Independence Day Message to UMNO and Malay Bigots

August 31, 2016

Independence Day Message to UMNO and Malay Bigots– Need for an English language Malaysia

by Dr. Kamal Amzan

There are places in Sabah where children wake up at 3.30am to go to school.And start walking there at 4.30am. They are not your average students who are picked up from one door to be delivered to another.

Once, we drove past a few children and asked, “Berapa jauh lagi kampung?” to a reply, “Tak jauh sudah, dekat saja tu.” Their “dekat” took us another hour in our 4×4 to reach.

Image result for Hishammuddin Hussein the idiot

With UMNO Leaders like these characters, God Help Malaysia

I remember asking the driver about some colourful shoes I saw lined up outside a classroom. Only to be told that they were originally white but had turned pink, brown and shades of orange after going through the dusty, muddy, unlit roads day after day.

The school was essentially a building on stilts with an unkept area, long grass and rusty goalpost for a playing field, a rundown shack as canteen… and  electricity is supplied by a diesel-run generator.

There are villages where the elderly and sick need to walk for hours to the nearest clinic, when and if they can walk. They have an “ambulance”, well… sort of, that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week depending on whether it’s well fed on grass and greens.

Where resilient, tolerant and very patient people feed their children rice and salt. And a “good” meal consists of rice, one fish, a plate of vegetables shared by a “small” family of five. And eating, working and studying by candlelight is a not a romantic novelty or pastime.

But a necessity.

Image result for Rani Kulup

Two Defective Peas in a rotten pod–Kulup and Najib Razak: Role Models for Young Malays?

A place where 1Malaysia laptops are carried proudly, like you would a Birkin or Hermes handbag. Expensive. With pride. Never mind that they they can’t turn it on because it can’t be charged, or that the mobile reception is patchy. Even more baffling is that many of them can’t even read or write.

A place a few hundred ringgit would actually tide them over for months. Where the number of zeroes in a billion USD is lost after the first few, and the United States is another foreign land that most of them will not see except in movies this lifetime.

When asked about the importance of English, they say, “Penting. Tapi kita orang Malaysia bah. Bahasa Malaysia pun cukup.” A statement that would make many politicians proud. But on that note, let’s digress a bit.

An educated society that is truly Merdeka

A former Universiti Malaya Vice-Chancellor said not too long ago that the private sector prefers hiring graduates from private universities and colleges.

According to him, the number of unemployed from public universities will rise higher than the present 400,000 if nothing is done to improve university education. He said, “The private sector needs graduates who speak and write English. Many public university graduates are hired by the government and join the civil service. But the government cannot hire everyone.”

Now, believe it or not, English opens up opportunities to Malaysians, and offers them a world of possibilities.

In a survey by a leading online job search site about 60 per cent of unemployed graduates fail to land a job due to poor command of English.

Can you believe it? It’s just English. Just, English. And our youth aren’t realising their full potential because of a language. And with their potential goes national growth and progress.

Why can’t we, as a nation, get this right?

And with the answer lies the problem. We don’t think of and for the nation. We think along political, racial and sentimental lines. And that is alright, truly, if what we want is confine the work of our youth to their villages and small towns.

But if you want them to soar, to grow, to learn and become world leaders, if you want them to develop their villages into technological hubs, and attract multinational companies offering better job prospects, and if, just if, you really, truly want to put Bahasa Malaysia, Melayu ― whatever you call it ― on the map, you need English.

Yes, the Japanese, Koreans made it without English because they are by and large creative, innovative people. They redefined existing industries. They revolutionised the electronics, automotive industries into one that is better, more efficient, beautiful and cheap. Today, the world goes to them to learn the best practice and approach in designing and manufacturing products.

So, yes, they thrived without English.

But we are neither the Koreans nor the Japanese. The only industry we are redefining and making an impression in, is the religious industry.

And until the world starts using coconuts to find missing planes, treat multiple diseases with our “miracle waters”, and treat mass hysteria with vinegar and lime, we aren’t worth that much to the world.

And till then, we need English.

The soul of independent Malaysia

Our leaders need to start thinking about what is best for Malaysia and her people. Instead of what is best for the Malays. The Chinese. The Indians. They need to rise above their race, religion, politics, their village and avid supporters. They need to think about the nation and beyond.

They need to lead. Not follow.Because what is best for each race is not necessarily what’s best for the country. What is best for Malaysia otherwise, is best for Malaysians.

Tunku Abdul Rahman, in the Proclamation of Independence said, “At this solemn moment therefore I call upon you all to dedicate yourselves to the service of the new Malaya; to work and strive with hand and brain to create a new nation, inspired by the ideals of justice and liberty, a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world.”

So as we celebrate Merdeka, it would be good to remember that our nation’s interest supersedes that of the Prime Minister, members of the Cabinet, their wives and their families.

It supersedes the survival of any race and political affiliation. No matter their worth and past contribution. Their survival or extinction must not have any consequences on Malaysia.

The politics of sentiment should never cloud our judgement when deciding what’s best for the country.

While politicians might want to keep as many of us happy as they can with 1Malaysia laptops and all that it entails, that is not the country and future we deserve. It is certainly not the independent Malaysia our forefathers envisioned.

Underneath the aspiration, dreams and values that define us as a nation lies the foundation of a great country. A foundation that is built upon the freedom and right of people to live, speak and practise their beliefs no matter their religion and skin colour.

That is the essence, the soul, the pride and joy of a country that is truly liberal, truly democratic and truly Merdeka. One that should and must be jealously guarded, defended by every individual who calls himself or herself a Malaysian.

13 thoughts on “Independence Day Message to UMNO and Malay Bigots

  1. Have you ever noticed that the ruling elite and their children speak English with either British, Australian, American (but never Kelantanese, my weird attempt at humor here) accent and they do not even trust the very policies they created/developed for they sent their children to be educated overseas instead of having them to be educated locally according to and under the program of their very creation. Some leaders are more Mat Sallehs than the Mat Salleh themselves, for God’s sake. Hence the hypocrisy of the Malay leaderships – they blatantly lie to the rakyats for they themselves would not trust their very creations/programs but they were insistent on the rakyats’ subservience. It’s never what is good for the goose is good for the geese.And the rakyat kept buying their bs.

  2. Najib’s Merdeka speech was a long list of self- serving padding of his resume and rebuttal to Mahathir. Najib speaks to the eager bigots who clearly do not want free minds and souls but obedient marching masses to their tune and drumbeats.

  3. The dumbing of the education system is a planned effort to produce “dumb” students who can/do not think. These are the ones who can easily be led. Just look at the majority of the uni graduates. And to top it off, if you enter the civil service there’s additional brainwashing by BTN. That’s equivalent to these graduates getting their postgraduate “education”. It will take at least a generation to recover.

  4. The previlege of holding public office or a position of public influence implicitly demands a level of responsibility for the maintenance of social civility……many Malay/Muslim holding such positions do not understand this and acted with impunity and tolerated by their ‘ leaders ‘ and community.

    The longest serving PM released the Malay/Muslim bigot genie from the bottle and placed them in position of power, trust and influence in the name of ‘ affirmative ‘ action, which resulted in a Malay/Muslim dominated corruption infested administration and gross mismanagement.

    The ruling party has no interest in putting it back for their narrow and divisive politics of race and religion.

  5. As I read Dr. Kamal’s piece, I keep looking for one particular sentence, but it never came, i.e., ” we must also do away with the NEP, or any of its disguised incarnations” Why it never came?

    Dear Dr. Kamal, just being good in English alone does not, Wala!, bring us to be on level par with the Japanese and Koreans or very soon even the Vietnamese, Cambodians and Myanmese. The Thais are already ahead of us and their English is not by any measure World class, as we once was.

    I of course agree that being recognizably competent in the English language is important, but what other critical ingredient do we need besides good English?

    In a word, COMPETITION.

    Why do you think the Japs & Koreans are so, as you put it, “creative and innovative”? Is there something special about their genes that makes them so. If so, then lets encourage inter-racial marriages between Malaysians, particularly Malays, and Japanese and Koreans and after a couple of generations we get instant creative and innovative home-grown Malaysian geniuses.

    They became “creative & innovative” because they were forced to. Don’t forget, Malaysia was ahead of Korea 35-40 years ago.

    And what forced them to be “creative & innovative”? COMPETITION, not only amongst themselves, which was intense enough, but with the rest of the World. Just go watch any of the modern Korean melodramas on TV involving “Chaebols” and you will see what I mean.

    So with the NEP in place, in one disguised form or another, two things will be certain,

    (1) the Malays, (which was what Dr. Kamal really had in mind when he said “Malaysians” being poor in English because the non-Malays have no trouble getting good in the English language all by their own efforts, even those who graduated from our national schools and universities; go interview the non-Malay workers in the private sector, particularly the Indians, and see how they became good in the language; I have and had quietly shed a tear), will never, no matter how long it takes, “be” like the Japanese & Koreans which Dr. Kamal so admires;

    (2) emigration among the non-Malays, particularly the Chinese, will increase to a level when Malaysia truly becomes a “Malay” country.

    By then there would be no need for the NEP of course, but the competitive spirit that propels an individual to do well in business or win an Olympic medal or a nation to be recognized by Dr. Kamal as being “creative and innovative” is stunted to such an abysmal extent that we can’t even compete with Myanmar or Cambodia, that Dr. Kamal will write another article saying how right he was 20 years ago when he said it was our poor command of the English language that was responsible.

  6. Officially and legally ”Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu”, PKMB, is Bahasa name of the party, why keep and use UMNO, the English abbreviation ?

    Real Shameful and Hypocrites !

    How long these rogues and bigots PKMB Melayu would keep on deceiving and lying to its own race,(if they have one ?) into poverty and umemployable graduates?

    Independence means ” We are all Malaysians and We are Malaysian First”.
    The political leaders should Start declaring and acting like one.
    Because, without Independence there is no Malaysia, no, nothing.

  7. Wayne, and all: Don’t you think that presently the cultural milieau of the Malays are tilted more towards everything Arabic on the pretext of being “good” Muslims? The vocabulary, the dress (including the male goatie and kopiah), typical kedai kopi discourse/conversation, etc., turn increasingly Arabic. English is anti thesis in this instance. How and why do the Malays get to this stage if it wasn’t for the ruling Malay leadership.

  8. DendangPerantau,

    Quote:- “How and why do the Malays get to this stage if it wasn’t for the ruling Malay leadership”

    When we talk about “the Malay leadership”, we have to differentiate between the first generation of Malay leadership pre- and immediately post- Merdeka and the later generations.

    The first and second and even some third generation Malays were all educated in 100% English medium schools and of course overseas universities and yet spoke perfect Malay. None, I believe, (at least my Malay classmates), converted to Christianity even though many went to Christian missionary schools through out their school lives.

    It was perfectly understandable to promote the Malay language by these Western / English educated Malay leaders post-independent and these leaders, misguided or not depending on who you ask, even kept the Chinese and Indian vernacular schools in overt recognition that this was a multi-racial country.

    The reasons then to promote Malay and down play English were nationalistic, nothing wrong here. It was even practical as the Malay heartlands children needed a language which could be easily and quickly taught and therefore impart through the language the 3 Rs to give a standing start to these children. Malay was obviously the one and only choice. In any case English then was not a World language as it is now and the foreseeable future.

    What went wrong along the way was that it went from noble nationalism to promote a national identity and mass education to irrational denigration of all things Western and the English language became a ready symbol of colonial enslavement. Hence the change of existing English street names, female school girls wearing only the “baju kurong”

    Who wants to be good at a language of a race which robbed your land, greedily exploited the resources to enrich only their motherland, colonized and enslaved you, and topping it all reduced your once glorious sultans to mere handy figureheads, under virtual palace arrest, and paid a stipend from the “Consolidated Funds”

    A vacuum needed to be filled. Traditional Malay culture, (which actually has local variations from State to State), was not considered “Islamic” enough. So Arab culture with all its social, habitual appurtenances and which has no traces of the decadent West became yet a natural choice for Malay Muslims.

    Then comes the real catalyst. Any UMNO member wishing to climb the corporate / political ladder has in the beginning to display his higher level of Malayness, willing to fight and even die for the Malays, (hence the kris waving and bathing in Chinese blood, etc,`), writing books, in English, giving excuses for Malay backwardness, and later be more Islamic than the rest when competing with PAS’s overt display of Islamic credentials.

    Trying now to mass promote the English language to a high level of corporate efficiency needs more than political will from the Malay leaderships on both sides of the political divide. You need to re-write history and even fake some of it to re-educate the whole population of Malay school children which number in the millions. Now which brave, warrior Malay leader would do that? It is a lot easier to just send your children overseas.

  9. One nerdy word that we need to teach our future generations of Malaysians before we implode:

    grok – empathize or communicate sympathetically; establish a rapport.

    It seems that Mainland Chinese lost their traditional ability to grok also.
    That is the ‘soft power’ of the West that went missing in so many of our so-called Asian-renaissance culture.

  10. Commander S. Thayaparan’s ” Challenging Umno orthodoxy”

    “Anyway, the Umno representative Razlan Rafii made two banal observations which best define Malay supremacy which was (1) “This is our struggle, we should press on without stopping. When do we stop? When the NEP achieves 30 percent (equity for Malays)” and (2) “This is our country, if we want to talk about the struggle for Malays, then the special privileges should not be questioned and it should be granted to Malays indefinitely.”

  11. “Our leaders need to start thinking about what is best for Malaysia and her people. Instead of what is best for the Malays. The Chinese. The Indians. They need to rise above their race, religion, politics, their village and avid supporters. They need to think about the nation and beyond.
    They need to lead. Not follow.Because what is best for each race is not necessarily what’s best for the country. What is best for Malaysia otherwise, is best for Malaysians.”

    A noble statement indeed but senseless if the author cannot differentiate between Independent Malaysia and Independent Malaya.
    Aug 31st is the day of Independence of both Malaya and Sabah from the British. Sept 16 is the day of the birth of Malaysia as a sovereign and independent nation.

    The is no point in preaching about unity and common purpose if this simple and fundamental fact is not acknowledged, that Malaysia is indeed a confederation of 3 (out of 4) sovereign states.
    Hence, before we expect Malaysians to stand in unison in love and defence of our tanah air, we may want to first begin, albeit belatedly, to place more emphasis to the significance of Sept 16, a day that all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion and gendermy can truly and genuinely celebrate joyously as one people united in common purpose and destiny in our beloved tahnah air.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s