Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Choice is Yers

As you enjoy the long Merdeka weekend, me asks you to ponder on where you see yerself within the great Malaysian scheme of things. Do you see yerself as a true blue Malaysian who bleeds sambal fooking belacan? Or are you just a tax payer who is content with yer lot & see no need fer change? Perhaps you are one of those who see Malaysia as a mere transit station on the way to greener pastures abroad?

If you feel you fall within the first category above, me would like you to read the very well written article below (from the Malaysian Insider) about why Anwar Ibrahim is this nation's best hope fer progress.

Those of you who are sceptical given his UMNO & ABIM past should give it some consideration. The columnist points out that Anwar's achievment in the Permatang Pauh by-election recently is something NO OTHER MALAY politician has ever achieved - succeed on a MULTI-RACIAL RALLYING CALL.

We are but a young nation & me thinks it is time we really shake off the shackles of RACE POLITICS & embrace his concept of 'Ketuanan Rakyat'. Even if you are wary of him, me still think Anwar & Pakatan are a far better alternative to a future led by Khairy J, Hishamuddin Keris & Khir fooking Toyo.

The choice is yours . . . but only if you are eligible to vote.

Anwar our best and only chance for justice and equality for everyone
AUG 30 — As the Permatang Pauh by-election fades into the recesses of our memories, there is talk of it being a turning point in our country's history. Unfortunately, this talk habitually and routinely focuses on the possibility of changing the government by Sept 16.

It ignores a simple reality: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has already made history by being the first Malay politician to ever actually win more political support through an explicitly non-racial platform. It is practically impossible to underestimate how Anwar bucked the trend; he has completely turned our understanding of politics in this country on its head.

History has already made it crystal-clear; Malay politicians who try to unite the country by appealing to a common sense of Malaysian-ness inevitably wind up heading into political oblivion. Dato Onn Ja'afar's political career went up in flames the moment he founded the first multiracial political party in the country, in spite of it having every conceivable advantage — it was literally the incumbent party of the time because of Onn's towering status in Malayan politics. And it, of course, foundered completely.

Since then nobody has even tried to unite the Malays as Malaysians. Unite the Malays as Malays, of course; Syed Jaafar Albar famously proclaimed in the 1960s that he was a Malay first and a Malaysian second. Syed Hussein Alatas made an admirable attempt to change Malaysian politics through Gerakan, and we all know how that turned out. Literally every Malay leader who has tried to be Malaysian first ever since has risked being branded as a sell-out, a puppet of the non-Malays and a stooge of Lee Kuan Yew.

The one exception was Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who experienced some brief success with his Bangsa Malaysia idea. This only makes sense, considering Dr Mahathir's iron-fisted handling of anyone who dared to oppose him; it is thus a pity that he never took this policy beyond mere words.

The moment Dr Mahathir handed over the reins to his successor, Malay politicians were up in arms criticising Bangsa Malaysia as a "nebulous" and untenable concept for daring to acknowledge that the non-Malays have a place in this country too.

So here we are today: 51 years after independence, the easiest way to tar a Malay politician next to calling him a Jew-lover is to accuse him of saying this country belongs to the Chinese and Indians too. That is simply how Malaysian politics works; to win the support of the Malays, you need to denounce the non-Malays as foreign squatters, who are only here as a matter of privilege rather than right, a privilege revocable at any time.

And what a coincidence it is — that is exactly how the Malaysian government works too. If you're not an Indonesian who can be counted as a Malay, your application for permanent residency or citizenship can never hope to see the light of day. If you're not a Malay, you can expect to hear your fair share of racist remarks in a public national school — and not from students, mind you, but teachers. As a student you can expect a syllabus which teaches you about the meaning of ketuanan Melayu rather than bangsa Malaysia. As an employee you can expect a civil service where you're not welcome unless they need you to fulfil their minuscule quota of non-Malay recruits. As an entrepreneur you can expect a government — and many government-linked companies — which will not give you any business unless you are a Malay. Half a century after independence, and that's what 40% of this country has to look forward to.

And since this is how the government works, up-and-coming politicians and political activists realise this is how politics works too. That is why even though you will never hear the typical Malaysian voicing such sentiments, political activists will readily denounce the non-Malays as foreign squatters here at the behest of a social contract which gives them the privilege, not right, to stay and live here.

Since this is how politics and government have worked since time immemorial, we owe Anwar an incredible debt for nearly single-handedly turning all this — everything — completely on its head. For the past half century, to be a good Malay leader, you have either had to publicly proclaim your support for ketuanan Melayu — and not the mild ketuanan as in strong leadership, but ketuanan as in "blood will run in the streets if our demands are not met" — or you have had to simply avoid commenting on the issue and just hope you can be all things to all people. Anwar ran on a platform, not of vague meaningless nice-sounding platitudes, but a platform explicitly against everything ketuanan Melayu stands for.

This is a man, mind you, who celebrated the end of his ban on active politics by damning ketuanan Melayu and consigning it to the dust heap of history. This is a man who has publicly and repeatedly proclaimed that his commitment is to the sovereignty of the people — ketuanan rakyat — rather than the dominance of the Malays.

This is a man who has never wavered from his stand that the philosophy of government assistance based on racial origin, rather than economic status, is fundamentally and morally wrong. This is a man who has repeatedly, wherever he goes, whoever he speaks to, driven home the same point, again and again: "Anak Melayu, anak saya. Anak Cina, anak saya. Anak India, anak saya."

And this is a man who has had everything in the traditional playbook of Malaysian politics thrown at him. He's been labelled a heretic, a sodomite, a liar, a hypocrite, a traitor willing to sell the Malays and Malaysians out at a moment's notice. The ruling coalition has done everything in their power to make it known far and wide that this is a man committed to non-racialism; committed to a Malaysia where everyone belongs.

Regardless of whether you think he deserves it, or if he was just lucky, credit is due to Anwar: where so many brave Malay leaders have fallen and failed, he has won an incredible victory. Onn Ja'afar was vilified simply for opening up his political party to Malayans of all creeds and colours; Anwar has gone above and beyond, explicitly declaring that this is a country for all Malaysians, whoever they might be. And he has won a resounding victory.

It would be one thing if he scraped through with a majority of less than 5,000 votes in the recent by-election, but the fact is, it was not even close — not with a landslide majority of 15,000, larger even than the majority his wife won before he explicitly condemned ketuanan Melayu. Anwar has succeeded where everyone else has failed; he has carved out a broad base of political support, not on a platform of rights or privileges for one community, but a platform of justice and equality of opportunity for all communities.

Criticise Anwar all you like for his inconsistent and wishy-washy stands on other issues. Criticise his coalition for its internal dissension and strange hypocrisy all you want. You can even say you have no intention of trusting a man who might just stab you in the back the moment he gains power.

The fact of the matter is, you do not have a choice between Anwar and your ideal, committed, consistent, sincere Malaysian leader. Your choice, in the here and now, is between Anwar and a regime built on racism, built on stoking the flames of mistrust and hatred. This regime of hatred has delivered its promise of ketuanan Melayu; why should we expect things to be any worse under a regime promising ketuanan rakyat? At the worst, it's the same old shit under a different government; at best, we might finally have a government and a political system which works for all Malaysians rather than whoever yells the loudest and threatens the most blood.

As far as taking power is concerned, this is still a long shot. Anwar may yet turn out to be a flop on delivering if he ever gets the chance to govern. But the simple and stark reality is, as far as we who live in the present are concerned, he is our best and only chance to put a stop to this insanity.

Anwar is not the perfect vessel for uniting the country, but there is a reason he scares the powers that be: he is the first real chance we have ever had to unite the country against the demons of racialism and parochialism. And for now, he is our only chance. He is the only one who can cross ethnic barriers to proclaim a commitment to a Malaysia where Malaysians, not Malays, are sovereign, and actually win more support than before.

I am no huge fan of Anwar, but I recognise what he has done, and how far he has come. I support him, not because I like him as a person, but because I believe in the cause he champions, and because I believe that if there is any person in this country who can make that dream a reality, it is Anwar Ibrahim.

From The Malaysian Insider
By John Lee is a second-year student of economics at Dartmouth College in the United States. He has been thinking aloud since 2005 at infernalramblings.com.


ps: Once again Happy Independence Day & look forward to reading yer thoughts on the article above & how you see yerself in the greater scheme of things.

12 comments:

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

i think the ridiculous fuel price hike by dollah was a blessing in disguise. for the nonpartisans and those happy with the way things were now realised the need to make a change and boot the vurrent gomen out. and no better person to come into the frame than anwar himself. like the columnist, i'm not much anwar's fan but as i have consistently said, better him than our current national leaders.

for a better malaysia, dollah must go.

senorita.. said...

it's not so much of 'i like Anwar thus i want him to lead' but more of 'i hate BN and want them out!'

hope all goes well.

Happy Independence Day all..

anfield devotee said...

Kerp: Yup, agreed there. But unfortunately, many still think it is unimportant fer them to be registered. Orang kaya . . .

senorita: Precisely me point. As the columnist poited out, Anwar is the best alternative we have & his platform is something we have all aspired to.

Anba said...

I do have my reservation bout DSAI but what really bothers me is thaht some of the ppl that i have talk too...and majority of them indians have this kind of menatality that DSAI can solve all the problems of the indian community...i hope thay don't become pawns in this political game...
Reminds me of George Orwell's Animal's Farm..where the pigs that led the revolt...finally become the thing that fought against...

DorisL said...

I am no great fan of DSAI as well nor any of the opposition parties for that matter. And like many Rakyat out there, I still have my reservations about DSAI. However, as the saying goes it's an option of choosing the better of the two devils between BN and Anwar. One thing I am certain though, is that Anwar will be capable of reviving our striving economy and as can be seen, hopefully he can truly let us have a real Muhibbah Malaysia. So .... am anxiously waiting for Sept 16. Am doing my best to get all these irresponsible & couldn't be bothered so called M'sians to be registered as well either by persuasion, coax, threats or even pulling or dragging them to the nearest PO.

Mohan said...

AD Dude: Belligerent me is back again! Again very skeptical, again very weary of mob-Rule mentality, and again, very worried about the situation back home.

1. (Bush Sr.,Bush Jr.),(LKS, Guan Eng),(KS, Gobind), (AI, Nurul Izzah),etc... Cronyism? No? Perhaps there's this thing about hereditary inheritance of politcal ability then, the scarcity/dreath of sincere politcal leaders then everywhere!

2. Ugly biker Zul. Kamarudin riding(bastard should have got a Kawasaki ZX-6R instead) to storm the Bar Council to his heard of shouting Babi..Balik Cina!, Hancur Bar Council!

3. PasDudes protesting a concert which only 13yr. olds go to....hmmm!

4. Crossovers of UMNO/Serawak/Sabah politicians which are dubious and certainly not to be trusted!

5. History of jumpin' bean Ezam and NallaKarapusamy... yeah so much of proof and so much of contradiction! Perhaps even Anuar and where he gets he funding(believe me nothing is without funding and without forign infulence!).

6. The contempt and disregard of rule of law by every single party!!

I'm a registered voter..just checked it out today. I will not vote simply because I do not believe in POLITICIANS and JOURNALIST to boot.

I will do my part and maybe more... like I said just doing what I can do...Math!(and like I said I prefer to do more of what I can that I can understand than to follow dubious claims and counter claims).

Don't give me that crap that I'm going to enjoy change because people who vote PKR(it's like that BN fuck saying that we'd have no laptops if BN didn't exist!).

I value free speech...and read your articles a bit, most blogs, think anyone who votes BN is a dickwit without a brain, but PR...hmmm... needs a bit more thinking i suppose.

M.

Mandeep Gill said...

One minute no one talks about ketuanan melayu and now it's out of the bag like a shy kitten thrown out and on shameless display.

Bravo...i mean...whoa. :D

Sorry uncle, was busy with school.

anfield devotee said...

Anba: Hmmm . . . that is to be expected given that the Indian community has been ignored by BN fer so long. The Kg Jawa incident was the straw that broke the camel's back. We shall see. Having said that, won't take much to be an improvement from BN's track record with Indians.

mandeep: Welcome back. Unfortunately, the 'Ketuanan Melayu' card is always played when things get shaky fer BN.

Doris: Well done & keep up the good work on getting people registered. Kudos.

Mohan: Sorry la. YOu still haven't replied the questions we asked you the last time. And while you may think everyone else with similar opinions are just "herd mentality" or better yet "mob rule", me has got news fer you - that's parliamentery democracy fer you. Am not quite sure what YOU are advocating? No parliament? No parties? No voting? Any more bright ideas?

Ok, with reagrds to yer queries:
1) Yes, correcto. There is a fooking dearth of leaders. What do you expect when so many canna be bothered to even register nevermind join a party?

2) Sure Zul is a wanker. At least he was reprimanded by DAP & Keadilan. Have you forgotten? Many times BN fookers act the same way & are encouraged by UMNO. What about PM & various minister's threathening the Bar Council & BN's instructions to the cops to support the protesters? That acceptable to you?

3)What did you expect? Again, you forget the wonderful BN regime has aleady caused Beyonce & Christina A gigs to be cancelled. Two wrongs don't make a right. But surely you realise there are WANKERS everywhere & to NOT say yer piece via the POLLS would mean you implicitly accept this fact.

4) Sure they are NOT to be trusted. But as Malcom X once said, "By any means neccesary". Me is NOT advocating armed revolution but merely sleeping with the enemy to rid BN of its majority. Principles? Well, ask any East Malaysian how they feel about BN's treatment of them & then decide ok?

5) Yes. Funding is imperative. What to do. You expect to beat BN machinery which uses govt apparatus with a shoestring budget. As fer foreign influence, well, you mean to tell me that current BN regime is FREE of outside influence? Fooking hell . . . Are you saying Anwar is a Jewish conspirator? If he is, so fooking what?

6) Have said enough bout the 'Rule of Law' but as you clearly do not understand the concept . . . It has long ceased to exist in this country. Thanx to 22 years of Mahathirism.

You seem to think that it is wrong that me is urging people to get registered. YOu also seem to think that things can get better without voting. How? Pls be a bit more clearer fer us lower down the food chain. Like me said before, if people canna be bothered to even just visit the post office to register, me seriously doubts that they gonnna enrich our nation in any meaningful way.

YOu have every right to be sceptical of Pakatan. Fine. Me is too. In particular Keadilan which is filled with ex-UMNO wankers. What to do? This is POLITICAL REALITY.

But are you so naive to think things will be PERFECT fooking overnite with a coalition less than a year old?

And do pray tell Mr Mohan, what is wrong with supporting Pakatan with a view to creating a TWO PARTY DEMOCRACY? Or is it just another pointless exercise to you?

Fer someone of great intelligence, yer mantra of "don't trust politicians & journos" seem quite limited. Pls tell us something new la fer fook's sake. Or do you think us poor stupid commoners with a herd mentality believe everything we read & blindly lap up politician's promises?

As fer NOT voting. You can always show yer displeasure with a SPOILT VOTE. That alone can be a meaningful contribution to our democracy but is that too much trouble fer you? Claims & counter claims? Fook that. We are working towards a new admn with a view to GOOD GOVERNANCE & meat & potato issues. But fer now, tis BN who are mud slinging. So do you stand there & say nothing or do you expose them fer their own shorthcomings?

Sorry la, but you don't strike me as belligerent. Just someone who spews forth too many opinions without any sort of workable alternative. Or even an intelligible basis fer yer arguments.

Mohan - the NON-voting, super individualistic, Non-herd mentality, last of the free thinking PATRIOTS. Round of applause pls, ladies & gents . . .

Achilles said...

Mohan: if you don't want to vote, why did you bother registering? honestly. why buy a car if you are not going to drive? seems pointless innit? And i am still dazed that you feel so strongly on so many issues, yet you don't want to do anything to change it. sorry-lah bro... don't want to vote, its yer right... but don't shout at how everyone is doing a crappy job when you are not doing yours...ie voting. I would add more, but i think AD hit the nail right smack on the head...

honestly, me hates politics. the only reason i am interested now is because the Barisan najis Govt is becoming far worse since the Mar 8 Elections. Economy is going down, inflation is on the rise, oil prices pinching me, govt treats us like retards, cronyism is becoming far worse... the list just goes on lah dude.

if i may quote a line in braveheart where he says "if i can grow crops and raise a family in peace, i will" Thats me attitude too... but when it starts affecting you, you got to ask yourself... what will you do. Don't get me wrong..No one asking you to raise arms and fight like William Wallace... just vote.

Achilles said...

Oh, just in case, you guys not familiar with Braveheart... this is in the beginning where the elders come to invite him for a secret meeting... and he refuses and utters the line above. so they think he is a wanker and a faggot.

but then when the fook with him and kill his wife, our macha goes berzerk and i am sure you know the rest-lah.

so i too tried to stay in peace... but now that things are getting fooked, its time to do something. no need to raise arms and kill people, just cast your votes.

kevo said...

hey AD sorrylah. no interest or rather lazy to go to the post office. ok ok thrash me all you like mate. but me politically-challenged self is goin for change and betterment. quite agree with ms senorita up there.

anfield devotee said...

kevo: If you agree with senorita, shouldn't you want to do someting about it?

And as me has continually stressed to you it is NOT just politics. Petrol hike & inflation are but just two of the factors that affect EVERYONE.

Really disappointed that SO MANY of you take this Tidak Apo attitude. And do pray tell what you mean by "betterment"?

What can an "ungrateful squatter" like yer goodself do ?