I refer to the letter written by Nga Ko-Lyn from Sitiawan, Perak on “Path To True Unity” published on 5th September. If the author is adamant to blame racial politics on the power structure of Barisan Nasional, the author should also examine the racial structure in Pakatan Rakyat where DAP is predominantly Chinese and both PKR and PAS are strongly Malay-based.
Malaysians of all walks of life know the global boundaries have disappeared. However, it doesn’t mean free trade is fair to small and under developed countries. It doesn’t mean the US will not charge tariffs on imported steel from Japan if it means having 180,000 Americans out of job in Pittsburgh. Globalization is widely accepted to many but is also scrutinized and regulated.
Ko-Lyn also said that “the European Union is a force to reckon with”, failing to recognize that the British have failed to increase their economy. The Organization for Economic Co-Operation (OECD) predicted the UK to be in recession by end of the year, shrinking by 0.4% by year end. The European Union system heavily subsidizes the unemployed and it encourages more people to be out of job. In 2002, the combined unemployment rate of EU was at a staggering 8%. The taxation is high at 40% and more Europeans are flooding the Asian job market because of the high salary and low taxation from local governments. The North Sea sector has probably hit oil peak and industrial leaders are eyeing elsewhere for investments. The EU alone imports 82% of its oil for consumption. China is already the market leader in manufacturing (manufacturing 6.5million cars last year with 120 car makers in the country) and India in IT. Google, Microsoft, Coke and other major global brands are investing heavily in Asia, not Europe. He should recognize that Asia is “The” force to be reckoned with, not Europe. I do agree that our politicians should just govern, instead of being embroiled in local politics, before Vietnam surpasses our GDP. The general election has been over for 6 months.
Ko-Lyn also said that “the only way to absolute and true unity is when we stop thinking as different races”. There is no demerit thinking as different races. This is the basis of cultures and cultures are what identify people with a sense of belonging. The Malays are proud to brandish the keris, not just during political assemblies but as part of the uniform and a symbol of the Malay culture, likewise the Chinese with their mighty Lion Dance. America has been independent for more than a century, yet the non-Caucasians are still categorized as Latin Americans, African Americans and Asian Americans. Tolerance is still king and will continue to play the most important racial in racial unity and ‘integration’. In the end, we are all Malaysians with the same passport and identification cards.
On education, if Ko-Lyn thinks that “policies prevent many of our smart students from completing their education in a higher institution”, what about primary and secondary schools? If he is such an advocate of unity, he should be advocating a streamlined system, instead of having SRJK Cina and Tamil. That to me is the root cause of the intolerance we have today. He should also study the education system at institutions such as the Royal Military College, where the military system has been found successful in promoting tolerance and integration in the multi-racial environment. RMC was deemed an important element in nation building after Independence to churn future leaders in the military and public sector, so important that even the then Prime Minister chaired the Board of Governors meetings.