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Malays versus the malaise

Dean Johns | Mar 5, 08 1:55pm

Democrats of other races can kick, scream, demonstrate and vote all they like against the Barisan Nasional robber-barons and their minions, but let’s face it: Malaysia will never get rid of this indolent, incompetent and corrupt regime without the enlightened militancy of the Malay meritocracy and its increasingly numerous supporters.

I’m all too conscious that I’m venturing onto shaky ground here, aware as I am that BN jealously guards the topics of race and religion as its exclusive preserves, the more powerfully to manipulate sectarian passions and prejudices to its advantage. And also, as a total outsider, I’m woefully ignorant of many of the subtleties and nuances involved in these perennially sensitive subjects.

But still the point has to be made. Malaysia will never be rid of BN, or achieve true democracy, or reach its social and economic potential, without the opposition of the Malay majority.

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I do agree that this is a very touchy subject. The tendency here is to scream lets vote opposition, and if this is a panacea for all ills that confront this country. Even with a strong opposition, the ruling party will still govern as it intends to. It will cheat, lie, give wrong statistics and do everything possible to benefit only UMNO and its cronies and in the process, the coalition partners will benefit from the left overs.

This has been happening from the time of Mahathir and Badawi is just following the practice, but perhaps more refined. Basically both these leaders did wrong, but Badawi has the misfortune of being ridiculed at every corner primarily because of new Malay aspirants of fair play and justice like Raja Petra, Rocky and all the other bloggers you have mentioned, not forgetting Malaysiakini without which even the letter referred cannot be published.

Mahathir had a more relaxed time; latest news were not served as it is now, fresh and hot from the oven.

Every community has its misgivings and it would appear the various races face difficulties based on ethnicity. An analysis will show the problems cut across racial boundaries and every problem has its origin in bad governance.

So the popular cry is vote opposition. What can they do. Somebody remarked why the ruling party members did not grumble about the indelible ink fiasco. The reply is obvious, why would they, when it benefits them.

The onus of good government rests with UMNO and its component parties. In reality it is all UMNO and its cronies, the others play the lesser instruments in an orchestra like being allotted the tambourine just to keep time. In Tamil there is another percussion instrument called the “jalra” a two piece small circular brass implement, you tap together to give timing. It is a mouthful and its conveys a stronger truth when you call these component parties “jalras”. UMNO has the privilege of the piano, guitar, trumpet and what have you.

UMNO will still control most of the rural people, who are simple minded and easily influenced by the sweet talk of the politicians and not forgetting “buah tangan” or presents given during election time. Even in 5 years time from now the situation will exist.

What is there to be done? As it stands opposition parties are only relevant when they protest in Parliament when any injustice is done or a press conference is given, and of course during election time. The rest of the time things are back to normal. Bloggers from time to time remind the people of these injustices but the impact is minimal because of lesser coverage. The opposition must be vibrant at all times, go out to the rural people, forgetting you are Chinese, Indian or others and slowly break through this racial and religious bigotry. Easily said then done. But a start must be made.

I have two choices this Saturday. Vote Barisan or PAS. Voting Barisan makes me a clear thinker, remember the life that you are leading now. If I oppose I vote PAS, what will I get, fearing the religious angle of this party. Tough choice eh!

I hope the Malay leaders opposing UMNO have better ideas.



  1. ‘I have two choices this Saturday. Vote Barisan or PAS. Voting Barisan makes me a clear thinker, remember the life that you are leading now. If I oppose I vote PAS, what will I get, fearing the religious angle of this party.’

    I am sorry… I don’t think I understand this statement.

    May I know what is the message?

  2. As a Malay reader opposing UMNO, I have this to say:

    If you support the 3 BA parties – you are really supporting a multi-racial coalition. PAS is a multi-racial party but with Muslim membership only. Keadilan is truly multi-racial party; so is the DAP.

    As for the Islamic state; the Constitution does not say that Malaysia is a secular state or Islamic state. It is a hybrid state. Note the views of Prof Shaq Faruqi. PAS accepts this now. PAS cannot rule the country by itself. So the hybrid state remains.

    PAS is not corrupt like the BN. So pick your choice – BN or BA.
    Don’t be caught by the BN propaganda.

  3. Dear TYR,

    What I meant was voting BN is a normal thing which peace loving citizens did all these years. PAS was considered an ultra religious party and non-Malays were frightened that their religious freedom was at jeopardy. But now, PAS is a better choice, although still with the fear of religious bigotry lingers. BN does not govern well the country!

  4. Dear Abra Din,

    Thanks for the assurance. I have decided whom to vote for.

  5. I have decided whom to vote for… on 25th November 2007.

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