Thursday, July 09, 2009


"Najib said that Malaysians must stop tolerating and begin accepting each other because only through acceptance can the nation prosper and become developed.

“We must begin to accept and not only tolerate because tolerance is a concept of not wholeheartedly accepting or grudgingly accepting. Acceptance is a better concept and we must begin to accept that we are a plural and multi racial country,” he said.


And I thougt I will never ever hear that coming from any UMNO member, let alone leader. Even the so called Pak Lah, our former Prime Minister could only utter that rubbish abot tolerating. I recall writing about it. Telling him stop tolerating me, because I too cannot tolerate you. But accept me as I accept you.

With this statement, is Najib putting a nail to the head of "ketuanan Melayu"? After all if you advocate "ketuanan Melayu" there is no need to accept. You only need to tolerate to maintain the peace. You don't need to tolerate even if you don't like it.

The crazy thing was, everytime these political leaders uttered that word tolerate and urging their constituents to tolerate the other races or the other cultures they did not even bother to think about the ramifications of such attitudes. Did they not think that it was that kind of thinking that probably gave birth to the "ketuanan Melayu" concept itself?

I can't fault the Malay leaders alone for uttering this most horrible word. I have even seen MCA leaders use it. Is that why there is this chavunistic attitude amongst the MCA types that we often see them coming off very patronising in their ways?

Well, Najib is certainly bringing down a lot of walls. I have said it before, and I will say it again. I don't support him. But he is captain of the ship that we are all aboard in. We need to get to shore. Like him or hate him he is controlling the rudder. Whether or not he succeeds very much depends on the social order and the assumptions about one another that has to be dealt with. Do we replace tolerance with acceptance? Do we replace suspicion with trust? Do we replace bias with indifference?

Well Najib, as much as I disagree with the latest change in the education policy over the use of English in the teaching of Maths and Scence, I think it is within your bearings to see that the solution to the education quagmire that we are in is not to be found within the political arena. Whats good for the country is not necessarily what is good for the politicians. It takes a brave effort to recognise and acknowledge the failure of the last 30 odd years of educational reform. It needs you, Najib, to come out to say what needs to be said. It is not like as if the people cherish Chinese or Tamil education. The people have rejected the Natioal Education that is rendered by the Ministry of Education. Also acknowledge, the policy to terminate the system that was in place in the 1960s was tainted by a thinking that by these means those seen to be advantaged would be denied that advantage as they would be "brought down" by forcing upon them Bahasa Malaysia, like as if this was all that was needed. Well, it would now seem like our children have all mastered the language and it is no more a barrier to educational excellence. It is just plain rejection of what the Ministry of Education is dishing out through its ministrations.

I have a possible way out of this. Let communities who can. Communities who have the will. Communities who meet certain crieteria to take on the running of the schools. By communities I do not mean race based. It should be other than race based. It could be local communities coming together. It could be the Mission schools getting back to what they used to do, minus the proselytising. Lets do something like that first

Anyway, Najib, for what it is worth, I want to congratulate you for introducing the change from tolerate to accept. I just hope this concept is not over the heads of our political leaders.


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