Anas Zubedy, You' Still haven't Got IT!
I started writing this comment in Anas Zubedy's blog. But it started getting a little too long and thought it would be disrespectful hogging someone else's space. So its become a posting here. Anyway, this is a response to Anas' response to Commander (Rtd) S. Thayaparan's reponse to Anas' first open letter to Lim Guan Eng.
A number of points on your response, Anas:
The justification for going too much into history to find the pre-eminent role or rights for Malays in Malaysia! How far really do you want to go back? This is why the Middle East muddle will never get sorted. After all the Jews can keep going back to Moses to whom was promised the Land of Israel!!
The Malaysian experience is unique. You are a Malay and yet you are not the same as your brothers from Indonesia. Just as I might be Indian by race and yet I am not the same as my brethren in India, Singapore, Fiji or anywhere else. The same can be said of our Chinese Malaysians. Unfortunately, you can only get to experience this when you are abroad and your Malaysianess is recognised.
You know, I have always found pleasure watching Malay kids greet their elders. As you say, there is a graciousness. Even among friends and relatives when a host at a wedding starts his speech, it commences with apologies for all the shortcomings and he seeks our forgiveness, and there I go wondering what he is talking about because I thought everything was fantastic.
On the other hand when I was being urged to apologise to a brute who was threatening mayhem on me, I got more angry with the so called "friend" who was urging me to apologise. I did not see sense in it. But that is me. Not my ethnic or Malaysian mentality talking. You might call me biadab. So maybe, I should be apologising for writing this piece and making known my thoughts, if that is what would appease you. But you see, that is not how and what I do and who I am. And I know that I can ingratiate myself to any Malay without having to go through this ritual. It is my honesty and integrity that the Malay will have his antenna focused on. Not this ritual. But of course UMNO uses this as another excuse for distancing the Malays from the rest of us. And now you are doing the same.
You see, your Indonesian brethren's expectations, assumptions, aspirations and hopes will all be different from yours only because your experience in Malaysia is different from his. That is what makes you different from him despite you sharing the same language, dress, religion and food. The dilemma faced by one like Khir Toyo must surely be understandable considering his experiences might have still come under substantial influence by his parent's Indonesian experience. Hence he grabs whatever he can when he can. Your fears are not the same as those of your Indonesian brethren although you say you are of the same stock. It has nothing to do with your DNA. Life itself is not about DNA. It has more to do with experience. Your lifetime experience.
All this identification and "ownership" of a country by the ethnicity of its peoples or the ethnicity of the majority of its people is unfortunately a fact we live with. However, in contemporary times, and because we can, there are very few countries left in the modern world where it is inhabited by its original indigenous population. Sweden is no more made up of Swedish people alone. Their new experience is something that would be alien to their ancestors of just a hundred years ago. What countries need to build is a nation. A nation is about the living experience of the people within a political territory, which sometimes transcends into other geographical territories as well. There was a time when one could not tell a Singaporean from a Malaysian. But today, there is indeed a stark difference and you can tell. Its in our respective experience and how our aspirations, expectations, assumptions, hopes and fears are cultivated.
So really, who thanks who? Who should be grateful to whom? Isn't that really a fruitless exercise? Its just like a wonderful pot of chicken curry. Which of the ingredients do you owe your gratitude to most for bringing out this most wonderful aromatic curry? Mind you, when it goes into your mouth, its not just the aroma, there is also flavour, texture, mouth feel and after taste. Do you know which ingredient promotes what? Do you even care? But I can be sure that you appreciate the way they all come together.
The way I see it, all the race based parties whose very existence is dependent on each of the races maintaining that there is a unique heritage to preserve have buggered up everyone's lives. The Malays are told their language, customs or adat, religion, mannerisms, demeanor, behavior, dressing is unique. UMNO's Ketuanan Melayu mentality makes them believe that there is something superior about all of this. MCA does the same for the Chinese and MIC the Indians. But obviously there is this large urban population that ignores their call.
I cannot see me hesitating to make the necessary connections before proceeding on my way. I will do the usual courtesies that have previously got me through to anyone. But I am not going to have to satisfy each and everyone of a community in order to get ahead with whoever from that community wants to walk with me.
Unfortunately for Lim Guan Eng, there is nothing that he can do to ensure each and everyone of you finds him acceptable. He made the ultimate sacrifice, going to jail in defending a Malay girl. So, can you now place a full page advertisement to thank him on behalf of what seems to be an ungrateful community? Now, LGE is not talking about it. I am!!
As to the methods adopted by DAP to gain themselves some level of appeal, wouldn't it smack of hypocrisy or even deception if they were to do what you ask of them? Indeed it would even be dangerous. How and when have DAP or LGE been against the Malays? Asking for any kind of apology even when none is called for can only be turned around by UMNO and its bloggers to then point to it as evidence of DAP's previous "anti-Malay stance." You have to admit that for the ordinary Malay, they continue to see DAP through UMNO's looking glass.
As to who has displayed open disrespect to the rulers, Anas, you have conveniently avoided it lest you are seen to be critical of UMNO. Does not matter, but that is how I choose to see it. But at the very least you could rubbish this claim, allegation, accusation, whatever you want to call it, that DAP has disrespected the rulers. If anything the DAP has done tantamounts to disrespecting the rulers, than what is it that can be said of what UMNO has previously said and done to the rulers? Unfortunately the way UMNO has in the last few years used the rulers, its a wonder how long the rulers themselves will last as an institution that is understood as being part and parcel of the Malay race!
I agree with you that every time DAP or anyone else refuses to wear the songkok or any other attire, it is so rather silly. However, if it is required of me only so that I am seen to be submitting to someone's else's pride or superiority, then maybe I will reconsider submitting to the request. Where I am unsure, I'd just be plain indifferent, just as I would be with my attire on a beach. I actually enjoy skinny dipping!! When taking an indifferent attitude towards something that is called for it irritates even me when DAP makes an issue out of it.
So what is it that is important to the Malays? What makes you think by my reciting peribahasas and pantuns I will ingratiate myself to Malays? I know that despite my rude and sometimes uncouth approach my Malay friends have been been close, trusting and appreciative of me. What you say is almost a repeat of what UMNO tells Malays that this is what they are and this is how they must behave and evaluate and so on. That others should go into their den before they can welcome them with open arms. Well, yes, for political correctness, Ibrahim Ali and his lot will demand that. But why don't you ask Rocky? If I must, I must be an inconvenient acquaintance to him. But I think there is respect and regard, and I think we do look out for each other. I don't have to get into Rocky's den to have a discourse with him. Honesty and integrity are two things people, even those unschooled, easily pick up and respond to. But UMNO has been very successful, I must say, in laying out all the criteria, that Malays must demand of their fellow citizens before they can get into their den. This suspicion that UMNO requires Malays must have of their fellow non-Malay and non-Muslim citizens is what is breaking up this country. I already suggested earlier, we don't have a nation!
Obviously your observations of Lim Kit Siang are prejudiced by images of him, both video and still. And of course you are staying close to UMNO's description of Lim. That he is chauvinistic and so on. But you see, that is your view. I am not smitten by UMNO's descriptions of Lim and certainly completely uninfluenced by how they would wish for all of us to view LKS as. So really, when I read what you have written suggesting Lim resign, in order that DAP will look more appealing to the Malays, I defer. I think the more important task now for everyone, is to help Malays to see people and things for themselves rather than rehashing UMNO's take on everything. You will do well, helping the Malays to not allow Berita Harian or Utusan Malaysia to interpret for them what they see and what they hear.
The problem with Malaysia, including a lot of us who are supposed to be learned and well informed is that we go back to our own race based political leaders when we need to be heard. An Indian might approach an Indian DAP leader rather than a Chinese or a Malay political leader. If your MP was a BN Malay, and you were an Indian, he might refer you to to the local MIC branch leader. He then has to go to the MIC HQ, who then have to approach UMNO HQ, who then probably prompt that Malay MP to attend to the matter. Everyone is made important within the BN circuit.
With the Christian bashing, because none of the political leaders would step up to talk on behalf of Christians, because they know they lack the credentials, the Christian clergy was forced to step up. Personally I am not comfortable with this that the Christian clergy is forced to front up to speak on behalf of their flock. And sometimes they do tread on across political lines that the church, for several hundred years, has kept away from. But there is no one else to speak for them. Is there?
Have you been outed, Anas? I don't know. Your response seems to suggest otherwise. But you still appear to be looking at things through UMNO's looking glass. Maybe another approach should be adopted. History may not help us. Its today's experiences that matter. Unfortunately these get very little airing.