May 30, 2009

Racial Politics creating a Failed Nation

One of Malaysia's Racial politics started in the early 70s when the government discovered that the Muslim-Malays were too poor yet overly incompetent compared to the economy advanced Chinese. As a result, the government of Malaysia launched a program called NEP (Malaysian New Economic Policy) to uplift the economy status of the poor muslim-Malays, hoping to balance up the income of the poor with the rich. However, after 30 years of NEP, income disparity in Malaysia has not improved.

According to the UNDP 1997 Human Development Report Asian Analysis 1998 by Asean Focus Group and the 2004 United Nations Human Development (UNHDP) report, Malaysia has the highest income disparity between the rich and poor in Southeast Asia, greater than that of Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. The UNHDP Report shows that the richest 10% in Malaysia control 38.4% of the economic income as compared to the poorest 10% who control only 1.7%. Kuala Lumpur as the capital of Malaysia has an increasing number of squatters, shanty towns and slums, and is also seeing an increase in criminal acts such as snatch theft, robberies, and rape.

What they say about racial politics?:

Malaysian politician Chang Ko Youn put forward "Malaysia has practised racial politics for 51 years and we know it is divisive as each party only talks on behalf of the racial group it represents... When all races are in a single party, no one person will try to be the champion of the party.... It is easy to be a Malay hero, a Malaysian Chinese hero or an Malaysian Indian hero but it is difficult to be a Malaysian hero.... The country is facing economic problems now and it is important that the Government and political parties come up with a Malaysian agenda on how to unite the people and face these challenges..."

Marina Mahathir wrote: "...The same thing happened in our country. Unfortunately, race politics has not really died down yet, and some people reacted as if ethnic cleansing had just taken place...."

Michelle Gunaselan wrote: "...I am often ashamed and angry about what has happened to the industry, to my view of what is an honourable profession. My friends who wrote powerful things – beyond our age, perhaps – about human rights abuses, race politics, and much more in our college newspapers, now sit back and allow their editors to change key facts in their stories. We now maintain “elegant silences” about each other’s choices. I don’t profess to be a model journalist, I think I could still do better, and I have a long way to go, but I do admire them for trying to work under these difficult circumstances. After all, I have, I suppose, taken the easy way out by writing for magazines (on political features) where I am not necessarily subjected to the same sorts of political influence and Government ownership and control issues as the mainstream media."

Politician Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham when he was asked, "What do you dislike most about Malaysians?", he replied: Racial politics

Chris Anthony wrote: "...After 50 years of living and working together side-by-side, the people have voted to do away with racial politics but unfortunately the politicians are far from showing signs of heeding their calls for multiracialism...."

Philip Bowring of International Herald Tribune wrote that the political organization of Malaysia has long been largely on racial lines, Islam has at times become a device for use in racial politics, a yardstick for measuring the commitment of competing parties to Malay racial advancement.

Writer A. Asohan wrote: " started to grow up, and race increasingly became a factor. You became aware of race politics here. Insidious people would hint that being friends with the "Other" made you a traitor to your own race. The racist rot seems to have intensified over the subsequent generations. The bigotry we learned as adults are now being picked up by our primary schoolkids. Our leaders may, in a fit of progressiveness (by their standards), talk about racial tolerance, but acceptance and appreciation for other races and cultures seem beyond their ken. Racial intolerance in the country is getting worse, we tell ourselves, looking back to a more idyllic past. Bah, what crock! We Malaysians have always been racists. Heck, the entire human race has always found some illusive basis for discrimination. Race, religion, colour, creed, whether you were born north or south of that artificial line called a border – we spend an inordinate amount of our time and resources on delineating our differences rather than celebrating our similarities. If you married someone from a different race in the old days, you faced severe social censure and were treated as an outcast. Parents wrung their hands and tore at their hair, wailing “What did we do wrong? Aiyoh, how can you do this to us?"

A disappointed parent: "It is really sad. Parents spend huge amounts of money educating their children, but the ones who stand to benefit are the Singaporeans, Americans, Australians and the British. For as long as race politics is not done away with, the problem of brain drain will continue and Malaysia will always fall behind advanced countries, no matter how many twin towers and Putrajayas we build."

Former Prime minister of Malaysia Mahathir bin Mohammad said Samy Vellu is a racist in his own blog "...They speak not just of Indians, but of Tamils as a separate race. They and their apologists are racist to the core....Seeing the death and destruction inflicted on Sri Lanka by the Tamil Tigers, they threaten to bring this kind of violent racial politics to Malaysia...

Source: Wikipedia


1 comment:

Satish said...

I remember Mahathir saying racial politics in Malaysia will never die.

Sometimes, I feel he is right.

Because it's very easy for politicians to manipulate the minds of people & cause racial tension.

It's a vicious cycle.

As beautiful as it is, it's hard to wipe out racial politics....Unless..

There comes a day when each race is willing to help another.