Wednesday, October 16, 2019

An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Malaysia


“Dear Tun Dr Mahathir,

I am not a politician, nor an academic, nor a CEO of importance. In fact I am a housewife with no great ambition save for wanting my family to be safe and sound and above all happy. 

A little insight into my background. My father was actually born in Malaysia or rather Malaya as it was called at that time. We are talking about 1933. His forefathers came from Kerala. My mother on the other hand came to Malaya to get married to my father. Now my paternal forefathers did not come as indentured slaves to work on the estates. In fact they had nothing to do with the British at all. It was a rather romantic story actually. My paternal grandfather was a Hindu by the name of Krishnan Nair. He fell in love with a Christian woman (my late paternal grandmother) by the name of Emily D Cruz. Now as it was in the case in those times (and still is in many parts of Kerala) a union between people of two different faiths was frowned upon. So what did these two star crossed lovers do? 

They eloped of course and ended up in Malaya. 

Now Muthachan must've had some cash on him because he managed to secure a piece of land that is now part of the Pahang roundabout next to the General Hospital Kuala Lumpur and built a little house there replete with livestock and a little vegetable plot. He managed to secure a very humble position as a hospital attendant and both he and my Valiammachi started their family. I won't go into much further detail as it is unnecessary. 

Now Mummy on the other hand came all the way to Swarnabumi (in case you have forgotten that Malaya was also known as that. Surprising that it sounds very much like Sanskrit a language known to be from India). Now Mummy's family was not poor in any sense of the word. Her sister whose husband was gainfully employed in the estates worked as a Clerk, her eldest brother was working as an Accountant in the estates and another older brother as a Clerk in Lever Brothers. So they were not destitute shall we say as you implied in your speech that all Indians were. They were educated and decided to seek their fortunes in a foreign land, Much like your late father, who if I am not mistaken was also from Kerala, God's Own Country, right? 

What I want to take from this is that in actual fact you are not a pure Malay as you would like to portray yourself. Am I right? In fact if your claim to be a pure Malay bears any truth in it at all, then Malays do not follow their mother's parentage but their father's. Which would make you what? A Malayalee? (I take that as an unforgivable insult to us – pure Malayalees). 

Now, of course, there is a point to this long tirade. When I read your tirade at the recent gathering of Malays at the Malay Dignity Congress, I was appalled. There was no need to extol the virtues of Malays by insulting the other races. Now Zainal Kling (what a whopper of a misnomer) is a joke. Whatever academic qualifications he possesses, he should not be allowed to teach at all. In fact he should not be allowed to be in public as he is capable of causing mischief of humongous proportions, But you!!! 

What were you thinking when you decided to insult the Indians and Chinese? You who are the offspring of a "Pendatang" yourself? 

What became of the wild promises you made to the Nation (which of course includes all the different races)? 

If it were not for the Chinese who sweated blood and tears toiling away at tin mines and the Indians slaving away at the rubber estates, what do you think would've happened to this beloved country? We built this country Tun. The Malays, the Chinese, the Indians and the other races. Together. Blood, sweat and tears. 

Do not tear it down for your political gain. You did a lot of damage in your previous tenure as Prime Minister. Your old antics of divide and rule did not go down well then. And is not going down well now either. 

When I cast my vote for your party, I truly believed that you had changed and would make a people's Prime Minister second time round. I cried when the then Agong kept you waiting for hours for your installation as PM. 

But a leopard never changes its spots, does it? 

And by the way, let me tell you, yes tell you, that I am proud of my Indian roots. I am proud of my culture, my traditions. It is who I am. I will never ever forsake my roots to help me attain my goals. It is akin to disowning my parents. 

And I am sure the Chinese feel the same way about their ancient and prolific roots. 

You think it is an insult to accept and embrace your father's ancestry? What does that say about you? 

We may be Chinese or Indians by ancestry, BUT never ever question our loyalty. WE ARE MALAYSIANS FIRST. Tanah tumpahnya darahku. We have every right to this SWARNABUMI as you do. Malaysia is for Malaysians. Not just Malays. 

My late father instilled in me the love for my country. He was fiercely proud of this nation called Malaysia. Proud to have been Malaysian. From the time I was a little child till I attained my teens it was a family tradition to witness the National Day celebrations at Merdeka Square. Come rain, come shine, my Dad, my Mom and I would be there. Cheering as the parade marched by. How much more patriotic can you get? Never failing to stand to attention, no matter where we were when the Negaraku was played or singing it out loud with pride. 

If at all you want to talk about pendatangs, then it is the sole right of the Orang Asli to question pendatangs including the current Malays – most, if not all, have ancestors who came from the surrounding countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, China and India. The Orang Asli are the true owners and bumiputras of this beautiful land that you, I and the rest are squatting on. 

It is indeed shameful that a Prime Minister of a country participates in a gathering condemning his own people who together came as a Nation to put him in charge. 

I won’t even bother to talk about your ill-considered addresses on the world stage. You condemn other countries for the atrocities caused by them to unfortunate nations.Yet what are you and your cohorts doing to our beloved Nation? 

I rue the day you took over. You have not changed one bit. You still play the dirty game of divide and rule. God have mercy on your avaricious soul. You are to be pitied. For when your time is over, and it can’t be soon enough for some of us, you will be remembered as someone who not only reneged on promises made but one who caused discord among the races". 

The above is a write-up by a Malaysian, Dr Patricia Cruz. Malaysiaku, Tanah airku!

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