Archive for April 5th, 2010

I am Malaysian first

By Kee Thuan Chye

I am proud to call myself Malaysian first and Chinese second. And if I were to tell other Chinese Malaysians that, I don’t think they will shun me.

Even if they do, so be it. Let them. If they are so narrow-minded as not to see the beauty of calling oneself Malaysian first, I don’t want to have anything to do with them.

I have two children to whom I have given Malaysian names, i.e. Malay, Indian and Chinese names. It is my contribution to Bangsa Malaysia. Their identity cards bear their full names.

In both cases, their Malay name comes first. And that is the name my wife and I call them by. We call our daughter Soraya and our son Jebat. To us, Malay names are also Malaysian names, and our children are Malaysian. We have no hang-ups about it.

Now, why can’t this be the norm in this beautiful, rich, multi-racial nation – a nation that is beautiful and rich because of its many races and cultures? Why must we separate ourselves into divisive categories? Why can’t we take the inclusive approach, consider each of our fellow citizens as being part of a whole, as part of us instead of as the Other?
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The Labu and Labi Team of Najib and Muhyiddin (Part 2)

By M. Bakri Musa

[Second of Four Parts]

The Best Team

The Razak-Ismail duo lasted just a month shy of three years, prematurely cut short by the sudden but not unexpected death of Tun Ismail. At first glance they had all the ingredients for a divisive and acrimonious relationship. One was a lawyer the other, a physician; two professionals not known to get along well with each other. Members of the two professions view society differently; likewise their approaches to problem solving. Lawyers cross examine their witnesses; doctors get a history from their patients. Lawyers assume their clients would lie; physicians implicitly trust theirs. Attorneys’ clients may think it is in their interest to lie; patients however risk their lives if they were to mislead their physicians.

What made the Razak-Ismail team worked remarkably well was that both were true professionals as well as consummate politicians in the best traditional mold. It was this combination that made their partnership blossomed. As professionals they were able to separate their personal feelings to address the problems at hand; as accomplished politicians they were skillful in the art of compromise, a fine sense of politics as the art of the possible. They were able to sink whatever personal, political and professional differences and ambitions they harbor in order to best serve their client: the nation.
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