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[the-malaysian] The MALAYSIAN - 241199

Date: 24 Nov 1999
Time: 22:34:09


[the-malaysian] The MALAYSIAN - 241199

Malay Dominance Or BN Hegemony?

It is truly a mark of desperation. First, the MCA tells Malays they must vote BN or else, Malay dominance will be threatened. Then, Samy Vellu comes along and says the same thing.

The MCA wants Malay dominance? The MIC wants Malay dominance? Do they think Malays are fools?

No, it is BN and UMNO dominance they are after -- so that they can continue to lord it over all of us, whether Malay, Chinese, Indian, Dayak or Kadazandusun.

Some simple facts. Most of the MCA candidates win on the basis of Malay votes. So also the MIC and Gerakan candidates.

They have depended upon UMNO's ability to deliver the Malay votes, as there is a large percentage of swing voters among the Chinese.

That is why they have accepted UMNO hegemony. Since UMNO today is essentially the instrument of one man and his small inner circle, they have been the most servile in echoing him and praising him.

The fact that Malay votes are critical is the ultimate source of Malay dominance. Not UMNO's power. Malay voters can make or break the ambitions or pretensions of any party. 83 out of 143 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia have a Malay majority of over 55 per cent. 70 have a Malay majority of over 60 per cent, and 53 have a Malay majority of over 70 per cent.

This is why the MCA and the MIC are now talking about Malay dominance. They are worried about their seats.

But this is also why those advertisements are going out. They are designed to frighten the Chinese into swinging their votes to the BN.

The Chinese know, no matter how noisy the demonstrators have been, they have made it clear that the Chinese are not their target and never will be. They have not touched any Chinese property, nor have they shouted at any Chinese.

The Chinese know where the real threat lies. With UMNO. And Dr Mahathir spelt it out when he declared at the launching of the BN's excuse for a manifesto, "The racial riots of 1969 happened because of uncertainty whether the then Alliance would rule or not. I can't guarantee what will happen if the opposition should win.''

This is as clear a threat as can be.

What should the Chinese and Indians do?

First of all, the Barisan Alternatif has made its position very, very clear. Win or lose, they will never resort to any kind of violence. Why? Because the Barisan Alternatif is not stupid and does not intend to give any excuse to Mahathir to declare an emergency.

Secondly, if the Barisan Alternatif wins, then of course, Mahathir will not be in a position to guarantee anything. But the Barisan Alternatif will be in a position to use the powers of government to ensure there is peace, and that the Barisan Nasional thugs do not cause any problems to anyone.

Thirdly, when so many Malays have decided they are fed-up with Mahathir's and UMNO's arrogance, corruption and cronyism, are the Chinese and Indians going to go the other way and support UMNO now? It is clear from what the MCA and MIC has said, a vote for the MCA or the MIC is a vote for UMNO. That used to be clear before when BN campaigners for Chinese candidates would tell Malay voters, "See the face behind this candidate", and promptly show Mahathir's picture.

Fourthly, it is time to call for a stop to fear. For thirty years, the Chinese and Indians have lived in fear that if UMNO and the BN loses, they will cause trouble. It is time to stop whispering about how this minister or that minister's son got a scholarship or contract while you couldn't, even though you are more deserving. It is time to stop complaining about the abuses of the NEP, about how you have to give a share of your business to this or that big-shot. It is time to stop complaining and start doing something about it.

It is time to be truly Malaysian, to be truly united, and to be truly proud; to stand tall, hold up our heads and say, "We, the people, decide the future of this, our country, our homeland, our destiny". We, the people. Not UMNO, not the BN, not Mahathir, not Ling Liong Sik, not Samy Vellu, not Lim Keng Yaik. Not even Daim.

It is time to give up the pretence of unity, a false or fake unity built upon mutual fear and mistrust, and start building a genuine unity based upon justice.

We, Malaysians, standing tall, free and united, no longer cowed by the politics of fear and blackmail, can collectively determine our future. And no one, whether within the country or outside, can control us. A free and united people will beat back every challenge to our freedom and our independence.

Then truly, Malaysia Boleh!

A Fraudulent Claim

In its excuse for a manifesto, the BN had a special message for the Chinese and Indians, that is that they "enjoy the freedom to learn one's mother tongue besides mastering the national language".


Then what was the big fuss between the MCA and Gerakan about who got permission to build or re-locate how many schools? The grand total was, what? Four?

Freedom means not having to beg for what is already recognised as a right. The Barisan Alternatif recognises that and wishes to do away with the need to beg.

As long as the people desire it, and as long as it is government policy, national-type schools will be planned, built and located according to need and demand. This is a straightforward administrative matter, not something which politicians should be allowed to turn into some kind of big favour they are doing for the people.

Every year, children who turn three are registered. That means that the demand for places in Primary 1 is known four years in advance. So what is the big deal?

This is the Barisan Alternatif's social contract with the people.

It is time to say no to having to beg and then be grateful when a few sweets are thrown out every five years. Malaysian Chinese and Indians are no longer guests in this, our common homeland. They are Malaysian. Together, we must build this homeland in mutual trust and mutual respect, caring for the weaker, so that together, shoulder to shoulder, we can take our place in the world of the 21st Century.

Be proud. Be Malaysian. Vote the Barisan Alternatif.

Another Fraudulent Claim

First, they tried to make us mistrust one another. So Sanusi Junid said that Malays are emotional and prone to mengamok and melatah.

Then, they put out the advertisements showing mainly Malay demonstrators.

Is this what they mean by united? What kind of unity are they trying to create when they bad-mouth Malays to the Chinese, and Chinese to the Malays?

Has the Barisan Alternatif ever done that? Has it bad-mouthed Malays to Chinese and Chinese to Malays, or has it appealed for united support to bring about the changes that we need in order to be truly free, fair and successful. Not the fraudulent success that falls over at a push.

Remember The Past Or Be Condemned To Repeat It

The BN advertisements claim that the Barisan Alternatif has no respect for the law and for the authorities.

Did Chinese respect the law at the gates of a Shanghai park that said "No dogs or Chinamen allowed"? What did they think of the authorities then?

Did Malaysians of all races respect the colonial authorities and colonial law? Or did we assemble, peacefully, to make it known that it was time for them to go? Would they have gone otherwise?

We, all of us, were colonised for a long, long time because of our own fear. So we bent our heads, kow-towed to their every law, including laws that kept us out of "their" clubs and swimming pools.

Yes, remember the past. Remember how we were colonised, cowed, brow-beaten into submission. Remember how easy it was for a few white men to rule over a country of millions of brown and yellow people.

Remember and take it to heart. For today, the white man has been replaced by his brown and yellow counterparts, keeping his laws, to control, cow and brow-beat us into keeping them in power.

The power is in our hands. We can continue in fear. Or we can stand up in freedom.


Last changed: November 24, 1999