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Will race-based politics end?

  • Race-based politics keeps the Malay community on a leash, forever depending on the tongkat and afraid to venture out and compete.

By Mohsin Abdullah

This is interesting!

The Malaysian Insight reported that "youth at a BN sponsored town hall meeting demanded an end to racial politics even as the coalition's senior leaders play the race card to fish support."

The town hall event was a Transformasi Nasional 50 session in Shah Alam.

The audience, according to The Malaysian Insight, was mostly made up of BN supporters.

But the news portal said, "It is unclear if the demand which were to be communicated to the Najib administration would receive serious consideration."

To me personally, I don't think the demand to end racial politics will be considered.

I hope I am wrong, but I think I am right. Why? Because playing the race card is an easy way to get votes.

Already we are seeing it being played by top BN leaders, especially Umno in preparing to face GE14.

Let's not be naive to think they are about to stop now.

That report on "racial politics" in The Malaysian Insight made be recall an article in Malaysiakini on "racial policies".

It was written by one Julian Tan who obviously is a Chinese.Malaysian nevertheless.

According to Tan, he realized the "rules had changed" in his final year of secondary school when his Malay friend was given the top spot award despite scoring less marks than him.

Tan spoke on why he had to "travel across half the world" to study, how his application for scholarship from a GLC was rejected and how he could never compete on a level playing field "because of the color of my skin".

Tan blamed all that on racial policies which he deemed "institutionalized racism".

I can't help but to agree. We have heard and seen it before and we are still seeing and hearing it now. Sad but true.

To Tan, "it is unfair not just to the people who the policies are discriminating against, but also unfair to the people the policies are trying to protect."

Yes, as a Malay I say in the long run the policies are doing more harm than good.

It will keep the Malay community on a leash, forever depending on the tongkat and afraid to venture and compete on the big stage.

Of course there are brilliant Malays, Malays who succeed on their own with their own effort and strength and without government assistance .But, because of racial policies, they more often than not are viewed with suspicious eyes of the other communities who doubt their abilities and capabilities.

I, for one, would like to believe that if I am to make it good, it is because of the effort and abilities, based on merit, not because of what my race is.

In fact, federal minister Khairy Jamaluddin himself has said that the quota system for admission to universities "is an insult to us Malays".

Unfortunately, nothing came out of it and it turned out to be "just talk".

Anyway back to Tan. He said, "Race-based politics in Malaysia need reconsidering and people in power need to realize this."

People in power do realize this, but will they act upon it? I don't think so. Not anytime soon. Because to them racial politics (and politics pf religion) is too good a thing to pass by in their quest for power.

For the sake of the nation, hope I'm wrong.

(Mohsin Abdullah is a freelancer who writes about this, that and everything else.)


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