Equality & Betrayal

by Allan CF Goh

Are Chinese “entitled to equality”?

Is voting against the ruling party a “betrayal”?

The logic and argument of non-entitlement of equality of non-Malay citizens are groundless. As usual, when discussion of this nature begins, the race bogey is raised. May 13 is resurrected. Emotions replace reasons. Everything becomes racist.

An increasing number of educated, thinking Malaysians, cutting across the racial lines, do not accept this tunnel-vision.

The ‘Chinese’ whom some wanted to be deprived of equality are born in Malaysia, raised here, and most likely will die here. This is our country, and our home, too. Let us never doubt that. Most of the Malaysian Chinese families were here long before Malaya’s merdeka. The same applies to Sabah and Sarawak. Many families have history stretching nearly a hundred years. How many instant ‘Malays’ can honestly make that claim?

However, I digress. A Malaysian is a Malaysian. Period. There can never be a lesser Malaysian in this land, not by law, not by choice. When a person is granted the Malaysian citizenship, either by naturalization or operation of law, he/she is entitled to the full benefits and protection of the country. This is the universally accepted norm for citizenship. Is there any moral justification for a reduced citizenship for any Malaysians? A three-quarter Malaysian?

Merdeka came to Malaya in 1957. All communities welcomed it with joy amidst constant assurances from the Alliance leadership of UMNO, MCA and MIC that all Malayans would be treated equally under the Malayan sun. However, special rights for the poor Malays were necessary to bridge the social and economic gaps. Most Non-Malays accepted that, even though there were, and still are, a lot of poor Indians and Chinese around.

After May 13, special rights become Malay rights. It becomes obvious that aid is given to those Malays with the strongest connections, not to the weakest in the community. It does not matter if the person from a rich family is needless of the financial largesse. It is given and accepted all the same because it is his/her right. Hence, much aid-money is diverted from the poor. Rampant cronyism is established as the order of the day. This illogical practice becomes the weapon of deprivation, not only to the Non-Malays, but also to the poor Malays themselves.

The Chinese Malaysians have always been a self-reliant people with immense pride that precludes them from stretching out their hands to beg. The wealth that is often associated with the Chinese community, (a wrong assumption, really, as most Chinese in Malaysia are not wealthy), is earned through sheer hard work and frugality, with nary a cent of help from the government. That wealth is accumulated through unrelenting, uncomplaining blood, sweat and toil. It is not a handout from any government. Today, the Chinese Malaysians contribute the largest share of the country’s income tax.

Chinese Malaysians, by and large, do not grudge anybody becoming rich, even those ready-made tycoons who receive massive capital help from the government. It is a matter of public record that much of this money has been foolishly squandered. Successful Chinese Malaysian businessmen are self-made, and are made of sterner stuff. They have always found ways to overcome business challenges, no thanks to the government of the day. Why then are they not happy with the government? Quite a lot of Chinese Malaysians are angry with the government policies of reducing and constricting their economic opportunities, and limiting them to a particular race. Is this a correct way to inculcate a viable competitiveness of a nascent business community among the Malays?

For years and years, Chinese schools receive little dismal help, tokenism if you like, from the elected government. (This is also true for the Indian schools.) Luckily for the schools, they were ardently supported financially by the local towkays. Though disappointed by the government’s uncaring attitude, the Chinese community shrugs off that indifference, and soldiers on. However, things become bad when gifted and intelligent Non-Malay youths are denied opportunities to study at the universities, not because they are not good enough, but because of their race. Education holds a very sacred place in the Chinese community. Chinese Malaysians are not likely to forgive any government that denies their children a place to further their education. The government must understand that most Chinese Malaysian families cannot afford to send their children overseas for further studies. Most cannot even afford the local, private universities and colleges.

The vernacular schools are not a reason or cause for Malaysia’s divisiveness. Unfair policies are! When the young sees blatant discrimination taking place in front of his/her eyes, when his/her place at the university is denied him/her, and given to someone less qualified simply because of colour, deep dissatisfaction and disaffection take hold. When a poor and needy youth’s application for job is rejected, and given to someone else less deserving, he/she cannot love that government’s race policy. When a citizen’s ability is not given proper recognition by a government agency, instead, someone less capable is being promoted because of ‘directives from above’, that citizen is not likely to admire the government. And so on, and so forth……………….

Discrimination as a policy is faulty by any logic. It is ugly, and has no moral imperative. It divides people into ‘them’ and ‘us’. Affirmative policy should help everyone who needs it, the Malays, Indians, Chinese, Kadazan and Dusun. It is never meant to deny rightful opportunities to other deserving citizens.

Aggrieved citizens have only the General Election to seek redress, fairness and justice. The majority of citizens have obviously made their views clear in the recently concluded election.

When a citizen goes to a polling station, he/she votes according to his/her conscience to choose the best people/party to lead the country. Elections are never meant to perpetuate a divisive, incompetent, corrupt, and inefficient system of governance from whichever political party.

In a democracy, a government is beholden to the people, not the other way round. The government holds the mandate to govern at the pleasure of the people. When that elected government does not perform to the expectation of the majority, the people have the absolute right to vote against that ruling party. This is the beauty and sanctity of democracy. There is nothing racial about the hallow practice. To say or imply that the action is a ‘betrayal’ or an ‘ingratitude’ is the most ignorant and malfeasant interpretation of election in a democracy.

No country can build a true one-nation out of inequality! No government can instill national unity through discriminations! Malaysia can only achieve its highest destiny when all Malaysians, regardless of racial origins, are pulling and pushing as one towards the same direction to greatness. Nothing else can replace that

  1. #1 by worldpress on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 3:50 pm

    They voted against CORRUPTION

    They are the citizen who loving MALAYSIA very much

    They are trying very hard to save MALAYSIA from bankrupt from corrupted politicians

    They are the one who would not agreed the treason of PROJECT IC to illegal immigrants


  2. #2 by seetee64 on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 4:13 pm

    And voting for MCA/BN is a betrayal the the Chinese race.

  3. #3 by sotong on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 6:36 pm

    One cannot underestimate the decades of damaging politic of hate against other races, in particular the ordinary chinese………ruffle the grass, one will see racist and extremist raising their ugly heads, including people in position of power, trust and influence.

    Giving ICs and instant citizenship to hundreds of thousands of illegal Indon, Bangla, Pakis, and etc is NOT a betrayal of the country……but ordinary people exercising their right to vote peacefully is betrayal.

  4. #4 by good coolie on Sunday, 19 May 2013 - 12:11 am

    The racial groups in the Penisula are grateful to each other and to the Government led by Tungku for the events leading to Merdeka. We were, then, equals; and we felt equal. We fought the communists together; and together acquiesced in the replacement of the British colonialists.

    We are grateful to PAS for principled, honest government. We are grateful to Keadilan for their ideal of a modern state where religious freedom is granted to all. We are grateful to the DAP for their courageous stand against corruption, and their help (especially in Penang) in developing people without regard to race or religion.

    We have shown our gratitude by voting Opposition. The voter is sovereign. “Rome Has Spoken. Let the Contention”. Cease”.

  5. #5 by good coolie on Sunday, 19 May 2013 - 12:12 am

    “Let the Contention Cease”

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