In my previous post titled “Bangsa Malaysia, Bahasa Malaysia”, Sactyr commented the following: –
Bro, whats the point of speaking it fluently? At the most, can we get a job in government now that we know how to speak Malay fluently? Oh no, wait a minute, I am not a Malay, so I am disqualified anyway.
Maybe I can consider a career as a dangdut singer? Or maybe get a career as RTM Malay host? Wait a minute, I am not a Malay, so I am disqualified straightaway.
I am not against learning Malay for the sake of it, in fact I schooled 12 years in Malay. But as soon as we are done with school, the only places we use Malay is the market and government departments.
Ok lets say, for arguments sake, all of us can converse in Malay rather fluently, do you think racism in this country will fly out of the window? Lets say that instead of English/Tamil/Chinese, everyone will be blogging and voicing out their opinions in Malay, do you think that will solve problems?
The whole picture is painted as if all communities are living in separate islands and each community DOES NOT understand any language beyond theirs. The fact is, and cold truth is, each and every community in Malaysia understands Malay. So no problem of communicating opinions. The problem is refusal to listen by the government, and NEP.
To promote unity, you need each and every race to respect others. In order to give and take this respect, you don’t need to know Malay, just a warm heart and a mind clear of propaganda will do. But sadly, that’s not case right now.
And here’s my humble opinion
Unfortunately that is the sad situation in Malaysia these days but certainly a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. A drastic and major change will not be so easy to achieve. I should know better, I faced it on a daily basis at work. And sometimes we can’t expect change to happen overnight or tomorrow or even 2 weeks later. It took more than 200 years for America to have its first non-white President. The same goes for the concept of Bangsa Malaysia – it may take some time.
For it to happen now in this paradise known as Malaysia would just be a distance dream. With a daily barrage of racial based policies and talks such as NEP, Ketuanan Melayu and more, a more refined and ideal concept as Bangsa Malaysia will not find the right breathing space and will just wither away.
But does it mean we have to give up and leave it to fate? Are we going to let some uneducated, racists politicians to determine and how we are going to interact with other Malaysians?
We did the almost impossible in the last general election – we denied the 2/3 majority to a group of racial based political parties and sent MIC and its President into the wilderness. Just 10 years ago, would we have thought that this would have been possible?
We have to start chipping the hard rock bit by bit
Look at Indonesia. As much as we like to blame them for the rising crime rates to illegal immigrants and yearly haze, Indonesia is many steps ahead of us in terms of racial treatment. They enacted laws that make racial segregation unlawful.
Indonesian lawmakers said this when they passed the Bill on the Elimination of Race and Ethnic Discrimination recently: –
A man cannot choose to be born as part of a certain race or ethnic group, and therefore discrimination must cease to exist
But did the change happen overnight? I had a friend from Indonesia who is a pure Chinese descent and when he was in Malaysia, he prefers to talk Bahasa Indonesia. It is his national identity. Another is his name – Indonesians have made to very difficult to judge the ethnicity of a person by looking at their names. We don’t have to go to such extreme but if Malaysia had followed in Indonesia’s footsteps, unfair treatment based on names of formal applications, letters and others would have been avoided.
Shame on us if we could see a better world under Bangsa Malaysia and yet, we have not taken that first step
Many have put the blame of racial disunity and the postponement of Bangsa Malaysia on the current Government. It was not surprising that the events leading the general election were tainted with racial slurs and provocations.
If the Government is only source of the problem, then a change of Government must be done in the next election. Leaders who try to gain political mileage by making racial and seditious statements must be shown the exit door and be barred forever from being involved in the management of government in this country. It is not impossible to do this.
But for now, let’s start with a smaller steps, shall we?
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