Monday, September 23, 2013

Let's Not Burn The Bridge, Just Yet.

I am taking a short break from notes. As usual need to pen down something to clear or digress my mind a bit from all these notes.

Have exam today at noon, and need to edit my proposal. Have bulk of works to do. Need to properly reorganize myself.

Missed another class today. I promise to myself this is the last one.

Read something over the net, regarding a so-called “Malay-Intelligentsia” proposing to scrap Article 153 of our Federal Constitution.

That was an uncalled-for suggestion. For someone who had received all that assistants and now is fiercely calling for its abolishment is absolute absurd. 

You've safely crossed the bridge, but now you are calling for the bridge to be burned.

We are not ready to battle openly on the same level playing field. We were never ready. Even the playing field is not level.

Fact is no fiction, and fiction is no fact. We need to separate between the two.  

I think I need to write something related to our history. Just to get it out my chest.

Many are unaware that special privilege accorded to Malays was there even before our independence. The British created this provision to protect the indigenous peoples (Malay) as they were being swarmed by immigrants.

UMNO didn’t create this provision. This is the hard fact.

UMNO just continues the enactment of this special position of Malay to safeguard the rights of the native peoples. This was agreed upon by MCA and MIC, where they formed a partnership known as Perikatan.

This was the precursor alliance of the current ruling government of Malaysia, the Barisan Nasional.

When Malaysia was born, the term “indigenous peoples” was expanded to include the natives of Sabah and Sarawak, so the birth of the “Bumiputera” term.

One of the reasons of the formation of Malaysia was to balance the population of Malay against the increasing number of immigrants. At one time, Malays were outnumbered by the combination of Chinese and Indians in their own land.

When Malaya achieved independence, the British left, the Chinese took over most of the gaping holes of the enterprises and businesses left over by the British. With almost 4000 years of history, a competitive streak, shrewd mind and acute strategy, they controlled the economic sector up until today.

Tun Dr Mahathir, in his controversial book “The Malay Dilemma’, succinctly said that “The British at least left something for the Malays. The Chinese left nothing, not even crumbs”.

I read that book thrice during my younger years, and I still remember much of its content. And much of its content still holds true to this day.

Special provision of the Malays is not just there as a protective measure, it also serves to crack open the hard wall of opportunities for the community at large.

Many are unaware that a lot of Malays are still living in deplorable conditions. They are being deprived of opportunities to leap out of this hard knock cage. I understand it better than most of the people because I live my whole life in it.

We are a young race, below a thousand years in age, with half of that was spent under the clutches of multiple colonial rules, still plying and learning the trade to compete with the rest, with their own history spanning more than a thousand years old.

Plus with our lay back attitude, honestly could we be on par with them? Without quota, a portion of us wouldn’t step foot in university. Half of us wouldn’t even get scholarships, including the illustrious JPA or any other government-linked companies.

My youngest brother didn’t do very well in his UPSR, yet he received full scholarship to study in a boarding school. With his result, he couldn’t enrol in that school if pure merit was the criterion.

But the government saw his potential, and took into consideration of our family’s economic condition. Sometimes he was ridiculed by his friends because of his not-so-stellar results. I just hope that he keeps working hard and proves everybody’s wrong.

Even with his scholarship, he struggled to keep up and almost drop out of school because my parents couldn’t afford to buy him new school bag and stationery. Lucky my scholarship came in time, and it was spent for his purposes.

There were times when I shuddered when he wanted something, because I knew most of the time my parents couldn’t afford to buy it. I tried my best to satisfy his whatever wishes, because I love him very much.

Without him being awarded the scholarship and the quota entrance to that boarding school, I don’t think he could continue his study in his secondary school.

Full scale meritocracy wouldn’t work in Malaysia. Not for the distant future. We need Article 153 to safeguard our future, and our next generation’s future. It’s not just there as a protective measure, it also serves to open up possibilities and break the cycle of poverty that has entrenched us for generations.

For the holders of scholarship, just bear in mind and ask yourself, do you deserve it?

Are you really fully deserved of it?

Keep working hard and don’t ever rest on your laurels. Count your blessing. They are many more people who are not so fortunate.