A Stranger in His Country of Birth

By Paul Chong
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Pernas Twin Towers
Pernas Twin Towers

I was born in Malaysia, a country I always refer to as the “Golden Chersonese” but have migrated to the “Lucky Country“ or “Down Under” (as it’s otherwise known). I have been away for 33 years, only returning briefly occasionally for family events.
Though I was born there, the government never consider any of us as “Bumiputra” – a term they use to distinguish people born there as “Sons/Princes of the Soil”. It’s a known fact that many of the so-called Melayu or Bumiputra are from foreign lands like India, Indonesia, Middle East & others. Discrimination & prejudices stare glaringly at your face, if you are a non-Malay. The unfairness & injustice cover every facet of your life – education, employment, opportunities & what more can I say.
A guided democracy practised without meritocracy.
Admittedly, I still have great sentiments attached to the country I left behind. My siblings & relatives are still living there. My grandparents, parents & two siblings including my parents-in-law are buried in the soil which the non-Malays cannot lay claims of ownership.
My alma mater in Taiping has an appearance alien to me. So is the premier
Anderson School in Ipoh where I taught for several years after my graduation from the University of Malaya in Pantai Valley, Kuala Lumpur.
I am grateful for the government teacher training scholarship at Kirkby, Liverpool, UK, and had served part of my five-year teaching contract in Flu Kelantan & Ipoh in Perak. Up to this point in time, most of us were happy & contented with our lives in Malaysia.

The scenario & political landscape took a drastic transformation after the May 13 Racial Riot & upheaval when the ruling UMNO lost their great majority. Tun Abdul Razak, father of the present Prime Minister Najib, ousted our beloved first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, set himself at the helm. He began to implement the New Economic Policy, switched the education medium of instruction from English to Malay, unjustifiably demanding 30% share of all businesses & enterprises for the Bumiputra “without any input of capital” . . . sheer daylight robbery…suffice for me to mention just a few. Tun Razak didn’t last long on the throne. His sudden death was quite unexpected.

Tun Razak started it all following up with Mahathir (someone who has lost his original root of descent) perpetuating the system & his supreme own brand of politics. Though much development has come about during his 22 years reign . . . much is best left unsaid. Abdullah Badawi, the Prime Minister after Mahathri, was an easy going kind of person, always caught sleeping at his job & in parliament. Najib, the five straight A’s Prime Minster, has developed “Najibism” apart from the existing Corruption & Nepotism. His slogan of 1Malaysia is appropriately replaced by such slogan as CNN (not the TV channel) but Corruption, Nepotism & Najibism.(Refer to my article on Najib: Straight A’s Malaysian Prime Minister (Thurs. 27 Nov. 2914).

The political landscape, economic management & the lack of meritocracy, law & order, media control all draw criticism from foreign press & commentators.

By & large the Chinese population which has dwindled to mere over 20% are complacent & unconcerned politically. As it is the Chinese are moist assiduous in their economic pursuit & are not likely to starve or be deprived of their business acumen, innovativeness & creativity in running businesses & enterprises.

As such, it was pointed out by past Deputy Prime Minister Musa Hitam who once said that the Chinese were themselves to be blamed for the present state of political situation. Needless to say, the less competitive Malays were kind of forced to be politically inclined & with political power, all other policies fall into their grip.

On the surface, everything seems quite normal. The Chinese work hard at their businesses, but only a sprinkle of them are ever found in government employment. They live well in suburbs sprouting up everywhere & having two cars in each home is quite common. But every home is gated with bars of steel for security – even though the suburb may have security in force. In some areas, even like Bungsa,
break-ins & robbery are common features that occur even in daylight. No one can really feel safe at home or in public.

Undoubtedly, Chinese feature in most economic activities, a vital link in the system from small eating stalls to corporate establishments. Not to be handicapped in other areas of human endeavour, they circumvent the system which closes all doors of opportunities available. Domestically, the best schools & tertiary education institutions are all reserved for the Malays. Nevertheless, the deprived non-Malays work hard to send their off-springs abroad & has often happened, after graduation, all these brainy graduates stay back to work & live in foreign lands. This brain drain is very evident. As Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore would say that the Malaysian government would sacrifice such losses in order to hang on to their political power.

There is a Malay saying: “Gaya mahu, lain lain tak apa” (meaning pride matters, others do not count). What a brilliant mentality.

The highways within the metropolitan Kuala Lumpur & the North-South link are both impressive. The alignment of the super highways, quite often choked with traffic jams especially during holidays & festive seasons, avoid passing through scenes of kampongs with their stilt attap & timber homes. Road houses & rest places are also impressive with businesses dominated & reserved for the Malays. But I have a lingering thought how much benefits really penetrated to the average folks living in rural areas. The political UMNO cows are well fed & enriched is a known fact.

The ruling UMNO-Baru knows how to keep the peasant Malays happy by building mosques everywhere. Religion is such a useful political tool. Votes are easily bought with monetary bribes, constitutional change of voting boundaries, importing undesirable immigrants so long they are Muslims or vow allegiance to the UMNO Party by voting to keep them in power. Politics is such a dirty game!

Malaysia with its wealth of resources such as gas & oil, should have stayed ahead in economic terms of its Asian neighbours. Instead it is lagging behind its immediate neighbour Singapore, only a City State without any natural resources. Malaysia pales in significance when compared to the Indonesians.

What is going to happen when the oil & gas run out? The greatness of a nation cannot rely just on its natural resources – more tangibly & important is the human resources. Therein lies the wealth of the nation.

The concept of “easy comes easy goes” will soon spells disasters. When the going is rough & tough, the tough get going, but for the weak & life-time of takers they will sink beneath the economic quagmire. After all survival is always for the fittest.

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Malaysia Boleh

Gaya sampai poket kosong!

Malaysia’s Shadowy Melting Pot

Official flag of the United Malays Organisation (UMNO)Official flag of United Malays National Organi...

                                                            Pernas Twin Towers

In a flashback to the days when we were in school & college & even at the university, we can remember fondly how we used to refer Malaysia

as the “Golden Chersonese”. Life was beautiful then, peaceful & harmonious in kind & nature. We didn’t have any “humbug” political slogans to instil that in us.

Then May 13 in 1969 civil racial riots & commotion struck upon us with great fury out of the brewing political storm of defeat, changing the political, social & economical landscape forever.

Hypocrisy & greed will not breed prosperity nor will they generate any posterity in longevity!

For the last five decades, the diverse southeast Asian nation of Malaysia has given economic benefits to its ethnic Malay majority, a policy of NEP (National Economic Planning) that was initiated by the ill-fated PM Tun Razak, who died of cancer, with weighted benefits in favour of the Bumiputras (the so-called sons of the soil). In this, you might have been born in Malaysia but you are out of political & legal consideration as one of them. Yet the ruling controlling party, UMNO in the Alliance, readily accepts other foreigners & confers them the Bumiputra title so long they are of Muslim faith & pledge allegiance to UMNO (United Malay National Organisation).

In line with the US media flagship of CNN, Malaysia has its own CCN representing Corruption, Cronyism & Nepotism which dig deep into the coffers of the Treasury, laying rampant waste & mismanagement while consolidating the power of the UMNOputras.

Seemingly, the gleaming Petronas Twin Towers aim high into the sky in the Malaysian capital city Kuala Lumpur. However, its economic wealth from oil resources has not benefited the overall population – need I say benefitting only the Bumiputras.

Amid Malaysia’s population of 28 million, comprised mainly of Malays, Chinese and Indians, the official religion for all purposes & intent is Islam, although constitutionally it’s free. Religious funds are freely available for Mecca pilgrimages, and the building of exotic mosques in virtually all nooks & corners.

Economically, Malaysia’s Chinese has long been a dominant force to reckon with. After the fateful day of May 13, 1969, the ruling component party of the Alliance government in all haste & rapidity implemented its NEP, the national policy aimed at increasing the slice of the economic cake for the ethnic Malays – the Bumiputras. It was stipulated to be at least 30% for a period of 30 years – but that period of time might just as well stretch on to 300 or 3000 years. Seemingly unfulfilled as far as the greater Malay majority goes, the NEP has largely enriched people with UMNO connectivity. How the national policy is being implemented is grossly questionable.

The 30 years of stipulated time frame for raising the economic level of the ethnic Malays has come & gone, but nevertheless still exists without constitutional rights. As long as the UMNOputras are secured politically and in power, the benefits will persist rightly or wrongly. Chinese & Indian entrepreneurs freeze while foreign investors flee.

The fundamental growth of the economy has always been attributed to the Chinese entrepreneurship, and to a lesser extent the Indian minority. History texts have been manipulated & changed to prove otherwise. This is laughable like denying that the Holocaust never happened or that the Nanking massacre to be a figment of the Chinese imagination. The fact is the aim has been forcefully there, but the target has been missed.

They say that all that glitter is not gold. Beneath the seeming reduction of dire poverty, the economy is no doubt stuck in the “Midway” syndrome with the financial coffers drained and bankruptcy looming in the not too distant future. Malaysia with its rich resources has been lagging behind the rest of its southeast neighbours, and glaringly behind the city state of Singapore.

Blatantly, the incumbent government is to be blamed – it has to go. Enough is enough! Racial quotas in education, home ownership, business & trade participation and a whole long list of negatives must go to allow the economy to flow & grow. Greater participation by all will benefit the country overall.

What Malaysia needs is a “mental revolution” to avoid treading upon the riotous road of “Arab Spring” or whatever. It’s been jokingly said that Malaysia hasn’t got a Prime Minister. It’s got a “Crime” Minister.

Let truth prevail

Adversities will fail.

Very-inspiring-blogger-award

 

What Do The Chinese Want In Malaysia?

By P Chong                                         Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Eye & Pernas Twin Towers Malaysia

That you may never know & may never too be able to give. That’s what made us different & distinct from you. That which is good & most treasured is time-honoured, respected & revered right through the ages . . . since the dawn of the history of mankind. If you have not been around this long as a nation or race (if ever there was such an “adulterated”race historically), you’d never be able even to understand. Without understanding, you can never acquired the culture & become the benevolent & gracious person that is expected of you.

Small man settles for the crumbs

While great man freely extends his alms.

In the history of mankind, even the great Napoleon Bonaparte in all his conquering glory feared China, leaving it alone for fear of wakening the sleeping Dragon. History does not lie – all truth & falsehood are revealed therein. Try as you might tear off the “unwanted” pages & insert “invented” pages of your own, truth will prevail. You just cannot change past history. The crux is you may not have much of a history as a race!

You cannot grow strong by doing others wrong. You may think it’s so easy to intimidate & dominate others by your threats & wielding your “kris”. Their apparent fear exists only in your mind & imagination. There is such a thing as lowering one’s dignity by joining you in the throng of doing wrong. God forbids. (I have better avoid the use of the word “Allah”).

On the “Bumiputra” question, being “son of the soil”, the connotation is so baseless & laughable with the benefits of special privileges & rights. The international court of law will rule this out as invalid & all acquisitions through this privilege ruled as unlawful & illegitimate. The true “Bumiputra” in Malaysia are the aborigines or as we used to call them “Sakai”. The word “putra”, if I am not mistaken means “prince” and not “son”. By Malaysian law, all other races, though born & bred in Malaysia, are not deemed as “Bumiputra” except the Malays. They don’t even have to be born to be legitimate under the law – so long they profess the Muslim religion & are of Malay origin. Now, you’ll be the judge and jury. What’s your verdict?

How can you ever stand tall, strong & proud by throwing your illegitimate weight about? Deeds & thoughts of great men in the past always provide the guiding light for those blind of sight. You can learn a great deal from Abraham Lincoln, who was perhaps the greatest of the American Presidents. He said:

  • You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  • You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  • You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  • You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.
  • You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
  • You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  • You cannot build character & courage by taking away man’s initiative & independence.
  • You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could & should do for themselves.

Lincoln had that special ability of “painting with words” with the things he said, and he said it all in pure simple words – nothing bombastic about them.

A good many lessons can be learnt & drawn from the above wisdom for Malaysia. The principles should be advocated & applied to right the wrong, if the young nation hope to have any standing at all in the world stage.

What do the Chinese want? It’s all inherently stated by this brief & concise piece of my writing. Fairness & justice must be seen to be in practice for all Malaysians.

Take heed & implement righteousness with all speed

Squabble not & avoid planting hatred seed

Stand tall & erect as a man

Be fair & just to all in the land!

The writer is  “A Chinese by Descent . . . An Australian by Consent”