Friday, September 19, 2008

The Race Relations Act: Making the Rakyat as a Scapegoat

In Malaysia, eversince its inception, everything said and done is being done along racial lines; be it in politics, economy, social or whatever sectors. Surprisingly, we can even see that on the golf course, at Starbucks, 'pasar malam', or every where. Even at hospital emergency rooms where lives are at stake, we can here the question: apa bangsa? Likewise, even those who call for the creation of Bangsa Malaysia make the call with a racial tone. They want the Bangsa Malaysia very badly but they do not agree to send their children to the national school or even the 'wawasan school'. Matters were even made worst after the last general election when the cake is becoming smaller for the ruling party. All these if being left unattended would surely lead to national disaster.

Perhaps, having all these in mind, the BN government would soon be introducing the Race Relations Act. Although the intention could be a noble one, it left me to wonder whether this kind of a law is really necessary or whether this kind of a law could really work given the many similar laws that are already being put into place and yet they have failed to have their supposedly deterence effect.

I for one could not imagine how the state could interfere in regulating my relations with other Malaysians: what I should say or what I shouldn't; or with whom I should not play golf; or whom shall I invite to my house. Or how could the state tell the Chinese to keep separate plates in their house for their Malay-Muslim friends. What about the place where they wash their plates? Must it be separate as well? The list is simply too long. I think this is crazy.

I belief that if one or two people throwing punches or even an abusive language with a racial tone at each other, it could never lead to a national disaster. Husband and wife would sometimes shout at each other as if they were heading for a divorce but yet the dust would settle before they go to bed.

What is worrying us is that if such an incident were to involve a person who holds a positon in an organized body or an association; be it a political party or an NGOs, the results could be different. Even then such an incident could go unnoticed or being localised if there is no one to blow the trumphet to tell the world at large. But this is an impossible thing to do as to the media circle, bad news are good news to them.

But what choice do we have if we were to make Malaysia a better place to stay. Freedom of speech as guaranteed under our Constitution must come with responsibility. Politicians and the like as well as the media must play a leading role in this. They must willingly exercise self-restraint. They must have the political will to do so. In this sense, perhaps, there is an urgent need to tighten the existing laws so as to disciplined the politicians and the media but certainly I don't think that the Race Relations Act could do any better. It's a mockery.

For the BN coalition, particularly during this difficult time, indeed, what they need most is to put their house in order first, before punishing the rakyat with new laws and regulations. The act of continuing to 'cari pasal' within the BN coalition must stop; lest they want to see the nation going into the drain. They should introduce a Code of Conduct for both their leaders and members.

The BN government must not loose its focus and make the rakyat as the scapegoat.

4 comments:

Lt Col (R) Roseli Abdul Gani said...

See! now, even a person of profesional standing like Tan Sri Dr. Khoo Kay Kim is beginning to loose his sight. According to him, as reported by the NST today, "From the beginning, Malaysia was made up of three separate cultural identities coming from Indonesia, China and India. When they came here, they brought over some of the ideals from their respective homelands ...".
By so saying, he is implying that the Malays too are immigrants, coming from Indonesia. As a historian, I am sure he would have realized that Indonesia is a new country.
To put the record straight, he must admit that most of the Malays in Malaysia came from the Malay Archipelago or Kepulauan Melayu of which Malaya (or whatever you want to call it) was also part of it.
Let's not distort our history again if we were to make Malaysia a better place to stay. We have to learn to live with it.

jazrul said...

I am sure he would have realized that Indonesia is a new country.

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fauzi said...

he must admit that most of the Malays in Malaysia came from the Malay Archipelago or Kepulauan Melayu of which Malaya (or whatever you want to call it) was also part of it.

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fauzi said...

no choi la about race
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