Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia

At the heart of Kinta Valley. The capital city of the state of Perak. An opposition stronghold. Factory of brilliant people. Desolated through emigration of its inhabitants to other parts of the country and overseas. Yet... it is forever remembered by its people.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Hey, what is really wrong with "special privileges of the Bumiputeras"?! This is rather an unanticipated and startling question-cum-statement from a considerably educated Chinese university student living in Malaysia for more than 20 years! Posting this is relatively posting myself as a subjective, flimsy, introverted, whimsical and spooked person! No principle and doctrine and worse still a coward who dare not to fight for his own right and what is white or black! True! You are hitting it precisely and accurately! BUT do look on the other way round. Try to imagine as you are reading this, what would Malaysia be without this policy? especially during the economy turmoil few years back.Perhaps Indonesia will come across your mind! Placing a Chinese leader in the place of Dr.M will not guarantee us equality,justice,opportunity, and everything we,the public ask for. This is due to the fact, Malaysia is multi-cultural, the largest ethnic group is the Malay, and we Chinese only make up to the most 30% or 40% of the entire population! Compare to our neighbours, Thailand,Indonesia,and the Philippines, aren't we much blessed and privileged than those Chinese there? They are calling themselves Thais,Indons and Filipinos whereas we are calling ourselves Chinese and having Chinese names, like me ONG BOON TEONG and in Mandarin WANG WEN CHONG! Do they know how to speak Chinese and any dialects? or do they have the chance to know their origins and to learn their dialects in the first place? NO! How about Singapore, the one nearest to us?! U might ask! They are prospering man! All of them so wealthy! "WAH LAU YEH"! The fact is Chinese are predominants there, making up more than 70% of all Singaporeans.Chinese voices are strong and influential because of this nature. Furthermore, Singapore is a small state,making it easier to manage and administer. They, the Singaporeans have to thank the mother of nature too in the sense that their nation is an island and is more than ideally and strategically located. Literally, the Kerpel Harbour is a gift from heaven! And yet they are no close to perfect! Because they are "kiasus" and "kiasis"! Sometimes I am grateful that I was born a Malaysian Chinese. This has made me to be more well-rounded and balanced. We know what it means to be deprived of own rights and capabilities and talents and we know how to appreciate what we are getting, even though more often than not,they are just the "left-overs" from the Bumis' privileges. And more than discernible and distinguishable also that we non-Malays are the "oppressed" and "rejected" groups. Unfortunately, we, including many Chinese and especially university students, are not appreciating and grateful for what we actually have in our hands even in deprivation! How much more if we are granted the "hak-hak istimewa"! We are well advanced and ahead of others in studies, in exams, and in doing "dirty and tricky" businesses but don't you think we are merely losers in any other fields?Would they care for those who are denied and are less fortunate?Would they care and ever thought to serve the community if not Malaysia,elsewhere in the world, after they graduated with their unbelievable and outtstanding 1st class honours degrees?Would they share their intelligence and knowledge in R&D or even in forums?I am sure more than 90% will say "Who cares!As long as I get the best, top 1st class results in exams, straight A's, and getting money into my pocket...who the heck man, those deprived would survive on their own!" In conclusion, instead of complaining and murmuring, why don't we try to accept what is conformed into our socio-political circumstance now? I am not advising or persuading each one of us to be ignorant,naive and oblivious of Malaysia's politics. The core here is, we need to have a strong foundation and precise timing of our own to criticise or else what we are lambasting, though maybe true and factual, will just be again like grasping the wind! Insiders like Pang Hoong Chee and Foo Chee Hoe in UM are those very few should be commended for their efforts and spirit in fighting for more equality or "justice" and also for their concrete,analytical,sensible and discerning viewpoints and knowledge, be it in academic or politics.

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