Friday, February 20, 2009

On Xenophobic Sloganeering - Malaysiakini


Why do I find Khir Toyo's Tumbang nya politik Melayu maka tumbang nya orang Melayu slogan so objectionable and offensive? I would have thought that orang Melayu akan tumbang jika mereka tidak ada kekuatan ekonomi. Jika mereka tidak ada pelajaran berguna? Not because some narrow UMNO politics flopped.

Hence, this xenophobic sloganeering as a way of explaining our shortcomings is very dangerous. Or using this xenophobic sloganeering as scare tactics to corral your supporters is dangerous. Why did you lose Selangor? Oh because we were not Islamic and Malay enough. How does one become Islamic enough and Malay enough? Oh… by having male and female circumcision mandatory and making everyone speak Malay. Does that solve economic imbalances? Uh…uuhm….. No.

No eh? Then where does that place such blatant and reckless xenophobic sloganeering? What does economic development need?

Before I go on, let me clear a few things. I make no bones about supporting KJ for ketua pemuda. To that effect, I shall make no apologies for putting up forceful arguments. As an UMNO man who has gone through contests throughout my political career, the last lap is always the most important. And I have accumulated enough experience to know, those who put up angelic faces saying they have yet to commit their choices and going from one candidate to another professing they support you but have to play lawa or diplomatic are all cunning liars. Knowing this, I shall write relentlessly until the very last day. If anyone finds find this style of forceful writing arrogant and patronizing, I offer no apologies. To each his own.

Let me put this problem in another way. How does one increase a man's capacity to earn? Earning more is the essence of practical economics. One wants to earn more money, more food, and more amenities. The drive towards increasing earning capacity to me is practical economics. We get that augmented capacity by acquiring skills, the right education and technology and so on. We don't get that by asking to remain like we were before- and scaring us the Malays by saying tumbang nya politik Melayu, maka tumbang lah Melayu is precisely that- asking us to remain as before. Sorry tuan, I don't buy that. It is tumbang nya ekonomi Melayu, tumbang nya Melayu way of explaining away our shortcomings.

And to not tumbang does not mean I hope, we conduct political genocide on others who don't subscribe to your xenophobic sloganeering.

This is why I find such sloganeering objectionable. Tumbang nya politik Melayu, translates into, we slash and machete our way though to get our objectives. We legislate our way to prosperity. Hello tuan, we increase our capacity to earn lah tuan, not slip gold coins into the hands of the Malays.

This is patronage politics which is the basis of power of an unreformed UMNO. Raw power to pummel us Malays into submission. We seem to miss the fundamental point that sound, rational and intelligent economic and social programs do the trick and win over people to our side.

Tuan, the way forward is to build an intellectually and socially integrated society. We can't achieve this by saying, tumbang nya politik Melayu and all that jazz... And then we have Chinese saying, tumbang nya politk cina, and Indians saying tumbang nya politik india and so forth. We get a socially and intellectually integrated society I think, by asking people to become aware that we share a common destiny and that if that destroyed, everyone is in trouble.

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