Wednesday, May 14, 2008

malaysia for Malaysian

"Malaysia For Malaysians”

taken from littlespeck.com
Lee Kuan Yew’s vision in the 60’s that got Singapore expelled is at last moving towards reality in Malaysia. By Seah Chiang Nee
Apr 29, 2008

As I followed the incredible events unfolding in Malaysia, I couldn’t help feeling that history has taken a full circle after four decades.

“Malaysia for Malaysians” – Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s catchphrase for a multi-racial Malaysia in the 60s – is finally catching on among Malaysia’s Malay community, which once called it “dangerous.”

His Malaysian Solidarity Council, a confederation of opposition parties had coined it to oppose the UMNO-led Alliance’s policy of special rights for Malays to the exclusion of other races.

Mr. Lee advocated equality of all Malaysians – a Malaysian Malaysia, not a Malay Malaysia, a Chinese or Indian Malaysia – and ridiculed the principle of special privileges for bumis (sons of the soil).

(Singapore was part of Malaysia between 1963-65 and the People’s Action Party was contesting in the federal election as an opposition.)

That battle cry evoked strong reactions from the UMNO leaders; the extremists described it as treason and wanted Mr. Lee arrested.

Today – some 45 years later – more and more Malays are coming around to that view, without Mr. Lee playing any part, of course.

Among the advocates are the powerful opposition, Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance) of three parties and a rising number of urban Malays – not to mention millions of Chinese and Indians.

The Man of the Hour, Anwar Ibrabim and his Justice Party, want to end the New Economic Policy (NEP), which has long been a source of unhappiness among non-Malays and a growing number of Malays themselves.

Anwar also wants to eradicate unequal racial practices, including jobs, housing, business and education.

Even some lower ranking UMNO officials are beginning to talk about the need for change.

Lee’s foresight

All this has shown up Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s foresight during Singapore’s early history, especially the “Malaysian Malaysia” years.

During the time I was a trainee-journalist at Reuters, but I still remember vividly those heated years.

Mr. Lee’s attack on the principle of Malay supremacy in favour of racial equality stirred anger within UMNO, which decided to expel Singapore from Malaysia.

They considered Mr. Lee to be dangerous and seditious. A number of “ultras” called for his arrest and a state of emergency in Singapore.

I remember some of the points Mr. Lee made, including (paraphrasing): -

* The bumi privileges to increase Malay wealth would benefit only the selected UMNO leaders - not the Malay masses.

* The policy would give rise to corruption.

* The NEP would not survive the test of history because it was racial and discriminatory, and changes would eventually come from the Malays themselves, not the Chinese or other races.

It is still too early to say for sure when Mr. Lee’s “Malaysian Malaysia” prediction will happen.

(The New Economic Policy is enshrined in the Constitution and cannot be changed without a two-thirds majority.)

It will take many more years to purge it – and racial differences - from Malaysia’s life.

However, in its implementation, the strong opposition could significantly tweak it in the states under its control. Mr. Anwar has ready a new economic blueprint that will replace the NEP.

But with Pakatan Rakyat (PK) were to succeed in ousting the government (through defections 0f its MPs), Mr. Lee’s concept of a Malaysian Malaysia will move even closer towards reality.

komen : sementara Melayu di Tanah Melayu tidak sudah2 berpecah, orang sebelah tambak bertepuk tangan.. tahniah utk orang kita..

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