Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The sad story of Malaysia

In the United States and the world, for that matter, history is about to be created. A black man is set to be elected as the next President of the United States. It has taken a long time but a gigantic change is in the air. In fact, for Barack Obama to come so far is itself a feat. No doubt, race is still a factor in the voting pattern of the American voters but the majority of Americans are likely to put their faith and future in the hands of a black man. It's a really a big deal. Back home, many of us must have been crushed to read about the protest against the appointment of Low Siew Moi as acting PKNS general manager. She has served in PKNS for over 33 years including as its deputy general manager (for corporate development) for the past11 years. In short, she is qualified, experienced and capable. She is also well accepted by all her staff. No one seems to dispute her ability - except her race. So, we have Shah Alam Umno, the PKNS Senior Officers Association and Selangor Malays Residents Action group protesting and even PAS has jumped into the fray, sounding exactly alike. We can imagine how Low, who has served PKNS with great dedication, would feel with all these protests. She would probably get a better salary if she had joined the private sector and with all her contacts, she would still be a sought after person. But she doesn't seem to be getting the respect and honour at PKNS, which is terribly sad and we hear our politicians often asking why non-bumiputras are reluctant to join the civil service. Or worse, leave the country. Does Low's case answer it all? Can anyone look at Low's eyes and tell her with a straight face that she's not qualified? Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim deserves to be saluted for going against the tide by appointing Low. When will we rise above all this pettiness and look at meritocracy, so there is hope for all of us? That's not all. The protest against the Penang state government's decision to use various languages in tourist areas is equally appalling. Why should politicians protest the use of Chinese, Tamil, English or Jawi beside Bahasa Malaysia for sign boards in selected areas? It's not as if the status of the national language is being threatened. It's just pathetic racist reaction. Chinese, Japanese and Arabic is already being used at the KLIA beside BM, so should we take it down? In Kuching, the Sarawak BN government allows the use of Chinese on road signs and certain government departments, should they also take it down? As Malaysians, we should already be ashamed that we cannot speak most languages spoken by our fellow brothers and sisters. Unlike Belgium, Switzerland and many European countries, we are restricted to BM, English and a dialect. For the record, I cannot speak and write Mandarin - which means nobody would offer me a job in China because I would be useless to my employer. But as we squabble over these ridiculous issues, simply because some politicians want to be the heroes of their community ahead of a party election - we are doing a great disservice to our nation, our economy and our people. That is the most unpatriotic act of all.


Anonymous said...

i am so glad to read this article of yrs... i respect you sir, datuk wong ..
i have the same opinion as well ..
thank you.. hope you will publish in the star too..

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

'It doesn't matter if it's black or white
It's a good cat if it can catch rats'
So why do some still have the wrong petitions to write
When there's the best cat around to get rid of rats?

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 291008
Wed. 29th Oct. 2008.

Anonymous said...

you fail to highlight one main point in you article - it took the US 350 years, slavery, several civil wars, a few attempts to assassinate presidents to get here......

we are but 50 years please la present facts as facts......

Anonymous said...

Dear Datuk,

The reaction by PAS and the staff of PKNS is not surprising. If you just troll around the blog sphere you will come across many blogs which claim to be nationalistic in their outlook. Generally the tone of these blogs is one of chauvinism. The writers of these blogs and their commentators are of the opinion that this country should only belong to the Malays. Non-Malays should suck it up and be happy that they are given a chance to live here (but as second class citizens) or else should go back to where their ancestors came from. Their main fear is that the Non-Malays (particularly the Chinese) are trying control the Government – hence they have become ultra sensitive (paranoid) about anything that they perceive touches on Malays and Islam. If you look at blogs like Barking Magpie and Demi Negara you will know what I mean. As you said it just the sad story of Malaysia.


Anonymous said...

How do we change this racist mindset... when UMNO politicians, still shield them for their selfish actions.
Low was not aligned to any political party, only her capability and diligence, so what is the big farce?
UMNO, MCA and MIC these racial parties have not contributed to dismantle this structure of racism.
Matter of fact, they are responsible for creating this evil monster and using it unashamedly, for their political gains.
Sadly, professional appointments or promotion in the civil service, is still based on one's color of the skin and not on merits. To change this mentality is just an elusive dream!

Anonymous said...

Very sad day for Malaysia. The same thing has been happening in the NST where promotion is based on the colour of your skin. You can name the number of qualified people in the NST who have been passed over for promotion to the No 1 post.

Bangsa Cina Malaysia said...

enough of all these nonsense .
when are all the state govt Pakatan or BN
going to take action against all those incompetent
president, timbalan president and whatever majlis perbandaran joker
who are obviously not doing their job but are highly paid
for doing nothing.
look at the state of this country, not a place that is clean, neat and tidy.
the city drains are filled with rubbish the sidewalk overgrown with lalang
the list goes on and on.
it is time to declare war on all this joker
who are not doing their job. in fact they should be sacked immediately.
to all readers get the ball rolling.

lanaibeach said...

Languages a passport to open doors
In school we have been taught to master few languages
Then the world will be our playground to boot
Then Mahathir changes it so the rot begins

Now we hear the low standard
Of our schools and universities
Every graduate has a poor command of a second language
How to employ them when communication is a hindrance?

Yet we have malay politicians
They jump on the wagon to protect BM
The road signs with many languages
It is ease the congestion of the tourists
In Penang Island a popular tourist haven
Even the police officers are learning dialects
So there must be benefits with multiple languages on road signs
It is only the narrow minded malays who wanted to live backwards
Hello this is 21st century……….it is global now

Learn and use multiple languages
Here the tourists will flock in numbers
The country will not lose her status
In fact she will enhance in world tourist map
Malaysia easy to cruise around

BlueMoon said...

Bro. Wong, I symphathize with what Low is having to endure at this moment. Is her case the first one? Absolutely NO. Back in 1988 MCA, DAP, gerakan and DJZ had fiercely protested when a qualified Malay teacher was posted to the chinese school. There was only one reason to this dissent - RACE. PAS' objection, therefore, reflects the continuity of Malaysia politic which is very much race based. Meanwhile the logic behind the proposed multilingual signages is completely absurd. If DAP truly wants to help the tourists then he should has used the information boards instead of changing the road signs. If Lim Gun Eng still is adamant then he needs to answer on why he had chosen chinese and tamil characters only. How about kadazan, murut, iban, thai, etc. Indeed the recent events signal a truly sad story for Malaysia. After 51 years of independent, there are still some citizens of this country who could not read signs in Bahasa Malaysia!

Meiyen said...

Chinese will always be second class citizen in this country.

Make sure your kids study and know the English language not just well, but very well. They can be successful, on their own terms, anywhere. Of course knowing Mandarin can be very helpful too.

Anonymous said...

yes...sad story of Malaysia...but Selangor MB Tan Sri Khalid has initiated the 1st.forward implementing meritocracy .... perhaps there will come a time soon... when all Civil Servants...Police included, will prefer to serve in SELANGOR because there are serving with Dignity and as Proud Malaysians...what a wonderful story.

Anonymous said... and the STAR with the help of the MCA helped create this "Sad story of Malaysia"..

ChengHo said...

any comment on Tun Salleh Abbas vs Bar Council ? read rocky..

Unknown said...

Dear Wong,

You have articulated very accurately what most Malaysians in their hearts felt.

We are really ashamed and saddened by the state of racism in this country even after 51 years as a nation.

You would certainly agree with me that the extreme racism in this nation is encouraged by the polliticians themselves. And to think that they want to pass a Race Relation Act!!!

Almost everything is politicized and viewed from a racial angle by politicians.

You have rightly said that this is totally unpatriotic and I would dare suggest that such actions should be criminalised by an act of parliament and anyone including politicians should be jailed if found guilty by a court of law!!!

BareSheen said...

Chun Wai,

Very well said. Thank you very much.

It is so disheartening to read, again and again, of such racist attitude.

It is despairing. I am 3rd generation Chinese here. This is the only country I know so well and love. And I would do my darnest to give my all for this country.

But again and again and again, I am made to feel 2nd class, not welcome.

What rubbish.

You should continue to write against such nonsense. Write more and write louder. The bigots should not be allowed any further inch in their narrow minded ways.

Vesu said...

i am not at all surprise with the planned protest by some PKNS staffs and even Pas against the appointment of a non Malay as GM of PKNS. the act shows some people are not ready for any changes..let alone facing global challenges ... the Malay leaders must change their attitude ... do not let policies in NEP destroy the community... Nep only benefit the people in connection - umno

Anonymous said...

I doubt Malaysia will go down Iran's path since Iran's Islamic Revolution 1979 or Pakistan's terrorism problem.

Probably Malaysia will stay what it is, A peaceful, slow and idle country. Because smart people are not allowed to show what they can do best.And i understand bumiputera effort to boost up talented bumiputera. I hope they will succeed. because if we have good bumiputera and the country goes up, we non-bumiputera will benefit too. But if thing is terbalik, then we can start walking terbalik..

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8.00pm

You may be right with the history of America. Bear in mind, the issue is 'An Acting Head of govt dept' not a PM or a CM. Sorry to say, with a mentality like yours, we may even require more than 300 years to have a non-bumi as a PM.
Don't forget, we are all Anak Malaysia!

Anonymous said...

This is the reason why we can never stop brain draining from happening in malaysia... the talented and intelligent people who can bring Malaysia to greater heights will never be appreciated here just because of their race and skin color... n our friendly Singapore is busy luring all our talents into their country... even a malaysian can hold top positions in National University of Singapore (NUS) but they can nvr qualified for any position in the public university in Malaysia... yes, anything can happen here in the Bolehland... Malaysia boleh!!!

n lastly, i truly disappointed with PAS... They are just another UNMO-BeeN which has the racial-based mentality.... instead of defending MB's decision, they are looking for other potential bumiputera candidate... sigh!! sigh!!!

Anonymous said...

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is to be commended for making such a suggestion to reflect PKR's commitment to meritocracy and multi-racial politics. It is highly regrettable that PAS Dr Hassan Ali behaved like an UMNO leader harping on race to oppose Low Siew Moi's appointment as head of PKNS. The people would now want to hear what Anwar has got to say about this.

Anonymous said...

Sad vote for PAS was a mistake...just and beholding the great values of Islam which propagates equality for all mankind have given way to narrow minded racial supremacy and ego...come next general election i shall redeem this mistake.

Anonymous said...

this mindset has cost us malaysians and malaysia a lot in terms of progress. hope one day the realisation will be there that every malaysian regardless of race or religion only hopes the best for malaysia.

Anonymous said...

There are people in PKNS and other units who are protesting Low's appointment to head PKNS because they are afraid a clean head may not allow these rats to siphon money from PKNS through dubious contracts. These rats who are protesting in the name of protecting Malay interest are actually trying to protect their own pockets.

Anonymous said...

Advice to the Malaysians:

1. To the Chinese: learn English and Mandarin and get out of Malysia. Think China, HK, Taiwan.

2. To the Indians: Learn English, and native Indian dialect(s) and get out of the country. Think India.

3. Malays: Learn Bahasa and stay put in Malaysia, and do your very best. Also, make friends with the Chinese and Indians who are leaving. You will need them later.

4. Rest of Non-Malays: Basically, learn English and get out ... go somewhere. Otherwise, assimilate with the Chinese or Indians and follow them.

NOTE: Malaysia was once on the road to becoming a great country, but now it is "rotting" from its very core. Its not just a "sad story", its the tragic truth.

amoker said...


I agree with your assestment.
We are turning into a fascist country under UMNO where certain race is superior. People do forget that even if some race is superior, there are people in that race that is just inferior. haha.

PAS needs to grow up into its Islamic credential where Islam does not look at race but religion. But it got confused and decided to segreagate by race as well, totally against the religion that it preaches. I do not agree even if segregated by religion, but PAS needs to figure out better.

ChengHo said...


what is racism to you? we have only one national language BAHASA MALAYSIA
if all official matter change to JAWI BAHASA MALAYSIA is that racism?

Look at Singapore apart from so called meritrocracy they are also no nonsense as far as official matter is concerned.

BlueMoon said...

Bro. Wong, As the saying goes: the baboon cannot hide its true colours. Truly sad story for MCA junkies. Demands made recently by their chiefs, even though it had expectedly failed to amuse you, will surely not go down well with BN. Despite of the different, MCA is much better off with DAP. Unlike PAS and UMNO, MCA shares a common cause with DAP or even GERAKAN. The leaders of these political parties are chauvinists in their own styles. They are no different. If this is not enough, the public was again shaken up by the road sign hullabaloo mooted up by DAP. The reason cited is completely rediculous. From Lim Guan Eng view point, it seems that the tourists are more important then the locals. I completely concur with Dato' Eddy Chong that LGE is messing up the state. His priority is practically upside down. While countries in the west are preparing for the economic uncertainties and meltdown, here we have a leader who's so worried about road signs. Its simply PATHETICS!

Anonymous said...

Don't compare US and Malaysialah. US is more than 200 years civilisation and Malaysia achieved independent only 50 years ago. 150 years to come when you and me are in Alam Barzah, I am sure chinese will take over the country. Kunta Kinte also did not withness a black become US's president in 2008 and so do you and me will not witness a chinese become Malaysian Prime Minister in 2158.

Rosli Dhoby.

Rosli Dhoby.

Anonymous said...

Why are these senior officers making so much noise to object ferociously to Low's appointment?
If you dig a layer down, there is the stinky smell of corruption. They are afraid that Low will stop the corruption. So they make use of race issues to whip up objections to the appointment of Low. Again this is another case of Malays using the race issues to cover up their dirty scams of ripping off the rakyat of all races!

Anonymous said...

All those objecting to Low's appointment should be investigated by the Selangor state and the ACA. Why are they so scared that Low will be heading PKNS? It has nothing to do with race. They are scared that Low knows where to dig for dirt.

Anonymous said...

SamuelGoh, the rats are scared of the new cat who has the knowledge of where the rats have been stealing the people's food. These rats are going all out to stop this new cat. The rats don't want their loot to be returned.And they are scared of going to prison if their dirty deeds are discovered. They don't want a clean cat. They want a dirty cat that is willing to paricipate in the stealing and be part of their gang, as their gang leader.

Anonymous said...

A lot of people is saying "No matter it is a black cat or white cat, as long at it can catch mouse, then it is a good cat"....

You all use the verse wrongly lar (at least in this situation) ..... Anyone that protests is the mouse in this case. Do you think they want an efficient cat to catch them?

KongKor said...

Well articulated Datuk. Te real problem lies with the racist and myopic politicians who are trying to score some brownie points, be it from BN, PR and even the government servants themselves.

Especially the government servants, they are lucky to have a job in the public sector, should they be in the public sector, they are history by now.

Anonymous said...

I admire the courage of people to do what is right in the face of strong objections. We should encourage such people to continue to stand up and do the right thing. And I applaud and prefer to give the time and attention to people like Tan Sri Khalid for doing the courageously right thing! At the same breath I would not give too much weight and attention to those who are myopic and racially bigots fools who is out of touch with the real competitive world.

Anonymous said...

Sad sad indeed since Low is only there for one year. MCA, Gerakan etc please open your eyes...BN politicians have failed us miserably for the last 50 years. No wonder we are behind in so many areas despite good infrastructure. PAS politicians, yes I voted for you in Titiwangsa-please show to us that you are Malaysians first and Malays second. I thought Islam taught everyone to be equal before God??

Anonymous said...


for once, i cant agree with you more.

by the way, they should also stop airports from using any language except Bahasa Malayisa. In that way, social contract will not be "disturbed". looneys abound in the political sphere.

Anonymous said...

Totally agreed with you on this issue. Indeed it's a sad day for M'sian as we still look at the skin colour rather than the capabilities. And the main culprit in all these mess is UMNO. They are the one who is protesting against the decision made in S'gor & Penang. It's a curse upon this land as long as UMNO rules the govt.

Anonymous said...

Is this the way to treat Chinese and Indians? Why is the government so silent over this issue? Arent Chinese, Indians and others citizens of this country? All this talk about muhibah and open house and love-thy-neighbour talk is pure humbug. Nazi Germany treated Jews as dirt. It denied Jews civil rights and made them foreigners in the land they called home for centuries. South Africa did the same. I thought all these were behind us. Now modern Malaysia is no better than these scums. We can only weep. We can only sigh. We can only watch in despair. Isnt it time for the silent majority to stand up and be counted? Isnt it time for the silent majority to expose these scums for what they are?

Anonymous said...

MCA's support of the Selangor MB in the PKNS issue is a step in the right direction. We hope they will also support the move to abolish ISA, and do so where it counts, in Parliament. We want MCA to vote against ISA, and walk the talk.

ChengHo said...

pls learn mandarin otherwise no body take you seriously in China but lately especially after olympic the Chinese want to converse in english

if you visit university of Beijing malay dept the students speak very fluent malay with Indonesian accent.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you finally have the gut to speak up on this issue.

Hats off to you. But now I challenge you to use your Star newspaper to educate the racist BN politicians from UMNO, MCA, MIC, etc.

Let me make a point as a Bumiputera Malay Muslim. This racist and neo-apartheid attitude is not of Malays. It's not the voice of new generation of Malays. It's UMNO's and supported by other BN component parties.

Please say it again loud and clear in your Star.

It's indeed an insult to Malays if UMNO thinks that we can't compete without the crutches. The fact is only UMNO members can't survive without those crutches.

To prove this point, I left the country to work for a foreign company in a foreign land (developed country.) I'm proud to say that I'm as competitive as them even without all the favours. In fact, I've become more successful than I was back home. And the beauty is that all of us (Malaysians) overseas see each other as Malaysians not Malays, Chineses or Indians.

I'm all for equality, justice and brotherhood of all people who proudly call themselves Malaysians.

Finally, do and say the right thing even if it hurts. The onus is on those who hold the pens and keyboards.

With faith, over to you Sir!