No Place For Racism
By TAN POH KHENG,Sin Chew Daily
Translated by LEE MEI NYEE
Last month, some rare political phenomena surfaced. The speeches of some politicians are controversial that got people excited. These politicians are not the Pakatan Rakyat rookies who just joined the Parliament. They are the politicians who hold high position in political and government organisations or the leaders of their race group.
The most representative of them is the experienced politician Rafidah. She said in Sabah that: “The new generation of Malaysians do not accept narrow racism.”
Even though this sentence came slightly slow from this No. 1 leader in Umno Wanita, but it is still better than nothing. If the Malay women in the Umno Wanita understand the truth and accept the new thinking, the children they bring up in the future will not be born with the concept of “Bumiputra”. Racism has no way to grow, too.
Tengku Razaleigh, who once lost to Mahathir, accused Umno of three faults for the recent elections setback. One of his accusations is Umno does not go beyond the racial policies and vision. It fights only for the Malays. He thinks that Umno must be a “national political party, and treat the people fairly regardless of their races”.
Over the past decades, Umno serves only the Malays. Malays enjoy a wide range of concessions under various policies. The party even shouted slogans and waved kris during their general assemblies. The fear and the social discontent of the non-Malays have become known. When Razaleigh wants Umno to become a “national party”, not only the Malay community is shocked, the Chinese and the India community also feel flattered.
In the past, the younger generation leader Hishammuddin, who has ignored the feelings of the non-Malays, and waved kris three times in the Umno youth general assemblies suddenly came to realise the truth after the elections setback. He said: “If it (kris-waving) affected anyone,, I'm willing to apologise”.
We do not know twho he was referring to. Was it meant for Umno or the non-Malays. If the “affected parties” meant the former, then it is Umno's family matter. If it is for the latter, then the recent political tsunami is really unstoppable.
Obviously, the “racism” which has been rampant for half century has at least been greatly impacted by the so-called 8 Mar political tsunami. We do not know if the Umno leaders who said “no more racism” have any personal agendas or motives. However, surely, if they said these words few years earlier, the BN would not face this situation.
Nevertheless, we hope that these “reform” remarks will be accompanied by some sincerity. It shouldn't disappear after the party elections and let the people to be fooled again.
Probably, the BN is still not aware that the main reason of the recent elections setback is the distance between the countries in the world is getting nearer. Democratic and fair society is the universal values of civilization. Under this the general trend, racism is, in fact, already outdated and has no place inour society.
All major domestic political parties, be it Umno, MCA, MIC and so on, could not continue to play the role of fighting only for their own race groups. They should consider opening up their membership, become an universal political party formally and serve all the people fairly. Then, it is only the new hope for Malaysia's future politics.
( The opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of MySinchew )