Rais Yatim should take Dr M's advice and learn from the Chinese - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, May 04, 2020
Via WhatsApp - LK : There was a time when 80% of Indians worked in the plantations.
As rubber tappers and field workers. Only daily wages. Small houses, big families. Their children went to Tamil schools. 80% dropped out before reaching Std 6. The labourer worked and worked for a meagre income of RM 25 a month! Poverty was a vicious cycle. The only entertainment was Tamil movie! Their joy was paying tribute to Amman- once a year (thiruvizha). You may not be alive today- but we remember- it was because of your blood, sweat and tears - that Malaysia became the world's largest exporter of rubber!
Our deep thoughts are with you on this Labour Day!
Malaysiakini: "Stupidity got us into this mess, and stupidity will get us out." – Homer Simpson
COMMENT | Negri
Sembilan Bersatu chief Rais Yatim's recent tweet that Malays should
learn the lesson of accepting “other races” when dealing with the
Rohingya has not gone well with certain quarters. Rais should be learning from two-time former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, instead of blathering online.You
have got to give it to the stupidity of certain political operatives
when they turn an issue which has broad-based “racial” support – which,
granted, sometimes degenerates into populism and nativism – and turns it
into a “ketuanan” spiel.
spiels usually are ahistorical and filled with the usual propaganda
that has got the Malay political establishment into the messes they find
themselves in. The recent raid on undocumented immigrants and
refugees is a strategy that could have been handled in a way which does
not feed into narratives of oppression and heavy-handedness but, again,
what can you expect from a kakistocracy?
If the idea was targeted
testing, then these raids should not have been carried out. Instead, the
main idea was intimidation and what this does is encourage the very
people you were targeting to test to attempt to avoid detection, hence,
causing more problems for the frontliners.
Why is Perikatan
Nasional causing more problems for frontliners, especially now we have
thrown the movement control order (MCO) out of the window? The MCO
should be lifted or relaxed but only if the state comes to a conclusion
based on facts, data and widespread testing.
I may be in the
minority - I am definitely not part of the cult of personality that the
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (below) has
managed to foster – but I have serious reservations about this
government's response to the pandemic and the lifting of the MCO.
harassment of journalist Tashny Sukumaran with the accusation of hate
speech, in case some of you were not aware, Section 504 of the Penal
Code is essentially the attempt by the state to address hate speech –
“To counter hate speeches, the police now invoke Section 504 of the
Penal Code (intentional insult to provoke a breach of the peace) and
Section 506 (criminal intimidation). For hate speeches via social media,
Section 211 of Act 588 (dealing with offensive content), can be
This is also another attempt at intimidation. The
fact that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has
been "ordered" not to bring charges against the Hong Kong media is further evidence of the arbitrary and bias application of these laws. But
what lessons can Malays learn from the colonial era when it comes to
dealing with the “others”? Well, here is the thing. The reason why the
Rohingya are here is that successive Umno/BN regimes and political
operatives from the Opposition advocated for their place and welfare in
When these "foreigners" become successful and
start gaining economic relevance at the expense of the majority, they
suddenly become a threat. I addressed this in my last piece. The problem with Muslim solidarity when it comes to the Malaysian experience is that it also means racial solidarity.
This is why the Malay political establishment is always whining about how the “Malays” are split and that the pendatang (migrants) are ruining their place under the sun. The
fact that the majority race is constitutionally defined and there is a
pandemic of constitutionally created “Malay” acerbates this issue.
we, the non-Malays, say we helped build this country, and we did.
Immigrant communities, and this includes the Rohingya community, are
sustaining and funding the very system that the ketuanan types use to divide us.
of blathering on about how the Malays are being mauled, Rais Yatim
should just learn the lesson from the architect of modern Malaysia. He
should slowly digest the nuggets of wisdom, which fall from the lips of
the master of mainstream Malay politics. Mahathir acknowledged that far from being mauled, foreigners built this country.
we take out the Chinese and all that they have built and own, there
will be no small or big towns in Malaysia, there will be no business and
industry, there will be no funds for the subsidies, support and
facilities for the Malays. Learn from the Chinese," he said. You
see, even with all those special rights, the majority are in trouble
because of the mismanagement of the state, while foreigners – excluding
those who are suddenly considered “Malays” mostly because of religion –
have thrived in a racist system.
Meanwhile, those pendatang who
are favoured because of their religion are making full use of the
system – financially – to make better lives for themselves. Who can
blame them? But this puts a strain on the average "native" Malay
struggling to survive after years of indoctrination and a religious
bureaucracy which hampers economic activities. Even Mahathir
acknowledged the inequalities of the system when he said: “The Chinese
in Malaysia have no special rights, they experience discrimination. But
they are more successful than us."
Then, of course, there are the
state's narratives of “foreigners”. No, not the Chinese and Indians –
not this time – but the diaspora of foreign workers who came here
because nobody wants to do the jobs they are willing to do.
reality is that “Malay” leadership has failed to encourage an eco-system
of competitive independence that would temper the consequences of the
decades-long immigration and labour mismanagement that have damaged the
Malay community. But of course, these policy issues are not
conducive to the kind of racial and religious politics that Pakatan
Harapan and Umno/BN rely on. Instead of ceasing funding or cutting back
on funding corrupt religious bureaucracies, what the government
continues to do is blame the people who are the product of failed
And as far the colonial system is concerned, Mahathir acknowledged how spiffy it was: “Yang
tidak dapat dinafi ialah British membawa sistem Pemerintahan yang lebih
baik dan Negeri-Negeri mengalami sedikit sebanyak pembangunan.” (What is undeniable is that the British brought a better system of government and some states experienced development.)
Of course, he also said that the Malays “tak bekerja”
(don't work), which is why all these pesky foreigners always manage to
find work that the majority do not want to do. Hey, do not shoot the
messenger. I am just quoting what the arch defender of Malay rights and
privileges is saying about the community he supposedly champions.
Rais should also pay attention to the class inequalities when it comes to the majority that Mahathir lectured to in his "tak bekerja" blog post - “Nasib
kita di tangan kita. Memarahi orang lain tak akan menyelesai masalah
kita. Bilangan kita dikatakan bertambah. Tetapi jumlah besar orang yang
miskin tidak dapat bersaing dengan jumlah kecil orang yang kaya.”
(Our fate is in our hands. Scolding others won't solve our problems. Our
numbers are said to increase. But large numbers of poor people cannot
compete with small numbers of rich people.)
Or maybe we can’t have
the Malays questioning why their community is under threat, that things
have not changed after decades of Malay rule and, perhaps, the
appointments of non-Malays into positions of power could be the kind of
change that benefits their community. Like it did when a colonial power
established a system of governance which the old maverick claims had