Sunday, February 15, 2009

Of The Perak Fiasco & Racial Politics

I am not usually politically inclined other than just making passing comments about current political issues. However like most of the younger generation, I do have a rebel streak so I pretty much hold the ruling government in contempt. Whatever the case I am never too fussy about who is at the top as long as they are doing the job they are suppose to do. As much disdain as I have for the ruling coalition, I have much respect for our ex-PM Tun Dr. Mahathir. He might not have been a leader who plays fair, but at least he WAS a leader, much unlike the constantly half-asleep Abdullah...

The recent fiasco in my home state of Perak does not really affect me much, though I would still rather see the Pakatan Rakyat in control. And like recent polls, the underhanded grab for power did not go down well with me. Though I did not like the fact that the much beloved Sultan Azlan Shah did not dissolve the state assembly (which would have been the most fair thing to do), I do believe in his wisdom it would have been the less problematic decision to acknowledge that PR had indeed lost its majority and should make way for BN. After all, didn't PR itself supported the notion of taking over the federal government via the defection tactic a few months back? Funny how when the tables are turned, we see a different face on both parties. So someone please tell me if my notion that there is no one worth voting for in the elections was wrong when we have a bunch of hypocrites as candidates.

What irks me however is the recent backlash that came from PR's action of wanting to sue the Malay ruler over his decision to acknowledge the new state government. Let's not forget, that it was Dr. M's, (a Malay man) actions in the past that removed the Malay rulers' immunity to the law. So what's the fuss if someone indeed decides to sue one of them? Don't get me wrong, because I have much pride in our country's unique royal heritage. Though in all logic, I believe it is nothing more than a cultural thing. It is rather sad to see, that in this day and age, when we are now finally witnessing a black man become the president of the United States, that our country's politics are still divided by racial lines. Sue a Sultan, and all a sudden it becomes a challenge to Malay rights. Frankly, I doubt the ruckus that is being raised has anything to do with their love for the Malay rulers. It is just another excuse to remind the minorities of the Ketuanan Melayu.

Every politician in power wants to harp about racial integration and harmony, but speak up about racial inequality and we have the issue above hit the fan. Our country's politics are undoubtedly ruled along lopsided racial lines, we just can't say it out loud, because we run the risk of questioning the "Malay rights" and therefore branded a racist and inciter. For goodness sake, after the last general elections we could not even accept a Menteri Besar from a minority race in a state where Malays are the majority. Does it really matter? The role of a leader is for the betterment of the people, so Malay or not should not be an issue, neither should it be a challenge to the national religion. No one is suppressing anyone's rights to worship here. Who cares what is the race or religion of a man or woman at the top post as long as he/she does the job well?

If I have ever voiced my support for the opposition, it is only because it seemed the lesser of two evils. At least DAP and PKR appeared more likely to end the racial divisions. No comment though, on PAS. We have wasted enough years with BN's other component parties' lack of vision and submission to UMNO's arrogance and ego. Any wonder why BN lost significant support from the people? Times are changing and despite already almost a year since the elections, BN still appears to be holding on to its archaic standards with nothing to show from its many promises to change. Even the more educated of Malay folks are feeling the less for the need to be coddled. I have no bones to pick with my Malay brothers and sisters, just the point of view that one race should be above all the rest does not sit well with me. I wonder if I will ever live to see a prime minister from a minority race. Then again, who can say?

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