Today the world is seeing Syrians fleeing their homeland going in numbers to Europe and with it will bring fresh problems which if not contained will escalate into race and racial divides. Its a very thin line and the immigrants or refugees will have no fear whatsoever as they have crossed the harshest of terrain and even faced the FEAR which many of us have not even know what it is.
In Malaysia race/religion/racial have reached fever pitched with BERSIH4 and today the RED RALLY which if not properly checked, will only worsen as each NGO groups are trying to outwit and outdo each other to gain popularity or making a statement which will have very NEGATIVE PERCEPTION to the outside world in particular foreign investments. Foreign investments pulling out from an instable country and economy besieged with problems will mean loss of jobs and the economy will be affected.
The Prime Minister Najib and his Prime Ministers team are giving positive vibes and this PERCEPTION which “PM says it is not right when political opponents stir up hatred against a democratically-elected government by spreading lies and making false allegations” will only mean more good than harm.
PM strongly worded statement will score him points,”“We have seen the blood on the streets. We have seen the burning shops, but let me say this – I will never allow that to happen in Malaysia. The peace and security of the nation is my government’s top priority,”
First posted May 18th 2008….
In 1977 when I left for England I thought it was for the better. Education! Rat Race! It’s any young persons dream of acquiring the necessary knowledge and thus putting him in a better commanding position for job prospects. Unknowingly I stepped into the world of education at the worst of times in the United Kingdom. Why…?
The influx of ten of thousands of Asian immigrants and the Pursuit of Higher Education were mainly by Asian and Middle Eastern origins. It was also a time when there was deep depression and jobs were hard to come by. Council housing areas were breeding grounds for hate,racist overtones and Asian bashing movements. I was among the very few of Asian students about 10 of us from different countries in a school of around 800 co-ed students. Sure I was called different names i.e. Chinky! Prawn Balls! Slit eyes! Yellow Skin! Wild man of Borneo! and to top it up there is usually a flavouring like Chinky..Go Home or Wild man of Borneo..Go back to your jungle.
Little did i know this was also racial education for me. It is only fair as they were protecting their territorial rights i.e. their highly acclaimed education system. As a matter of fact i thought at that time they have colonised us and why can’t we as servants come to the house of our masters to learn? If that is so simple they would not be any racist feelings anywhere in the world. I also had first hand experience on the Guildford, Brixton,Greater Manchester riots of the 80’s where the whole Paki-Bashing and Whites rule was at its peak.Sad but after experiencing all this happenings the people of UK have become “More Tolerant.” Even Her Majesty’s Metropoliton Police Force was transformed to being more “People Friendly” and it was an really an eye-opener for British politicians and Law-makers.
8 years (1977-1985) of living in a world of uncertainty and having the privilege to stay together with an Englishmen,Welsh,Irish,Jew, Black Muslim and Scottish in the same house for 3 years does help me in tackling this ugly head we call “Racism.”
Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr.Mahathir put it nicely,” one should be loyal to the religion, the race and the country.” If you want to read more http://themalaysianinsider.com/there are so much racial undertones in his recent address at a gathering where he warned that they ‘Malays” stood to lose much in the new political environment where the non-Malays were unafraid to make demands. He continued by saying that if they choose to keep quiet,don’t speak up,other races will take over.
“Ugly Head“. I don’t think so at this instance as when a former MP Jawah Gerang(Lubok Antu) told me specifically If I don’t speak for the Ibans in my constituency who would? I cannot speak for the Indians as there are none. So of course when I go to Parliament I speak for my people. It’s call to me, fighting back for the people who put him there and he was a 5 term Member of Parliament. Whoever and whatever anyone calls him I have the greatest respect for this former MP for he has served his term and electorate well.
A former Gerakan Wanita Chief Datuk Rhina Bhar cited racial Lines in the party for her quitting Gerakan. I was quite taken aback and I called one of the leaders of Gerakan up in Penang and he said’ She has served her bests and she is past her bests”. Obviously some grassroots leaders in Gerakan and MCA has voiced their concerns over their disastrous showing in the march 2008 elections and they are quick to point out that both these parties are Chinese-based Parties.
The concept of Gerakan is multi-racial but the majority is still Chinese. It goes without saying Parti Rakayat Sarawak which was in the headlines for too long and for many reasons is predominantly an Iban based party. An elected Sarawak Assemblymen once commented ,”The party might have the concept of multi-racial but it is the majority that rules” and this is very true of SPDP,SUPP and PRS Parties in Sarawak. The people’s interest comes first and that is what they need to do to be retained as elected representatives in the coming terms. Sometimes the parties takes the racial lines and we know its for that particular instance and time only.
Racism is not only calling names or marginalisation but it goes beyond that. My better half did comment to me that sometimes subconciously we forget that we are really ‘racist”. It only needs to be checked and tolerated. The more our younger people are given the oppurtunities to study abroad,live and experience it in a foreign country the less the ugly head will emerge. Our system provides us with the avenues to fight back and we must always believe that we were created as no better than the person standing next to us.
To me racial lines,racial overtones,also racial “spat” and practically a “fist in your face to prove your racial superiority” is a way back in time and the fight back for everyone has just begun…Happy Gawai to all my Dayak Friends.