Pak Lah said that anyone race can become the Prime Minister in Malaysia. Tun Dr. Mahathir too echoed this and went further to say that the person must be a “Bangsa” Malaysia and must be supported by all Malaysians then he or she can become PM of Malaysia.
Does Bangsa Malaysia really exist in Malaysia?
Is there such a thing call Bangsa Malaysia?
I remember Abdul Ghani Othman, the Menteri Besar of Johor, saying in an UMNO convention sometime ago that Bangsa Malaysia was a “nebulous concept” which overstepped the bounds of the Constitution and it must only be applied in the context of all the peoples of Malaysia with the Malays as the pivotal race.
We know many Umno leaders and Umno members had all along been clamoring for the supremacy of the Malay race – KETUANAN MELAYU, about how their rights are protected under the constitution and so on and only a Malay could be a true Malaysian. Some Umno leaders openly say that the Malay people are the TUAN of Malaysia and the Malaysian Chinese and Indian-Malaysians who form a significant minority in Malaysia, are considered beholden to the Malays for granting them citizenship in return for special privileges as set out in Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia.
Take the case of the recent appointment as just acting-General Manager in state agency Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS). A female Chinese, Low Siew Moi, on the verge of retirement, was appointed by Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid to head the organisation and there were so much hue and cry and protest from Malay leaders that the appointment was not correct.
Why was the appointment not right when the person appointed had all the qualifications, experience and merits for the post? Tan Sri Khalid had even described Low, 57, a trained accountant, having served PKNS for 35 years as the most appropriate candidate on the basis of her dedication and experience as deputy GM for corporate and financial affairs and asset management.The only possible answer is that she is not a Malay. This episode seems to imply that one’s capabilities, despite being a Malaysian, can be overlooked based on race.
So what is Dr Mahathir talking about? How can a non-malay ever be PM of Malaysia when a person who is qualified beyond recognition, is not even acceptable as a Acting- General Manager, even though she had the backing of the State Government of Selangor?
Such discrimination is rampant in our country and serious efforts must be taken by the incoming Prime Minister, Dato Seri Najib, to ensure that positive actions are em placed to curb this mentality which is a setback for a true Malaysian race, if such agenda even exists at all.
The problem is a real setback because every good action taken to improve the management of organisations in our country through the appointment of qualified non-Malay could continue to be perceived as bad, even to the extent of being used as excuses for demonstrations by racist UMNO chaps.
On Bangsa Malaysia, unless leaders at the federal level are serious and sincere in solving matters related to race, religion and creed then there should be no harping on the possibility of a person or leader from other races to become the Prime Minister.
The frame work for a Bangsa Malaysia cannot be raised only when the need arises but must be incorporated in the system of the government so that the dream of every genuine citizen of Malaysia will be achieved someday.
Barak Hussein Obama, an African American, won the presidency of the United States of America and his victory was echoed even by our own Prime Minister but the recognition offered to Obama by some of our leaders is nothing short of hypocrisy since no sincere effort to realise a true Bangsa Malaysia had EVER been nurtured here seriously the last 51 years. Our UMNO leaders must be ashame for being so hypocritical.
In my heart of heart, I for one, believe there will never be an Obama story in our country and anything said about Bangsa Malaysia can merely be regarded as ploys to gain the support of the people, whenever government leaders needed them. At the end of the day, Malaysia’s social, economic and political scene is still dominated by racial sentiments championed by UMNO..
And here we are, a nation 51 years old, still calling the non-Malays ‘pendatang’, equating multi-lingual roadsigns with sedition, using abusive language and rude body language in parliament, coming up with fatwas on tomboys and yoga, and so on and so forth.
We still a bunch of “Jaguh Kampong” and have no desire to progress. Some are even trying to move the country back into some distant past of another place and time.
We look at people like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu and wish that our leaders could be like that. But they are not. Not even close.