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Saturday, September 16, 2006

86] Ideology, Idiocy, Independence

Ideology, idiocy and independence
Azly Rahman

We have a new dilemma of independence. We have developed a new sense of idiocy.

The Malays are still indoctrinated by the idea that the Chinese control the economy. The Chinese are indoctrinated by the idea that the Malays must still be represented by leaders who know how to play the race card. The Indians are still left on their own to suffer. We have the dilemma of the growing population of immigrants whose sense of Malaysian nationalism needs to be cultivated.

The Malays continue to be misrepresented by yet another generation of leaders who refuse to grow up and grow out of the ideology of idiocy - that race, not other factors, is still the root cause of social injustices.

More and more intelligent Malays, nauseated by this misrepresentation that grew out of historical accident and post-colonialist convenience, are numbed by this continuing idiotic pride. The media and the control of wealth and resources by just a few Malays and their families have made possible the sustenance of this ideology.

The Malays are made to believe that their survival must continue to lie in believing there is a bogeyman - other races, namely the Chinese, who allegedly continues to control the economy.

Malays are fed with this ideology even though they and non-Malays alike are struggling to make ends meet in an economy that is at the mercy of huge international corporations interested in wiping off clean family businesses in the name of free enterprise.

Chinese youth leaders continue to collaborate with Malay youth leaders in the business of sustaining this ideology of economic race-hate. The Malays wield the keris and the Chinese position themselves with Jackie Chan moves. Then they warn one another not to step beyond the imaginary boundary of who-controls-what in the magical mystical economic pie baked by neo-colonialist chefs.

Indian youth remain a silent reproduction of the economic system and will continue to be the ultra-marginalised. They will continue to be played up by their leaders interested in the sustenance of power and wealth even though the nation has progresses materially with fantastic highways and structures built by an Indian Malaysian, the works minister.

Mind-numbing happiness

The Malay mind continues to be bombarded with all the ingredients that make it happy and numb - a televised grand wedding of a singer, the continuing saga of an old man who refuses to retire with wisdom and dignity, more shopping malls, more junk tabloid reading materials, more Astro channels, more boot camps to indoctrinate its youth, more signs and symbols of mental oppression that adorn the economic landscape, and more ways to massacre neurons in the brain.

The Malay political drama continues to be played up by old stories of warring factions cast in newer light, using better actors, and produced with better multimedia technology. The stories are now spun and told by the those who monopolise the dissemination of the neo-colonialist ideology.

Chinese youth continue to be played up by the idea that the Malays are in the universities because of privilege alone and therefore the latter are of lesser intelligence. This misconception borne out of anger is understandable - the deserving non-Malay youth are sidelined and victimised in the university selection process.

They are like ideological reproductions in an educational conveyor belt that produces human beings like batch-processors in a microchip industry owned by some foreign corporation.

Indian youth continue to be left behind in the process, after 43 years of the formation of multiracial Malaysia. Who speaks for them? Life continues to offer them the most unnecessary challenges and despair in which the economic system of lose-lose predominates.

Critique our ideology

We must critique our ideology, as the German philosopher Jurgen Habermas would propose. We must all - Malay, Chinese, Indian and native of this Independent Malaysia - teach others what continues to sicken/ail our nation. and why we still allow race-hate politicians and race-based political parties to survive.

We must in fact interrogate why we have come to an idiotic stage in our political consciousness - on why we have not evolved as efficient as our will to build taller buildings and bigger malls.

Our independence is an illusion. We are in fact allowing our nation to become a haven for rate-hate power elites to structure our lives at their whims and fancies in an economic system that allows the maximum exploitation by foreign investors operating in cohorts with local business-political elites.

We have developed a class of multi-cultural power elites who are masters of skimming off the nation’s wealth and skilled at playing the race card. We have allowed this pyramid scheme of corrupt practice to happen in sync with the capitalist economic design we adopt without much understanding how to trickle it down with morality and altruism.

The Malays need a cure for the idiocy brought by the ideology of post-colonial Malaya. A truly intelligent Malay would insist that any political leader who uses bankrupt race-based arguments to hold on a little power but a lot of wealth must be flushed down the sewer of colonial history. It simply is not a sensible, let alone fertile, argument any more if we are to share this living space
called Malaysia.

The Chinese need to realise that they need to open up their mind to enter a dialogue of race-relations with other races, on the issue of building a truly democratic Malaysia that looks at other classes of people to be helped through philanthropy, rather than at race and ethnicity.

The Indians need to continue to throw out leaders who are insincere about helping them improve their lot. In 43 years, they have not made much progress in human dignity. Their rights as human beings continue to be abused in a nation that prides itself in making billions of Ringgit abroad through our oil-drilling activities .

Independence can only be achieved when we begin to engineer radical social changes, develop grassroots political consciousness on the issue of basic needs and human rights, elect sensible and stronger leaders regardless of race, democratise our educational institutions, teach our children tools of media analysis, deconstruct propaganda, make our Smart Schools benefit all, refuse to allow foreign nuclear submarines to patrol our waters, become a reading society more than one glued to the TV set, develop strong local governments that will resist state-sponsored environmental destruction, attend to the special needs of our at-risk youth and children, vote in a stronger opposition, and protect our cultural heritage from the covert and overt onslaught of brutal Americanism.

Only then will we begin to evolve as a truly independent and intelligent nation. Happy Merdeka.

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