The world is ready for a new American president. A young, black American with Hussein as his middle name. Barack Obama has become the beacon of hope for many people around the world, especially minorities. We don't have to agree with his politics but he represent renewal.
We read of his Republican rival, John McCain, who reportedly planned to have Bobby Jindal as his running mate. Jindal's family migrated to the US from India. Recently, another black man was voted into the Italian parliament.
Times have changed and even the conservatives realises that talent is more important than race and religion. When you have a heart attack, you seek the help of the best doctor to save your life, you don't care about his race or religion. You want the best teacher to teach your children because you only want the best for them. You want the most trustworthy banker or accountant to look after your money. Who cares if they are Malays, Chinese or Indians as long as they can do the job?
But in Malaysian politics, we are still struggling with this issue, when it comes to the question of leadership. From certain ministerial posts to the appointment of judges, race come into play.
Even as some younger and liberal Umno leaders push for reforms, they have found themselves hitting the wall with some Umno leaders holding on to their grip at the old style of politics. Reforms are perceived as weaknesses and compromises to other races. In the name of nationalism and race, some, including respectable names, are playing the racial card to fit their political agenda. Malaysia deserve the best leaders, regardless of their races, because there is so much good things going for us if only we can go beyond race and religious extremism. We need more Obamas, not Osamas.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
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I live in a multi-racial neighbourhood where we care for one another. When I underwent an operation last year, the two surgeons were Malays, as was the aenasthesiologist, who also happens to be a woman. My main doctor is a Punjabi and the nurses who took care of me were all from different races. Some friends asked me why I didn't choose a Chinese doctor. I didn't want to dignify their question with an answer. Malaysia, if you look at it objectively, is blessed with many talented people from all spectrums of life. But the best often come from those who are exposed to all sorts of challenges in life not only from within the country but also outside. If we keep strictly to our own ethnic group, with very little interaction with others, we will tend to narrow our vision. I believe our leaders are sufficiently exposed to these realities in life and many of them also send their children to international schools and overseas universities because they see the value of exposure to broaden the mindset. The irony therefore is why we still have so many narrow-minded people in our midst.
Blame it on the BN government, who brainwashed the Malaysians over a few decades. BN played communal politics to stay in power. So now that we have a few generations of people raised to be racists, it is going to be a long arduous task to reverse the damage. And the cleaning up cannot begin until BN is removed from power. The BN leaders will continue to play communal politics to suit their own vested interest.
Let's admit that racism has become institutionalised in Malaysia.
We are a race-obsessed nation. Everything here is about race, race, race and race.
Race has dominated the twin power centres - politics and business for far too long.
We've had enough of Umno and its racist brand of ketuanan Melayu politics.
But even after the peoples' verdict of March 8 2008, it seems this is the only effective tactic for desperate politicians and racist newspaper editors to regain support of the Malay masses.
They can only flog this to incite people just to regain power. Sedih betul, isn't it?
Of course, if it's not race, then it's religion.
Only God knows the many grave injustices have been inflicted on Malaysians in the name of "defending race, religion and country".
The racists in Malaysia have always practised hypocrisy at the highest level.
Umno leaders had the audacity to criticise South Africa's apartheid, Australia's failure to look after the aborigines and the like but couldn't see the the racist policies that they introduced and implemented.
But there is also much racism in the realm of Malaysian business.
The Ali Babas are still doing it at the top, creaming off the country's wealth.
The race-quota based spoils are still being shared in the giving of contracts at the middle level and lower levels.
Race is still a major factor in most traditional businesses and trades and the retail business, termasuk jual ikan.
The racists who run these sectors will never share their sources of cari makan with those who are not of the same skin.
Yes, we need real Malaysian leaders who dare to make the fundamental changes needed for our society.
Pakatan offers some hope but its leaders too seem to be still carrying their embarrassing racial and religious baggages.
The road leading to the end of racism looks like a long and winding one.
Ex-rumour monger, now fish monger
Current race-based govt policies and their implementation are not helping us at all. They will continue to breed racists amongst us and you will find racists in all Malaysian communities.
This is sickening - we have been consumed by racism and racist inclinations over the last 30 years brought about and perpetuated by so-called 'nationalist leaders' fighting for their "race, country and religion".
What a whole lot of nationalist crap!
To me, nationalism means fighting for Malaysian unity (not race unity), fighting to defend our King and Country, fighting corruption, greed and injustice.
We must strive for a united Malaysia, maybe not for us but for our children or their future generation. The struggle is NOW!
Dear Chun Wai
As long as UMNO's rallying cry is "to fight for race, religion & country" Malaysia will be condemned to obscene racism & religious bigotry. This is how the UMNO leadership over the years divide & rule our multi-ethnic country with different religions. Malaysia can never rise to be a true & glorious nation. She will remain a country divided and wracked by the great chasm of ethnicity & religiosity.
All peace-loving Malaysians need to pray hard to Almighty God that He will shower us with wisdom, discernment, judgment & righteousness to remove the artificial & unjust racial & religious divides which have blighted Malaysia for 50 years.
God's will will be done. Praise Him mightily.
Let's set the record straight. The only reason why Obama is going to be the next US president is because he is BLACK. This guy helicopted into the pinnacle of power by ruthlessly exploiting the colour of his skin. Not surprising because This is America. Hillary Clinton is a victim of mysoginistic Americans. Poor Hillary, now you can go back to the kitchen and bake some cookies for your poor husband.
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