February 21, 2012
Malaysia at risk of losing its rich diversity
by Iskandar Dzulkarnain, Malaysia Chronicle
More and more depressing news is cropping up as the days go by. Self-styled First Lady Rosmah Mansor is hogging the headlines for the wrong reasons over an honorary Doctorate of Law. So too is another well-educated and scandal-tainted UMNO woman bigwig – Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
News that ex-Petronas Chief Tan Sri Hassan Merican has left to work for a huge company in Singapore made me feel both proud and sad at the same time. We all know which way the wind is blowing and it is not really in the right direction at all.
Not too long ago, Deputy Education Minister Wee made the statement that the PDA scholarships for bright students have been abused. Many students with 10A’s are not offered PDA scholarships, while those with 4-5A’s managed to secure them. It shows that even our brainy, bright, young talents are being discriminated against and barred from a chance to further their education overseas.
These will a big loss to our country’s talent pool and to the nation’s future. What a sad state of affairs, when even being the best is not enough. Will an investigation be conducted as to who these beneficiaries are and whether they rightly deserve such coveted scholarships?
Although it may not be a serious controversy, our bright young minds and talented geniuses who cannot afford an overseas education without financial support will only contribute to the unstoppable brain drain of this nation. Our hopes to be a first world nation are dashed on the rocks. These are our future leaders who will chart the course and contribute to the grand design of this nation.
Driving talent away
Today, our pool of leaders are nothing to shout about. Some of them are a bunch of clowns and nincompoops. Every time they open their mouths, we can see through their idiotic minds, no matter how very hard they try to hide the fact that they are not very bright. Even some leaders have questionable overseas degrees. Without highly skilled intellectuals as our leaders who can see through the greed, corruption and inequality, it will be very difficult for Malaysia to attain First World status.
Malaysia seems less and less a ‘Promised Land’ to the non-Malays. With a mock democracy and an authoritarian system of government in place, Malaysians who cherish democracy, meritocracy, freedom of expression, equality and freedom of religion are discouraged from regarding Malaysia as their homeland.
Those who can afford it have to save to send their offspring overseas to further their studies and to seek employment. Once their offsprings have secured an education and employment in their host countries, many will apply for Permanent Residence to join them. Bringing with them all the wealth and talent to their host country. Malaysia continues to lose its wealth and its valuable intellectual capital.
Talent Corporation is facing an uphill daunting task to encourage Malaysians to return and serve the country. Those who say it is another for-show hype by Prime Minister Najib Razak are right. Malaysia simply doesn’t offer a conducive environment for the highly skilled and talented to return and help build this nation. Current policies are a gross hindrance. Those who actually return mourn the rashness of their decision, and many cannot wait to leave again.
Malaysia could be such a lovely place to build an existence. Its citizens could have coexisted in peace and harmony. There is so much going for this country, but our leaders have made a terrible mess of it. The level of corruption is simply unacceptable. Equal opportunities are in shambles. Threats of racial conflicts and religious sensitivities still exist. Dinosaur leaders refuse to relinquish their powers and continue to overstay their welcome. Malaysians are humiliated and abused by the government that is supposed to serve them.
And now, these leaders continue to threaten the peace of this country by resorting to racial conflicts to split the nation. Non-Malays are constantly reminded that Malays own this country. Malay Supremacy should not be questioned and Islam is superior to all other religions – this is being shoved down their throats each day.
Unappreciated, they will leave
Non-Malays feel sidelined as 2nd class citizens, humiliated that they cannot be equal and even encouraged to leave the country if they are not happy. Barisan Nasional, who is supposed to be the only political coalition capable of serving this nation, stands blind and impotent, as the abuse continues unabated.
One day, we may see the exodus of the non-Malays from this country. When the last Chinese is gone, we will start to miss the pretty, miniskirted Chinese lasses, and the corporate-dressed Chinese executives. Gone will be the sound of Chinese music during Chinese New Year, the dragon dances, the firecrackers, the red ang pows, the Chinese operas and kung fu movies on TV. Left behind will be empty buildings from Chinese businesses and the friendly neighborhood sundry shops, whose owners used to chatter in ‘broken’ Malay. Gone will be the Chinatown in Petaling Street, with its cheerful bright lights, myriad of colors and all kinds of everything for sale amidst the incessant Chinese chatter.
When the Indians follow, there will be no more dark beauties in colorful saris, no more colorful temples, no more Hindi movies and the interesting Indian and Hindu culture. No more fiery chicken curries, tosai, tandoori and papadam. And with it goes the Hindu culture with the carrying of the Kavadi and Chariots of the Gods of Thaipusam and Festival of Lights of Deepavali. No more laughter of happy Indian children playing.
With the Christians joining the exodus, there will be no more sounds of Christmas carols, green Christmas trees dressed in white cotton and decorations. No more Santa Claus in the Shopping Complexes and Shopping Centres. No more Christmas turkey dinners in hotels all over the country and no reason to celebrate the New Year, which Malay hardliners say is a Christian celebration.
Kuala Lumpur, as Malaysia leans to a more Islamic way of life, will see masses of people going to work all dressed in headscarves and Baju Melayu, with even your own sister hardly recognizable among the crowd. How boring it will be without the non-Malays to lend flair, culture, color, identity and fun to our way of life. Malaysia may one day be like ultra conservative Saudi Arabia. All work and no play or is the other way around – all play and no work!
It will be really sad for Malaysia to lose all its ethnicity, diversity, its potpourri of culture and its identity. Aren’t we selling Malaysia as truly Asia? Why must the government continue to play with our sensitivities and keep tearing us apart?
If the non-Malays go, I will leave too. No sense hanging around and continue to be abused by these ‘half aliens’ even though they may be of the same race as me. Suddenly, New Zealand sounds very appealing. I’m sure they need average journalists like me with no sense of humor.
– Malaysia Chronicle