Articles, Opinions & Views: Bumiputeraism root of nation's racial politics - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

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Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Bumiputeraism root of nation's racial politics - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, July 07, 2018

Without removing the NEP and introducing meritocracy the politics will not change. Trudeau once said that democracy is the tyranny of the majority and Malays, including the pseudo Malays of converts ,happened to be the majority. This country got screwed because of that, with cradle to grave mentality, has made the Bumis believe in handouts and entitlements.  

They have become rent seekers. Others have to work, you are like parasites and it's a form of protection racketeering (jizya). Stop spinning and get your head out off your butt, apparently buried too deep. - Extracted from Malaysiakini

 Malaysiakini : “These policies have been abused and misused by certain strata of the administration to benefit just a very few selected Umnoputras up the food chain, while many Malays have been ignored.” - Rais Hussin, Bersatu supreme council leader
COMMENT | I have no idea why Bersatu leader Rais Hussin would take issue with the comments of Amercian professor Meredith Weiss in the lefty magazine Jacobian since it is a rather benign piece on the Pakatan Harapan victory on May 9.
And, of course, Rais ends the way how some Malaysians end their critique of any argument, resorting to the ad hominem of the “armchair critic” and "… the safe confines of her ivory towers in the US” as if Malaysia is some sort of hotspot instead of a stable democracy that rejected a kleptocrat.
When Western academics and whistleblowers dissed former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, they were embraced - but any hint of a criticism or insight on the current Harapan new deal is scorned. 
Rais objects to the “why” this rejection of Umno came about and the obstacles (ideology in this case) for truly reforming the system which Weiss claims are the “ketuanan” ideology (bumiputeraism) and personality politics that dominate the Harapan regime. Anyone reading the article will find nothing offensive and certainly not anything resembling the literary ramblings of the New Yorker.
More importantly, what Weiss claims is something the outlier political pundits have been saying since the Harapan win, which predictably has been drowned out by the schizophrenic Harapan political operatives and the faithful. It must be swell (so far) for this new administration that people are not shouting “apartheid” whenever a Harapan political operative talks about “Malay” rights in some form or another.
Rais himself acknowledged that the previous government’s Malay rights-based initiatives would not be ditched but reformed so they help the average Malay and not the Umnoputra. The current Bersatu grand poobah latest comments on Khazanah echo the same sentiment. Has the average Malay been damned by the system set up to “lift them up”? The answer is, maybe it is the system that is the problem.
The same fable that the “Malays” need that little something extra to compete is what drives the various Malay hegemons squabbling for power amongst themselves. Malay political power structures use the same methods to ensure compliance in the Malay community but with varying degrees of compromises to their non-Malay allies.
Meanwhile, nobody from the establishment then and now pays attention to academic studies which point to a different narrative of bumiputera equity and the other sacred cows of Malay/Muslim political power structures. Try asking academic Dr Lim Teck Ghee about the reception his study received from the previous Umno administration. What do you think the current Harapan administration thinks of it?
The bumiputera agenda is always defined by its proponents as a means to elevate the Malay community. There is nothing inherently racist about this system, they argue, but it has always been "abused" by various Malay power structures. This is the foundation of the bumiputera system.
In essence, a noble endeavour corrupted by political operatives. Never that, a priori, this system has no place in any functional democracy. There’s always this element of pragmatism non-Malays have to have when we talk about this issue and acknowledging that the cost of sharing power with Malay power structures (especially those in conflict) means that we share power not as equals but as serfs to an ideology that has duped this country royally for years.
I acknowledged this spirit of “voluntarism” in another piece: “Is there some clarity in thinking this way? Is there merit in believing this pragmatism trumps the kleptocracy of the state? Pragmatism in knowing, but not saying, that it is in nobody's interest to change the system but instead replacing the power-brokers in the hopes of maintaining some kind of social and political equilibrium?”
Been there, done that
The new Malaysia discourse by non-Malays is defined by those participating actively seeking to impose dogma, causal cynicism and, of course, those optimistic that there is indeed a place for all of us under the Malaysian sun. All of which are used by the various Malay power structures (and their enablers) to sustain the Malay agenda. It’s the social contract in one form or another.
Some folks have asked me why I have not weighed in on the DAP kerfuffle about the ministerial posts and honestly, while I think the specific candidates are not the best and brightest that DAP has to offer, I think these types of power struggles and displays are part and parcel of the political process.
However, what irks me is that yet again, this is not so much an issue of craven political opportunism but rather that the racial undertones are obvious. And frankly, when people tell me to trust the current leadership when it comes to their choices of political appointees in the various ministries, I would say, “Thank you but been there, done that.” Rais puts forward the idea that change takes time but I would argue it is hampered by an ideology that stalls any kind of racial and social reform. The Fitch Group recently cautioned that the lopsided composition of power that favours Malay political structures in the new Harapan government is a time bomb that lies nestled in the Harapan regime. I would argue that it is, but one of many.
“While the number of cabinet positions that was allocated to each party was in rough accordance to their seat count, the two largest parties, centrist PKR and secular DAP are under-represented whereas the Malay-dominated parties Bersatu and Amanah enjoy over-representation. This has likely resulted in some dissatisfaction among PKR and DAP and in our view, will potentially emerge as a flashpoint in inter-party relations within the Harapan coalition.”
Sooner or later, non-Malays are going to demand more from their political leaders believing that this is a new Malaysia and this is where things will get messy. While there are many enablers in the non-Malay power structures, there are also many who want to change this country and believe the old ways of doing things are not what they signed up for. This, I believe, will be the major flashpoint in non-Malay power structures.
Removing political appointees does not demonstrate a commitment to political reform. Who replaces them and how subservient or not they are to their political masters is what demonstrates a commitment to reform. I can’t speak for anyone else, but Malaysians are used to window dressing.
If politicians say the right things, some people are impressed. But it is rarely followed by action. These issues get lost in the news cycle and before long, another BN has replaced the old one. The excesses of the previous government are easy to slash. What is harder is to slash the system that enabled such excess. “Ketuanan Melayu”, “bumiputeraism” or whatever else Malay power structures and their non-Malay enablers choose to term their systemic racism, it is what had led this country to its kleptocratic status.
Weiss rightly pointed out that rancid ideology and personality politics will hamper whatever genuine reforms the Harapan government is capable of carrying out. And this is the key. We are still in the early stages. Harapan is capable of carrying out such reforms if it so chooses.
Rais is only half-right when he argued that the Malays do not need Umno. What he forgets to mention is that the Malays need something like Umno, which means Bersatu. Or at least that is conventional Malay politics. Non-Malay political structures need that too. As long as this is the case, there is no new Malaysia.
Maybe what we will have is a neo-Malaysia.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:23 AM  
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