I am going to bury my head in the sand for one week and take a fast from Malaysian news! I can actually feel and hear the acid in my stomach churning! For all its flaws and my concerns over a handful of extremist Maori politics, perhaps Malaysia should take a look at tiny NZ and learn from NZers what real multi-cultural society can look like - and see what acceptance and working and honoring "historical social contracts" for the good of the country really is about!
Last night I had a good time talking, having fun and getting to know a Jehovah's Witness and a Muslim - a refugee Muslim from Baghdad, Iraq no less! Would I be able to have the opportunity to do this freely in Malaysia? I doubt it.
My neighbours (literally and geographically) are Indian, Fijian Indian, Scottish European, Welsh European, Japanese, Maori, Samoan, Tongan, Filipino, Vietnamese. And NO, these are not my church members. And many are first generation migrants. Their children think of themselves and are Kiwi first!
NZ celebrates the many cultures that make up modern NZ - from Maori, traditional European Kiwi cultures, the myriad of Pacific Island cultures, Chinese, Indian. The list goes on. I sit as a regular participant of a local community trust whose members I love working with. Many are white Kiwis and there are people from the Pacific Islands, Maori, Indian and myself the Chinese Asian guy. But while they celebrate and are proud of their ethnic heritage, their concern is for EVERYONE - especially the disadvantaged irrespective of race.
No wonder so many give up their Malaysian citizenship! - Including Malays! I even met a young Malay chap who would rather work as a petrol pump cashier here in NZ than go back!
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2010
UPDATE 6 In a speech that is bound to raise the already high political-temperature in the country and drive investors further away, Prime Minister Najib Razak used violent language in his opening address to his Umno party, vowing to defend their five-decade stranglehold on the federal government even if it meant crushed bodies and lost lives.
“This is the most shocking and irresponsible statement to come from a PM although many of us in the opposition have been warning of a major showdown. But it also brings to the fore the fact that Najib is not as confident as he pretends to be. In fact, he is desperate because the chances are very high that Umno-BN will lose,” PAS central committee member Nizar Jamaluddin told Malaysia Chronicle.
At the 61st Umno annual assembly, Najib – who is the party president – was cheered by members as he led them through reverberating shouts of Hidup Umno (the Malay equivalent of Long Live Umno) three times. Umno pundits had actually been expecting a slightly cooler reaction with many members waiting to grill Najib for his 1Malaysia plan, tepid performance and recent flip-flops over a series of political and economic issues.
“Even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost, brothers and sisters, whatever happens, we must defend Putrajaya,” Malaysiakin reported Najib as saying. Putrajaya is Malaysia's administrative capital.
In his hour-long speech, Najib even warned of the possibility of 'racial cleansing' such as in Rwanda and Bosnia if unnamed parties continued to challenge and debate the preferential status now enjoyed by the Malays.
|Nurul - Umno likely to hound her|
Malaysia's federal constitution does not state that Malays have special rights or rights that are above the other ethnic groups. However, there are clear provisions that the Malay community is entitled to special positions in the economic and educational sectors.
Nonetheless, this is not the way Najib or Umno sees it. They insist that any interpretation other than theirs is an affront to Malay supremacy, although many in the community do not agree with such a stance as it smacks of oppression and racism. Nevertheless, racial supremacy has been the traditional tool used by Umno to tie the Malay community to it.
“What I am saying is not surprising. In the 20th century, we have seen cases of punishment without trial in the United States, the holocaust tragedy in Europe, the slaughter of Palestinians in the Middle East and the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Rwanda. Imagine, what is the outcome, if every generation of Malaysians question the social contract which were agreed upon by their forefathers,” said Najib.
For the full report if you can stomach it, go here