Sunday, December 27, 2009

Accused as criminals better than being evil

(Mingguan Malaysia, 27 December)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia cum Secretary General of Islamic Chamber of Commerce Malaysia.

Recently Utusan Malaysia was criticized and condemned from inside and outside the party, especially by the ultra kiasu party. Utusan was accused as a newspaper promoting racism sentiments disturbing the harmony among the races. The extremist labeled the newspaper as criminals. If the newspaper is considered as criminal then it also meant that the journalist, newspaper columnist and author are also criminals. My question is whether the ultra kiasu party news tabloid and the other racist political parties and those concocted with them are they also not evil? The ultra kiasu party and its group are not only evil, but it is already clearly a fact that they have an evil intention by not accepting the social contract and rejecting the federal constitution and also challenging sensitive matters that have long been agreed upon. The partners of the ultra kiasu party do not dare to speak directly for fear of loss of support. This is the cunning strategy of the ultra kiasu party and its allies hiding behind the 1Malaysia concept for its benefits and political mileage.

If they do not get their wish, then the 1Malaysia concept will be put forward for argument to obtain sympathy. Their racist partners in the Barisan Nasional (BN) components actually have the same stance. They are smart in strategizing. The ultra kiasu bark outside while the partners inside do the work. Actually they compliment each other. It is only that we overlooked.

I am not saying that Utusan Malaysia is all good. Nothing is perfect in this world, except Allah SWT and His Prophets. As humans, there are still things that need to be rectified from time to time. My reminder to the ultra kiasu is that do not act as though elephants in front of your eyes cannot see but the germs across can be seen clearly. Do not go overboard with your views. Do not always pinpoint others mistakes without reflecting own selves. Is staying together without marriage considered good moral? Retaining executive council (exco) known for their evil deeds is not actually evil? At least Utusan Malaysia is frank, meaning not too bad instead of camouflage doing evil, like being sweet in front of people but when behind actually are not. Those are their actions to obscure the eyes of the public. If we spy their movement, I am confident we will see their true colors, including the one exco that brought the santa claus to meet the leader of their country recently. To this leader, if you enjoy celebrating with Santa Claus, please do not over do it. As Muslims, we are taught to respect other religions, but do not go overboard. They are very cunning at planning. Many Malays have side tracked because of being too close to santa claus.

It cannot be denied from history that all newspapers in this country are racist from the beginning. Similarly, in the fields of political, economic and social, all are racists. To me, love of race or nation is not wrong, instead is permissible in Islam as stated by Ibn Khaldun. What is not only allowed is when it reached the level of ultra such as the ultra kiasu party. They often raised sensitive issues that create tensions. This situation is more dangerous, because it can cause chaos as happened in the incident May 13, 1969.

In understanding the Malaysian politics, racial issues were raised for political supports and to make the respective races to realize who they are and what should be obtained. Meanwhile, the sensitive issues were raised to demand equal rights and opportunities for the ultra kiasu group. They know these things can not be raised openly as they can be held under the sedition act. They deliberately want to test UMNO which currently is at its most crucial situation because of not getting two-thirds majority and also facing the painful disunity of the Malay Muslims.

For example, the ultra kiasu wanted Islam being the federal religion to be at the same level with other religions. As Malaysians, we must know that the concept of equal rights and equal opportunity do not fulfill the requirements of the federal constitution, although the concept of Malaysian Malaysia which is always being shouted and demanded by the ultra kiasu party. Remember, Islam is the religion of the majority community of this country. Islam has a very special position in the constitution. If there is any 'advantage' in Islam, it is not discrimination because as the majority Malay Muslims, they have the rights, let alone it had been agreed upon through the social contract. There should not be anymore questions or being accused of unfairness. These also included using government funds to develop the growth of Islam. Unfortunately, these things were never formulated. Finally, each race or party interpreted according to their interests respectively basing on the race and religious background. Not forgetting also their evil plans.

In order to prevent the ultra kiasu party continues to become evil, we must at least outline the formula to solve this. My formula is based on the statistical breakdown of races and religions in this country. According to the year 2000 census, the percentages of Malaysians by religions were as follows: 60% Islam, 40% non-Malay (22% Buddhist-Taoism-Confucius, 9% Christian, 6% Hindu, 3% others). This formula can be applied in the context of the nationalization, including justification on the rights of religious festivals and celebrations of all races. This formula fulfills part of the meaning to justification in Islam which means to put things in its place although not completely.

On the basis of tolerance, this formula was not applied completely, either in politic, economic or even social. For example, the number of non-Muslim places of worship exceeded overwhelmingly, their festival celebrations actually drowned the Muslims celebrations even though they are less in numbers. Just look at the shopping malls, although Christians are only 9%, the Christmas and New Year 2010 celebrations are incomparable to the Hari Raya and the Islamic New Year. If you do not believe, visit the states ruled by the ultra kiasu and its allies and the shopping malls of their allies throughout the country.

I think the Muslims in this country are very tolerant and soft. Their religious festivals and funerals are well mannered and simple. Roads are not congested. Their graves are very small. Compared to other religions, which the number is already smaller, at times the roads are congested the whole day on certain festivals. The graves are so wide and large. How long will this practice be continued, whereas the population is growing but land is limited? So far, the Muslims are not that noisy compared to others, although their graves are narrowing and protests from the non-Muslims are increasingly bolder when there is an increase in Islamic cemetery.

My formula should be used as a guideline. Is it fair if the numbers of non-Muslims are not many, but their graves actually sink the Muslims graves? Have we asked the views of the Muslims and their sensitivity? Those with money build the tombs so high and so wide and beautify them with statues as far as the eyes can see. Meanwhile the Muslims graves, irrespectively of their positions, are simple because Islam does not believe in the designing the tomb. Having no graves is also not a problem. What is important is faith and piety which are brought into the intermediate state or barzakh. Have the Muslims ever claimed equal rights and equal opportunities? No, because they are not ultra kiasu.

Another example, a professor of Christian faith at work argued with me recently. He said the religious rights must be based on the formula of equal rights and equal opportunities. Among the examples highlighted were those if there is a class on yasin recitation and Friday prayers to the Muslim students, then Christian students must be given the same rights to learn their religion and to bring in their own priests. I told him that the students should read their bible during that time, after all the Friday prayers and the yasin recitations are not 'religion classes' but are the responsibility of each Muslim individual. Even there is religious class for the Muslims; it is not necessarily for the non-Muslims to have a similar situation. In addition, the number of Christians or non-Muslim students are very few, with the facilities provided for is already enough. The ultra kiasu professor with an emotional tone claimed it is their rights that must be fulfilled. I replied that have their rights not been fulfilled all this while? Did the number of churches and the pile of houses of worship to the extent of sinking the number mosques and suraus were not considered as rights? Have we ever prevented them to church every Sunday? Do not compare with the Muslims because we worship differently. We have different needs. Similarly goes with the requirements for jamaah prayers. Hence, the concept of equal rights and the equal opportunities should be based on the formula that has been outlined in the constitution and by fraction of races (religions).

All this while they have never use the word Allah in our country, so why the sudden need for the word of Allah has to be used? It is definitely their strategy to confuse the Muslims into following their religion. My advice to all parents is to take care of your children and not to be deceived by their evil strategies and evil intentions. Unfortunately these will and had occurred in Selangor and Penang, if we continue to allow this ultra kiasu to rule and to be mighty. Look at Penang today as if it is no longer a Malay island. It is full of Santa Claus and New Year greetings, while they consist of only 9 percent.

Therefore let us make the changes before it is too late. Do not end later with our religion going no where in our own land. By then, it will be too late. You cannot allow the creepers to grow higher. When they have gone up, they will remain there, and it will be difficult for them to come down.

Look at the political tolerance. Lately, Gerakan was so angry with the UMNO proposal that the BN chairman seat to be rotated in Penang because UMNO had the majority of seats. Before anything else, the ultra kiasu alliances also jumped. Appropriately, the issue supposed to be discussed first. The chairman for Gerakan and Penang BN contended that the BN chairman seat was held by them for 35 years. Why should it be given to others?

My question is that if UMNO can sacrificed the Grik parliamentary seat, why can't Gerakan? Who is more tolerant and having the nature of giving? The political parties on this island are so ultra kiasu. Because of that, they do not care who ruled the island, as long it is their own people. There are not many strategies made to win back the island. That's why I can feel that UMNO is not comfortable with this situation.

I still remembered that after so long UMNO competing in the Grik parliamentary constituency seat, a Malay majority, they suddenly handed it over to Gerakan. The former Chief Minister of Perak cried to release this seat. But due to the brotherhood spirit and the cooperation in the BN, UMNO had to comply and obeyed by surrendering the Grik seat to Gerakan. The Malay majority had to vote the non-Malay (Gerakan) even with resentment. This is the noble nature of the Malay Muslims. Is this tolerance being appreciated? It is like a dog biting its own master. Can we still remember that this Member of Parliament of Grik from Gerakan issued a statement stating that the Malays were also immigrants? This Member of Parliament was also appointed as a deputy minister. Have we ever heard UMNO contended that since the Grik parliamentary seat had been held by them for a long time, why should they give it to Gerakan, as what spoken by the Penang BN chairman?

Why was Gerakan so strong in opposing? They fear that the Chief Minister seat will fell to UMNO if it is destined for BN to rule again. The root to all of these is power, power, power and the ultra kiasu attitude. All is putting the race interests ahead rather than the national interests. If this is how it is done, I think, the 1Malaysia concept is far from achieving. It will be taken advantaged by those with the attitudes of foxes in sheep skins and scissors in the fold. To them their race strength must be defended even with whatever reasons and challenges given. Who are the real criminals and more evil?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Integration requires sacrifice

(Mingguan Malaysia, 20 December)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia cum Secretary General of Islamic Chamber of Commerce Malaysia.

As expected, influential Chinese associations including MCA would not agree with any government actions to improve the position of the Malay language in the Chinese schools such as standardize the Malay (BM) syllabus and increasing the learning time for BM and the suggestions to add another subject of Malaysia My Country in BM. All the proposals were rejected and what is more extreme is that they want the new subject Malaysia My Country to be taught in the mother tongue language. In other words, any proposal to empower the BM is considered to erode the position and character of the Chinese schools (SJKC). Is this what we called integration since we rejected assimilation?

The MCA Youth chief being the Deputy Minister in the field of education was so vocal acting as a village hero. Had he made a study on the actual problems, especially on the Malay language performance in terms of the daily usage and the examination results in these schools? As a member of the cabinet, he should had made more in-depth research, especially academically to know what actually causes the problems with the acceptance of integration and not assimilation as what that had been suggested all this while? Moreover, he had a doctorate qualification. Do not act too ultra kiasu like the ultra party! What a disappointment for the Barisan Nasional (BN), having component parties in the government for so long but yet do not understand the aspirations and ambitions of the country. I request they come to my school where the majority of the students are non-Malays and to see their situations over there. Make a study and ask the teachers and principal. Don't just bark here and there, with the purpose of covering own weaknesses. Nobody is going to gain anything and our future generations will be at a loss.

If this is how they think, then it simply means that the single school system (SSS) is only an illusion. Just by touching a little on the vernacular schools incurs the loss of rationale, then how are we to unite under one roof? Therefore, it is not a surprised that the visionary school failed to achieve its purpose. I am confident that after this I will receive another invitation letter to debate. I will be labeled as anti-Chinese. Meanwhile I have never rejected the rights of non-Malays to learn their mother tongue, not at all. I promise, I will speak aloud and criticize the government if there is any attempts to remove the rights of the non-Malays to learn their mother tongue if it is destined that SSS exist later. My question is whether the SSS will ever be established? I think at this moment it is still far from reality.

How long do we want to wait to see our generation able to speak Malay fluently after staying in this country for that long? My friend who is of English descent and having stayed only a year in this country, have been able to master the BM very well. Indeed, the encouragement to learn another language is required by Islam. In fact, I encourage Muslims to learn Mandarin as recommended by the Prime Minister during the opening dinner of the Chinese private secondary school Chong Hwa recently. We often heard the words "seek knowledge even to the state of China". But is it appropriate that due to being passionate and eager to learn their own language to the extent that the language that became the core for the country race and unity is ignored? I will not speak and write again if the non-Malay has a strong foundation of the Malay language before entering the SJKC. In fact, I encouraged my own children to SJKC because they have a strong foundation of the Malay language. But is this happening? The majority of those studying in SJKC do not have a basic BM except those living in Kelantan and Terengganu. For those who live in the urban areas, they have very weak command of BM. It is not only the children, but also the adults. I am not saying everyone.

If you do not believe, we can begin a study on the members of the DAP, MCA and Gerakan. Ask them to write an essay and speak in BM. How long do we want to continue to listen to conversations such as "gua tatak mau ", "itu maciam manyak susah lo", "lu tarak tau kah"? Who will be the losers in the end? If our children do not get good examination results on BM, they will fail to obtain scholarship and fail in the interview, thus who should we blame? Of course the government or the Public Service Department (PSD) will be blamed? PSD will be blamed for prioritizing the Malays and Bumiputeras and instead marginalizing the non-Malays and others.

I was attacked frequently because to them the current racial issues are not caused by the vernacular education policy but instead are caused by UMNO which is considered as too racist. UMNO continued to be blamed by them including those in the BN component party. I would like to ask that whether the existence of the MCA, DAP, MIC, Makkal Sakti, PPP and Gerakan are also not racist? PAS is also a racist party, a party dominated by the Malays although it is open to all Muslims. Do not because of one or two of the committee members and their members are not of the same race, then it has an excuse for it to be a multi-racial party in respond to 1Malaysia. Facts and history, since the beginning on the foundations of this country was built on the basis of racism until today. It is not only political parties that are racists, in fact it can be stated that almost all the NGO associations established are racists. The Chinese NGOs itself already have more than 8000 in this country. The NGOs of the other races are also about the same. If this trend continues, where do you think our country direction will be heading in the future?

Therefore, we must try to improve the situations from today after acknowledging all the problems that have occurred. Do not allow the problems continue to be a problem for the result will be more problematic. Problems should be resolved with the methods and ideas to overcome them. Otherwise, we are not progressing. So much money is spent for being political among ourselves to out throw each other. Are there no other reasons such as developments and so forth?

The non-Malays are fearful with the Education Act 1996 which they considered will erode the existence of the vernacular schools if the Malay language is enforced. Did the government ever invoke or implement this act until now? Have we not realized that this act is much more acceptable compared to the previous act of the Education Act 1961 which was more unacceptable where the Minister of Education had the full power to remove the vernacular schools? This Act was not enforced either. Are we grateful with this new act? Instead of being grateful, we wanted the act in 1996 to be eliminated. If this act is abolished, it means that the vernacular schools are not governed by any acts at all and can never be touched at all. That is their main aims. Sometimes I am wondering whether we are actually living in Malaysia or in other countries.

If this situation continues, and in addition with the Private Higher Educational Institutions (IPTS) being racist, belonging to certain races and racist political parties, how to construct a nation based on national identity can ever be done? I was given to understand that the private institutions today cannot be controlled anymore. The Malay language is not acknowledged at all. Let alone its guardian actually consists of ministers from the non-Malays. I am worried and am very sure that eventually a day will come when the IPTS degrees will be better or more acceptable than the IPTA degrees. It is simple logic that if racism is the beginning, then racism will be the end. If that happens, then it is a successful planning by the ultra kiasu party and its components. Who are the losers? Think for a moment! Have they not realized that the government of today has sacrificed a lot? If it is not for the hundreds but the thousands of hectares of land that had been given to this IPTS, and also not forgetting the millions of financial assistance that had been given, on the basis of friendship and the spirit of BN. Have we not been grateful, or should we continue to organize strategies to demand and pressure and to stab from behind? When comes election, the ultra kiasu party continues to win.

I was frequently being questioned and attacked that by not being able to master the Malay language does it actually means that there is no patriotism? My answer is yes. As Malaysians, we must always strive to love and assimilate, integrate and respect the all the basis policies of a nation, such as the BM and Negaraku anthem. Henceforth our spirit will be strong and we will fight endlessly to defend the country even to the extent of exchanging our lives for it. The spirit must be present, otherwise, I fear we will either migrate to somewhere else or perhaps renegade and what is more fearful is that we are willing to sell the sovereignty of the nation to another country.

I am not denying the fact that to this day we are still unable to assimilate. Obviously it will never happen due to the continuing political demands and threats. Anyway, if integration is accepted, does it require us to sacrifice or not to love the national identity such as the national language and to respect the national anthem? I used to send my children to SJKC and while over there I heard how they sang the Negaraku anthem and it sounds very funny. If you do not believe, try to record the Negaraku anthem sang by these students. Then we will know the actual position of BM in the vernacular schools. If we include the BM examination results, we will know the fate of BM in the Malay land.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Is there such thing as Malay supremacy?

(Mingguan Malaysia, 13 December)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia

I have repeatedly reminded on the dangers of the ultra kiasu, instead we continue to relent. Neither have they deterred from their actions nor take any lessons from this. Since before the ultra kiasu has raised sensitive issues and is against anything pertaining to the Malays and Islam in this Malay land even though their rights are guaranteed in the constitution. According to them, all Malaysians must adhere to the formula of equal rights or fair and square or Malaysian Malaysia. They are against anything related to the Malay Muslims rights such as wanting to change Malay Language to Malaysia Language, Islamic country to secular country, Malay supremacy to people supremacy and so forth. Will the ultra kiasu agree with the supremacy of Islam championed by PAS, its ally? Perhaps, PAS could ask the ultra kiasu which is its close ally.

The word Malay supremacy does not directly reflect the relationship between a 'master' and its 'slave' as claimed by the ultra kiasu group. If the non-Malay is slave, how the non-Malay has the economic dominance leaving behind the Malay Muslims? Just look at the list of the 10 richest millionaires in this country. Who are they? If there is Malay supremacy, then we would definitely have a few Malay faces. If indeed the Malays are masters, they would have blocked the 'slaves' from succeeding, but does it really happened? This is the danger when the nature of kiasu became too ultra. Now they are so brave to the extent of disputing the provisions or funds available for development by the Islamic government, including the construction and financing of mosques, anything that related to Malay supremacy and Islam. Even the zakat fund is not spared. I am very keen to see the response from Tok Guru and PAS pertaining to these rude statements.

In fact the Malay supremacy and Islamic issues were raised again to obtain the sympathy and sentiment from the non-Malays in order that they continue to support them. They want to ensure the supporters of the ultra kiasu party are always vigilant and to be awake so as not to be too complacent. Similarly to what was done by the Singapore government with their aggressive campaigns and to remind the people to be alert on the enemies of the country around them such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The ultra kiasu party clearly understood on these tactics because they are also from the same group over there.

My research findings showed that the ultra kiasu has successfully instilled the thoughts into their race to reject Islam and Malay supremacy in total. The Malay supremacy is deliberately magnified associating it with the relationship between master and slave.

As a political researcher, I am very confident that the ultra kiasu understood the context of Malay supremacy and not as what being hype up. I am not supporting the Malay supremacy, but I understood the context of Malay supremacy explicitly and implicitly. I understand history and I do not distort the facts to attain political mileage. I am so grateful to be born in this fortunate land, as were my ancestors, too.

Malay supremacy is only a term to indicate that the Malays are the pioneer of this country apart from the orang asli. On this note, I am able to accept this term without any prejudice and not disputing the fact that the Malays were also immigrants, from Yunan and Indonesia. These were the arguments often used by the ultra kiasu group including a handful of those in the BN component such as MCA and Gerakan. In fact the ultra kiasu followers are plenty and they are not alone. The former Gerakan president is one of them who vocally criticized the Malay supremacy. Have we perhaps overlooked their tactics? Do not forget that their central is at the island and it is already sufficient for us to lose two islands.

The next question is whether the Chinese or Indian people also do not have the spirit for Chinese supremacy or Indian supremacy? Don't deny, it is just that it has not been initiated yet. Their supremacy has already been clearly emitted when they defended their rights extremely for which had been obtained. This supremacy actually unites them.

Haven't their demands and pressures actually portrayed their supremacy over the race? At least the Malays proclaimed the Malay supremacy sincerely, giving the space for views and criticism. Unlike the ultra kiasu, articulately being criticized, but worked silently, and without us realizing became a reality. Initially it was covered and when it was suddenly opened, masyaAllah, a huge statue had been erected. So cunning is their strategy. What about the Muslims? You cannot be sincere all the time. We can console ourselves if there is plenty of action going on, but instead there is a lot of talk without an equivalent degree of action.

Look at their strategy, the Malay supremacy is being disputed followed thereafter by questioning the use of the government funds towards the development of Islamic purposes such as the construction of mosques. My question is whether the state and federal government have ever help the construction of the non-Muslim places of worship? Don't simply accuse others without being grateful on the tolerance we are having now. This is the true colors of the ultra kiasu, they look good from the outside but actually are bad internally.

Look at how united they were at the official opening of the Kek Lok Si building and the largest Kuan Yin statue in the ultra kiasu state recently. This does not include the views at Batu Caves. Is it appropriate for it to be built in an Islamic country drowning the position of the race and the religion of Islam in contrast to the race in majority and the official country religion? Is this the freedom granted to Muslims in China and India or Switzerland? It is sad to see that the babri mosque was destroyed to be replaced with a Hindu temple. Not many Muslims objected. This is the nature that deserved my praise for even though our hearts are heavy to accept. Such nature is rarely seen in others. Many have been able to, but to be unsatisfied is what ultra is all about. Their current strategy is to maximize their demand for even though their demand might not be met, eventually the government will relent a little. It is that little that win big.

If you do not believe, ask the heads of BN component parties. Have they received what they had demanded? Have the government not provided assistance to their house of worships? Do not ask the ultra kiasu party because they are never satisfied for as long as power is not completely in their hands. They aspire to be prime minister or deputy prime minister. Have we ever asked the Malay Muslims whether their hearts ache to see the large and high statue, which is clearly in contrast to the religion beliefs or each time they pass such places? We did not ask, correct? We are only angry in our hearts because we want to take care of others feelings and the non-Muslims rights.

Have the Muslims ever forbid the construction of such large statue in an Islamic country with Islam as its official religion? If there is, it is very minimal. Are the rights of the non-Muslims being denied with the Malay supremacy being cried?

Didn't Lee Kuan Yew uphold the Chinese supremacy in Singapore? Will there be any Malay supremacy for the Malays in Singapore? The Malays do not get any position over there compared to the Indian who are a little more in numbers. If previously Yusuf Ishak could become president, after him, the Malay name had not appeared anymore. When the Malays criticized the Chinese supremacy in Singapore, they will be thrown far away. Has the present government ever throw away the ultra kiasu group to other country for being too vocal criticizing the Malays, Islam and Malay rulers? I think the Malays have more faith on the non-Malays compared to the non-Malays have in the Malays.

The Malay (Muslim) had never interfered in the affairs of the non-Muslims, but why are the non-Muslims being so impudently interfering every matter that is related to Islam? Consider the issues such as conversion to Islam, apostasy, the position of the sharia court, the Islamic position and the privileges provided in the constitution and so forth.

This ultra kiasu group has never appreciated this tolerance. They are never satisfied or grateful. When we asked that tolerance did not occur in other countries, therefore why not appreciate it? Their reply was that this is the uniqueness that needs to be highlighted in Malaysia. So cunning are their strategy and tactic, for when we were hit, they said this is the uniqueness of Malaysia and the spirit of 1Malaysia, but if they were hit, then their answer were unfairness, non-Malays are marginalized and discriminated and various accusations. Apart from this ultra kiasu group, we could see their evil alliances with the lawyers’ council and the non-Muslim religion associations. It is not logical when looking at the number of non-Muslim houses of worship which amounted to 45 percent, more than double the number of mosques and suraus in an Islamic country that has Islam as the official religion which the number only exceeds 55 percent.

This ultra kiasu tribe is never grateful. Their tactic is to go against heavily without any compromise. They know they are not alone. Support for them is very strong and solid. We should not have good opinions even though it is honorable by nature. Having good opinions to this day resulted not only having our heads being stepped on, in fact, they have almost reached the level of dominating us. Imagine if they had actually made a pact with the small country which is so strong in the southern Johor?

I hereby invite all of us to think for a moment, that with the cries of Malay supremacy, did the Malays and Islam have became the master? What do I know the stronger we cry Malay supremacy, more Malay reserve lands are being leased out to the non-Malays? The position of the Malay language and Islam continued to be threatened.

Sometimes I appear to ask myself that with a five percent discount to buy a house and the existence of MARA are they enough to represent the Malays special rights? If indeed this reflects the Malay supremacy, then what a humiliation? The actual Malay supremacy is whatever associated with the Malays being the majority of the race, including language, religion and lifestyle to dominate the atmosphere of this country. But are these happening?

Just look at the print media and electronic media in our country. Is Malay language dominating? The answer is easy which is no. Even there is Malay media, it is only read or watched by only the Malays. I do not think there are non-Malays who will read and watch the Malay media. Unless exception for the ultra kiasu group. That is also for the purpose to dig out the secrets and to read the psychology of the Malays. Otherwise, they would not have the purpose to see and read.

Had the facilities for the Chinese (Indian) to do business decreased with the cries of Malay supremacy? The Chinese or Tamil schools reducing? Houses of worship for the Chinese and Indian are reducing? Rights of the non-Malays increasingly denied? Jawi writings are increasingly influential? The emergence of Malay schools compared Chinese and Indian schools? Is there really any Malay supremacy? Therefore, will the Chinese and Indians experiencing a loss if UMNO continues to shout Malay supremacy or long live the Malays or simply an effort to remind the Malays not to forget themselves easily in their homeland and to continue marching forward?

If the name Malaya remained without changing into Malaysia, I do not see the relevance in Malay supremacy. This was what had been stated for China and India. They do not need to call Chinese supremacy or Indian supremacy because the country name already reflected their supremacy. So it is not a surprised to see that the Muslims are wandering in their own land. Mosques are being seized up for temples. Are the Muslims having a good life in the non-Muslim countries compared to the non-Muslims living in Islamic countries such as Malaysia? Did the ultra kiasu tribes ever realized?

I am worried cries of Malay supremacy remains as only cries just like the many Malay names which were increasingly lost such as the Malayan Railway into KTM. Indeed a very cunning plan. We continue to accommodate. When threatened, then we will bow down to their pressures and demands. What is clear is that the ultra kiasu has an established synergy, while our synergy is declining, and what are left are empty cries and slogans that can not be defended.

The 1Malaysia ideas are no longer seen as empowering ideas for the future but to claim what has yet to achieve and to increase what already have. How long can we with hold? Has the synergy of the Malays (Muslims) becoming extinct in the Malay land? Don't we need to restore the synergy that is increasingly losing?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lower the ultra kiasu attitude before debate

(Mingguan Malaysia, 6 December)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia

On the morning of 25 November 2009, I received a call from the MCA headquarters. Followed up from the call was an official invitation letter from the MCA Youth chief inviting me to an open debate together with Prof. Khoo Kay Kim on the one school system issue. After that I received calls from the China Press about my response related to the invitation. I told them to read my response in the Mingguan Malaysia. Since I can be patient with the earlier condemnations and accusations hurled at me for weeks by this newspaper affiliated to the ultra kiasu, why can't this newspaper be patient waiting for my response? Do they want to continue exploiting news about me? Be patient for patience is the greatest virtue.

Alhamdulilllah, the time has arrived. I am grateful to Kay Kim for accepting the invitation. Let us discuss the issue openly. If possible let this debate or forum to be broadcasted directly through the television channels and electronic media in our country. Let the people know what actually happens in an effort to strengthen the nation. Education must not be politicized in the country. It is too sacred to strengthen this multiracial nation of ours. I would like to propose that these forums be conducted in the Malay language in the spirit of 1Malaysia, rather than in English. We would like to see that a few people resulted from the SJKC will be selected to debate on these issues in the national language also.

Before the debate, I wish to remind the MCA Youth chief and his excited colleagues to solve its own party showmanship first. Is the purpose of the debate to divert the attention of the party internal problems? Or are there any possibility that the problems in the party were used as an excuse to demand and request? My advice is that not to imitate the foot steps practiced by the ultra kiasu party which is known to be uncompromised. The ultra kiasu party is very cunning and clever in taking advantage. Is there an alliance to bring up this issue?

I suggest that the youth leader stop crying because of problems in the party before the debate. I am just afraid that there will be tears later after the debate. Do not waste your tears because of politics. Let us cry thinking on the greatness of God and be grateful with the plentiful of grace that has been bestowed to our country. That will be more meaningful. Power obtained today is only a loan. It can disappear anytime as what is happening in the youth party. Therefore, use it properly and do not be too demanding until following the foot steps of the ultra kiasu party. We need to have our own stand especially in strengthening 1Malaysia.

I hereby urged again that before the debate, the MCA youth need to think and formulate strategies on how to win the hearts of the Chinese in the coming election in order not to lose into the hands of the ultra kiasu group. Is MCA not aware that the seats they won today were seats contested in the Malay majority? Do not pretend not to know on the tolerance and support given by the Malays? Do you think the Malays (Muslims) could win if they contest in the non-Malays majority? In fact the Malays are quite reluctant to vote the non-Malays if there is a Malay candidate contesting in the same place. So, why are they willing to vote the non-Malay (Chinese and Indian)? Please study this noble characteristic. Do not just jump when the vernacular schools are touched. Think for the future.

Remember! The Malays are the one who gives victory to the MCA. Otherwise, the MCA and Gerakan will be embarrassed. How many more positions will be appointed senators to meet the quota of the Chinese in this country? If the votes counted won by the MCA against the DAP, most of the votes won by MCA were Malay votes although they lost at the hands of the ultra kiasu. Who are more tolerant and not racist? The Malays are willing to put aside their principles merely because of MCA. So beneficial are MCA and Gerakan, despite losing, they will still have senator seats.

What is so clear is that the more seats the ultra kiasu party win; there will be more senator seats for the MCA and Gerakan. Eventually all three parties benefited. Win or lose, they are winners. Who are the losers? The Malays were forced to sacrifice. Sacrificial attitude is very good, especially in conjunction with the Eid al-Adha festivals, but not extending to self sacrificial! When will the other party willing to sacrifice? It is just not only enough by attending sacrificial ceremonies to say that it is in the spirit of 1Malaysia. Hence, after that followed with postings in the blog. This tactic is already redundant. If you do not believe, just visit the ultra kiasu members of parliament blogs and also the youth blog that is calling for the debate.

Recently some Chinese organizations have urged the government to replace MCA with them because MCA can no longer represent the interests of the Chinese. I wish to ask how many more organizations are requesting to represent the interests of the Chinese. Hasn't the ultra kiasu party, Gerakan and other NGOs of the ethnic group already representing them? Externally being criticized, internally they are being persuaded. This does not include states won by allies of the ultra kiasu such as in Selangor, Penang, Kedah and Kelantan, and not discounting Perak before this. Is it true that their voices cannot be heard if MCA does not exist? In my opinion, even without these parties representing the ethnic group, their rights will be protected, because it is guaranteed in the constitution and also in the holy teachings of Islam.

I believe the Islamic religion professed by the Malays will not marginalize the non-Muslims compared to the fate of the Malays in Singapore. It had been proven that when the Muslims ruled, the non-Muslims can have a good life. Their rights are guaranteed. These happen because of the tolerant teachings of Islam which teaches the believers not to persecute others. On the other hand when the non-Muslim rules instead, the Muslims spirits are being tortured.

Take a lesson from the film on the true historic story entitled Kingdom of Heaven which was aired on TV2 recently about the relationship between Islam (al-Ayubi Sallahuddin) and the Christian crusaders in the city of Jerusalem in the year 1188. When the crusaders ruled, the Muslims were killed indiscriminately. The violence depicted the blood of the Muslims killed flowed to the knees. However, when the Muslim army defeated the crusaders, the non-Muslims were not killed, but instead their rights were protected. The crusaders prisoners of war were well treated by the Muslims. This is the beauty of the Islamic teachings which the practice are being continued by the leadership of the Islamic country until today. Therefore, do not take this opportunity until became irrational and ultra kiasu.

In the MCA youth letter to me, they wrote that what I had written in the article on November 22 had created the anger of the parents, students and alumni of the Chinese schools. Had a survey been made? How could they made a research within 3 days and obtained the results? Have I wrongly labeled the ultra kiasu on one particular group only or have I overlook the youth wing of this group? I hope the MCA youth level has not reached that level yet. Having been with BN for that long, have they failed to understand the aspirations and needs of the government? Do not follow the foot steps of the ultra kiasu party, otherwise our generations will lose.

Let me state clearly that the Malays will not lose in the long term for their population are increasing whereas the Chinese population continues to decline. I am not sure whether if we can change that with the strategy of bringing in the people from Vietnam and China by way of marrying them! Perhaps the Ministry of Home Affairs can investigate. If this increasing trend continues, it means that the Malay rights will be increasing, too. They are able to change the constitution in the future, including eliminating the vernacular school. Consequently, who will lose in the end? Therefore, do not take advantage of the current political situation which is not in favor to the Malay Muslims today.

If we continue to be defensive and ultra kiasu, our great-grandchildren will face the greater loss. It is better that today we learn to understand the Malays rather than understanding the west. If we continue to be recalcitrant eventually our future generations will be the victims. By that time we are considered their ancestors. We will be condemned by these future generations for being too ultra kiasu.

Namawee is a clear example of ultra kiasu. It was already a controversial issue to offend the Negaraku recently and the latest with the ultra kiasu attitude against TNB. I do not blame him completely. TNB's attitudes need to be corrected also. Are we serious with our business? The 15454 line sometimes were not answered even after several calls. This led Namawee to the office of TNB due to the blackout in his residence area. He scolded TNB with harsh words in Chinese language which were offensive when his complaint was not treated well by the staff of TNB who was then seen eating banana and drinking coffee. This species are actually plenty. This type of attitude is closely related to the educational system and racial politics of today.

The Biro Tata Negara (BTN) does not pose danger as the ultra kiasu attitude. We can agree to disagree with the arguments presented by BTN as reported for we have the right to accept or reject. It is the same situation as why the ultra kiasu party and its allies can be friends with PAS, but yet reject the Islamic country championed by PAS. This attitude is much more dangerous for we became thorns in the flesh or the enemy in the camouflage. Pretending to be nice in the front but is actually evil in the back. Personally, we have to think of the danger in front of our eyes which is the ultra kiasu ego attitude, the racist education and the racist politics.

I would agree with the course organized by the ultra kiasu alliance to replace the BTN course if the course can reduce the ultra kiasu attitude that nest in them which also included those that invited the debate. I am worried that they will continue to become more ultra. If you do not believe, try to include a module on the Malay system of governing, Islamic country and privileges for the Malays to be discussed to understand better on the intention of the Malays and Islam. Observe the reactions from this handful group within these three parties.

I have repeatedly stated that it is necessary for us to appreciate the compromises that we have currently. Having not enough with that, acts by acts of the law had been amended to protect their feelings and to satisfy all parties, to the extend hurting our feelings, but a group of the ultra kiasu is never satisfied. Calves given not enough, instead the thighs are being requested. Today we need to make a little sacrifice; otherwise the future generations will be sacrificed. Consider all these issues before we debate.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

We will lose if continue accommodating

(Mingguan Malaysia, 29 November)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia

Many people asked how Lee Kuan Yew can be successful with the system of one school in Singapore using English as the main language. Lee Kuan Yew was highly praised because he was willing to sacrifice the mother tongue language for the national interest. Is it true? My answer is Lee Kuan Yew had no choice. Hence, he had to make a stand. If there are choices, I believe he would have acted otherwise. Remember! Mandarin is still an important subject over there compared to the Malay language, being the reason that they are the majority.

We need to understand the history of Singapore on why Lee Kuan Yew had to choose the English language? If Singapore did not originate from the system of the Malay country, I believe Lee Kuan Yew will not choose the English language. Lee Kuan Yew has long been able to read the psychological mindset of the Malays. His ability to read and write Jawi managed to melt the Malays. If the Chinese language was chosen, it will be certainly opposed by the Malays at that time.

Singapore can not be separated with the Malays. Even until to this day I would still say that Singapore is a country in the Malay Archipelago. Unless Singapore is in the archipelago such as Taiwan, then I would recognize it as a nation of its own. Lee Kuan Yew only sacrificed the Mandarin language only temporarily. Let us not make the assumption that Singapore is well developed for using the English language. It is actually closely related to the nature of ultra kiasu.

We should not be surprised that Singapore can be a developed nation within a short period. If Singapore is destined to be as big as Malaysia or Indonesia, I believe it would not be where it is now. Singapore is fortunate because of its location and size which were the many factors that help made it into the developed countries. Do not be too impressed with its leadership until we forget what it has done to our country before this. Do we still have the memory on the history and the dark events that lead to the separation of Malaysia-Singapore? Did the entry of Singapore into Malaysia truly sincere? Read the history. What is important today is how to overcome their ultra kiasu attitude which is highly dangerous to our country's politics. Remember, the followers of this ultra kiasu from Singapore are plenty in our country, thus they do not cease from requesting and demanding. Are we still not aware? In short, they are not alone.

Just look at how much strategic land has been mortgaged? Similarly, with the luxury houses that had been purchased? Do not discount the water agreement and water catchment's areas which are being protected by their armed forces even in Johor. Lee Kuan Yew rarely visits to Malaysia after the separation, but why was he willing to tour our country recently, particularly to Penang? Do you realize what were being discussed explicitly and implicitly? Think. Do not overlook on the fate of the Malays in Penang? Do not regret after being hit. Before you are hit you need to be careful. When rice has turned into porridge, it is already too late. The disunity among us is a clear indication of their success.

Wake up my dear friends, the Malay Muslims in Singapore have been successfully melted. Today a handful of the Malays are sweetened with power and are already not as Malay Muslims. They had not only been melted, but no longer concern about the Malay Muslims, except for those in the madrasahs. To what extent can the madrasahs with hold? It is still remains a big question today. The position of the madrasahs is decreasing. Similarly, their mosques are facing the same thing, too. Have we not realized? It is already enough that we lose Pulau Batu Putih. Don't just regret over it. Take it as a lesson before it is too late. Those who are strong with the Malay Muslims spirit will never be selected as leaders or ministers over there. Therefore, such person like Dr. Lily Zubaidah Rahim (2001) was thrown out from her own land. This is because for speaking to protect the interests of the Malay Muslims. Have we not learned from this?

Let us ponder why Singapore today spend almost USD11 billion a year on defense just to strengthen the country with a population of only 4.6 million and is ranked number 23 in the world? It is more than double the amount that Indonesia spends on defense (USD 4.7 billion). Their defense expenditure far exceeded our country which is not even listed in the world ranking. Have we realized that their close allies are the enemies of Islam such as Israel, America, Australia, Britain and others? Have we not thought on what were their actual agenda if it is not because of us? I am confident that we will not lose the island of Batu Putih if our strength exceeded theirs. Our threats and warnings would have shaken them. But why they are so bold and rude? Because they already knew their strength and is ever ready to face any consequences. Tendency for them to win big is in their favor.

Perhaps the defense experts may not agree with me. But we must remember, today we are no longer using humans to fight but technological sophistications is the word. Make a comparison on our war defense technology with Singapore. The difference would be like the sky and the earth. We should spend more money on national defense. Unfortunately, more money was used for politics instead for defending the country. It's time we reduce slightly on politicizing for the sake of building our national defense strength.

To what extend do we want to continue to believe that the cold war has ended and that the world is safe? Enemies are no longer around and we do not need to be strong? Have we not realized that the enemy is growing stronger and is always discussing plans to destroy us?

Henceforth, I hereby appeal that we do not engage ourselves in politics too much. So much time and money were used up just to defeat among ourselves. Unfortunately, we are not only engaging ourselves politically in politics, but in other areas as well. Take for instance in seizing power in the office or public bodies, agencies, NGOs and others. These do not include the issues of corruption. In short, nearly in every areas the Muslims engaged themselves politically. Politics is actually a loss and weakening itself. Ultra kiasu will take advantage.

The enemy will continue planning to make the Muslims fight among themselves. Today we are being instigated with Indonesia. Who are the provocateurs? Let us think together. Simple logic, if the neighboring Islamic countries are fighting with each other, then it would be easier for the country and the ultra kiasu to organize their strategy. Let us not be too emotional among ourselves for I am afraid we will not benefit anything.

The West is making the Arab countries fighting among themselves. As a result, the illegalized Israel gained control of the Arab countries with a ratio of 1 Israeli to more than hundred Arabs. 100 Arabs could not defeat 1 Israeli. While in terms of logic, 1 person can be flooded by 100 people that teamed up to urinate on the Israeli. Instead the opposite resulted. The one successfully defeated the 100. Arab-Israeli scenario is similar to the Singapore-Malay archipelago. They are already prepared with all the power of technology. We continue to politicize with no end.

We are fortunate that today we have became consumers of technology and not the creator. The benefit is that we do not need to spend additional time to create the technology because it has been created. So much time developing these technologies have been saved. What is needed today is to fully utilize these technologies and capitalize them as what is being done by Iran. Instead, Iran is being victimized by the West.

The West and the ultra kiasu have successfully read the thoughts of the Muslims. They knew that their technology is used by the Muslims. The Muslims will become stronger if the technology is capitalized fully. Thus, before that to happen, they break and melt them for easy controlling. It appears that their strategy is successful. The Muslims were successfully controlled and broken up. It is not because they are not technological savvy. Actually they are clever. Instead they were being induced to fight and quarrel among themselves over petty issues such as the Bali pendet dance. Unfortunately, for those not fighting, the technology is not being capitalized but being used incorrectly instead. Eventually the spirit became empty and melted.

Therefore, I am appealing that we begin the first step by resolving the basic issues related to the education in our country. This is because education is very important as a defense mechanism stronghold. It should begin with one school system. The foundations of patriotism must be present. Do not gamble the future and the national security systems in order to maintain power today. If popularity is lost but the future of education is secured, it's only for a while not to be popular. What is the use of popularity if the education future and country eroding? Retreating does not mean we are defeated. Instead it is to recoup our strength, rather than we continue to lose and eventually be defeated. I still remember the words in Latin "si vis Pacem para bellum", which means that if you wish for peace, prepare for war. Are we ready in that direction when others had already prepared themselves long ago? If they are too ultra kiasu, are we too accommodating? We need to be firmed against them for the future interest. Remember! We will lose if we continue accommodating.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do Not Politicize the Country's Education Future

(Mingguan Malaysia, 22 November)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia

I was hoping the government will not bow down to the pressure from the Chinese Federation of Associations of Malaysia (Hua Zong) to assist the 60 of the Chinese Independent Secondary School and to recognize the certificates issued (UEC). It is already enough with the existing of over 1300 SJKC and this will be increased from time to time. Separation in the primary school is already a burden for us to strengthen the future. Do we want to continue to divide them when they are in the secondary school? This does not include the IPTS which has a strong race based with a very significant number of enrolments, using the mother tongue as the main language especially in Kajang, Kuala Lumpur and others. I am able to name each one of them. However, I shall not reveal them for the time being. Is this the spirit of 1Malaysia?

In the vernacular schools, the Malay language is taught three times a week. Can they actually master the national language? Do make a research. Just look at only the UPSR results of these students in the Malay language and the transition classes. That is already enough to provide an overview. Then conduct a census in the new villages. Rate the level of the mastery of the national language. I'm not anti-Chinese. I love my race for Allah also created them, too. If I reject them, it also means that I reject Allah that created me as a Chinese. Am I anti-Chinese when I bring up this issue?

Let's debate today for the sake of our future. Hopefully our children and grandchildren will have a better life after this. Their interests must be prioritized against our own interests. In fact, the Minister of Education has full authority to reject all these vernacular schools. However, the power vested was not enforced. Just consider if such tolerance was absent.

Before 1996, we have the Education Act 1961 Section 21 (1B), which empowers the Minister of Education to close or abolish the SJKC / T. This Act made the Chinese associations fearful. They have appealed and urged the government to repeal this act. On the basis of compromising, and in 1995, the education minister made a bold decision by agreeing with the Chinese request to withdraw the power vested or in other words the provision in the act by presenting a new Education Act in 1996 which was more acceptable.

The Education Act 1996 introduced was still not agreeable by a handful of the ultra kiasu. The ultra kiasu considered the amendment of Education Act 1961 to 1996 had actually solved one problem with the repeal of Section 21 (1) (b), but had also created new problems with the addition of Section 17 (1). According to them, Section 17 (1) provides new powers to the Minister of Education to enforce the vernacular schools to use the Malay language as the main medium.

The ultra kiasu argued that the previous act context was within the primary school but the new act allows the ministry to have a wider scope of context from pre-school education to post secondary level education. According to Section 28 of the act, only vernacular schools owned by the state government are granted 'special permission' by the Minister of Education, which may be exempted from the provisions under Section 17 (1).

In fact, the Education Act 1996 also known as Act 550 'is softer' compared to the Education Act 1961 which was repealed. Is this tolerance? The vested power was sacrificed for the sake to accommodate others. For those ultra kiasu who are always opposing with me, please read this act and make a comparison with the previous act. Whoever enacted this act, if it is not for our Prime Minister today which was the then Minister of Education? The Minister of Education before him could not compromise on this at all. Who was that? Just ask the party affiliated with this ultra kiasu. I do not actually understand why they are so good today while before that, the Act 1961 was the most feared by this ultra kiasu.

However, a group of the ultra kiasu is never grateful, let alone appreciative. I do not see any differences in the SJKC with the Chinese schools in China in terms of language, except with the additional Malay subject being taught 3 hours a week. I remembered the words of Khoo Kay Kim that the education system today must meet the requirements to establish the idea of 1Malaysia. The multiple educations system will not help the people to understand the establishment of this great idea. Children are separated from young. When they have grown up, it would be difficult for them to cooperate with each other. The vernacular school was originally established to enable the Chinese and Indian people to learn about the country they originated from. But today they have became the people of Malaysia, thus such situation should not exist anymore. Kay Kim is frustrated with those groups who are defending schools which are race-based.

I am full of anticipation on those who talk a lot about maintaining the vernacular schools would make a complete study on this. Do not always blame the government only. What is really their agenda? If only to defend the heritage of ancestors, please bear in mind on the culture and way of life of others, too. Do not just blame on the language as an issue, because the language issue is a national problem. I hereby ask them to do a research on the performance of the Malay language (BM) in the vernacular schools. First, is the ability and capacity to understand and converse in BM? Second, is the percentage of BM failure? Third, on the problem arises from the transition classes and problems of communication among students in BM. Fourth, on the interactions among students from the transition classes with the Malay students. Fifth, is the failure and low passing rate in BM in the PMR and SPM levels? Sixth, is the understanding and ability on BM after finishing high school? Seventh, is the ability to speak BM among the non-Malays? If it is still not feasible to make a study, then take a sample of several political leaders and NGOs which are vocal, including lecturers from the Chinese institutions and test their ability on BM?

We were extremely disappointed when recently, as reported in the Chinese newspapers that a few Chinese organizations such as Dong Zong, Hua Zong, the Association of Heads of Chinese Schools, Chinese Schools Alumni Association and other Chinese associations were strongly against the proposal by the Ministry of Education to standardize the BM syllabus in SK and SJKC. For your information, the BM syllabus in SJKC is very much easier than SK. That was how united they are. When studying BM, they want it to be simple & easy (cincai). Instead, in studying own language, it must be in detail. Are we seriously strengthening the country? Isn't this ultra kiasu? Are we still blind and unconscious? Simple reasoning; the students of SJKC must not be burdened with BM which is relatively difficult because they had to learn three languages, namely Mandarin as a major, BM as a second language and English as a third language. This is the fate of the Malay language in the Malay land. Have we realized that BM is the easiest language in the world? Obviously BM is difficult if only taught three times a week at the SJKC. Are we serious?

I do not deny there are some Chinese students who managed to get excellent results in the Malay language, but the number is very small. That is also because it is a compulsory subject to pass. Imagine if it is not a compulsory subject. Is the learning of the Malay language is because of being forced or for loving the language as spirit of national identity? Please consider. There is no need to uphold a wet strand of thread for our children will face a greater loss later and we will not be there. Do not let our ego today destroy our future interests.

To the ultra kiasu I would like to ask them to give me an example of a country in the world that practices such a system as ours? If there is I will yield. I will not touch the issue on vernacular educations. Is this not heaven for us in here? Do not always use diversity as strength of argument or unity within diversity. Too much diversity will also not benefit. We need to find more similarities to meet the goal of establishing the idea of 1Malaysia. The similarities can only be achieved with a shared goal of the national vision. It starts with sharing the one school system, without denying the rights of everyone respectively. If issues such as the basic language we cannot agree on, what else can we agree on? In short, the one school system is only a fantasy if we continue to be soft. Kiasu is permissible. It is not wrong to be kiasu. In fact, Islam permits it also. But just do not be ultra kiasu. We are Chinese but don't be too ultra Chinese, ultra Malay, ultra India and other ultra races in Sabah and Sarawak. That is already extreme and excessive.

I am also not denying the fact that the vernacular school teachers are hardworking and dedicated. But that does not mean that we can make a generalization that the national school teachers are not of the same standards as with the SJKC. Remember! It is not all teachers in SJKC are good. I had my experienced. I'm neither a Chinese converted to Malay nor a Chinese apostate. I am only defending the interests of the future of our children and our great-great-grandchildren. Do not politicize the education because it is extremely dangerous for the future of the country. Do not deny the role of the government on capital assistance schools such as SJKC. Please be reminded that more than 400 SJKC is aided and built by the government in every Malaysia plan.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

When Own Strength is Dismissed

(Mingguan Malaysia, 15 November)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia

As expected it is a taboo to question the vernacular education as this has made some of the ultra kiasu jumped. They claimed that it is their rights. Ethnic interests must be preserved. It cannot be interfered. What I had written was about nation building and empowering the national interest future without denying the rights of the other races to learn their own languages. Are we still confused? The irony part is that if they are agreeable on the one school system, then English should be the main medium and not the Malay language. It is obvious that they are excluding altogether and reduce the position of Malay language as the national language. When the language is not respected, will the race of the language be affected, too?

Therefore it is not a surprise that today they are very proud and boast with the additional names such as Joe, Michael, Nicol, Matthew, Martin and etc. Sometimes it becomes so nauseated by just hearing and calling these names. They have a sense of pride by associating with the Christianity and the West, and not associating at all with Islam and Malay. Is it not that the east is much closer to us than the west? Some are willing to change into new identity cards merely because they are obsessed with the west. Why are the names like Muhammad, Mahmood, Aziz, Ridhuan and other Islamic names are not favorable, but viewed instead with hatred? Are the Islamic and Malay names so disgusting? Are the usages of Islamic names considered to have neither standard nor glamorous? Is it not that the names from the east actually featured more towards 1Malaysia? I do not have to open a can of worms here. Let me save them temporarily for the next time.

It is not my intention to instill the fire of hatred among the races. However, the various comments have forced me to reveal the truth about some of them which are never grateful. They preferred to be assimilated and acculturated with the west instead of with the Malays and Islam.

Whatever that is pertaining to the assimilation and acculturated with the Malay Muslims is lowly perceived and will not be practiced at all. Meanwhile, the western way of life is accepted wholeheartedly. Just take for instances on the lifestyles such as wearing the Malay dress, using songkok, eating with the hands and listening to Malay music. Have we seen the non-Malays at least acculturated such manners? If there are, they can be countable with our fingers.

In the context of 1Malaysia, it is more appropriate that we assimilated and acculturated with the Malay Muslim's way of life, because it will benefit the country's future. The Muslims are easily impressed and 'melt' with the non-Malays who are trying to borrow their way of life. Instead, we are more western than the west. This included the Malays. Sometimes to the extent of forgetting that they are Malays because of being too western.

Being a Chinese Muslim, my race does not want to be associated directly with the Malays, especially on the lifestyle. If there is any friendliness with the Malays, it is for favors and advantages. Only a minority of the Malays actually worked in the non-Malay companies. Conditions such as the ability to communicate in Mandarin are an excuse to reject the Malay workers. In comparison with the Malay companies that took non-Malays workers, on the grounds that the non-Malays are more diligent than the Malays. In fact, sometimes the non-Malays are also appointed to higher positions. Who is actually more willing to give and receive in this case?

Even though if the Malays (including Indonesians) are employed, they are only for the purpose to popularize the sale of the food and services. The Malays are being used. The Malay name will be used to popularize the food sales such as using the Malay and Muslim as the brand names. However, the actual basic right remains unfulfilled. The Malays continue to give in for it is their iron rice bowl. How many Malay Muslim employees have complained to me that they are unable to perform the Friday prayers and the obligatory prayers? I can actually provide a list of the companies. The prayer time is considered a waste of time and reduces quality and productivity. However, we know that the fear of a person has with Allah, the stronger he will work for the people, whether the employer is a Muslim or not. The nature of fearing Allah will make the person perform their work with care. I do not deny the fact that there are people pious in praying but are also lazy and deceitful.

Is there already a plan to separate the Malays from its God in order to 'melt' them? When their bond with Allah has been 'melted', then they are able to break the spirit of jihad in them, thus easier to secularize and empowered them. We must be aware of these cunning actions of theirs. I do not mean jihad with war but just enough jihads to request that changes for us to be better and closer to the Almighty Creator.

Sometimes I do not blame them. They search and took advantage. It is only that we became complacent and relax. We do not appreciate what we have nor even to enforce what we have. We willingly sacrificed what has been provided to us for the sake our country can progress forward, even to the extent of sacrificing the dignity of the religion and race. Take for an instance on the position of the language and education policies.

Why we did not study the strength we had before studying the strength of others? Sometimes, I am puzzled on our enthusiastic to study others until forgetting our own selves. This will eventually lead us to neglect our own strength because for being too obsessed with others. Is this secularism?

In the context of teaching and learning at the higher learning institutions, students are compulsory to learn and understand the various theories that derived from the west (specifically) and east from prominent individuals. These theories were not only told to be memorized, instead those succeeded explained in details that they were considered best student and were given higher marks. Take for example on the theory of strategy and war by Tsun Tzu. The students are forced to memorize these theories externally and internally, cover to cover, to the extent that at times they forgot their responsibility towards the al-Quran and Sunnah. Tsun Tzu strategies are not only applied in war but also in business. Meanwhile, Tsun Tzu had never got himself into any university, let alone taking up PMR and SPM.

What surprised me the most is we have forgotten that in our religion we have great experts and thinkers in war strategies such as Muhammad SAW, Khalid Ibn Walid, Omar Al-Khattab, Salahuddin al-Ayubi and others. These prominent figures are rarely in the centre of discussions. Let alone to memorize their theories. What are not so prominent of them compared with Tsun Tzu, Kautilya (India), Clausewitz, Duhe and others? I am not rejecting these figures, but let us balance the figures with ours who are equally impressive.

Did Tsun Tzu ever graduated from any university or obtained a PhD? Obviously, he did not. Why are the university students today studying the various stages of the war strategies from a person who had never had a degree nor entered the university? Muhammad SAW also did not enter into university. However, he is the Prophet chosen by Allah. Therefore, he deserved to be highly acclaimed. So, it's not surprising for Michael Hart (2006) to rank the Prophet Muhammad SAW as the most supreme and powerful person among the top 100 most influential people in the world leaving behind Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Aristotle, Tsun Tzu and many more powerful figures. Unfortunately, many did not make a study on this.

Today, what is happening is the opposite; the west is so interested in studying the east individual personality. Instead, the east is busy studying the west and end up neglecting its own. Therefore, I am not surprised when non-Muslims do not want to be assimilated nor acculturated because we do not acknowledge our own prominent figures or ourselves.

I do not believe we can rise up with other people's molding. History has shown that all nations rise up with their own strength and effort. The Japanese rose up because of the spirit of being Japanese, the Chinese with the spirit of being Chinese. Do we want to rise up with the spirit of being western? Of course, the Muslims must rise up with the Islamic spirit. Then only we will get the blessings from Allah SWT.

Recently I attended an important meeting in the ministry office. In the meeting there was an American entrepreneur who can speak Malay but not fluently. All because of one foreigner, the chairman of the meeting did not use the Malay language but instead conducted it in English language. I am very confident that even the president of Iran will not be prompted to do so, despite being fluent in English. If we are unsure on ourselves with our own language, who else can we hope to ensure a noble language? Language is the soul of a nation.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fantasy to create a One School System

(Mingguan Malaysia, 8 November)
Dr. Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, National Defence University Malaysia

The issue on one school, an education system is not a new thing. It has been debated since before. I have spoken and written a lot about this. The situation remains and has not changed much. The answer is simple; the education has been politicized. If the Malay language as the national language cannot be uphold, how far can we proceed from there? We have provisions in the constitution, but they are not being used nor enforced. We are busy attending to the pressure from the ultra kiasu political groups. Finally, the language and education system cannot be strengthened in its own land. This country seems to have no identity as compared to other countries.

When there is news to create one school system, the ultra kiasu will rise against it. As for them, their ancestral heritage must be preserved. They will do anything, including demanding and threatening the government. Demanding and threatening have great influences with the political elections. Finally, the government relented. The one school system had to be shelved for a while.

Recently it had been voiced again, but with a different tone. The one school system is only for the secondary schools. Indeed, the secondary system flow has been standardized. There are not many vernacular schools for the secondary compared to the primary (1300 SJKC + 530 SJKT). It can be said that most of the non-Malays send their children to the national secondary schools due to the limited places in the vernacular secondary schools (5%). Therefore, there is no issues arises on the one school system for the secondary schools.

The main issues that should be seriously debated are how to create an education system that can integrate the children in the primary school level. Children should not be separated from young. Studies and time have shown that due to the separation among them from young has created difficulty to unite them again in the secondary school. The existence of the transition classes and the mastery of the Malay language among vernacular primary school students have created interactions problems between non-Malays and Malay students. In the end, they became awkward, shy and will not mix easily. They will hide in their own cocoon. This situation will make them become more kiasu.

As the head of the Parents and Teachers Association of the school where the majority were non-Malay students for the past 6 years until now, I can understand that race relations are at an alarming level. These students are not able to mix after being separated for 6 years in the primary school. Thus, it is continued to the secondary level and higher education. Look at what happened in the public and the private institutions. I do not need to speak further. It has been clearly shown. How long do we need to discuss this issue? As long as we bow to their demands and threats, it is kind of waiting for a cat to grow its horn; this deadlock will never be solved. It is to our utmost disappointment that we are only thinking for the current interests rather than on the future. We prioritized politically and thus ignoring the importance of education. Perhaps we would not be able to feel the effects today, but are we willing to leave all this to our children and great grandchildren? I am worried for by then it will be too late to be corrected.

I have repeatedly stated that as a result of this racist school system, our race relationship in this country is like a fire that cannot be put out completely. We have successfully extinguished the fire, but the amber from the fire is still there. This amber is most detrimental if left unchecked in the long run.

Recently, the National Defense University of Malaysia has organized a conference pertaining on higher education and race development. The same anxiety was heavily debated on the one school education system in our current main education system as recommended by Prof Khoo Kay Kim.

Our country is the only one in the world that adopts a multi-stream school system. There is only one school system in other countries. Even if there are more than one, it has long been abolished, thus to achieve the future and national interest. Therefore, we could see that Thailand has abolished since the beginning by destroying the Chinese school in the 1930s (Ye Lin-Sheng, 2003). In fact, Malaysia is heaven to the non-Malays for they get what they actually are not entitled. They are no different from what they were in the first place. Whatever benefits them will not be voiced out. Instead, the ultra kiasu group will continue to demand that the vernacular schools be increased in every Malaysia plan.

My question is whether we are serious on this matter. I have repeatedly stated that the national interests or the country must be put forward rather than the ethnicity interest. National schools must be given priority over the ethnic schools. National agenda will strengthen the future. Meanwhile, the ethnic agenda serves only a few specific groups only. This is the amber that is affecting the political racism in our country. I have raised this issue a long time ago but was opposed heavily by the ultra kiasu group. Refer to my previous article in the Utusan Malaysia.

The Government must take a firm stand like what have been done by other countries such as Thailand and other countries in the world. The Government must not bow down nor compromise in strengthening the future. I do not mean that we eliminate the non-Malay rights to learn their mother tongue language. They can still learn their mother tongue language. However, these students must not be separated from young.

The world civilization has proven that when people are separated from young, we are actually inviting danger in. It is already enough with the political and economic system which are racist. Do not add it to the education system which is the pillar to the development of a nation.

It is true we need to discuss. But have they ever agreed? The answer is never. In fact, they are demanding that the vernacular schools be increased from time to time. So, what is the delay? Are we expecting another recurrence of May 13 for us to review our education system? By then, it's too late. How long does it take to rise again after that? 20 years? 30 years? The effect of May 13 is still being felt to this day on how difficult it is to rise up after a fall.

The reasoning that the national schools are more Malay and Islamic (morning prayers) is not strong grounds for rejecting the one school system. What other identities that can be highlighted in a country that reflected its nation's roots? If these also are being withdrawn, then what else will remain that can reflect the identity to the Malays and Islam? Have we not realized that this position is guaranteed in the constitution? Are we still unable to comprehend this basis after living in this blessed land all this while?