Race Relations >>>

I went through almost the same journey with the writer, a SOP after 1971


Basically the segregation of students along the racial line happened after my Form 3 when UMNO’s apartheid kicked in in full force. I have stopped visiting Malay classmates during hari raya after departed from my first secondary school in the deep rural area.

I still remember a Malay teacher told Malay students in the class that Chinese is the one selling drug to poison Malay minds. I believe same teaching is still being used by BTN till today.

Malaysia is a nation within a nation especially in West Malaysia, three major races are living in the own mini world. The social interaction is limited to working relationship. At least 90% of Chinese or Malay or Indian wedding ceremonies are attended by a single race only.

For instances, there are also bars and pubs to cater for different races in Penang.

UMNO apartheid works perfectly in Malaysia for UMNO to secure power for last 60 years. As long as Malay majority supports UMNO’s apatheid to gain a simple majority, why UMNO have to worry the support from Chinese and Indians?

UMNO only needs non-Malay votes to secure 2/3 majorities for them to amend constitution to contain non-Malay power and rights.

Only Indians still cannot see through why they must vote PR even they hate PR politicians like me.

A reply to Anonymous Malay — An Anonymous Cina

March 31 — I am a Cina. Like Anonymous Malay, I went through the public education system since primary one all the way until tertiary level. I too, graduated from a public university.

Coming from a small pekan, a combination of small township and villages, I had the privilege of growing up with a mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Sikh kids. I never knew what a ‘Malaysian Ideal’ was back then for it never occurred to me as a kid that it could be any other way than what we had been enjoying. We cycled around the kampungs visiting friends and teachers on Hari Raya, Chinese Lunar New Year and Deepavali. Best of all, it was not for all the formalities and pretence we adults so consciously put effort in today. We were just a bunch of kids having fun. For me, it was the muruku and the dodol. We boys taught each other swear words in our native tongue. I learned guitar from a Malay boy near my house.

If we want to find the answer to what is wrong in our society today, we only need to look at our children. They say if we adults look carefully, there are many valuable lessons we can learn from kids. The naivety that we as kid was enjoying back then soon gave way to the demands of life and reality of adulthood. Things began to change as we progressed closer to SPM. Our Malay schoolmates began to slowly drift away from us. After each Friday prayer, they were hauled into Bilik Bimbingan dan Kaunseling (counselling room) and would spend hours inside while the rest of us would enjoy the long break before the start of the evening sessions.

Little did I know the horror that was taking place in those counselling sessions until a close Malay friend whispered it to me. My Malay classmates were being asked to beware of kids from other races – that they are merely pendatangs (immigrants) and if not careful, the pendatangs will take away all their lands and richness. Hammered into the young skulls of my Malay schoolmates back then were also ways at which they should dominate all aspects of life over people of other colours and faiths. Therefore, when the news about the brainwashing within BTN broke out, it came as hardly any surprise to me at all. They have been breaking up this lovely nation of a harmonious and united people for generations now. And they start young.

After SPM, my Malay schoolmates simply vanished. Most did not even say goodbye. Those with results far behind some of us continued on to matriculations and ADPs (American Degree Program). I was bitter about it – asking why some of us with far much better results need to be slogging through the uncertainty that was STPM. Words can’t describe the disappointment of a desperate pekan kid of 17 years old when faced with such unjust world. I had only skimmed the tip of the iceberg that is the monstrous hidden beast called Institutionalized Racism. Welcome to reality.

I need not describe the troubled state of racial unity in this country today. We just need to look into our Facebook friend list to see the division along racial lines. Even with the convenience of connections within few clicks away, I can hardly find my Malay childhood friends who are interested enough to rekindle old friendship. Festive season visits are now only confined among the pendatang childhood gang only.

However, I want to help ease the moral burden of Anonymous Malay – the uneasy feeling that his/her success was attained at the cost of a more deserving non-Malay. Yes, if you look around us, the poor and the struggling class may be colour blind for poverty does not identify with race and opportunity does. But if there is anyone we should feel we have failed, it is the people of Malaysia generally and the Malay specifically.

I came from a poor family. Even by the standard of the small pekan, my family was poor. But instead of being bitter my whole life about the unfair treatment and lack of smoother path, I am actually thankful to the hardship that was bestowed upon me in my younger days. They say it is often loss that teaches us about the worth of things. The absence of meritocracy in the public education system taught me the value of hard work. The lack of opportunity and options forced me to focus on what is at hand and make the best out of whatever scarce resources available.

So my dear Anonymous Malay, free yourself from the moral burden. One does not need to feel guilty to harvest the fruit of one’s own labour. Instead, it is the Malay that you should be sorry for. Yes, your own people – the prince-of-the-soil. Take a look around the world today. Look at the state of the natives that have been enjoying all the benefits of protection from their state. It is not too difficult to draw the conclusion that those who live by the welfare of the state fare poorest in the social-economic ladder. The only anomaly you should find in the survey would be that in this lovely land, it is the majority that is being spoiled. Nowhere in this world will you find laws put in place to protect and spoil a majority.

It is heart-warming really, to read those words coming from a Malay – that he/she is feeling uneasy about the institutionalised racism that has been plaguing our nation for generations now. However, the more worrying and relevant question now is where we are heading towards as a broken nation made up of a multi-racial people that is consistently threatening to burn and kill each other (metaphorically)? What is a Bangsa Malaysia? Can it be achieved only by eradicating every aspect of other differing cultures and having everyone speaking only a common tongue and nothing else? For 55 years, the leaders of this nation think so.

Anonymous Malay, never for once have I doubted your ability or that of your people for I do not subscribe to the believe system of Hitler’s Aryan racial superiority. You are merely the victim of a system that does not permit you to hold your head high and claim the merits of your success. Perhaps one day, we can all stand on the same levelled platform and congratulate each other for a job well done. But I worry we may not see that day in this lifetime. While we are waiting, perhaps one of the small way you can help is by embracing back your childhood pendatang friends. I sure am hoping that one day, I will get a message in my Facebook or email saying,”Bro, are you Anonymous Cina? We used to hangout after school – Anonymous Malay”

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

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