Racism isn’t Patriotism

January 24, 2018

Racism isn’t Patriotism

Opinion by Kamal Amzan@www.themalaymailonlne.com

Kamal Amzan

Works on clinical governance by day, and patient safety at night. Writes and does everything else when he can’t sleep. On Twitter @drkamalamzan and facebook.com/DrKamalAmzan.

I wonder at what age most Malaysians are taught about tolerance. About race and religion.


Image result for najib, zahid hamidi and hishamuddin husseinThese UMNO leaders are Racists, not patriots


For me, it was at school and I was a slow learner at that — not fully grasping the concept of race and religion at home.  For instance, when my non-Malay friends left class during agama lessons, I wondered about what would happen to them.

Movies like The Omen came to mind. Imagine my disappointment when they didn’t emit smoke when walking near the Uztaz. Or to see them wearing crosses or amulets. They were definitely not like the kid I saw in The Omen.

And I remember the time when I had to write about myself in the profile book.  I am all right writing about my hobbies. About my favourite food, ambition, etc. Genuinely happy, can’t wait to start writing, until I came to the one after “Name.”

A four letter word that was foreign, unfamiliar and alien, that was absolutely, utterly, and thoroughly perplexing to me then. It read simply “Race.”

Image result for Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn

They are Patriots

As if it wasn’t difficult enough to spell and write at the age of seven without having to decipher what things mean. “Race. Maybe it meant to say contest? Competition? Could it mean sports, maybe?”

So I did what a confused kid would do. I peeked. I looked left, right. But the experience was anything but enlightening. Instead of seeing football and the likes as answers, the boy on my left wrote “Malay” and the girl on my right wrote “Indian.”

I think that was when I had my first frown and headache. And since I only knew “Indian” as an adjective to describe food, I said to the girl, “Sumi, I think you need to write what sports you like. You know, like in a race?” She had big eyes. And I got the longest, scariest, most unnerving “Are you stupid?” stare.

People laugh when I share that story with them but the truth is school was the place where I learned about race. Religion. How I am different from Sumitra and Noel.

Image result for Malaysians

We are  proud Malaysians and we reject racism and bigotry and uphold Rukun Negara

But given the dynamics we have in the country today, where headmasters and principals pledge loyalty to political parties, and the reports of students being separated in schools that are already almost homogenous on the basis of religion and race, I am assured that my experience 30 years ago has racially and religiously transmogrified and further entrenched into a system that is even more efficient at painting differences, distinctions and dissimilarities among Malaysians. If this isn’t systemic segregation, I don’t know what is.

Context is for kings

Needless to say, I wasn’t the teacher’s favourite in class. I can’t remember how many times my parents were called to school.  They would try sitting me down and explain to me the idiosyncrasies of this people called Malaysians.

And it didn’t go easy. The more they tried to explain, the more questions I had for them, “Wait, Ma, how come you get to choose your religion but I can’t?”, or “What do you mean my uztazah doesn’t know what chee cheong fun is?”, to, “Wait, if I’m half Malay and half Chinese, why can’t I choose which I want as a race?” I pitied my parents for having such a difficult kid. And I’m sure I was pitied by many of my teachers, who must have prayed hard for my soul.

But as I grew up, and better understood politics, religion and race, I began to pity those who live in Malaysia but have yet to live, experience and sample all that she has to offer. And those who are incessantly worried about losing the country to their fellow countrymen.

It would have been really hilarious, if not for the fact the country is flooded with the influx of princes, princesses and international “students” from Africa, security guards from Nepal, the religious bigots from India, Zimbabwe, or the hundreds of thousands from China, Bangladesh and Indonesia in our estates and construction sites.

But then again, not many can see the big picture. Context, after all, is meant for kings.

No monopoly on patriotism

Our schools should be a sanctum that promotes respect, tolerance, and celebration of differences, not one that antagonises, suspects and oppresses.  One that is inclusive, not divisive. Progressive, not regressive. And if we can get our education system right, Malaysians will not be so suspicious of one another. We will also not associate race with patriotism — and understand that we need not be soldiers to serve the country.

Doctors treat infections. Vaccinate babies. Manage diabetes and hypertension to prevent stroke and heart problems. Open up clogged vessels in the heart, cut away inflamed appendix, relieve obstructed intestines and restore vision. Hearing.

We fix fractures, perforated stomachs, those who are suffocating from asthma, bronchitis. Help you manage pain when it becomes intolerable. Unbearable.

Doctors educate the society so they eat better. Live a life that is healthier, fitter and more fulfilling. I have colleagues who received bad news about family members passing while operating, and resuscitating, but kept going.

Then we have other professions. Engineers, vets, technicians who work hard to make this country better. Teachers, the professionals responsible in moulding future generations and cultivate a society that is culturally, morally, and ethically enlightened and refined. A generation of Malaysians who will contribute beyond the nation, to better our civilisation and benefit mankind.

Yes, it’s true. Many of us may not have the privilege to serve in the army fighting communists and insurgencies.  But don’t mistake that as not fighting for Malaysians.Because we bleed red, white, blue and yellow for the country.

12 thoughts on “Racism isn’t Patriotism

  1. I agree. Racism is not patriotism. It is UMNO Malay nationalism promoted by the corrupt Najib Razak and his UMNO kaki ampus. They are insecure and incompetent people.–Din Merican

  2. I enrolled my 2 youngest children into Chinese school hoping that they will learn about being Malaysian. National schools to much racial and religious polarisation. Not to mention indoctrine by teachers on the superiority of one race against others. I pray that they will become the Malaysian that I want them to be.

    • I am proud student of Sekolah Kebangsaan. I am sadden to read your comment. I remembered my teacher care about our grades regardless of skin color.


  3. Among the many reasons why the fruit of me loins aren’t coming back to Malusia is that Race is like Ricin..

    My eldest is also a heath, safety and occupational consultant – but he ain’t got no traction here – seeing that the Social Safety Net is limited to LuGuaTolongisms, BR1M and pittance from SOCSO/Perkeso.

    Another is a graduate engineer and with his kind of ‘specialty’ will end up as an Uber or Grab driver – something that Octo was aghast about.. Over here Robots and organically born and bred – with either haram or halal breast milk.. Where he is, all he has to do in to change the software or else adapt the armature.

    Even alternative news journos are begging their blinkered audience to pay for their lost lawsuits – which they did. So much for corporate ‘responsibility’, right or wrong. Shows you how stupidly divided Malusians are, and will be for the forseeable future.

    But beyond the metaphors, we all bleed red. Blue and yellow blood are for crustaceans and insects respectively. White blood is only found in ragheads on their way to visit the 72 houris.

    • Has Malaysia reach the stage where the rakyat had nothing to lose or their comfort zone is busted as in Cuba under Baptista or China under Chiang Kai Shek?

    • Rakyat? Wazzat? A creature of your imagination? Or a new genus of parasite?

      Under the present UMNOb regime of KleptoMO1, there are only 2 Classes: The Gasaks and the Koyaks.. Empowerment merely means Duit, regardless of source. So as far as they are concerned, the ‘Pendatangs’ and ‘Kafir Harbi’ better go Melayang-layang..

      Yet, there are many other creative distinctions underlying the Malusian experience. Like the different classes of corruptible, contemptible or else, disabled ‘proletariat’. Everything is friable – especially the fluffed up ‘official’ economy and business sensibility. Chee cheong fun can never outsell nasi lemak. That’ a fact.

      But even among the Elites there are racial, economic, socio-cultural biases and other discrimination. What-more among the Helots?

      What is most telling, is a policy based on “Supremacy (Ketuanan) in Incapacity”. Are we aboard an incapacitated train plunging down the abyss of religio-racist apartheid? Do you have an alternate narrative?

      In the old days, we would hardly bat an eyelid when an individual extends help to his/her other ‘race’ less fortunate neighbor. Nowadays, it makes front page news, not only in MSM – but also the equally disgusting alternate media or social networks. Is that the mark of Nationhood? Or just a parody of one..?

      Although there is incipient racism and ethnocentrismin many ‘Western’ or OECD countries (due to human conditioning of the ‘Other’), it is not Institutionalized. Neither are education, career or job opportunities denied to, purely based on the color of the skin, the curliness of the hair or the faith one practices or none thereof.

      So we are talking about Human Development Indices, not mere GDP or GNP-PPP. And not about Gangsta Cuba or Triad Kuomintang.

    • Ha ha CLF long time no,hear the term gasak and koyak. Today tgey gasak, we koyak, how appropriate.

  4. We are fortunate to live in a cosmopolitan society professing a variety of religions. The divide and rule doctrine had been used by the colonialist but now inherited by Uncle Mohd Najib Outfit for their own ends. Always remember, religion is a matter between and individual and his own God.

  5. But , in Malaysia, the Umnobputeras want to own even the Federal Constitution , not just claiming racism=patriotism , (=Melayu Supremacy ,) religionists, (=Islam, Allah) and things/government and its institutions at their desire.

    The truth is, it belongs to the people of Malaysia for all things they had claimed.

  6. I do not know why all the bickering is for?

    The remedy is within oneself. Be the agent of change. There are tea leaves one can read – UMNO and BN outright corrupt. Never vote for them to govern the country. The world has moved on for centuries without political parties. Reject outdated entitlement seeking leeches who suck the blood of the nation and its people. Focus on electing a mixed team of youth and others not as young but with experience, talent and wisdom. Do just that and the transformation one seeks is bound to come. Change comes from self – the self of each and everyone.

  7. Due to decades of bad and corrupt political leadership and in the majority to abuse their power, some Malay/Muslim political and ‘ NGOs ‘ leaders and their supporters see racism and religious bigotry as a political advantage to them.

    There are serious permanent and long term consequences to multi racial and religious country.

  8. Pingback: Even in the so-called freeworld countries racism exist | From guestwriters

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