Archive for category Raja Petra Kamaruddin

We are all class-ed multiculturalists now!

By: Azly Rahman

Growing up in a Malay kampong in Johor Bahru, having been born in a British Military hospital in Singapore, schooled in Kuantan, Seremban, Shah Alam and moving from one realm of cultural experience to the next, living in from one enclave to another in the process of being schooled and in the process of being and becoming an educator, ending up in a town a half and hour’s drive from New York City where I have lived for several years, I sometimes wonder if all these makes me a “cultural construction” of “multi-ethnicity” or a “Malay” still? Or — how “Malay” am I still? Or — what is a Malay”? as I would ask what is an “American”?

Here in the United States where I teach a course called “Cross-Cultural Perspectives” in which trying to engage my students in the works of Edward Said, Clifford Geertz, Renato Rosaldo, and the like, I find myself again, having to interrogate my “subjectivity and objectivity” as a “culturally-constructed being” in my attempt to play the role of Socrates in dialogue with my students in our exploration of the multiple meaning of culture.

Each semester is a learning experience, teaching me newer ideas of what “culture, race, and ethnicity” means. I look forward to the intensive classroom discussions by the “hybrid and hyphenated human beings” in my class — those whose family background present a rich tapestry of ethnicity in a sea of creativity called the human race.

I have had pure Afghans, Colombians, Puerto Ricans, Turks, Greeks, Irish, Australians, Ghanaian, Nigerian, Russian, Israeli, Cuban, Iranian, Taiwanese, mainland Chinese, Australian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Jamaican, Egyptian, Bangladeshi, Saudi Arabian, and a hybrid of all many of these. There were Indonesians too. But no Malaysians yet. Read the rest of this entry »


“No repeal or review of ISA” – will all MCA, Gerakan, Umno and BN Ministers/leaders “blindly accept” Hamid’s decision?

Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar has shown utter disrespect and contempt for Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders who had been calling for repeal or review of the draconian and nefarious detention-without-trial law, the Internal Security Act (ISA), when he summarily and categorically declared in Johor Baru yesterday that the ISA will not be reviewed or repealed.

Only yesterday, MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting announced that the MCA had enough of Umno political hegemony and “will not blindly accept every decision made by BN without being consulted”.

He said:

“It is only proper to have a discussion with the parties in the coalition before a decision or policy is made. That is what you call sharing of power and it is in line with the BN spirit…

“However, at times we were not kept in the loop when certain decisions were made. If a decision was made without the knowledge of the MCA, then it is not fair to use BN’s motto of ‘Friendship and Unity’ (Kesetiakawanan).”

Hamid’s contemptuous dismissal of calls for repeal or review of the ISA is an open slap in the face for Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders who had been making such proposals, including the MCA Central Committee which had expressed disagreement with the recent spate of ISA arrests and demanded the release of Raja Petra Kamaruddin. Read the rest of this entry »