Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mahathir's Ramblings

The Malaysian Insider carried this meandering drivel about Mahathir Mohamad dismissing claims that Malays are immigrants just like Chinese and Indians, arguing instead that Arabs, Indians (?) and Indonesians had become constitutional Malays through assimilation (Webpage ., posted March 04, 2011). Is Mahathir saying that the Chinese and Indians have not assimilated? What about the Peranakan (Straits-born Chinese) and the Chitty? And as for myself, I am a third-generation Malaysian from my father’s side and I am fourth generation from my mother’s side. I am a Malaysian through and through. What crap is he talking about?

Mahathir had also written that the same phenomenon exists in America, Australia and Latin America, that immigrants from elsewhere settled in these countries and they were assimilated: “After doing this they no longer think of themselves as being of their original country. They are Americans, Australians and Argentinians period”. That is the crux of the issue here in Malaysia too, isn’t it?

All of us want to be regarded as just Malaysians but non-Malays are constantly being reminded that they are Chinese and Indians, thanks to this slimebucket and the likes of Perkasa. Mahathir had talked rot: “We don’t hear them claiming to be German Americans, Portuguese Australians or Italian Argentinians, even though they or their ancestors came from these countries”. Funny for him to say this – I always read about African Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans and so on.

The former prime minister wrote in his blog that Malays would only say they are Bugis or Javanese if asked about their ancestry but it would be mischievous to suggest that this was their race. I am puzzled. What is wrong about declaring that one’s race is Bugis or Javanese? After all, it refers to one’s roots. Why do we need to deny our own roots?

I read somewhere of a Marcus Garvey quote that “a people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots“. Of course, we all know that Mahathir is in denial of his own enthnicity. Poor man, he is ashamed of his Indian roots!

The other issue that I wish to ask is this: If we follow Mahathir’s logic, that is, if we assimilate into Malay culture – then can we also call ourselves Bumiputeras? Can we avail ourselves to the freebies that Malays get? Wow, this is a great suggestion! If everyone is then a Bumiputera, equality is achieved. No need to whine and gripe about inequality and discrimination. No need for reforms. We can all be happy Malaysians, oops, sorry… Malays in Bolehland! Hooray!

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