Wednesday, September 1, 2010


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1. In 1964 Malaysia held its first elections. The Tunku had an understanding with the Chief Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kwan Yew that the PAP (People's Action Party) would contest only in Singapore and would stay out of the rest of Malaysia. It was really not a smart kind of agreement. It was not put on paper at all. Only an understanding between two leaders.

2. It was not surprising that the PAP decided to contest in the peninsular. Lee had expected the Malaysian Chinese who had been represented in the Government only by the MCA could be persuaded to support him. If he defeated the MCA then the Tunku would replace the MCA with the PAP in the Alliance.

3. The PAP is a Chinese party largely. But it had always projected itself as non-racial. To win in Malaysia he had to appeal to Chinese chauvinism. However he could not do this openly.

4. Being the astute politician that he is, Lee came up with a slogan which did not sound chauvinistic but which played up Chinese sentiments to the core. The slogan was "Malaysian Malaysia".

5. While appearing to be appealing for all Malaysians the slogan was clearly suggesting that there was no equality between the Chinese and the Malays. He and his party was made out to be fighting for equality between the Chinese and the Malays, whereas the MCA represented only the Chinese towkays.

6. The Malays were alarmed at the prospect of the Peninsular Chinese combining with Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak Chinese to outnumber them. Split as they were between PAS and UMNO, their chances of continuing to dominate Malaysian politics was at risk.

7. Strangely the PAP bid failed against the MCA. But the Tunku was shocked and decided that Singapore's inclusion in Malaysia posed great danger. One year after the election Singapore was expelled. But the PAP chauvinistic legacy was taken up by the DAP. And the slogan "Malaysian Malaysia" continued to figure in Malaysian politics, evolving into a new catchword, "Meritocracy". If "Malaysian Malaysia" conjures equality between races, "Meritocracy" implies something stronger. It implies dominance by the race with the greatest merit in every field; in education, in business and in all fields of human endeavour.

8. When the Malays, understanding the implications, protest against meritocracy, they were condemned as racists. Faced with being labelled as such, most Malays dared not support even the NEP. Some, perhaps due to mistaken pride have begun to support meritocracy, undermining the Malay position further.

9. Today we see a lot of Malay NGOs trying to defend the Malay position. Invariably they have been labelled racists. The unfortunate truth is that those who labelled them are equally racists because of their advocacy of meritocracy.

10. It is the same with political party which appeal on the basis of the religion of Islam. In Malaysia the Malays are all Muslims. There are quite a large number of Indian Muslims in Malaysia but they do not figure in the political party said to be Islamic. The party, by using Islam, knows full well they are appealing to Malays almost exclusively. But the intention is not to defend the Malays but merely to gain their support. One can say they are not Malay racists. Rather they are Malay political opportunists.

11. That is why they find no difficulty in switching tactics in order to win the support of the non-Malays. Where before they condemn UMNO for working with non-Muslims, today their co-operation with non-Muslims knows no bounds.

12. The difference between UMNO and the other parties is that UMNO is openly partisan, not hiding its concern for the well-being of the Malays. Unfortunately because of mismanagement it has become weak. That is why today we have Perkasa and other Malay NGOs who are as openly concerned about the Malays as the UMNO once was. The condemnation by those said to be advocating meritocracy is because they see the racism of the meritocrats, just as the Malays of 1964 saw the racism of "Malaysian Malaysia".

13. What we are seeing today is not a campaign against racism but a campaign by racists against racists. The meritocrats are as much racists as the Malay NGOs, and Perkasa.

14. Incidentally by writing this I know the meritocrat racists will condemn me as racist. So be it.

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