Thursday, April 17, 2008

164] Reflections on a sinking bahtera merdeka

Reflections on a sinking Bahtera Merdeka
Azly Rahman | Apr 14, 08 12:45pm

Bonda senyum riang (Mother smiled with joy)
Menerima bahtera merdeka...

(In receiving the ship of Independence)
- words from an old song

With apologies to the late American social critic Gore Vidal, my piece this week was conceived over the weekend at a speech at Harvard University, during which I spoke about the "ambiguities of freedom" in post-March 8 revolution in Malaysia.

The bahtera/jong/ship that was supposed to bring this country and its people to this mythical magical and elusive place called ‘Vision 2020' is going down fast and will perhaps sink by May 13, 2008 - 50 years after it was built with confidence and with a new hope for a multi-cultural Malaysia that promised justice for all.

The Titanic of Malaysia's independence is giving way. The Ides of March and April Showers that transformed into a tsunami and that will bring May Flowers of Power of the Sixties sensibility – all these will bring down the United Malays that is neither. The Malays were neither pure Malays nor united. Nor was Umno even a national organisation. Neither national nor organised, especially at the brink of its sinking.

umno members meeting 2And Johoreans - the creators of Umno - must now be the ones crying out loud on board the Umno sinking ship. Little did they know that they accidently built in the seeds of contradiction and the antithesis of a patriotism into foundations of the Bahtera Merdeka.

They did not know what globalisation and radical multiculturalism meant. Nor did they anticipate that when the bahtera travelled to the northern states and Umno changed stewards in the course of 50 years, disasters would happen. Bonda senyum riang is now weeping.

What happened? Insightful analyses continue to be made on the event of the sinking. Blogs are providing powerful and plausible interpretations and readings into the event.

My thoughts on the sinking ship revolve more on the nature of the human mind; how it is prepared for the sinking ship. I want to specifically talk about the Malay mind, one I am quite familiar with having been raised in a Malay worldview, albeit vacillatingly.

Akujanji culture

It is no just greed and abuse of power that are contributing to the sinking ship. There is systematic mental genocide of Malays by the party that claims to represent them.

The mental illness that has been inflicted on the bright young Malay minds since Independence is like germ warfare by the rich and powerful Malays on the poor and the powerless, so that only the few will survive in this pseudo-Malay game of Social Darwinism and fascism combined.

In the 1960s Modernisation theorists such as David McClelland talked about the nAch virus, or the "need for Achievement" virus needed for people of the Third World countries to modernise.

ipta akujanji universiti malaya 070506 akujanji agreementThe Malays were given the nDoc virus to keep their mind in total obedient mode. This is the "need for docility" or "need to be subdued" or "need to merely follow rules and orders" or "need to keep silent even in face of oppression" and "need to sign the Surat Akujanji" and follow whatever the ketua jabatan commands them to do, even to vote for a sinking ship.

All this is part of the spectrum of the carpet-bombing mechanism deployed in the germ warfare inflicted by the few Malays upon the many Malays, especially in the educational and public service institutions.

While those in power can make and break all the rules they want, those who are powerless are forced to kowtow to the demands, however ridiculous these may seem.

Biro Totalitarianisma Negara

The Biro Tata Negara (BTN) is the chief institution that disseminates the idea of Malay supremacy, makes Malays docile, wages nDoc germ warfare on Malays, breeds inter-racial hatred, destroys the possibility of inter-race dialogue, makes Malays afraid of themselves, and psyches Malays into believing that only Umno is their true saviour.

It is a dangerous and divisive institution that is deliberately destroying the mind of the Malays and forcing the hard-working race to perform in life based on their own merit. It is a fascist institution that is instilling the idea that the non-Malays are the ones making the Malay poor and perhaps lazy.

The BTN is not teaching ethics of patriotism but disseminating the virtues of xenophobia and ethnocentrism, destroying the mind of the Malays. The rakyat must now question the very existence and perpetuation of the propaganda machine and institute ways to stop this machinery from further functioning.

I speak from my own personal experience in being systematically injected with the nDoc virus some time in the mid-1980s at the height of the BTN's work in capturing and captivating the mind of the Malays, turning them into leaders who hate especially the Chinese. It claimed that the non-Malays have taken the wealth away from the Malays.

nasional service khidmat negara 220307 training standingAs an educator I want to see the immediate stop to the work of any form of government agencies that teach Malaysians to hate one another. I want to especially see the BTN and the National Service in its current form, go down together with the sinking ship.

I think these two systematic programmes of mass indoctrination which grew ironically out of the work of intellectuals of Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Utara Malaysia are anti-patriotic and do not create good, thinking citizens. They are no longer suitable for a changing Malaysia that wants to value tolerance, respect, dignity, and peaceful resolution for all races. They are in fact part of the instruments of domination that has brought Umno and the government down its knees.

Malays not only need to reject all forms of mental domination as such but also file a class action suit against the BTN for instilling the fear in themselves, failing to relate with trust with other races, and failing to perform to the best of their mental capacity.

If Hindraf leaders can file for reparation for the injustices inflicted upon Indians brought over as indentured serfs, the Malays who have been forced into indoctrination programmes such as those run by BTN must also seek reparation for mental damage caused by the bureau's work.

We need a new ship and a brand new crew. We need a true blue Bahtera Merdeka. It is now probably docking either in Sabah or Sarawak.


asrilamirul said...

Dear Dr,

A briiliant piece of writing as usual. I agree on your point about the malays are being 'mind controlled'. Myself is a product of the education system a-la Malaysia that is full of restrictions and threats. It sucks.

novice101 said...

The Great Divide !

The frustration of a parent and the anguish suffers by a child may seems to be very common and an everyday occurrence. But the cause of this frustration and anguish is the factor that creates division and polarisation of the races in Malaysia. What is this cause that is so explosive and destructive? It is the deprivation of the world-recognised basic right of every child - his right to be given an education that befits her capabilities!

A child , from small, was told to study hard so that she could contribute constructively to society, and she took the message to heart. She studied hard and when the SPM results were announced, she was overjoyed as she had scored the maximum 12 As. She looked forward to be accepted into the matriculation class. She was in for a rude shock, she was rejected! Her anguish would not have been so deep and her hurt would not have been so devastating if the selection had been done in a more even-handed manner. Her excellent results could not get her accepted but her friends who had only managed 3 to 5 As were given places. This is Malaysia's education as implemented by the 'little Napoleons'.

This scene is being played out in many non-Malay families throughout Malaysia, year-in an year-out. The parents who had always believed in the government and the system, have always taught their children to be law-abiding. When such thing happened to their families and they were asked by the children why such thing should befall them, they had no plausible explanations.

These families, left to their own devices, have no much of a choice but to seek their own means to provide for the completion of their children's education. If, some of these children manage to go oversea to complete their studies, it comes as no surprise if they decide not to come back once they finish their studies. Who could have blame them.

In some of the families, the parents have to make great sacrifices so that their children can graduate from private institutions. Those who are not so fortunate financially may have to force their children to give up their dreams of obtaining a tertiary education.

Any wonder why the races are so divided and polarised in our nation? To this, you add the insensitive words and actions of UMNO politicians, the inequality in job opportunities in the government sector, the inequality in business opportunities, the loud insistent battle cry of the Malay supremacy, the unwarranted questioning of the loyalty of the non-Malays, the not so subtle attempts to sideline the religious beliefs and practices of the other races, you create the 'Great Divide'!

If Samy Vellu and other politicians attribute the election debacle to just the demolition of the temple, then it is a clear case of the political leaders being out of touch with the political realities!

May more responsible and compassionate leaders be divinely-guided to come forward now to help close the 'Great Divide'.

JeyapalanT.S.Mahesan said...

Hey, Dr AZ!
News for U! Totally , fully & completly agree with U {CORECT,CORECT,CORRECT} with one aside! Its not just the Malays - its all of us together!
Dr.AZ! Whatever sent U 2 The USA, pls come back soonest! U r need here now! Godspeed!

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me said...

To put matters simply, value systems are inherently subjective, and to the great benefit of that ominous superpower across the Atlantic, their stated collective values of freedom is one that is espoused by a great number amongst them.

There was once the idea that Britain would stake its survival on the seas and then succeed, epitomised in the verses of "Rule, Britannia!". And so they did.

Therein lies the key to national ideas. Many nations have tried a top-down approach of imposing the ideas of the powerful elite on the collective psyche of the nation, this being especially apparent in dictatorships. But the most vibrant states that we have today are ones that have embraced a bottoms-up approach instead of a top-down one wherein the national ideas collective held are just that - collectively held.

This is of course a generalisation, but one that is correct for the majority consitutents of the state. Most Brits defend their civil liberties because of their collective belief in their freedom heritage derived from the Magna Carta. The French had a collective awakening in their Revolution and the Americans in their collective independence struggle.

Their success is therefore not because a set of subjective values were imposed and promoted on them, but because they collectively accept, for the most part, the same subjective values.

The Malaysian formula still retains this top-down approach: the imposition of a "Social Contract" agreed upon by a few elites of society, the Aku Janji imposition of a set of values (that students are in university solely for degrees), the BTN idea that government scholarships are handed out by the BN as oopposed to it being merely a fulfillment of BN's responsibilities as the holder of government etc. etc.

Therefore, regardless of the ideology presented, whether it is to teach the Malaysians to hate each other or to teach them to unite as one, it will all amount to naught as long as it is a top-down imposition


pywong said...

Great and enlightening article, Dr Azly. I enjoyed it


Anonymous said...

Thank you - you have expouded and given form to what has been (and still is) a plague upon the ‘malays’ and … Oh my! witness the collective visceral damage it has inflicted upon the nation.
I have longed and had almost given up all hope - for wiser council to prevail and for change to ignite from ‘within’.
However, you do seem to shy away from citing the role of ‘islam and pseudo-arabism’ - that most potent ‘packaging system’ in delivering that ‘nDoc viral’ cocktail.
On the 25/02/08 I wrote following; “Instead of providing the framework for the intellectual, economic and social advancement, it has shackled a community to defunct racial and religious ideology to bolster its own power crazed frenzy. It has deliberately crippled the ‘able bodied’ and handed it ‘faulty crutches’.
The article in which it appears is as follows:
“The State, not family, faith or community, is the guarantor of personal liberty and intellectual freedom that all citizens need look to. While the state can oppress, it is only the state that can create the conditions for freedom and can protect people from those who would curtail that freedom. Other forms of social organisation, such as religions, tribes, gangs, political cults and companies, cannot do this and, in many cases, do just the opposite”.
In Malaysia during the last few decades we have witnessed the unravelling of this core principle; the state as the sole temporal authority, protector of the Rule of law and arbiter of justice has been jettisoned summarily. Elected dictators have long dispensed with the liberties and rights of the citizens of the country they govern. All pretence of due process and the separation of powers ABANDONED; cynical, manipulative and contemptuous of voters, self-serving functionaries, fraudulent, patronising, self-aggrandising, unprincipled and steeped in the corruption.
UMNO has cultivated and institutionalised both the feared and fearful client class of race and religious groups; its dependents, unable even to imagine standing on their own feet. A malignant force perpetuating a repressive retrograde Communitarianism; paralysing the social and intellectual development of very community it purports to champion. That slight of hand, that brandishing of swords, that jingoistic Nationalism - all a sham - to hold on to power to feed its cavernous greed. It has presided over the most shameful venal politics: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, and Politics without principle.
“It tells lies in an environment where alternative views are not heard. It tells people what they want to hear; give them simple solutions to complex problems, enemies on whom they can blame their discontents, promises to satisfy their narrow aspirations, spectacles and ceremonies to stir the emotions and suppress critical thinking”.
It has undermined the very basis of the economic and social parity it proclaims.
It engendered a breed of parasitic ‘hangers on’; a fractured and polarized society where the LINGHAMS’ and TANS’ tout and pimp for the amoral ruling elite. Vultures circling for rich pickings off rotting flesh.
The outcome? Alienation and apartheid that has become the abiding state of affairs, where coercion, thuggery, intimidation are commonplace. Instead of providing the framework for the intellectual, economic and social advancement, it has shackled a community to defunct racial and religious ideology to bolster its own power crazed frenzy. It has deliberately crippled the ‘able bodied’ and handed it ‘faulty crutches’.
“A society that puts equality - in the sense of equality of outcome - ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom….” Milton Friedman.
The world’s free societies are those where tribalism and religion has been tamed by the nation-state. In these countries, religion has been detached from the state by constitutional rules.
It is time to unhitch this unholy, dysfunctional BN alliance. – CHANGE is long overdue!

“T. Aiyesu is a Malaysian scientist resident in Europe”.

rajawali said...


Anonymous said...

Great academic thought in this article. It's about time we do away with this race card.. as a product of an education system that extols the virtues of only one community and seemingly demonise the rest, it is sad that first generation DEPs are using the new NEP for their second generation. It's time to give up the clutches of dependency. Even from a lower income group, with good results, scholarship and support was nothing but my bumi friends got all the support and scholarship. Even in working life, I am faced with tis discrimination worse experience when I worked in a supposedly No 1 university of the country where so called learned people defend their rights to scholarships, generous discounts for housing worse still to claim as sons-of-the-soil it is 'hak kita' to get this and that.. No need to repay any loans taken.. 'hak kita' you chinese are rich and rob us so you don't deserve our support. Even with a family my son who applied and got a place on his own in Oxford as rejected by JPA with the reply 'dukacita...our awards only for SPM??? no allocation'.. fairness, justice, meritocracy should be colour blind but in this country, we are blinded by the need to prove each others 'ketuanan'. like what janata did to congress.. we need a 'baptism of fire' to clean up the mess. don't only do it on for the pig farm or blame the poor swines-it's babi now not khinzir! after 50 years we are still immature and feel that if one is associated with a particular ethnicity.. worse still one that needed to be enshrined in a constitution (wonder which community in the world has such a need for a law or constitution to define one's origin and character-if it can be written and defined in a piece of paper, it can be rewritten, redefined or even removed anytime by the power of the day, right?) - poverty, justice, humility, honesty, fairness, truthfulness, even rich or fame has no colour distinction.. aren't we all human beings?.. are we a greater person just because one is associated with one's belief.. dear God help us all for creating such bigots in defending your NAME... we are at fault if we wish to be misled by so called 'elected napoleans' and adopt herd mentality for fear of being true to oneself... but we have options in life..perhaps we need to time using our options right.. is this the right time, era and moment? for me it seems so if each day we get news of small minded powers to be doing stupid things just to preserve the 'old regime' grow out, grow up, grow towards maturity and my late dear wife always reminded the family, "in any unpleasant situation can we not choose to be the better person?"

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