Racism and a Blueprint for Rebuilding Malaysia

by Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi

Although many things remain uncertain after the GE13 result, one thing is unarguably clear…Malaysia is in trouble.

Who is in trouble? Not Pakatan, not BN to my mind…we are. We…the Rakyat. Our Children is in trouble and ..yes, theirs too in the distant future if we do not stop this juggernaut called…racism.

I would like to outline my basic blueprint for rebuilding this country with the special focus of eliminating racism as its main objective.

My program may be ‘shocking’ or ‘unsusual’ but it has the virtue of never been thought of or tried.

In architectural design training, the best design ideas are usually the ‘shockers’! I have been trained to understand the box but never to stay long in it and to always leave it on the front porch…well, most of the time.

My program or blueprint can be easily implemented by BN…if it wants to, if it has the heart, the will and intelligence to.

But if it is still sore with statements of ‘leave the country’ or ‘sodomising minds’ and Chinese Tsunami, then I would assume that it is disinterested to resolve the racism problem in this country.

Point Blank.

Now if the Minority BN government does not want to implement the program, will the majority Pakatan form its own shadow cabinet and pool their financial resources to implement this program?

In the first place, I have to ask Pakatan leaders a point blank question? Are you guys actually interested in resolving our dreaded racism issue?

I have followed very closely political events in this country from 1997, and after all that Anwar and Pakatan have gone through…I still have a small lingering doubt. In my academic reading, Pakatan is simply a strong coalition built to fight one single enemy. Which enemy? Racism? Religious Intolerance? Poverty? Nope…just the BN.

I am generalizing of course but I am using my poetic license to make this simple point….that racism will still not go away if Pakatan now sits in Putrajaya. Why do I say so? Because I have not witnessed a single paper by Pakatan to seriously look at the problem of racism.

Now if Pakatan, too, seems disinterested to rebuild Malaysia, then it is up to the Third political force, the Rakyat via the machinery of NGOs like Bersih and Islamic Rennaissance Front to take matters into our own hands. My philosophy is simple…if you believe in something, you just have to do it yourself. Then comes next election we, the rakyat will throw both parties out and rule in a different way. How? Think out of the box-lah.

Now, before outlining my program allow me to say a few nice words about Barisan Nasional. Not the present BN but the old founding fathers of BN. Yes…the one before Mahathir and the sacking of Tun Salleh Abbas.

To be fair UMNO, MCA and MIC have done a great service to this country by successfully working with one another amicably and providing peace and prosperity for three decades. When I stand amidst 2,000 academics at UTM hall with easily 90% Malay Muslims scholars, I would say BN deserves an A-. Why A minus?

Must subtract a very strong minus for 1969 Mei 13th. Now let’s be clear the A- is for a BN before Mahathir. The post Mahathir BN deserves a failed grade and the grade for a post GE13 BN is a letter and level of failure that I can’t even find low enough.

Why have I given a failed grade to Mahathir’s BN when we have shiny tall buildings, and a New Putrajaya Kingdom with a massive crystal mosque? Because this was when basic human decency and dignity was violated. The Operasi Lalang, the Memali bloodshed, the Tun Salleh Abbas Sacking, The Anwar ‘Kangaroo’ Trial, The Anwar Second Sodomy Case, The Dubious Sexually Explicit Videos and above all else the death of many innocent children in the National Service.

Fail. E-, F, X or whatever. It is my academic reading that this nation has lost its citizen’s honor and respect. How can that compare to BRIM and the Tall Two Towers of Petronas or the Splendour of Putra Mosque?

Allah The Most High sent all his Prophets to teach about the dignity and humaneness of man to treat one another with love and compassion. Allah The Most Beneficient needs no 600 million ringgit mosque. So.. in summation, BN was a great blessing…then…but now it is becoming an entity that would dismantle what its own fore fathers had built. In principle, there is nothing absolutely wrong with the political concept of BN…its present leaders show no quality comparable to the leaders of old.

Right, so now comes my program. Remember..I am not a social scientist, nor a super management guru but just a guy with a Phd in architecture, 40 books to my name, hundreds of encylopaedia entries, hundreds of media articles and a fondness for reading how to get close to god from Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Freethinkers perspectives. This is my take and my priority in dealing with racism.

First and foremost, I would like to retrain 50 ustazs or religious teachers for 6 months on a single message; Islam abhors, rejects and can never tolerate racism in any form, action or even thought. The ustazs will be taught in class, at the temples, churches and houses of people from various races and religions. Upon graduation, they will be the light that will realign the Muslim Malay mindset. Why have I made the ustazs my top priority? I have listened to thousands of sermons, cds, cassetes ceramahs to know that the ustazs and the content of their lectures and sermons have contributed greatly to the polarization of this country.

My second priority is education. I have already written extensively about Vernacular schools and the National Curriculum. Just to sum up, there is just two points. First, if we are to keep the vernacular schools and religious madrasah, then a no-nonsense policy that the children must have a Year Out at the primary and the secondary level at a National School. Second point is that the National School Curriculum must be revamped so that Cultural and Religious needs of non-Malay Muslim students must be strictly adhered to. Get rid of some of the content for science, maths, history, geography and Bahasa Malaysia and give it to cultural studies and Religious understanding. There will be teachers teaching Islam teaching Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism in the National curriculum.

My third priority is my Hijra Children Concept which I wrote in Malaysiakini some time ago. In sum, I called for volunteer parents of 14 year olds and 16 year old sons to come forth and exchange their children with a family of a different race and culture for a period of 3 months. In this way not only the children will get to interact with different peoples in Malaysia, the parents can also interact with the relatives of other culture related to the adopted child. This is a very important program because of its direct social implications.

Fourthly, I would personally dismantle the National Service, kick out all military personnel and reorganize the camps into a fun fill Summer Camps concept of 2 weeks with 50% Malays and 50% non-Malays on a voluntary participatory method. There will be no military style program but more of games, talks, art and craft and service to the community visitation to temples, churches and mosques.

Fifthly, I would reorganize Dewan Bahasa and split it into one which still concentrate on developing knowledge in Bahasa Melayu but the other entity must publish books about our different cultures and religions in the Malay, Chinese and Indian languages. The books should be about rituals, customs, religions and traditions.

Sixth, I would concentrate on our teachers in secondary and primary schools. The teachers have to be retrained like the Ustaz but in a 1 month course where they learn in class but also get close to the multi-ethnic parties.

Seventh is a program for university students. The students must be retrained to understand that cultural understanding is paramount in business management as well as public relation. Regardless of whatever profession students target these two skills are necessary for a confident career advancement or prospect.

The eighth program is what I call the ‘Personal touch’. In the age of mobile phones, fast internet and everything on a tight schedule, we must go back to the simple days of laid back talking, eating and plain old socializing. All politicians, high ranking officials should take off one week end every 4 months to pick from a preselected family of a different race and live with them and participate in the family, religious and social rituals. Leaders must come down to earth once in a while…or for a number of whiles in fact in order to rediscover the true meaning of humility, tenderness and simple caring. All these human traits seem to have disappeared in front of the lcd screen. At UTM School of Architecture, the Measured Drawing Program where students have to measure and record the history of heritage buildings, they would have to stay for a month with the families that owns the houses and the community which surround it. The inter-cultural exchange is a by-product that I found most beneficial and important.

There you have it. My simple blueprint. Call it naïve, strange or even ridiculous. But this is my honest reading of what has happened in Malaysia and how I think might return us back to a nation with a serious and humane conscience and minus racism and religious intolerance. If BN and Pakatan is disinterested, then Malaysians of all walk of life with the help of NGOs can raise funds and organize ourselves to do what must be done for our children’s future. Racism in Malaysia will never disappear and having certain parties purposely, accidentally or even naively perpetrating mistrusts between the races will not help the situation change. The fate of our nation lies with the few citizens who still have a conscience, hope and the vision to see Malaysia in a new light.

  1. #1 by worldpress on Sunday, 19 May 2013 - 3:27 pm

    Now, they are about to rob everyone 7% for profiting without audit

    who know 7% good for those stupid rural voters enjoy more empty pocket….they voted for it

  2. #2 by waterfrontcoolie on Sunday, 19 May 2013 - 4:51 pm

    Set up a RC on Education with this Enlightened Mind in the Chair, we will find our students REALLY competing at the world platform within 10 years!

  3. #3 by sotong on Sunday, 19 May 2013 - 5:26 pm

    The 60s and 70s was a great environment of nation building.

    We started well until excessive and prolong politics of race and religion destroyed the social cohesion…..racism was used by politicians to advance their careers for self interest at all cost.

    You don’t need programs to get people of various races together….just keep the racist and extremist out of position of power, trust and influence.

  4. #4 by Loh on Sunday, 19 May 2013 - 7:21 pm

    The NEP destroys all that!

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