By Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi
In this article, I will show how easy it is to govern Malaysia. And in this article I will show how simple it is for an intellectual Malay like me, if I wanted to, to be a Datuk Seri and hold a senatorship and perhaps a deputy minister post within one year.
All I have to do is to write things criticizing the Chinese, the Christians and the DAP. Itu saja. Senang sekali!
Why is it so easy? Well, it’s because Malaysians are so easy to predict and never change for 60 years.
I will elaborate on how gullible Malaysians are at responding to race or religious baiting by crafty politicians like our ‘dear’ Tun M, perhaps my most ‘favorite’ politician of all.
With his ‘chopsticks’ example, Mahathir has again shown himself to either be the most racist, stupid, backward and senile old man, or he is still the craftiest, shrewdest and most capable politician in the history of Malaysia.
My vote is for the latter. You see, Mahathir’s fame and popularity among the Malays has been built up by none other than his two favorite punching bags, the Chinese and the DAP.
His lifeline depends almost entirely on these two. Just think about it.
Why did the DAP rush to defend the Chinese when Mahathir baited them with his chopstick example? Couldn’t DAP ask Dr. Aziz Bari, the most prominent Malay personality in its party, to say something like as follows:
“Saya amat bersedih mendengar kenyataan YB Tun M dengan kata-kata bahawa kaum Cina sukar diasimilisasi dalam konsep bangsa Malaysia kerana terlalu kuat memegang tradisi dan budaya hidup asing. Dalam warisan negara kita budaya Melayu, Cina dan India telah lama bercampur aduk dari aspek makanan, tutur bahasa dan sebagainya. Orang Melayu belajar makan roti canai daripada siapa? Orang Melayu belajar makan Kuew Teu dan bagi Ang Pau masa Raya belajar dari siapa?
“Malaysia is truly Asia, itu slogan kita. Saya sendiri pandai pakai chopstick dan tidak terasa kemelayuan saya diancam.”
Now why don’t we do that? How about calling on my friend Tawfik Tun Ismail to comment on Mahathir’s baited statement? Susah sangat kah?
Should Chinese defend Chinese and should Christians defend Christians? Ini macam Malaysia tak akan berubah! Same old same old!!
I went to SMJK Hua Lian for five years. All that time I never learned to speak Mandarin. All that time I never learned to use chopsticks. All that time the Chinese students and teachers never once ‘bullied’ me or made me feel uncomfortable.
I graduated with 6 A’s and was offered scholarship to the US while my friends with 8 A’s flew to London, Washington and New Zealand, with their parents’ hard earned money.
My Hua Lian friends are still my friends. What’s the problem Tun? You don’t know how to make friends with other races, that is your own doing-lah, not others who should be faulted.
You probably learned the wrong values of humanity, spiritual brotherhood and nation-building!
So please lah, Malaysians. Ubah sikit! Don’t react like a broken down tape recorder. Try and be different.
Next time, speak in flawless Bahasa Malaysia with adab and the language of kiasan and sindiran in answering Umno, PAS and the likes of Tun M.
Don’t know how to speak Malay? Get a Malay to jawab-lah!
Mahathir and the likes of his kind of politicians are never sincere. There is always udang di sebalik batu in all their statements and actions.
So we Malaysians must not react in the predictable manner!
Why has Malaysia not changed? Because we the people tidak berubah!
We hope that politics will ubah, the education will ubah and the civil servants will ubah. Send our best children to learn the best BM better than the Malays and learn the adab and history of Islam and the Malays so that they can penetrate the civil service and become incredible politicians who can speak much better than Wee Ka Siong or Lim Guan Eng.
Let these two retire from their old politics and let’s bring in new Chinese with BM and Islam as their political weapons and shields!
The power of changing Malaysia has always been with us as the citizens.
We have to learn to act like politicians and not just as citizens quoting rights of free speech and democratic liberties.
It takes more than a constitution to build a country. It takes wisdom, patience and the ability to change.
(Professor Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor at a local university.)