Monday, February 18, 2008

157] Mandate of heaven this nation awaits

Mandate of heaven this nation awaits
Azly Rahman | Feb 18, 08 1:24pm

Sometime ago, I wrote these:

1)"Let our children learn that it is terrifying to be corrupt; such as to build palaces while the homes of the poor are demolished. Let us teach them to vote with their conscience."

2) "The current regime cannot solve the problems it creates. It must dismantle itself, die a natural death, destroy the symbols of power it has abused, and let a peaceful renewal take its natural course."

We have 13 days of campaigning period and after that, the opportunity to exercise our fundamental rights as Malaysian citizens. We are doing this at a time when our political system is in utter chaos – the three branches of government are growing more visible thorns and climbing onto each other, while the roots are diseased in this wasteland called democracy in which the air is foul and toxic. Is this a curse of our obsession with the number 13?

These 13 days are crucial for our nation's future. It might not be as dramatic as 10 days that shook Russia in October 1917 but nonetheless it is a time when the change we need is now. The process of getting there is "perestroikic". The previous ruling regime that has served Malaysia for 50 years too I believe is asking for radical change to happen. This feeling resides in the collective unconscious of our race-based politics. It will be our bipolarist Freudian moment of Malaysian Machiavellianism. The calm of Mahathirism is now creating a storm of unknown proportions.

Sense of fear

Mahathirism is giving way for Radical Multiculturalism, or to be more accurate Radical Marhaenism. There is a sense of meaninglessness in the word "Agenda Melayu" these days. There is also a sense of fear of holding on to power for too long when the rakyat has lost its trust in a government that is no longer gentle, let alone clean, efficient or trustworthy. The Internet is helping raise critical awareness of what actually is going on. The blogs have become our last frontier of the spaces of justice we are yet to discover. "Thus Sprach Cyberspace" as a philosopher would say.

What goes on inside the mind of the present coalition is this: it wants to have a strong check and balance as being a coalition with absolute power can also be a painful experience. More force is needed to stop the growing wave of dissent. How much of the ideological state apparatuses must one abuse? "Dissent is patriotic", as American philosopher statesman Thomas Jefferson once said. More water cannons, laced with chemicals are needed in a toxic democracy such as Malaysia's on the eve of choosing a new regime. To be patriotic, one must dissent.

But there is still hope for detoxification. We all want this – ruling party or the opposition, regardless. It is a dictate of the mandate of heaven. We must go for a strong check and balance system.

Malaysia has achieved the goals for Agenda Melayu. Time's up – game over? The 2007 report by Asli spearheaded by eminent scholar Dr. Lim Teck Ghee gave us a glimpse of objectivity in reporting what ought to be reported in regard to the economic pie Malaysians are so obsessed with.

We need to spend the next 50 years making Agenda Bangsa Malaysia a reality. We need a political will to go with it. We must be brave to ride the new wave of change – as brave as the astronaut we sent to experience the joys of being in outer space.

Agenda Melayu a bad excuse

Agenda Melayu has become a leit motif at best and a bad excuse at worst for the few to oligopolise this resource rich nation; a nation whose oil revenues should have best been used to finance the education, welfare and health services of Malaysians of all races instead of building tall structures and "corridors" to showcase the autocracy of our oriental despotism. Instead of building "corridors" all over, one might ask: why not build affordable houses for the poor and build minds that will learn how to live ethical lives and resuscitate this nation? These corridors will ultimately be of benefit only to local elites that will be plundering the nation in concert and in cohort with foreign investors from faraway and nearby lands. Or, why not meet the needs of Indian Malaysians and all those that are still in abject poverty?

Agenda Melayu is a base and superstructure of the hegemony of one race that lives and breathes the spirit of neo-cybernetic-feudalistic construction of elusive and heterogeneous power; a modern-day daulat that has lost the magic of "divine rights" that never was there in the first place – the power derived from materials, artifacts and the politics of language that colonises the mind of the silently-reproduced Malay.

The rise of Makkal Shakti (People Power) through Hindraf, the emergence of a yellow wave through Bersih, the persistence of rallies, the uncertainty of socio-political stability, and the increase in the use of state apparatuses to crush dissenting viewpoints – all these are the symptoms of mass dissatisfaction against the regime in power that is begging for a fresh mandate.

Unembarassingly too, Malaysian education ministries avowed their contradictory stand on political culture by releasing statements the students can cast political votes but cannot be involved politically. Education as an enterprise to create good citizens and through ars liberalis (the arts of the free man/women) has become a huge conveyor belt to create minds filter-funneled with ideologies of an outdated race-based politics surviving on the modus operandi of fear, ferociousness and phantasmagoric proclamations of world-class this or that.

The writings are on the wall. The graffiti of our national grouses and grievances are even written on the walls of that Petronas Twin Tower, a Caesar Pelli-an symbol of the Malay Agenda. We want to reach the heights that imitate the advanced industrial nation but our political and civic consciousness can at times be in the pits of neanderthalism. The height of this abysmal consciousness is embalmed in the Royal Commission of Inquiry, epitomised in the ideology of "Lingam-ism". The narratives that we read on the proceedings of inquiry into the conduct of the judiciary is like a freestyle of a most vulgar form of gangsta rap that humiliates the minds of Malaysians yearning for blind justice to prevail.

Issues before the elections

The issues before the Malaysian general election are plenty, amongst these:

As it affects Malaysians of Malay origin, the continuing growth of the abject poor, now sprawling in the urban areas, the continuing exposure of corruption amongst primarily Malay leaders of the ruling regime, the clampdown on dissenting views in public universities and the recent warning by the minister of higher education for students not to be engaged in politics, the unresolved mystery of the Altantunya murder case involving Malay suspects, and the rising prices of basic necessities as a result of the rise of oil price.

As it affects Malaysians of Chinese origin, the continuing dissatisfaction of the way the NEP has favoured one race over others in terms of educational funding across the board.

As it affects Malaysians of Indian origin, the continuing marginalisation of the community left to fend for themselves in abject poverty, the demolition of Hindu temples, the neglect of their basic education via neglect of Tamil schools, and the continuing detention without trial of the five Hindraf activists as a result of the clampdown on now the internationally-broadcasted rally for their rights.

As it affects all Malaysians, the uncertainty of what is to be derived out of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the "Lingam Tape" in which the public is now confused on the matter of how much information is being given to ascertain if indeed the entire workings of the judicial system is based on unethical practices; one allegedly based on rigging of the appointment of judges.

As it affects the rights of the indigenous people such as the Orang Asli and the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak, the systematic effort of failing to protect their rights in face of hypermodernity the government has embarked upon.

The tightly controlled government media has been playing up and down issues before the general election. It has played up Barisan Nasional's "confidence of a winning big" at a time unlike the previous elections in which the Internet was never a tool of counter-hegemony. It is assumed that the ruling party will continue to be given the mandate (more that 2/3 majority) at every election even though the issues mentioned above continue to be unresolved. The nation continues to see parties carrying their baggage and unresolved critical issues into this election.

New masks, old spirits

The ruling party assumes that by announcing that "new faces" will be introduced to replace the old despots, the system will be rejuvenated, somewhat like a political dialysis. This reminds one of the blood transfusions of Keith Richards, the stoned-aged-but-still-alive guitarist of the legendary rock group The Rolling Stones; whose life defies the stories of the dangers of drug addiction. It is assumed that by getting new individuals to run in the elections, a fresh mandate to carry out the Malay agenda will be given.

But the issue is not about propping up new individuals – it is about ideology and institutions that support it. It is about a race-based ideology that is no longer in sync with changing times, as if the cognitive capacity of the nation will never progress and surpass the ideology of the Malay Agenda.

The overplayed doctrine of "Malay dictatorship/hegemony" (Ketuanan Melayu), an arrogant sounding developmentalist agenda pillared upon arrogant and truncated theories of development which brushes off new findings on the ownership of the NEP, continue to dominate the mind of campaign strategists.

The biggest issue before this election is the ideological shift. Because Umno as the dominant party actually does not have an ideology, except sentimentality and authority to deploy the ideological state apparatuses, and because the dissatisfaction of the masses/rakyat is growing in leaps and bounds and is tsunami-ing the streets, we have got a national problem.

What will the election bring us? It is you and I who will decide.

Did Marx the historian not say that we must become makers of our own history?

Or - if we are to become a superstitious nation who believes in numerology, we must also believe in a mandate of heaven, where it rains change predictably.


amoker said...

Well written , matured piece of tot.

human book said...

List of racial discriminations in Malaysia, practiced by government as well as government agencies. This list is an open secret. Best verified by government itself because it got the statistics.

This list is not in the order of importance, that means the first one on the list is not the most important and the last one on the list does not mean least important.

This list is a common knowledge to a lot of Malaysians, especially those non-malays (Chinese, Ibans, Kadazans, Orang Asli, Tamils, etc) who were being racially discriminated.

Figures in this list are estimates only and please take it as a guide only. Government of Malaysia has the most correct figures. Is government of Malaysia too ashamed to publish their racist acts by publishing racial statistics?

This list cover a period of about 50 years since independence (1957).

List of racial discriminations (Malaysia):

(1) Out of all the 5 major banks, only one bank is multi-racial, the rest are controlled by malays

(2) 99% of Petronas directors are malays

(3) 3% of Petronas employees are Chinese

(4) 99% of 2000 Petronas gasoline stations are owned by malays

(5) 100% all contractors working under Petronas projects must be bumis status

(6) 0% of non-malay staffs is legally required in malay companies. But there must be 30% malay staffs in Chinese companies

(7) 5% of all new intake for government army, nurses, polices, is non-malays

(8) 2% is the present Chinese staff in Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), drop from 40% in 1960

(9) 2% is the percentage of non-malay government servants in Putrajaya. But malays make up 98%

(10) 7% is the percentage of Chinese government servants in the whole government (in 2004), drop from 30% in 1960

(11) 95% of government contracts are given to malays

(12) 100% all business licensees are controlled by malay government e.g. Approved Permits, Taxi Permits, etc

(13) 80% of the Chinese rice millers in Kedah had to be sold to malay controlled Bernas in 1980s. Otherwise, life is make difficult for Chinese rice millers

(14) 100 big companies set up, managed and owned by Chinese Malaysians were taken over by government, and later managed by malays since 1970s e.g. MISC, UMBC, UTC, etc

(15) At least 10 Chinese owned bus companies (throughout Malaysia, throughout 40 years) had to be sold to MARA or other malay transport companies due to rejection by malay authority to Chinese application for bus routes and rejection for their application for new buses

(16) 2 Chinese taxi drivers were barred from driving in Johor Larkin bus station. There are about 30 taxi drivers and 3 are Chinese in October 2004. Spoiling taxi club properties was the reason given

(17) 0 non-malays are allowed to get shop lots in the new Muar bus station (November 2004)

(18) 8000 billion ringgit is the total amount the government channeled to malay pockets through ASB, ASN, MARA, privatisation of government agencies, Tabung Haji etc, through NEP over 34 years period

(19) 48 Chinese primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(20) 144 Indian primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(21) 2637 malay primary schools built since 1968 - 2000

(22) 2.5% is government budget for Chinese primary schools. Indian schools got only 1%, malay schools got 96.5%

(23) While a Chinese parent with RM1000 salary (monthly) cannot get school-text-book-loan, a malay parent with RM2000 salary is eligible

(24) 10 all public universities vice chancellors are malays

(25) 5% - the government universities lecturers of non-malay origins had been reduced from about 70% in 1965 to only 5% in 2004

(26) Only 5% is given to non-malays for government scholarships over 40 years

(27) 0 Chinese or Indians were sent to Japan and Korea under "Look East Policy"

(28) 128 STPM Chinese top students could not get into the course that they aspired e.g. Medicine (in 2004)

(29) 10% place for non-bumi students for MARA science schools beginning from year 2003, but only 7% are filled. Before that it was 100% malays

(30) 50 cases whereby Chinese and Indian Malaysians, are beaten up in the National Service program in 2003

(31) 25% is Malaysian Chinese population in 2004, drop from 45% in 1957

(32) 7% is the present Malaysian Indians population (2004), a drop from 12% in 1957

(33) 2 million Chinese Malaysians had emigrated to overseas since 40 years ago

(34) 0.5 million Indian Malaysians had emigrated to overseas

(35) 3 million Indonesians had migrated into Malaysia and became Malaysian citizens with bumis status

(36) 600000 are the Chinese and Indian Malaysians with red IC and were rejected repeatedly when applying for citizenship for 40 years. Perhaps 60% of them had already passed away due to old age. This shows racism of how easily Indonesians got their citizenship compare with the Chinese and Indians

(37) 5% - 15% discount for a malay to buy a house, regardless whether the malay is poor or rich

(38) 2% is what Chinese new villages get compare with 98% of what malay villages got for rural development budget

(39) 50 road names (at least) had been changed from Chinese names to other names

(40) 1 Dewan Gan Boon Leong (in Malacca) was altered to other name (e.g. Dewan Serbaguna or sort) when it was being officially used for a few days. Government try to shun Chinese names. This racism happened in around year 2000 or sort

(41) 0 churches/temples were built for each housing estate. But every housing estate got at least one mosque/surau built

(42) 3000 mosques/surau were built in all housing estates throughout Malaysia since 1970. No churches, no temples are required to be built in housing estates

(43) 1 Catholic church in Shah Alam took 20 years to apply to be constructed. But told by malay authority that it must look like a factory and not look like a church. Still not yet approved in 2004

(44) 1 publishing of Bible in Iban language banned (in 2002)

(45) 0 of the government TV stations (RTM1, RTM2, TV3) are directors of non-malay origins

(46) 30 government produced TV dramas and films always showed that the bad guys had Chinese face, and the good guys had malay face. You can check it out since 1970s. Recent years, this tendency becomes less

(47) 10 times, at least, malays (especially Umno) had threatened to massacre the Chinese Malaysians using May 13 since 1969

(48) 20 constituencies won by DAP would not get funds from the government to develop. Or these Chinese majority constituencies would be the last to be developed

(49) 100 constituencies (parliaments and states) had been racistly re-delineated so Chinese voters were diluted that Chinese candidates, particularly DAP candidates lost in election since 1970s

(50) Only 3 out of 12 human rights items are ratified by Malaysia government since 1960

(51) 0 - elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (UN Human Rights) is not ratified by Malaysia government since 1960s

(52) 20 reported cases whereby malay ambulance attendances treated Chinese patients inhumanely, and malay government hospital staffs purposely delay attending to Chinese patients in 2003. Unreported cases may be 200

(53) 50 cases each year whereby Chinese, especially Chinese youths being beaten up by malay youths in public places. We may check at police reports provided the police took the report, otherwise there will be no record

(54) 20 cases every year whereby Chinese drivers who accidentally knocked down malays were seriously assaulted or killed by malays

(55) 12% is what ASB/ASN got per annum while banks fixed deposit is only about 3.5% per annum

There are hundreds more racial discriminations in Malaysia to add to this list of "colossal" racism. It is hope that the victims of racism will write in to expose racism.

Malaysia government should publish statistics showing how much malays had benefited from the "special rights" of malays and at the same time tell the statistics of how much other minority races are being discriminated.

Hence, the responsibility lies in the Malaysia government itself to publish unadulterated statistics of racial discrimination.

If the Malaysia government hides the statistics above, then there must be some evil doings, immoral doings, shameful doings and sinful doings, like the Nazi, going on onto the non-malays of Malaysia.

Civilized nation, unlike evil Nazi, must publish statistics to show its treatment on its minority races. This is what Malaysia must publish……….

We are asking for the publication of the statistics showing how "implementation of special rights of malays" had inflicted colossal racial discrimination onto non-malays.

Wintermute said...

Most impressive list, hb. I congratulate the Malay powers - that - be on their resolute defence of that group's culture and Ethnic/Genetic Interests

Anonymous said...

1)Merit System- Dr. M concedes he screwed up the merit system!!!
Former Prime Minister Tun
2)Corruption- Wealth is being created but they mostly end up in the hands of the politico-business elite while corruption robs the poor and middle class to give to the rich
3)National Unity- National unity unattainable under BN — P. Ramakrishnan

Anonymous said...

Merit System produce Talents!!!

Anonymous said...

When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the fire continues to
give warmth, but they grow cold- HEARTLESS. Same is true when people
withdraw from God.

Anonymous said...

Is Mahathir successful for all the things he had done?
Corruption, cronyism, racism ... these are all the fruits of
his labor. Good tree bears good fruits. Bad tree bears... bad fruits. The rakyat will be the judge.......

hak55 said...

About the list above, actually 99% of all the work and supplies involved are done by the non-bumis, in particular, the Chinese contractors and suppliers.

Also, about the supplies of parts, components and what-have-you, costing billions of US$, 99% are sourced from the rightful agents/distributors based in Singapore, all are Chinese, and Petronas knows that too.

I know because I was working with a Chinese company who was a contractor and supplier to many of those people and Petronas knows it and I know practically all the suppliers in Singapore that are the agents/distributors, that deal with Petronas.

So, it is actually the non-bumis and foreigners, that benefit more from Petronas.

What Malay Agenda? It should be more apt if it is labelled as The Stupid Malay Agenda!

Melayu Malaysia (especially the Malay leaders) Bodoh!


komando said...

For every Malay that becomes rich and becomes a millionaire, there are at least 50 Chinese that became richer faster!

The Malay secures the contract and gets 20% max, he passes the project to the Chinese -'taikoon', 'tai koh', 'tow kay' and ahlong!

Why becos he has no funding!
The Chinese never complained openly about this very good business arrangements!

They laugh all the way to the BANKS!

THE UMNO MALAYS are the ones fooling their own KIND...malaysia memang boleh!

mic hamid said...

aku tak baca komen orang kat atas aku,

tapi aku rasa statistik kat atas tu, berbaloi sebab kalau nak ikotkan perjuangan utk capai kemerdekaan, kite boleh tau sape yg perjuangkan paling banyak... so ok la....

ape nak pk lagi, nak bantah lagi..

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