Tuesday, 29 July 2008

So What Do Malays Want?

Or more specifically, why is everyone else feeling so threatened by ‘Malay Unity’
It seems that whenever the subject of Malay Unity comes up, the so-called liberal intelligentsia, and by this I mean those who claim to have a very open and broad mind on all things, gets all hot under the collar.

I honestly do not understand why.

For example, last week, the Karim Raslan, a columnist with The Star noted with some force that talks between Umno and PAS is almost certainly against the wishes of the people.

I do not have a magic barometer to measure public sentiment and I am quite sure that Karim doesn’t have ne either so like most political analysts; he takes the reading after filtering it through the people around him and finally through his own political and social tinting.

Which brings me to this question; How did he arrive at the conclusion that the talks between the two Malay p?litical parties are against the wishes of the people? Which people is he talking about.

There is no doubt that the result of the 12th General Election showed that the people wanted change and a close look at the post election polls indicate that the desire for change came from all communities.

The fact is, many, like myself do not really care which particular party or coalition rules the country as long as it takes care of my interests and makes sure that we live in peace and are free to pursue our dreams.

There are many analysis of the shift in political influence and they range from the notion that the people are sick and tired of Barisan Nasional rule to the idea that people just want to shake things up a bit but not too much, just to see if they can get rid of the deadwood in Government.

Whichever way you look at it, the Malaysian people are mature enough to want a peaceful change, they want peace, they want economic and administrative stability and minimal disruption in daily life as a result of any political change.
The Malays have long formed the backbone of this country’s politics and if you take a look at past election results you will know that they waver between Umno on one side and PAS on the other and in the interim they thrown support to Umno splinters such as Semangant 46 and now PKR.

If you examine those results even more closely you will notice that, effectively Malays only ever vote for Umno or PAS, if they ticked the S46 box its because they believe that they were voting for Umno member who want to make Umno better.
They ticked PKR’s boxes this time around because they are comfortable with the idea of an Umno splinter group leading the Opposition.

Without PKR most of the protest votes would have gone to PAS.
In effect, over the last 50 years, the Malays have always put their trust in these two political organisations and deep in the hearts of many, as it is in my heart, there is a wish that PAS and Umno could find common ground from which to serve the people.
Malays accept that Umno is good at working out the economy, business and international relations but they also believe that PAS is safety net for when they think that Umno has strayed too far from the faith.

PAS and Umno represents their own internal conflict of chasing after Dunya while keeping one foot in the grave. Malays are most happy when they have found a balance between the two. There is nothing like worldly success that is accompanied by humility and piety.

I think Malays generally welcome any efforts to foster stronger unity among them, especially now that the Chinese, Indian and a few other non-Malay groups have developed a taste for Malay-bashing.

Every time they talk about stripping Malays of their assured status in the constitution, they say they are helping to make Malaysia more modern and progressive, when the Malays remind them how we even arrived at the constitution, they say Malays are being racists.

When they talk about leveling the playing field in the business world, they mean take away Malay quota and say this holds back the nation but they get their knickers in a twist when they are reminded that the Chinese practice worse discriminations in the business world.

When the Indians rally under a questionable organization like Hindraf, they say it is a show of solidarity, when the Chinese get together within their many associations they say it is to promote stronger communal ties but when Malays want to foster greater unity, oh suddenly this means we would go back to the dark ages.

Why is that? I will tell you why.

These so called liberals are working one simple message and one simple plan. The message is the Malays are not good enough to run this country and the plan is to create disunity and disharmony among the Malays.
Any show if unity or strength by the Malays is given a negative label, pure and simple, anything that they think will fragment the Malays is good and healthy.

Well here is a reality check:

Malays want Malays to stay in power because it is the only way to ensure that the country is stable in every sense of the word.
In a two party system, each side should be headed by a strong Malay-based backbone party, don’t even imagine that DAP would have gotten all those votes in Perak if they were acting alone and after this term, I am quite sure they will never taste the same vitory again.

The people voted them in under the assumption that they will still get a Malay-majority State Government. The Sultan understood this and that is why PAS holds the MB’s post.

The Malay agenda is very strong in this, their homeland and it will remain as strong as ever in the future.

At the core of the Malay agenda is generous sharing of this land’s bounty but political control must not be removed from Malay hands.

If the liberals want less talks between PAS and Umno and less effort towards building supermassive Malay political blocs then may I suggest that they stop the Malay bashing right now.

Malays are already feeling cornered and I don’t think they will let themselves to be led down a silly garden path in the name of idealism, not when their lot in their own country is far from secure, not when the economic power of the country is still in the hands of the Chinese not when the world of professionals are still controlled by the Indians.

Yes, they are angry with some of the things that are happening in Government but they are not half as angry as they are at any attempts to create disunity among them.
Karim should learn from Nasaruddin Mat Isa and understand why he is so popular and can cross the Umno-PAS divide easily, in fact Karim should take a close look at Anwar Ibrahim and understand why he is so popular.

Malays want to be even more united and those who get in their way had better watch out.

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