Monday, July 14, 2008

Answer to comments on "Malaysia for Malaysians and Special Rights of the Malays"

my answer:

bats, Article 153 grants the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or King of Malaysia, responsibility for safeguarding the rights and privileges of the Malay and other indigenous peoples of Malaysia, collectively referred to as Bumiputra. The article specifies how the federal government may protect the interest of these groups by establishing quotas for entry into the civil service, public scholarships and public education. It is often considered to be part of the social contract (Wiki). The word "position" is just another preposition used. Let's skip the terminologies and technicalities of it. We all understand there's a provision for the Malays in the Constitution.

On scholarships and education; in general, the rural folks are far behind compared to those privileged in the cities with better infrastructure, resources and man power. The classic argument is that scholarships should be for low-income families and not for smart rich kids. We forget the middle-class group which is diminishing slowly over time. This is also another group that needs aid. Tertiary education is not cheap as you have experienced yourself. The poverty cycle is something hard to be breached. The kids in the rural area are behind compared to their peers in the cities due to family obligations and others. Question is: do we fund the poor but mediocre or fund the smart ones but could barely afford it (forget about the rich and the definition of rich for now). Is the requirement of a scholarship based on meritocracy or family wealth? It should be a balance of both.

Under privileged group is getting aid and fundings from the government. How do you think they get their books, uniforms, skim susu, transportation allowance, etc. How do you think ppl get to go to universities in Malaysia? Where do you think RM7B per year goes to if not for subsidies in education? There are vast improvements need to be done in our education system. There are leakages of course but a person as smart as you can't possibly believe that all of that is going to someone's pocket?

On acquisition of projects from influential people: this is not just a Malaysian problem, it's everywhere. The collusion of politics and business is unavoidable even in the developed countries. In the US, they are called the "Special Interest" groups ranging from guns for the constitutional provision of the right to bear arms, tobacco, oil, defence. We can get into details offline.

I won't say the execution of NEP was flawed. It has its weaknesses but we've seen an elevation of status. Maybe not as much as we would like, but better. The profession of lawyers and doctors are dominated by the Indians. Where do you think they went to school and who paid for their schooling? The construction of universities and institutions such as MARA have helped increase the number of Malay young professionals. There is still hard core poverty not just in Malaysia, but the whole planet. It doesn't mean we haven't done anything to improve. The most powerful country in the world couldn't even organize emergency teams when Katrina hit New Orleans. In the outskirt of Chicago, a bustling city in the US, lies Madison street where 1 out of 3 African Americans goes to jail for some felony due to poverty.

My stand has always been this: stop blaming others, you have to be responsible for your own well being. For people in privileged positions, participate and help out. This is what's lacking among youths these days who are too busy with their jobs. The next time you spend your weekend watching HBO, think about what you could have done for someone else.

from bats:

what started out as "Special Position.." at the beginning of the article morphed (unintentional, i'm sure) into "Special Rights..." by the end of the piece, and there-in lies the problem.

while the idea is noble, the execution, as i've witnessed, is anything but. 55% of the economic pie is no small feat, but are we ever going to achieve that if the country's wealth is only distributed amongst the ruling elite? it has become a family business and since families never really die, we're going nowhere.

we all know of folks who latch on to politicians in hope of projects, only to sub them out anyway. so what you have is a small circle of bumis and non-bumis who feast on the proverbial pie, while the ones who really need a little love don't get any. 55% or whatever that number is, will remain a pipe dream. what you'll get instead is a group of millionares, even billionares, but that's about it.

it's a touchy subject. blood has been shed over it, sure. but if that's the approach, then status quo will rule for decades to come. we can all accept, sit down and get on with it. SOS.

there is no harm in Islam being the official religion and the King being the head of state. Our country is unique and its identity is its badge of honour. god bless our country for that. I am pretty sure that with good governance, Malaysians will be fine with that, as they have been for yonks now.

what we must acknowledge is the fact that not only underprivelaged malays need this help. underprivelaged others need this handicap too. if that is understood and accepted, we can then put an end to the hijacking and put our country's wealth to good use. you're right, we're seeing it in the cities, but again, those calling for the total abolishment of this policy, the very ones who gained from it, should calm the f*ck down and accept that it will take time to uplift the economic standing of the underprivelaged, be it malays or anyone else.

for a start, the clowns bitching about PSD's decision to increase scholarhips for non-bumis should be flogged. what's their beef with children of other Malaysians who share the same IC colour?

1 comment:

bats said...

you're spot on about the middle class. off the top of my head, i can list out 5 good mates whose parents have had to remortgage, take all kinds of loans, borrow money from strangers just to fund the education of their high performing kids who could not get places in local unis. damn the scholarships, i'm talking about place in local uni. what's wrong with that picture?

sounds like, 1 less astronot program, 1 more college?

for every kid that gets a free (almost) carton of milk, there's another who can't get a text book because skim buku teks has run out of books. what happens to that kid?

my point is, while the intention and talk on behalf of our leaders is certainly there, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. anything can be a good example here..

it's all about a good policy being hijacked, all for political reasons.

the US and their interest groups for example. if we were to go into the details, our boys will put their special interest groups to shame. dive a bit further in, and campaign funding can be dragged into this discussion, which eventually will turn everything to sh*ts.

my point is, status quo cannot remain. if we're sticking to the NEP, it's gotta be implemented better. a whole lot better. while the NEP has helped, it's hasn't done enough because of all the hijacking. the basic uplifting of the majority has not been accomplished despite being in service for 30 odd years. where have we gone wrong?

it's just important to remember that for every person that requires the NEP, there's another out there who has no where to turn. he's malaysian too.

so a few of us wanna help. fine. we can't force anyone to do shite. fine again. but, where does the goverment come in? we leave the race based parties to sort out their communities? yikes! we're definately f*cked then.