Monday, August 2, 2010



Assalamualaikum wbt…

Someone posted an interesting video on Facebook entitled, ‘Malaysian minorities struggle with inequality’ claiming Malaysia’s racist policy of DEB @ NEP ( New Economic Policy) suppressing the right of the Chinese and other minorities in Malaysia.

First of all, let us Define what is Minority and what is Majority. I assume we all aware the meaning of it, but we forgot to look into the definition something of more important. When we talk about minority and majority, we speak of merely in term of number ,right, minority being those of lesser in number while majority being higher in proportion. So in context of population proportion in Malaysia, Malays are the Majority while Chinese and Indians are the Minorities. Yes, when we speak in term of NUMBER Malays are the Majority.

However, when we look at in different aspects, we will definitely see the Malays merely the minority in their own homeland. I like the term used by Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah,the Malays are Minority in Majority. The Malays are the minority in term of economic power for sure. If we sum up the wealth of the Malays and the Chinese, definitely the Chinese are much wealthier than the Malays. The Chinese gained controlled over the economic opportunity in town because of their advantage and true nature, got strong hold and ability in economy, while the Malays are weaker. It’s true that Dr Rais Yatim mention of about the big houses in Malaysia mostly owned the Chinese. Therefore, if we talk about economic power between Malays and other races, clearly it shows, the Malays are the Minority. If we talk about education, we know for sure, the Chinese got better results and thus will secure them better position and jobs opportunity. They hold higher academic achievements compared to Malay as in general. Again, Malays are only minority in Educational power despite being greater in number. Many still Malays being illiterate compared to the Chinese and other races.

I gave you another clear example of what happened in South Africa during the Apartheid period. The Black means the native Africans numbered in 7 Million while the White numbered only 3 Million. Blacks were the Majority in number but they were even smaller than what we could say minority in term of power and equality. They were weaker than the White thus they were being discriminate. They were denied the chance of Voting where only the 3 millions white got the chance to vote, while the Majority of the Black Africans were denied voting chances. There were White only Bus, White only Town, White only seat in Tram, White only School, White only Jobs and much more discrimination of Black despite being the Majority. This is because the Minority was the one controlling the Political Power, Economic Power and so on and so forth thus creating Inequality. That’s a clear representation of what happened in Malaysia. Only that, the Malays still holding to the Political Power and the Constitution clearly protect the Malays right as being the natives and at the same time protecting the weaker.

Therefore, I strongly object to the claims saying Malays are the Majority while in fact we are minority in our own country. That is the biggest Inequality we missed to look properly in details. The title of the video and documentary in fact does not correctly justified as they failed to define what it actually means Minority and Majority.

Now, let’s move on to the next aspect of it. What does it mean by INEQUALITY? How do we measure INEQUALITY? Again by the direct translation I assume we all understood the word clearly being people are not being treated equally. But the question of how we measure and what kind of ‘Kayu Ukur’ we used in defining equality.

It’s hard to measure INEQUALITY isn’t it. Does being equal means everybody got the same things in every aspect. Does that imply Justice and Fairness? In Islam, the word Justice means putting the right thing in the right manner and position. If we gave everyone equally of everything would that means JUSTICE? I gave you one anology, If a father have 5 children, 1 being in Kindergarten,1 being in Primary School, 1 being in Secondary School, 1 being in College, 1 being in university, is the Father supposed to give RM 5 to everyone of his 5 Children as monthly pocket money to be equal and to be fair to his Children? Of course our normal sense would say that’s ridiculous because the needs of every one of the Children are different. The kid in Kindergarten Probably only need 50 cents or RM 1 (due to the increase price of Petrol and sugar) and the kid in University Probably need RM100 every month to suit his needs.

We tend to see being equal and being fair and justice is giving everyone equally the same but in fact that’s not possible. Because Why? Because we already have differences to begin with. The Malays, The Chinese and the Indians are all different in strength and needs. Therefore, how being equal can be of any justice? We were different from the beginning. I like how Tun Mahathir describes the Chinese in Malay Dilemma being stronger in nature and more persistent because of the nature that forced them so. The Chinese back to 1000 years ago always faced with natural tragedy like famine, flood and so on. The saying ‘the Stronger will Survive’ applied to them, thus in order to survive they get stronger and stronger and being very opportunistic in nature, while the Malay in nature we weaker than that. Many might disapprove with this ‘fact’ by Tun, but let see differences among the races that we are all aware of during the period of Occupation. DIVIDE & RULE. Still remember this? The division has hugely created huge disparity among the races. So how do we expect every one of us being treated equally in getting everything the same amount of bit and pieces? That is nonsensical to me. We can only treated every one and giving them same thing if only we are on the same level to compete. We don’t compete on the same feet at all among the races, the Chinese always the upper hand compared to the Indians and Malays.

If we were to discuss on Inequality, I love to separate them into 2, Individual and Race. Let’s first we look INEQUALITY being in term of individual basis. We mean to say that everybody is the same despite their colour, race, religion and political stand. Everyone deserves to be treated equally. That is definitely right. If you are poor no matter what race you are, you deserve to be helped by the government. Subject of equality we always discuss in term of people who lack in term of power, economy and opportunity.

Now, let’s take a look at the Inequality in term of bigger picture, the race itself. When we are to discuss this, we have to make generalization as a whole. Meaning that, when we say, Chinese is stronger in economic power, we are saying, in general and collective measurement, Chinese are stronger, and Malays are weaker without denying the fact that, some of the Chinese individual being poor and low economic power and also without denying the fact that some of the Malays were the Tycoons in Economic. So in this general and collective measurement than we make comparisons between the races. Like I said in the earlier paragraph, the Chinese has the upper hand in economy, education, opportunity and so on while the Malays only have upper hand in political power. Therefore, the Chinese use their strength in economy to develop, to improve and to expand their influence. While the Malays of course will need to use their strength in Politic to counter the effect and the progress of the Chinese. The Malays use their right in Constitution and come up with Policies, Agencies and ways to protect the Malays from the mass and progressive development by the Chinese. It’s in fact both parties were fighting for their right to be EQUAL on foot in their own strength. Chinese in Economy, Malays in Politic. Does that seem fair? While the Malays using Politic to improve their influence and controlled in economy, the Chinese use their economic and education power to improve their control in Politic. It’s a fair battle of the races as we are speaking.

Now, I would like to discuss a little bit about the Failure of DEB to achive it’s goal of being Malays have 30% controlled of the economy. In my personal point of view, it’s not the Policy that fail and not fair, it’s the breakdown and weaknesses in the implementation that impede the success of the goal. The Malays failed to take the opportunity to help them being in equal foot with others. But DEB wasn’t totally a failure. In fact a lot of improvements were seen in improving the inequalities among the races and the huge disparity among races created by DIVIDE & RULE principle. It’s the fact that DEB was violated with ‘cronisme’ and ‘RASUAH’ and make it fail. But, all in all I think DEB was a correct policy and move at the beginning.

But, now, does DEB still relevant when we started to see the rise in economic power of the Malays? It needs thorough evaluation, and I think the government thus devise the New Economic Model as an alternative to improve DEB. I can’t comment in detail of NEM as I have very little input of it.

However, in my point of view, what we supposed to do is that to find and have the right balance between the Individual Equality and Race Equality. It simply means, finding the right balance in helping those in needs regardless of colour and race, with the effort of trying to decrease the huge disparity between races.

When Dato’ Ir Nizar announce that all the Chinese get 99 years of lease of the land, people were claiming it to be Pro Chinese, and when Dato’ Seri Azizan of MB kedah announce the 50:50 quota and policies of housing, people were claiming him being racist to Malays. While in fact, these are the true example of finding the right balance between Individual Equality and Race Equality. Let us not being caught in racial and political prejudice, as what we need to do in collective effort regardless of race is together we help each other to stand on equal foot. From then on, we are all majority despite of our number.

p/s : This is purely the writer’s point of view. I’m not trying to be racist and plays on racial issues, but trying to discuss the our differences in different light of thinking. This writing might be highly influenced by Malay Dilemma by Tun Mahathir as I like the point of view as the definition of Justice and Equality.

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