Malaysia is an unique and colourful nation, it is our asset.
All human beings are born equal, regardless of race, but races are not equal.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not specifically talking about Malays or any other races but in general.
But I also know that many of you are confused by the examples and counter-examples that bombard your mind especially by politicians.
You are being told not to be racist, but you feel that something is not right; things are different from the media and political propaganda. You see Malaysia PM Najib on the news and television, but you also face the reality every day when you walk on the street, when you take your kids from school or when you go to work. You simply know that some streets, neighborhoods, organisations or even cities, dominated by certain races.
So, the signals we receive about racial equality are conflicting and it seems like we stand in front a paradox, isn’t it? Only in appearance. The answer to this problem is a little tricky: all human beings are equal, regardless of race, but races are not equal.
Put fear, self-interest, inferiority and hypocrisy aside and look at a larger picture.
First and foremost I have to say that we will not talk about the superior or inferior spirituality of the human races.
The issue of racial equality will be analyzed only with the help of common sense and a minimum of scientific, historical and statistical data. Yes, many of the numbers and data used are still in debate and you may find slightly different values, depending on the sources, but try to be visionary especially having to live in a multi-religious/racial society.
What is racism? Racism, or racialism, basically, refers to the unfounded idea that some races of people are superior to other races of people. Racist behavior is not a recent phenomenon and it is not characteristic only to the white race. It has manifested ever since human races began to interact with each other because racism has chiefly a psychological cause. I think we can agree that racism is not about skin color, but in fact about the mental impact of the skin color. Without a proper education and without knowing the person who looks different, the natural tendency of any person is to adopt a cautious (or different) behavior in relation to those very different from themselves. Our instincts tell us that the people who are physically different from us and the group we are part of might be dangerous (they might carry a disease or they might have a dangerous way of thinking) or they might have a weakness. So, throughout the world’s history conquerors enslaved the conquered, while skin color gave birth to all kinds of theories, mainly religious, about the differences between people.
Our current racial policies should not has anything to do with superiority or ownership or being the majority but has everything to do with politics and history.
Hence for goodness sake, remarks such as “balik Tongshan” or “balik Indon” or “balik India” should not be of any relevance anymore.
Racial equality is a trend, a way of thought, like feudalism, monarchism, astrology, papal power or communism. But no trend stops itself peacefully, because those who are the exponents or the beneficiaries of an order of things do anything possible to maintain that order. The first who oppose any trend suffer: they are marginalized, ignored, punished or even killed. The elites – whether we speak about politicians, stars, intellectuals or scientists – avoid telling the truth so as not to lose the benefits they obtained. No one is willing to give up his titles, his money, his status, the respect he enjoys, his numbers of voters, his privileges for which he worked for years and ultimately to endanger his person and his family, only to admit truths against the established order. Besides, it is easy to defend any kind of ideology when you stand in an ivory tower.
Racial tensions have manifested in our past and will continue to manifest predominantly in the future, where there is no equal treatment or base on meritocracy. Time and the current policies will not bring racial harmony, although the entertainment and sport industries try to convince us otherwise.
The ideal of meritocracy and the ideal of racial equality are conflicting.
Many developed nations have been built on the ideal of meritocracy. This means that all people, regardless of the familial or cultural background, race, gender or wealth have the right to fight in the social competition from equal positions. The difference between the individuals is made only by personal abilities, power of work, level of intelligence and knowledge. All institutions and organizations from within a state – whether we talk about schools, colleges or private companies – act as a sort of social filters. They put people in competition with each other in order to identify the valuable ones and use their potential. Accordingly, valuable people enjoy material and social benefits and the chance to advance further. Through this process of supporting and promoting values, society as a whole evolves and wins an improvement in living conditions.
Meritocracy is the best social and political system ever invented. The problem is that the ideal of meritocracy and the ideal of racial equality are conflicting. And, if some people especially politicians continue to promote a faulty racial policy, exactly this meritocracy is endangered.
Some racial minorities do the easiest things they can do: they blame the outside for their failure, blame the racism of the Malays or Chinese (in terms of economy dominance), they perceive society as being built against them and they protest. In reaction, in order to maintain public order and not lose votes, politicians and media make compromises in favor of racial minorities.
As a result sometimes racial minorities began to be overprotected and advantaged, which in turn creates frustration and anger in the majority race, and ultimately to an increase of social tension. This is how problems escalate and become uncontrollable destructive phenomena.
We have the right to understand the causes of the phenomena that surround us and affect our lives. It is nobody’s fault that nature is cruel and favors some groups of people in the detriment of others. But it is entirely our fault if we do not speak the truth. When people are afraid of speaking the truth, then there is something wrong with the society they live in. That is for sure. Lying will bring nothing good. Today’s social context teaches the children of the racial minorities only one thing: whatever bad things are happening to them is because they are discriminated; they have no guilt. What they really have to learn is exactly the opposite: they have to work harder to overcome their condition. But this thing is not possible as long as society promotes an ideology contrary to the truth.
We can continue to lie to ourselves about this issue and search for all sorts of explanations for the social and economic differences between races. But this will not bring the balance society needs and will surely not bring any long-term benefit. How long will the racist card be played? Reality cannot be ignored indefinitely, no matter what.
And the longer we perpetuate this state of lie, the harder the inevitable change will be and will claim more sacrifices on all sides.