In Malaysia, the same pattern would emerge as the demography changes. But in Malaysia, the future leaders could well be third-generation Bangladeshis, Indians, Nepalese, Cambodians and Pakistanis. Second-generation Indonesians like Khir Toyo became a Selangor Mentri Besar. Certainly, there are many others, too, in Umno or PAS. How can we then tell the Chinese and Indian children that they cannot be future leaders after they see Barack Obama become the US President? The future US presidents could be a South Korean or a Hispanic. It is important that we provide hope to our young, regardless of their races and religion. It's what the heart feels that matters the most, not the colour of our skins. If we kill their dreams, then Malaysia has no hope. Read On The Beat, Nov 9, 2008:

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe we must first practise what we preach to other.

Anonymous said...

Practise what u preach, mr wong.

Anonymous said...

In your blog writings, and in those of other prominent Malaysian bloggers, there is an unmistakeable absence of the mention, and discussion, of the words "meritocracy" and "meritocratic". While it is unfortunate that Mahathir so famously rubbished the need for meritocracy in Malaysia, or at least among the Bumiputras, it is most amusing that he and other similar Malaysian commentators on Obama's ascendancy cannot or will not attribute that to meritocracy.

Michael Gaw said...

Dear Wong,

Syabas ! Well said !!

This post of yours says it all. No need for further comment.

I only hope more of this writings will appear in The Star for wider readership and response from the public.

Is it OK with you?

Cheers bro!!

Anonymous said...

Easier said than done... It is one thing to say and the another to implement. When a Chinese was selected to head PKNS for a mere year, what a fracas was created.
No I dont believe in fairy tales anymore. At least not under the Malaysian sun.

Anonymous said...

mr wong, very good comments. But i think first we have to practise what we preach.
We have to look around ourselves and see whether we can start practising what we preach right in our cities, our group of friends, our workplace and our political parties.
It is easy to tell others but sometimes we ourselves hide ourselves behind party policies, company policies and even our own prejudice.
We are quick to judge others and tell others their wrongs and shortcomings but we cannot see the log in our eyes. Maybe I am wrong about you. Are you the new Malaysian?

Anonymous said...

Yeah right !!! When the pigs fly !!!

Ranger said...

Wong, stop your bullshit, it is just rhetoric on Pak Lah's part. Come on, you still want to believe Mr. Flip Flop? No one in Malaysia needs to look far, look at all the brances of Government services. Stop your spin, it make me want to puke. It is only a illusion here in Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

PM said that anyone can be PM...the question is does it hold water?

Does the majority want Najib to be PM???

Also, I think it is better to preach what we practise because we do not always practise what we preach.

caravanserai said...

Anyone can be PM
When we think as Malaysians
Is that so hard to dream?
Think about it

Currently it is Malay race
Nothing but racial story
Don’t we have enough of it?
Where is Malaysia in all these?

The sleeping beauty
He never fails to give his worth
His agendas before he leaves office
Nothing seems to come about

The Malays can’t accept
Other races to helm important positions
They think of their race
They don’t even mention Malaysians
So what the sleeping beauty says………
His party will issue show cause letter?

The Malays will destroy themselves
History has recorded it………
Changes will knock on doors
When the doors are not multi-colors
The fire will consume it

The Malays should adopt changes
The way other races are doing
Live within the scope and abilities
Go beyond when it is proven
Not be spoon fed and hope it lasts
My friends read the history of the Roman Empire

The sleeping beauty strokes his genius
In his dreams he wants to be remembered
By saying that he hopes to garner changes
He should stop the gravy train
And the politics of money……..

We all dreams
Martin Luther King “I have a dream……..”
In it we make one “Obama” in our time
The best person to run the affairs of the country

abROcadabRO said...

Forget about what the PM says. He says one thing (with ulterior motive) and do another the next minutes.

Don't even think about having a non-Malay as PM. Asking for a Chinese to be the Deputy Chairman of BN already draw many flaks from the keepers of the "Ketuanan Melayu".

The PM says a lot of things to please certain group of people, but look at what he has done.

Cakap tak sama bikin.

JT said...

How naive we are. So, after 200 years, America now has a black president. But does a black man a freer and fairer world make? It is not about one black man. It is about equal opportunity. It is not about one black man. It is about the better man winning. These are the essential principles imperative to producing winners and champions. America is a country that respects equality and meritocracy. Which is why it has been able to evolve into what it is today in such a short span of 200 years. As a new nation once, its populace was drawn from all over the world - europeans, asians and africans. It doesn't matter where one came from. What's important is where one is going. It doesn't matter if one came first or last. It matters that one must want to be the best. That is the American recipe. Corny as it may sound to some of us living here in our cocoons and coconut shells, it is as real as the fact that a black man borne of immigrant slaves is now president of the greatest country in the world.

What about us? Malaysians can get there too. All that the country need to do is to subscribe to the winning recipe of equality and meritocracy for all regardless of where we came from, or when we came. Question really should be, do we want it?

Julian Chin said...

Wong,

It's good to see that in the US eh? All the hate crime and stereotype and stuff...

But hey, I no longer dare to dream for Malaysia. I have lost hope. Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

'anyone can become the pm'

ya keep on dreaming... u flers still believe in that useless compulsive liar?

pls wake up and understand between myth and reality.

ChengHo said...

Malaysia is ahead of USA eventhough after 51 yrs independent . Obama is the 1st color president of USA in that sense Malaysia 1st Prime Minister was a color ( mixed ) , the 3rd and the 4th also a color Prime Minister . the 5th ( AAB ) also a color Prime Minister ( a mixed between Malay and Chinese ) so what is the problem? it happened all of them embraced Islam and identified themself as Malaysian just like Barrack Obama is a christian and identify himself as an American .

Anonymous said...

Mahathir is Malaysia's Obama !
A half Indian half Malay, who made it to the top of Malaysia. Except that he had forsaken his ancestry and denied that he is half Indian, and worse still, he suppress the Indians and Chinese to make himself seem more Malay !
He could have been a great statesman by accepting his real ancestry and wrote history officially as the first Indian to become the PM of Malaysia. Whata breakthrough that would be for Malaysia!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wong, the title of your post should have been "Malaysia must not have unrealistic hopes and dreams". I think we Malaysians have been hoping and dreaming too much already. You see, most of us have been duped by you-know-who into having too high hopes and unrealistic dreams. Most (not all) of these "hopes" and "dreams" are in actual fact "Satu Lagi Project BN" which are masqueraded as the Malaysian Book of records, Malaysia Boleh, Vision 2020 etc. These unrealistic hopes and dreams have only depleted our coffers or ended up becoming redundant/white elephants. Be more observant, there are many of these examples around us today. One very good but embarrassing example of international stature which i still find it funny until today is the teh-tarik and roti canai making while in space. hahahaha...classic! and of course, our space traveller has to be a Malay. Let's not kid ourselves....yes, there can be change. Obama has shown us but in Malaysia? not in many many years. If you compare the quality of our leaders against Obama, i think we are not too far away ( if we are dreaming)! see, we have one very senior minister who can reason that a civilian place has a very high crime rate therefore unsuitable for the presence of police....hahaha what about the people who work and live there? hahahahahahahahahaha well, let's hope and dream. There can be change!

Anonymous said...

First the Goverment policy of racism must be dismantled and people will start to learn to accept racism will not lead us anywhere better. If the politician continue to harp on the racial element to gain support we are nowhere near Barrack Obama. Infact the people on the street do not really matter what race you are, everyone seems to be able to interact well. For a start I refuse to use the 3 words (Malay, Chinese, Indian )and I hope this 3 words should never be allowed to mention by any leader just say MALAYSIAN.

Friends from Penang

CONFUSED AND SCREWED.... said...

WCW said :
“Sometimes we just need to calm ourselves down and think. Imagine, if you have a massive heart attack, do you really care what is the race of the cardiologist? Who cares if the doctor is a Malay, Chinese or Indian so long as he can save your life.”
-----------------------------------

Mmm… interesting. If I request for a chinese surgeon, can I also request for chinese blood only? I wonder if the blood bank classifies their blood according to 'blood-race' or 'halal and non halal blood...'?

Anonymous said...

Dear Dato,
Sorry to place my comment in ur column.
This s with regard to 'Rebranding MIC'.MIC face major defeat in the recent general elections.Now Indians are becoming more vocal compared to before.
My humble request s with regards to the MIC building.They claim thats the only building which represents the whole indian community in the nation.The President of Mic have promised for a new building for the MIC in 3 years time.This promise was made in 2006.Yet until now nothing seems to b done.
Everytime i pass Jalan Ipoh im wondering whether this building s stil occupied or deserted.
Look at the building not painted,very poor lighting....especially in the night.There seems to b no lights for the building at all.
No any greetings for Deepavali celebrations.....no special lights as Deepavali symbolises festival of lights.
Much attention should b given to maintain this building.
As an Indian this s my humble request.
May The The Star wil highligt this so that those whom are in power wil attend to this soon.

Thanx!

BlueMoon said...

Yes Dato' you've correctly said that the best Malaysia can hope is to dream. People in America regardless of their race and colour are proud to call themselves American, first and the foemost. Even the second generation immigrant like Obama is an American from outside and inside. Here, it is not uncommon to find a third or fourth generation immigrants who cannot read road signs in BM to start with. Having difficulty grasping with the national language is one thing but attempting to replace it with foreign languages is simply appaling. Unlike in America people here from politicians in the parliament to bloggers in the cyberspace are talking and arguing along racial and religious lines all the time. For instance this blog owner tends to be supercritical whenever he preceives the chinese interest has been compromised. Once again Dato' I am in agreement that Malaysia has a long way to go.

ahniuku said...

The Obama’s win is a bad bad news for those race supremacists in Malaysia who blindly styled after those KKK in the US. I am sure many of those ultra-men will doubling their efforts to be seen or to become more ultra as their Party election season is around the corner. Hence, for those who of us who are working hard to make a New Malaysia must stand up and be counted. The times had changed, ultramen must not win.

Niuku

Sceptical joe said...

Non-Malay becomes a PM? (^_^)

Basic stuff like
EQUAL UNIVERSITY ADMISSION
or
EQUAL SCHOLARSHIP CRITERIA
or
EQUAL BUSINESS OPPURTUNITY
or
EQUAL SOCIAL WELFARE

does not exist.

When my sister came back from National Service, I held up the UPU local university application form and said " This is how much your country love you"

Only course such as Fishery and Perhutana is applicable for her.

You sure are one joker, man..

Anonymous said...

Brother Chun Wai, how is it that you are in the cross fire of the left and the right? PAS and UMNO think you are anti Malay and anti Islam. But PKR and DAP think you are sucking up to UMNO and MCA. Both sides throw brick bats at you for anything you say! In Malaysia somehow the middle-of-the-road stand can be quite dangerous. Everybody seems to be unhappy over everything.

Anonymous said...

So what is MCA's new vison and new mission? Is MCA going to continue on the same trajectory and continue to sing the same song? Or will it be brave enough to REALLY change course and discard bad "friends" who have become no so friendly anymore, but has become a big bully? The UMNO elections have clearly shown there is no intent to reform. In fact it has pedaled backwards. So, MCA, please do not kid yourself. You know you are in bad company,but you must be brave enough to leave the bad company. Maybe it should consider pulling out of BN and become a influential NGO to support justice free from political, racial and religious affiliation.

Anonymous said...

malaysia can have a non malay pm if and only if penang can have a malay chief minister. make it happen...

Anonymous said...

Not a chance. Not a snowball chance in hell.

Personally, I have given up on Malaysia. I am tired of being called a "pendatang" and all the other little nastiness that started in school and continue to smother Malaysian politics.

I am a Peranakan, and if centuries of family history living in this land doesn't make you local, nothing will.

I have a PhD in genetics, which I owe to sponsorship from a foreign nation. Imagine that! It is so disheartening.

I know when I am being shown the door, so I am talking my qualifications, my unwanted "Pendatang" ass and walking.

Sure there is friction being "the foreigner", but at least out there people respect my skills and find me useful. Something I can't even get as a citizen in Malaysia.