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I Am Who I Am by Namewee

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我還是我 I AM WHO I AM by Namewee 黃明志好好野專輯主打

This song speaks volumes, Namewee’s spirit and the state of our society and country.
Below are the English and Malay translation of the lyrics:

我還是我
Aku Tetap Aku
I am Who I am

我的名字 叫明志 這個自我介紹方式
Izinkan ku memperkenalkan diriku, nama saya ialah Namewee
My name is Namewee this is how I introduce myself
從小老師 就認為我是想要惹事
Sejak kecil lagi, cikgu ingatkan ku seorang yang suka buat hal
My teachers always thought I was looking for trouble
我熱愛文字 我討厭公式 我不想面對考試
Aku suka menulis, aku benci formula dan ujian sekolah
I love literature but I hate the school system and all its exams
我更討厭你規定我的頭髮款式
Aku lagi tak suka jika sesiapa komen kat style rambut ku
I get annoyed when people comment on my hair style
我的思考方式 沒有人能夠抑制
Pemikiran style aku, tiada orang boleh Ubahi
I was born with a mind that is beyond the control of others
大人都固執的怪我固執 不懂事
Orang dewasa anggap aku ni degil dan tak matang
Adult always blamed me for being stubborn & naive
我明白 待人處事都有 它的模式
Aku tahu memang ada pelbagai caranya berurusan
I realized our society has its way of life
但不代表 全部人都要變成孔子
Tapi ia tak bermakna semua orang harus menjadi Konfusius
But that doesn’t mean all of us must become Confucius

十五歲 那年初我染上音樂的毒
Pada umur 15 tahun, aku discover muzik
Age of 15 I discovered the joy of music
我透過音符 來降低我內心的無助
Nota nota membantu ku lalui masa yang tak berdaya
Through its notes I find ways to express my thoughts
我學習美術 但依然無法省悟
Aku cuba belajari seni tetapi ia tak membantu
I tried picking up art but it could not hold my inner feelings
是孤獨創造梵谷 還是梵谷創造孤獨
Adalah kesepian mencipta Van Gogh ataupun Van Gogh yang menciptakan kesepian?
Was loneliness created Van Gogh or Van Gogh created loneliness?
中學畢業後 華人得自求多福
Tamat sekolah menengah, kebanyakkan orang cina mencari rezeki di luar Negara
Upon finishing high school Chinese must find ways to further their studies
揮揮衣袖 我決定要到台灣留宿
Akhirnya, aku pun membuat keputusan untuk menginap di Taiwan
Faced with challenges I decided to pursue my education in Taiwan
爸爸媽媽不要擔心 我不會辜負
Ayah, mak jangan risau. Ku takkan buat kamu kecewa
Don’t worry mom and dad I promise not to fail you
等我讀完書 一定會回到歸屬
Habis belajar nanti, mesti saya balik ke Negara tercinta
I will return to my beloved home when I graduate
我會好好過 我必須好好過
Ku akan hidup dengan baik
I will be fine I must stay strong
想家的時候 我就打開電腦拼命創作
Apabila rindu kat keluarga, ku akan terus cipta lagu
When I lone for home I turn on my PC and started writing
牆壁上的大馬國旗 是我的寄託
Bendera Malaysia yang gantung kat dinding menjadi inspirasi ku
My Malaysian flag on the wall keeping my spirit alive
床頭的那張全家福 總是讓我振作
Gambar keluarga kat tepi katil tetap membuatkan ku lebih tabah
My family portrait beside my bed keeping my strong
一個人 在外國 要獨立生活
Seorang hidup di luar Negara, ku mesti lebih gagah
As a foreigner living in a strange country I learn to become independent
我做過很多工作 我面對很多數落
Aku buat banyak kerja sambilan, ku hadap banyak gagalan
I took up many jobs to pay my bills and tuition fees
無論再辛苦 還有音樂陪著我
Tak semestinya betapa susahnya, ku masih ditemani muzik
When times were tough at least I still had my music with me
我理想沒有變 因為我 還是我
Impian ku tidak berubah, kerana aku tetap aku
My dream did not change, I am still who I am

我有我自己的夢 自己會走
Aku akan berusaha mencapai impian ku sendiri
I have my own dream I will keep going
就算再寂寞
walaupun sunyi
Even it’s a lonely path
請原諒我的衝動 我會好好過
Maafkan impuls aku, aku akan hidup dengan baik-baik
Please forgive me for being impulsive, I will be fine
(相信我還是我)
(percayalah, aku tetap aku)
Believe me I am still who I am
我不怕暴雨狂風 將我淹沒
Aku tak takut hujan lebat membanjiri ku
I’m not afraid the obstacles cos it will not drown me
毅然往前走
Aku tetap akan berusaha
I will keep moving forward
就算旅途再癲頗 我不能回頭
Wakaupun jalan ini agak sukar tapi aku tak akan putus asa
Even if it is a journey of no return I will not give up
(相信我還是我)
(percayalah, aku tetap aku)
Believe me I am still who I am

2007 年 那是個遲來的夏天
Tahun 2007, itu musim panas yang datang agak lewat
Summer came late in the year 2007
改編國歌事件 讓我人生從此改變
Mengubah lagu negaraku membuatkan hidupan ku berubah
My life was forever changed with my national anthem song
透過網際網絡 我闖了禍
Melalui internet, aku menghadapi masalah
I got into trouble through the cyber space
但我堅持沒有犯錯 有人 說我叛國
Aku disalah fahami dan ada orang kata aku ni pengkhidnat negara
I was misunderstood and got accused of betraying my country
有人 想幹掉我 有人 說不讓我回國
Ada yang tak bagi aku balik ke Negara, ada yang ingin bunuh aku
My life was threaten and I even was told I cannot come home
要我磕頭認錯 政客趁機出頭
Saya dipaksa mengaku salah, orang kuat semua keluar menunjuk muka
I was pushed into the limelight by influential people trying to gain fame
媒體還配合炒作 世界 各地的記者call我
Pihak media dari seluruh dunia tak berhenti call saya
Media got into the action and suddenly international reporters started calling me
我必須學會沉著
Aku mesti tabah
I had to learn to stay calm
謠言越來越多 讓人陷入惶恐
Gosip angin semakin banyak, membuatkan ku makin risau
Rumours started flowing and my heart started pounding
甚至 還有人把偷渡路線圖 send給我
Saya juga terima peta haram tunjuk aku hilangkan diri
I even received maps with international escape routes
爸爸媽媽 對不起 不要難過
Ayah mak, ku minta maaf .. Janganlah kamu sedih
Sorry mom and dad please don’t be sad
牆壁上的國旗 我從來沒有拆過
Bendera Malaysia di dinding tidak pernah saya turunkan
I have not taken down the flag hanging in my bedroom
我破了千萬點閱 也上了各大版面
Youtube ku ditonton berjuta orang, gambarku juga dipampar dalam banyak surat khabar
My youtube video broke records and my face made newspaper covers
有人喜歡有人討厭面臨輿論考驗
Ada orang suka dan ada orang benci. Aku mengahadapi ujian yang sukar ini
I got cheered and got booed I must learn to face the music now
我的故事 被文學家 寫進了書
Kisah aku dicatat oleh penulis buku
My story was documented into a book
我的臉 還被人畫成了 卡通人物
Muka aku dilukis sebagai kartoon
My face even got drawn into cartoon characters
再多褒與貶 都已經事過境遷
Banyak pujiaan dan hinaan ku alami, tapi ia bukan segalanya
I wished that all the fame and criticism would die down some day
畢業後的我 決定勇敢面對誤解
Lepas ku tamatkan pengajian, aku membuat keputusan menghadapi semua salah faham
Upon graduation I decided to return to my beloved country
我用陸路 交通跨越六個國度
Ku menggunakan jalan darat dan melepasi 6 Negara untuk balik ke Negara cinta
With only land routes I walked across 6 countries to come home
拍攝紀錄 沿途上的驚險 和領悟
Ku merakamkan sepanjang jalan yang meliputi ketakutaan dan kesedaran
I even shot a documentary on my challenging journey
一步步 很艱苦 終於回到大馬領土
Ia satu perjalanan yang sukar tetapi akhirnya ku berjaya balik ke Negara tercinta
Thought every step was tought I finally came home to Malaysia
被拍照 被訪問 還被叫到警察總部
Pihak media tangkap gambar ku, ada temu duga dan aku juga dipanggil ke balai polis
I got called to police station and faced many media interviews
雖然 你們都把我 當成公眾人物
Walaupun banyak anggap ku sebagai orang famous
Even though most think of me as public personality
但我必須穩住 要保持個人創作元素
Tapi aku mesti tabah, aku mesti tetap dengan ciptaan lagu ku
But I stayed true to myself to retain my creative art

我有我自己的夢 自己會走
Aku akan berusaha mencapai impian ku sendiri
I have my own dream I will keep going
就算再寂寞
walaupun sunyi
Even it’s a lonely path
請原諒我的衝動 我會好好過
Maafkan impuls aku, aku akan hidup dengan baik-baik
Please forgive me for being impulsive, I will be fine
(相信我還是我)
(percayalah, aku tetap aku)
Believe me I am still who I am
我不怕暴雨狂風 將我淹沒
Aku tak takut hujan lebat membanjiri ku
I’m not afraid the obstacles cos it will not drown me
毅然往前走
Aku tetap akan berusaha
I will keep moving forward
就算旅途再癲頗 我不能回頭
Wakaupun jalan ini agak sukar tapi aku tak akan putus asa
Even if it is a journey of no return I will not give up
(相信我還是我)
(percayalah, aku tetap aku)
Believe me I am still who I am

有人說 我的作品荼毒青年思想
Ada orang marah hasil lagu ku mencemarkan fikiran remaja
People criticized my songs for poisoning the younger generation
有人說 我的頭腦都在胡思亂想
Ada orang mengata otak ku memikirkan perkara yang bukan-bukan
Some said my mind is full of dirty thoughts
說我亂講 說我是社會毒瘤發癢
Mengatakan aku ni merosakan moral masyarakat
That I have bad morel in the civil society
還怪我 變成他兒子的偶像
Ada juga yang mengalahkan ku jadi idola kepada anaknya
Some just blamed me for becoming his son’s idol
面對攻擊 我早就已經習慣
Aku dah biasa menghadapi semua halangan ini
I am used to faced difficult situations
保持沉默微笑 是我最好的答案
Menjadi keheningan sambil senyum adalah jawapan yang ku bagi
Keeping silent is my best defense and response
裝模作樣 從來就 不是我的強項
Aku tak suka menjadi kikuk depan orang
Putting a fake face is never an option for me
但我出門逛逛 卻要偽偽裝裝
Sekarang aku keluar, susah sangat boleh menjadi diri sendiri lagi
I can no longer be myself when I go out
我的email 每天都有人來 訴苦
Tiap-tiap hari aku terima email dari orang lain tuk mengeluh
People write to me pleading for help everyday
但我愛莫能助因為我不是 政府
Tapi aku tak berupaya kerana aku bukan pihak kerajaan
I just cannot do much because I am not the government
你們來我facebook 鼓勵我 詆毀我
Ada yang mendorong ku di facebook dan ada juga yang menghina ku
Some come to my Facebook supporting and slandering me
我不刪除因為那是言論自由淨土
Aku tak delete komen-komen kerana ini adalah kebebasan bicara semua
I didn’t delete because it is their freedom of speech
我想要讓你聽見 讓你看見
Aku nak bagi kau dengar, aku nak bagi kau Nampak
I want you to listen and I want you to see
我想說的話 我的電影 和我的音樂
Apa yang ingin ku ucapkan, filem ku, dan muzik ku
The messages I convey through my voice, my film and my music
徘徊尺度邊緣 自由自在的暢所欲言
Adalah kebebasan bicara
Walking the fine line in freedom of speech
那是主流媒體 永遠看不到的世界
Inilah tempat yang tidak boleh diperjuangkan oleh mainstream media
Which is something the mainstream media can never understand
我站在不 同的的角度我不會停下腳步
Aku memandang dunia dari pelbagai sudut dan tidak akan berhentikan langkahku
I stand from a different point and I will not stop
這條思路 是老天送給我的禮物
Jalan pemikiran saya adalah hadiah khas dari tuhan
This path is a gift from god
你說我糊塗 你甚至想要把我說服
Kau mengatakan aku bingung, malah kau ingin menyakinkan ku dengan ayatmu
You claimed that I am lost and want to brainwash me
對不起我 還是我那就是我的態度
Minta maaf, aku tetap aku. Inilah sikap ku
Sorry, I am still who I am, and this is my attitude
在Kuala Lumpur 開始了新的生活
Aku memulakan kehidupan baru di Kuala Lumpur
I am starting new life in Kuala Lumpur
這裡人潮洶湧 馬路坑坑洞洞
Terdapat ramai orang telah terkorban di jalan raya yang berlubang-lubang
It is crowded here and the roads are full of potholes
一不小心 我可能會在這裡失控
Saya rasa ku juga mungkin akan hilang control di sini
If I’m not careful things may just get out of control
這條路 很難走 但我已經 沒有回頭
Jalan ini agak sukar untuk berjalan, tetapi aku sudah tiada pilihan lain
The path is not easy but I do not have a choice anymore

(我還是我 我還是我)
(Aku tetap aku aku masih aku)
Because I am still who I am

我有我自己的夢 自己會走
Aku akan berusaha mencapai impian ku sendiri
I have my own dream and I will go for it
就算再寂寞
walaupun sunyi
Even it is a lone path
請原諒我的衝動 我會好好過
Maafkan impuls aku, aku akan hidup dengan baik-baik
Please forgive me for being impulsive, I will be fine
(相信我還是我)
(percayalah, aku tetap aku)
Believe me I am still who I am
我不怕暴雨狂風 將我淹沒
Aku tak takut hujan lebat membanjiri ku
I’m not afraid the obstacles cos it will not drown me
毅然往前走
Aku tetap akan berusaha
I will keep moving forward
就算旅途再癲頗 我不能回頭
Wakaupun jalan ini agak sukar tapi aku tak akan putus asa
Even if it is a journey of no return I will not give up
(相信我還是我)
(percayalah, aku tetap aku)
Believe me I am still who I am

Source: Namewee’s Blog

Written by PahlawanVolunteers

September 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Malaysia – A Promise of Fraternity through Freedom

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EVENT: 47 Minutes of Silence, Peace for Malaysia
To conclude the 47 years of Malaysia and usher in her 48th year
with 47 minutes of silence.
15th September 2010 @ 11.12pm – 11.59pm
– Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Carpark
– Community Halls/NGO Premises/Associations/Clubs in major towns

Watch Video: Malaysians 4 Change
Towards A 2-Party State System and Justice for All: Action Plan

To mark Malaysia Day on 16 September, civil society groups have come up with a joint statement urging Malaysians to reclaim their independence.

Civil Society Joint Statement on Malaysia Day 2010:
Malaysia – A Promise of Fraternity through Freedom

When the peoples of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore came together in 1963, Malaysia was a promise of freedom and fraternity, that all the children of this land would love and support each other to develop and progress.

A Promise of Fraternity through Freedom

Malaysia was a promise of fraternity. For none of Malaysia’s children were meant to be asked to leave their country for some foreign land. And no one was meant to be insulted and marginalised because of his or her ethnicity, faith, birthplace, lifestyle or any other group attributes.

Malaysia was a promise of freedom. Like every other nation on Earth, we would inevitably have differences on how the country was to be run and how resources and opportunities shared. We were meant to listen and understand each other, and seek solutions acceptable to all. We were not meant to silence each other by resorting to threats of riot or imprisonment.

Malaysia cannot be an independent nation if Malaysians are not free.

Malaysia was indeed such a promise, not only of fraternity and freedom, but specifically of fraternity through freedom. We were not meant to be a fraternity of slaves, living in peace merely out of fear of draconian laws or ethnic riots. Neither were we meant to exercise our freedom irresponsibly and heartlessly to cause or ignore misery of our brothers and sisters.

We were meant to use our freedom – uncompromised by our diversity – to chart a common future and a better tomorrow for all. It’s the desire for freedom and the confidence that we can collectively use freedom wisely that confirm our independence from colonisation. And that’s why Malaysia as a whole is – or should be – greater than the sum of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

What has gone wrong?

What has happened to this great promise of fraternity and freedom? Where are our civil and political liberties after 47 years of independence? How is our social harmony after 47 years of co-existence?

We have educationists openly calling for ethnic minorities to leave the country. We have politicians demonising gestures of goodwill between different religious communities. We have self-appointed communal heroes mongering fear and hatred, lodging police reports against opinions disapproved by them. Subsequently, we have vulgar expressions of counter-attacks.

Every society has fringe individuals and groups going all out to offend others. The only way to stop them is to expose their slurs shunned by the mainstream opinion, the very people they claim to champion, not by imprisoning them and making them martyrs. However, for common sense to prevail, we need freedom of expression and freedom of information.

By no accident at all, the perceived escalation of communal tensions happens concurrently with selective crackdown on mainstream and alternative media. Critical journalists – from television, radio and print media – are either removed or marginalised. Books and cartoons are banned while bloggers are harassed and intimidated.

Rational discussion and legitimate dissent are simply muted while certain media organisations are allowed the maximum freedom to spread bigotry and ill-will. These media operators want to terrify us Malaysians into denouncing freedom – what the Independence is really about – by
manipulating our love for peace. They want us to cling on to authoritarianism. They even openly call for ISA arrests to silence dissent.

Why are the bigoted politicians and their media collaborators so bold in challenging the common sense of Malaysians? They call us the silent majority. Do they know silence can be powerful, too? When the silent majority act together, then silence can be more deafening than any noise.

Let us reclaim our Independence

This Malaysia Day, let us all work to reclaim our country, not only for ourselves, but also for the future generations to come. It has to begin with ourselves, not anybody else.

As the Native American wisdom aptly puts it, “We do not inherit this land from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

Let us guard this land from the fire of hatred, ignorance and fear, and return it intact to our descendants.

Let us take some time to reflect in silence on the part we have played in letting this country stoop so low, either by commission or omission.

Let us reach out to other Malaysians, out of love, not out of fear or tolerance.

Let us listen to each other and seek understanding even if we disagree.

Let us reaffirm our Independence and defeat any attempt of mental colonisation.

Let us live the promise of fraternity through freedom that Malaysia was born for 47 years ago.

The endorsing civil society groups:

  1. Aliran Kesedaran Negara (ALIRAN)
  2. Bersih 2.0
  3. Borneo Research Institute Sarawak (BRIMAS)
  4. Child Development Initiative
  5. Civil Rights Committee, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC-KLSCAH)
  6. Community Development Centre (CDC)
  7. Council of Temples Malaysia
  8. Educational, Welfare and Research Foundation Malaysia
  9. EMPOWER
  10. Federation of Indian Non-Governmental Organisations
  11. Friends in Conversation (FIC)
  12. Frinjan Collective
  13. Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC)
  14. Hartal MSM
  15. Indian Malaysian Active Generation (IMAGE)
  16. Institute for Development of Alternative Living (IDEAL)
  17. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
  18. Jaringan Orang Asal Semalaysia -JOAS (indigenous peoples network of Malaysia)
  19. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
  20. Klang Consumer Association
  21. Kuala Lumpur And Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Youth Section
  22. LLG Cultural Development Centre
  23. Majlis Kelab Bell Belia Tamil Malaysia
  24. Malacca Chinese Assembly Hall Youth Section
  25. Malaysian Association of Indian University Graduates
  26. Malaysian Dravidian Association
  27. Malaysian Hindu Youth Council
  28. Malaysian Indian Development & Unity Association
  29. Malaysian Indian Historical Association
  30. Malaysian Tamil Forum
  31. Malaysians for Beng Hock
  32. Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)
  33. Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall Youth Section
  34. Oriental Hearts & Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
  35. Pahlawan Volunteers
  36. PeBT MPSJ Zon 23
  37. PERMAS (Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor Dan Wilayah Persekutuan)
  38. Persahabatan Semparuthi
  39. Persatuan Alumni PBTUSM Selangor & Kuala Lumpur
  40. Persatuan Kebangsaan Hak Asasi Manusia (HAKAM)
  41. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Kuala Lumpur,Selangor & Perak (PRIHATIN)
  42. Persatuan Penduduk Taman Muhibbah
  43. PT Foundation
  44. PUSAT KOMAS
  45. Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
  46. Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA)
  47. Sarawak Native Land Rights Owners (TAHABAS)
  48. Sarawakians Access (SACCESS)
  49. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
  50. Tamil Foundation
  51. The Micah Mandate (TMM)
  52. The Penang Independent Schools Education Society
  53. Women Institute for Research Development and Advancement (WIRDA)
  54. Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
  55. Youth for Change (Y4C)

The endorsing party organisation:

  1. Wanita Parti Keadilan Rakyat

Written by PahlawanVolunteers

September 15, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Stem the tide of racism and racial-baiting

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SABM celebrates Hari Malaysia

Racist rhetoric: Extremist leaders continue to spew so much hurtful invectives that these would have shamed the most neo-Nazi right-wingers, the world over. Most modern societies would have punished such hate-mongers if not for their senseless racial baiting but then for their ad hominem attacks on just about anyone who dares to challenge their warped if narrow worldview.

Perhaps the media can play their roles better by downplaying these media hounds, whose purposes are so sickening and depraved.

Pursue the perpetrators: Yet, when called upon to investigate such racist behaviours, the authorities appear to be dragging their feet, and instead concentrate with such efficiency to question and charge a rapper (NameWee) who merely was bold and foolhardy enough to serve as a conduit to expose these wrongdoings. Can the police and authorities not see the biasness of their actions, by pursuing the messenger and not the perpetrator of possible crimes? Full story after the videos below.

On Thoughts, Words and Deeds:
Thoughts become words. Words become action.
What are we teaching our children today?

Rising racism, 53 years on

By David KL Quek

This year, I became a senior citizen. I can now withdraw my EPF savings and I qualify for some discounts for travel and surprisingly even for some buffet meals at some eateries.

But as I ponder upon ‘retirement’, it is sad to see the Malaysia that I know and live in, grows increasingly uncertain, diffident and bogged down in self-made crises, one after another.

Our previously phenomenal economic growth has now trickled down in a dizzying spiral of middle-income trap – not helped by the 2008 global financial crisis.

Our foreign direct investments have dwindled as our competitiveness, our productivity, perhaps our systemic corruption and wastage, have now been exposed and called into question.

Even our inborn entrepreneurs are investing overseas because of the uncertain future and shifting policies, which have made us face the truth of our competitiveness and value as a nation.

Instead of maturing gracefully, we appear to have become trapped in a petulant phase of angry adolescence breaking out senselessly to attack convenient bogeymen -race and religion appear to have become the easy targets, which breed even more political and economic uncertainty.

As a fourth generation Malaysian, I was born two and a half years before our fateful Merdeka. I am still wondering whether we are truly ‘liberated’ as befits the meaning of ‘Merdeka’, so gloriously proclaimed by our Bapa Merdeka, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, in 1957.

That Merdeka was to have ushered in the birth of what some would have called ‘an unlikely nation’, one that appeared cobbled together in a slapdash manner, juxtaposing a disparate if hodgepodge peoples – predominantly Malays, Chinese and Indians- and akin to mixing oil in water. Yet again, does any one in such serendipitous circumstance have that conscious sense of history and historicity of these singular moments?

To be fair, even then, no one dared to dream that the idea of Malaya and later Malaysia could succeed. But truth be told, we did do very well for so many years, becoming one of the rising ‘Asian tigers’. It’s just these recent years that we have foundered and perhaps lost a little faith in ourselves.

So many other post-colonial new nations had self-destructed in interethnic, religious or tribalistic clashes and conflagrations. We nearly did in May of 1969.

But good sense and firm actions created a novel social re-engineering feat (the NEP) in its wake, to bring about some semblance of order, reasonable interethnic tolerance and suppressed racial tensions.

For the next four decades, we have lived a reasonably harmonious if distinct existence, although seething fault-lines appear now and again to threaten the veneer of our touted ‘Truly Asian’ unity among our unique pastiche of colourful normalcy.

Forty years hence, ratcheted-up rhetoric is beginning to sunder this extraordinary relationship. Polarised insistence on continued affirmative action in stylised if arbitrary terms, remains a bone of contention, which powerfully fans the embers of resurgent ethnic fears and pride.

Sadly, as we celebrate this auspicious anniversary, we seemed mired in increasingly rabid and insulting racism, which greatly threatens our flimsy unity and contrasting diversity.

Racist rhetoric

Extremist leaders continue to spew so much hurtful invectives that these would have shamed the most neo-Nazi right-wingers, the world over. Most modern societies would have punished such hate-mongers if not for their senseless racial baiting but then for their ad hominem attacks on just about anyone who dares to challenge their warped if narrow worldview.

Perhaps the media can play their roles better by downplaying these media hounds, whose purposes are so sickening and depraved.

It appears that more and more politicians are flogging the twisted if populist concept of ethnic supremacy and extraordinary rights (of ethnic ketuanan) once again, as if to bolster their public images as racial champions. The loudest and the most strident appear to be those who are now commanding the greatest publicity and arguably some perverse following.

Our authorities appear timorous in not wanting to directly confront these vociferous bullies, for fear of some unintended backlash. But in so doing, the government loses even more credibility. The government of the people must serve as a fearless just arbiter of a firm and respected Leviathan, and not be held ransom by some mindless minority.

There cannot be distorted applications of the rule of law, where any one can flaunt and challenge the wisdom of the law, at wanton will. There seems to be no more respect for anyone else except for the self-righteous bully pulpit arrogance of voluble tyrants disgorging more and more hatred and painfully shrill racist ideologies to the hilt.

Freedom of speech implies rational discourse and debate, not threatening and insulting rantings. It certainly does not absolve anyone of despicable spewing and inciting of ethnic or religious intimidation or hatred.

But who really is to blame for the recent rise in racist rhetoric?

It appears that some components of the government are still pushing the propaganda machine to perpetuate the concept of racial supremacy and denigrating all other ethnic groups.

The Biro Tata Negara (BTN, National Civics Bureau) instead of instilling national civic consciousness, appears to relish in inculcating and indoctrinating any civil servant or would be scholarship holder, in a time-warped belief system that only the Malays are true patriots and truly deserving of their Malaysianness.

This is still happening 50-odd years following Merdeka, and one wonders why non-bumiputeras don’t sometimes feel any greater sense of belonging to this nation of ours.

Surprisingly such BTN programmes appear to have been a ‘recent’ phenomenon. My sister and brother-in-law who are senior government servants in the Ministries of Education and Higher Education respectively claimed never to have been subject to such gross demeaning indoctrination or abuse – perhaps, they too have been too polite, too programmed, to acknowledge. It did not take place when I was a clinical lecturer for seven years at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in the 1980s and early 1990s.

But as MMA president, I have received some angry verbal complaints (many are traumatised, frightened and do not want to be quoted for fear of reprisals) that even non-bumiputera junior medical specialists and house officers, who aspire to join the service or to be confirmed, are currently subject to physical and mental abuse. Mind you, these are not students of impressionable age, but grown men and women in their twenties and thirties.

Some have been made to squat and huddle together in front of other bumiputera peers, rudely woken at early mornings, shouted at, called pendatang, usurpers of scholarships and positions, depriving the true bumiputeras of their places and rights, told in uncertain terms that they are here only at the behest and kindly generosity of the bumiputeras, and that they can always ‘go home’ or balik kampung which means China or India.

Groups have been bullied into subordinating to and acknowledging the official ‘dogma’, or risk having the entire group not ‘passing the course’. Do these utterances ring a bell?

Less than a year and a half ago, one young returning teacher broke down from such radical abuse and hazing, that her family decided to pull her out, repaying the loan in full – enough is enough! So can we not see how this will perpetuate the cycle of blatant racial baiting and hatred when these ‘officers’ return to their respective services, after such provocative BTN courses?

Mustn’t such propaganda stop? Is the government truly sincere in wishing to stem such state-endorsed racism? Is this government truly espousing the 1Malaysia concept for whatever it is worth?

Mohd Nazri Abdul AzizLast year, Minister in the PM’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz acknowledged that the BTN must be overhauled. He had revealed that courses by the BTN were racially divisive and used to promote certain government leaders. While Nazri was bold enough to expose this, he was nearly alone in defending the need to overhaul the BTN courses.

Most of the ruling elite, including the deputy premier had sided with those who refused to acknowledge Nazri’s contention that the BTN was a mockery of the 1Malaysia concept. Of course, former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad joined in and insisted there was no need to revamp the BTN courses, which led Nazri to call the former PM a “bloody racist”, even conferring on Dr M the title “the father of all racists”.

So are we surprised that Perkasa, school teachers and principals, public officers, resort to such ‘ingrained’ behaviour, notwithstanding the so-called ‘provocation ‘ from their charges, their students, who must surely be so ‘insensitive’ as to other’s religious practices?

Pursue the perpetrators

Yet, when called upon to investigate such racist behaviours, the authorities appear to be dragging their feet, and instead concentrate with such efficiency to question and charge a rapper (NameWee) who merely was bold and foolhardy enough to serve as a conduit to expose these wrongdoings.

Rapper NameweeCan the police and authorities not see the biasness of their actions, by pursuing the messenger and not the perpetrator of possible crimes?

Can the authorities not understand why thinking Malaysians and non-bumiputeas are beginning to feel persecuted and discriminated against, more and more, despite utterances to the contrary by our political leaders?

Can the authorities not understand why more and more disgruntled non-bumiputeas are making a beeline to emigrate whenever and wherever they can – hardship, uprooting displacement and starting over, notwithstanding? This has got nothing to do with patriotism, when one is constantly told that he or she is unequal as a citizen, and that they are unwanted.

Can every Malaysian non-bumiputera truly feel that he or she has a fair and reasonable share of this piece of earth called Malaysia? Do our authorities truly appreciate talent, merit or worth of any non-bumiputera at all, or is this mere lip service? Can they not see the hollowness and insincerity of their pronouncements – when we can hardly see the ‘walk’ from the ‘talk’?

Such crescendos of racist ravings seriously undermine the carefully constructed dream of a true Malaysian nation, shattering the much-bandied ‘unity’ slogan already so tattered among our terribly troubled diversity.

Hurtful cries to demonise and belittle other races as unequal, pendatang and lesser than themselves cannot but help demoralise every peace-loving non-bumiputera Malaysian who aspires for a better tomorrow, a better Malaysia.

We fully recognise the special position of the bumiputeras, but as non-bumiputeras we also increasingly demand our rightful place in this nation of ours. Lest it is forgotten, our position is also enshrined in the constitution. This is not arrogance, but a statement of fact as a human right of any citizen.

We do have a long way to go. We have many mindsets to change, to engage, to dialogue with in sincerity and humility, so that race and religion cannot be made a bogeyman for every travail or challenge that the country is facing.

We have our work cut out for us, but as rational Malaysians, we must all try even harder to persuade the government to be one for all Malaysians and not for mere sloganeering alone or for any one racial group.

We must flush out all closet racists. We must instead cultivate greater rational discourse and dialogue without preconditions of threats and top-down dictates. We need to work on closer cross-ethnic cooperation, tolerance and acceptance so that together we are truly more than the sum of our rich individual strength and heritage.

PerkasaWe must nurture greater cohesiveness by lowering the tempo and temperature of racial baiting and shrill cries and rhetoric of ethnic pride and irrational fear-mongering. We must work towards greater confidence of sharing and building and not engage in divisive dismantling bigotry based on artificial barriers of so-called ethnic or religious sensitivities.

This government must be seen to act without fear or favour, by espousing fair and just policies, by directly confronting and stemming the tide of racism and racial-baiting. Divisive ravings drive uncertainty and suppress confidence. We need to reverse such negative rhetoric if we wish to improve the climate for economic buoyancy in this country.

By staying the course of inept inattention, we stand to lose our global competitiveness even more, as we Malaysians lose confidence in ourselves and our grip on the future.

We must do this right and soon, or risk losing everything! 53 years hence, and Merdeka then would have been in vain.

“We came into the world like brother and brother, And now let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.” – William Shakespeare, in the closing couplet of ‘The Comedy of Errors’ [V.i.425-26]

DR DAVID KL QUEK was the editor-in-chief of the MMA News (bulletin of the Malaysian Medical Association) for 11 years and is currently president of the MMA.

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