Nation needs closure not soothsayer
MAY 16, 2010 — Attempts to blemish the social fabric is threatening to drive a wedge between the different races in the country and is growing at an alarming rate.
The controversial “Melayu Bangkit (Malays Arise)” congregation organised by Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat (Gertak) and government agency, Terengganu Integrity Institute on May 13 was called off after the event was widely criticised by the public and opposition due to its divisive nature.
It is not surprising that a national government agency is involved in organising an event that is bent on reliving the darkest period of the nation’s history.
For decades, National Civics Bureau (BTN) has been instilling fear and hatred among the different races blaming the May 13 incident on the non-Malays for being insensitive and greedy.
Umno has conveniently chastised DAP as the perpetrator of the bloody event and the big win scored by the party in the last general election has been deemed as a signal of the deteriorating of the Malays’ political power.
DAP is being used as the bogeyman and Umno’s mouthpiece has called DAP’s rise to a position of power as a threat to the Malays’ way of life — position of the Malay language, Islam, Malay Sultans and the Malays’ special position.
The conditioning of the Malays have been so effective that it has managed to convince the Malays that this land belongs to them with the other races being conveniently labelled as immigrants (pendatang).
This process has been systematically carried out with the assistance of mainstream media dailies and television, namely the right-wing daily Utusan Malaysia and TV3 television station.
What this has evidently produced is an insecure Malay community which faces difficulty accepting that times have changed and the dogmatic ‘Malay Supremacy’ is unable to stand the test of time.
It is worrying that even with the advancement of internet where information is readily available, there are large swathes of urban and educated Malays that still profess to the mantra of ‘Malays First’.
Decades of systemic brainwashing and indoctrination has successfully bred distrust and mistrust between Malays and non-Malays.
Notoriously celebrated figures have also jumped on the bandwagon to drum up the pro-Malay sentiment.
This is typified by none other than the publicity-hungry parochial former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was pencilled in to officiate the congregation.
Mahathir has conveniently slammed his critics citing the old-school nag reminding Malaysians on the history of the May 13 incident and for all to abide by the social contract as a precursor for peace among the races.
He forewarned that the country will repeat the mistakes of the past if it denied history implying that the congregation is meant to educate Malaysians on the history of the country.
“I feel that if we forget our history then we will repeat this history,” said Dr Mahathir.
The congregation like many other right-wing NGOs like Perkasa is focused on putting out the agenda that the non-Malays creeping into the rights of the Malays and that the Malays need to unite politically to protect their rights that are slipping away.
The success of the Malay Agenda has always been linked to the political strength of Umno and as the beacon of the Malays, the myth that a strong Umno will protect the survival of the Malays economically and politically.
Proponents of Malay Agenda has time and again use history, sentiments and emotions to heighten the siege mentality among the Malays.
For Malays to progress with time together with the rest of the country there is no room for this kind of mentality.
While the Malays need to shed their insecurities, the non-Malays need to feel appreciated in a land they call their own.
Doomsayers and soothsayers like Dr Mahathir, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Perkasa President Datuk Ibrahim Ali and many other Hang Tuah-wannabes will not help to achieve these objectives and are threatening the social fabric of the country.
The nation needs closure from the episode of May 13 and does not need to relive the past; lessons have to be learnt but scare-mongers have to be done away.
Note : This article first appeared in The Malaysian Insider on May 16, 2010