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Azimah's Bangsa Malaysia
By tv3

4/10/2000 3:09 am Wed

Assalamualaikum/Selamat Sejahtera
Semua Pejuang REFORMASI

There has indeed been numerous articles written, on the central issue of "Malaysian Malaysia"or "Bangsa Malaysia". "Central" because, after almost half a century, we have not made much headway in the field of racial integration! That that is so, despite all available weaponry at the government's disposal (from ALL media right up to Parliament), has to rank as one of the major blunders of the BN (and its predecessor) government. Not the least has been one article, which appeared in one of the e-press on 01OCT00, in which the writer attempted to address the issue of who is actually to blame in the sorry state of affairs of racial integration in Bolehland. And who (if any) can best be entrusted to homogenise the various races in this blessed Nation.

We are deliberately posting this response in FKM, for two main reasons. One being the fact that the issue universal. One that concerns all Malaysians. We thus feel that FKM is as good a platform as any, to highlight the issue. And two, FKM is, by far our favourite and dearest Forum.

From the very onset, the writer discounts all the BA component parties. The DAP (she insists) is "only for Chinese", and any other view is a "myth". PAS, she predicts, will confuse the situation even further by adding sex and religion into the permutation. And as for keADILan, "except for Tian Chua and a few other non-Malays, the pillar of their struggle is to fight for the release of Anwar Ibrahim", she further wrote. The writer has, deliberately or otherwise, made no mention of PRM.

We will not argue with the truth or otherwise, of her assumptions. We will also not argue the fact that, racial integration, pivotal as it may be, there are also other issues (just as critical if not more) that also need addressing. Issues like corruption, cronyism, the judiciary (or what is left of it). We do however wish to highlight her observations in the context of a Bangsa Malaysia. Just from what the writer has provided us with, therein is noticed a major fundamental difference between the BA and the BN. The writer's assumption notwithstanding, we can safely conclude that ALL the three parties are OPENED TO ALL MALAYSIANS, IRRESPECTIVE OF RACE! A far cry and a head start from one party each for the three major races as has been in practice for the last HALF A CENTURY! If there is one single first step that is needed to totally eliminate the identifying of Malaysians by race, then THIS IS IT - POLITICAL INTEGRATION. Because, as I shall prove later (insya Allah), fires of racism, in 99 cases out of 100, are fuelled, inevitably, by politicians! A simple observation by anyone who read history!

What then is Bangsa Malaysia? This will surely invite a variety of interpretations and perceptions, depending mainly upon one's experiences and aspirations, and inevitably (again) race. We totally agree with the writer here, that it has to "balance the rights, sentiments, needs, history and many other factors". So much so that, we in tv3 believe that it will be close to impossible to come to a universally accepted interpretation. We shall therefore not even attempt to put forth our version of the word. Readers are free to deduce to the best that their conscience will allow!

Ideally of course, it will be an environment where anything and everything is performed based only on the merit of each case. But of course there are other considerations (so our fathers thought), thus a Constitution with built in Malay privileges etc. The race riots of May 69, necessitated a re-look of certain policy aspects, particularly in the economic sphere because we were told that, in summary, "the riots broke out because the Malays were poor". Never mind the fact that with the benefit of hindsight and with the recent allegations flying about, that the riots broke out not without the help of self-centered, yes, POLITICIANS! Be that as it may, an after effect of the unfortunate riots, the policy formulated was towards the "restructuring of society" and the "eradication of poverty". By any measure noble, and very relevant towards the creating of a Bangsa Malaysia.

Next, the writer talks about vision 2020, which she claims, "the main aim of which is to create a Bangsa Malaysia". Good. We will not argue with that either. We will also give the writer the benefit of the doubt and assume that this vision also encompasses fairness, freedom to criticise, personal safety, the rule of law etc. In short, an all round Bangsa Malaysia. A vision towards a betterment in any form is definitely welcome. In the Quraanic language, it is "Muhasabah" meaning to constantly assess oneself towards improvement, or even, "Islah" or reformation. Vision alone is only half the battle. The strategy chosen towards achieving that vision must be implemented with fairness. Implementation, by fair means or foul, can never justify the realisation of that vision.

This is where the BN and the BA will differ. Yes, BA is an unproven entity. Put it in another way, the BN IS a proven entity. In the implementation of strategies towards a Bangsa Malaysia, the BN has indeed proven that by "restructuring of society", it means that cronies get all the cream leaving the actual target market the crumbs. It has proven that by "eradication of poverty", it means it has eradicated "poverty" amongst the ruling class, politicians and public servants, alike through corruption. And vision 2020 means spend and spend and spend, and borrow and borrow and borrow, to physical grandiose, to which a Bangsa Malaysia is supposed to relate to, with pride.

We REPEAT. The BA is an unproven entity. But the truth of the matter is, Bolehlanders (particularly the non-Malays) have forfeited the opportunity to at least give them chance, by re-voting in the BN in the last elections. A chance to prove that being in power is not all about an Islamic state, nor just about abolishment of Malay rights, and further still, from just about the release of Anwar Ibrahim (from being cruelly persecuted). If one wish to look at it from another angle, an excellent opportunity to create a two-party system of governance. IF the BA proves to be just another hot wind blowing, WE WILL VOTE BACK IN, the BN! No race, no rhetorics. Strictly issues and performance!

We will object in the strongest possible terms, any argument that it could well prove to be an expensive "experiment" as insinuated by the writer's last paragraph. Nothing can be more expensive than what we are now going through. Lets just observe the degree of religious intolerance, moral decay, economic mismanagement, ultra negative international perception, zero credibility and indeed the unbelievable sense of inhumanity that is becoming a way of life! Writing off the BA simply because it "is a loose co-operation", therefore will not be able to effectively rule, is at best, playing into the hands of the powers that be. Lest we forget, the BA is hardly a year old! And it is here to stay, all inadequacies notwithstanding. Let us not repeat the mistakes made in the 1999 elections, come 2004. Then it will really be disastrous. A calamity, which might throw us back into pre-civilisation times. And from which we might never be able to recover.

Lawan Tetap Lawan!!!