Same old racial mindset in 1Malaysia

2 February 2015

We have celebrated 51 years as Malaysians but to some people, we are still in the racial silos of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Others. And with that come all the stereotypes of each race.

Mind you, this racial mindset still persists despite Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia campaign to bring all Malaysians together after the fractious 2008 polls where Barisan Nasional (BN) saw its majority evaporate to less than the customary two-thirds in the federal parliament.

1Malaysia has been hardly heard of since BN’s further losses in 2013 and there is a good reason for that: Najib’s colleagues in his hand-picked Cabinet have not much regard for it.

Take the latest volley from Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who wrote in his Facebook account that the Malays should boycott Chinese businesses, singling out the Old Town White Coffee franchise because of its alleged DAP links.

The minister has stood by his statement, telling The Malaysian Insider that it was directed at Chinese businesses whom he said were “reluctant” to lower their prices.

“I am referring to Chinese traders who are reluctant to reduce the prices of goods even though the price of petrol has come down.

“What I want to emphasise is for people not to depend solely on the government to ensure the prices of goods come down because as consumers, they can use their power to pressure businesses,” he said.

In his Facebook post, Ismail singled out the Old Town White Coffee chain owned by the Ipoh-based OldTown Bhd, saying Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Khoo Ham owned shares in the company.

“Malays are still refusing to boycott (Old Town White Coffee), what more when its owner is said to be the DAP Ngeh family of Perak who are known to be anti-Islam.

“As long as the Malays don’t change, the Chinese will take the opportunity to oppress the Malays,” said Ismail.

Really, Mr Minister? Businessmen single out people based on race? Is that what you are saying? Is everything in this country based on racial profiling, then?

Are people rewarded or oppressed on the basis of race? Is that the message you want to give to the rest of the world?

Your statement, Mr Minister, plumbs new lows even by the low standards of the Cabinet that leads this country. It tells us why 1Malaysia never took off. How can it if the prime minister’s handpicked men do not believe in it and use race to provoke a business boycott?

Your attitude further divides the country at a time when Malaysia needs even more unity to face a gloomy world economy.

Your attitude gives another reason for people to stop supporting BN as the ruling coalition.

Your attitude just shows that you are a poor excuse for a Malaysian, let alone a minister.

The only silver lining about people like you is that it can hopefully unite Malaysians against this racial mindset and racism plaguing Malaysia. – February 2, 2015.

  1. #1 by good coolie on Monday, 2 February 2015 - 6:35 pm

    Extremists of all the major races in the country are capable of calling for racially-based boycotts. Remember the Gardenia boycott? Any way, coming from a minister, such calls are inexcusable.

    • #2 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 3 February 2015 - 9:02 pm

      How to boycott if the supplier is this race or the middlemen is this race ? You can’t make money if the link breaks.

  2. #3 by lbn on Tuesday, 3 February 2015 - 6:04 am

    Sad to have so many pea brain ministers – stirring up racial sentiments. It’s sad that our beloved country has come to this stage. Stop playing the blame game and move forward before we got flush down to the bottom rung amondst the Asean countries.
    Get your act right and review the electricity rates, bus fares and others which the government has control.
    Perform your role and responsibility of a responsible government otherwise vacate the position!

    • #4 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 3 February 2015 - 8:58 pm

      Speaking words to express your annoyance. But justice must be done no matter how uncomfortable it may be. It is easier to vacate the post than to correct a mistake. But vacating the post does not mean responsibility is on its’ way. It just means that person is not there. So what sort of a new person is he or she to fill the post ?

  3. #5 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 3 February 2015 - 9:36 am

    I am sorry to say DAP is not free from the mindset. Perak DAP in particular need real change. To go after Ismail Sobri for slandering Ngeh is small matter, what he did to Old Town, the persecution of a business for political purpose crosses a very significant line to the realm of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe or ISIS appropriations of assets.

    And Perak DAP could not see it and still limited in their mind-set?

  4. #6 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 3 February 2015 - 9:48 am

    Let me put it another way.. Why is Jackie Chan treated so well at a time when they are persecuting Chinese left and right in this country? Because he is in the 1% Vs the rest of us in the 99%.

    In other words, for UMNO the race that truly matter is the 1% – themselves and those they see themselves belonging to. The rest of us, whether Malay, Chinese etc..those in the 99% are in the same boat. Dividing ourselves when we are all in the same boat dont make any sense against the 1%…

    • #7 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 3 February 2015 - 8:50 pm

      Number 1. He is truly rich. Number 2. He invests in education in Malaysia. In fact, he has so much around the world. Those who are his fans know. That rich. So with that kind of social contribution, he should deserve something equally big in return. Number 3. He is one of the buffers. Nor one can replace him.

  5. #8 by Sallang on Tuesday, 3 February 2015 - 9:45 pm

    The bus fare from Seremban to S’pore is rm45 one way.
    For this coming CNY, the fare is now open for sale at rm80.
    Question: Who allows that? Price of petrol has gone down, why allow this to happen?

  6. #9 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 4 February 2015 - 7:53 pm

    People who are into money are really very alert about it. In a split second, they know whether they make money or they lose money. You see people staring at the stock market screen. Why ? Because money is made or not made every second. You go to the open stall with flies flying around and the kopi o costs RM 1.00. You go to some high fashioned café and the same thing costs RM 8.00. Nobody forces you to go the café. May be it is because of trend, may be because of fashion, may be because you look cool, so you go to the café.

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