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What I accept – now, what can I expect?

August 7, 2017

Can we expect good leaders, a professional civil service and affirmative action programmes implemented with minimum leakage?


leaderBy TK Chua

I am speaking on my own behalf, not representing any race or community.

Okay, let’s not quarrel anymore.

I accept Malay leadership.

I accept Malays should be holding most of the prominent positions in the government.

I accept Malay dominance in the civil service, the police and the armed forces.

I accept Malays, Bumiputeras and Orang Asli as indigenous people of this land. They therefore have more rights than others.

I accept affirmative action programmes to equalise social and economic disparities.

I accept Bahasa Melayu as the national language and Islam as the religion of the federation.

I accept the Malay rulers as the fountain of justice and symbol of national pride and sovereignty.

I accept the federal constitution and all its stipulations.

Now, can I expect the following? In actual fact, can all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, expect the following?

Can I expect leaders with minimal blemishes? I am a realist – I do not expect perfection. But can I expect our leaders to defend and protect the constitution and the people of this country?

Can I expect our leaders to manage the national resources and the economy prudently and competently? Can I expect them to preserve the value of ringgit and contain the cost of living in line with wages and income?

Can I expect good governance? Again, I am not expecting perfect governance, but a governance able to protect and safeguard the wellbeing of the people. I can tolerate some inefficiency, wastage and little hiccoughs here and there, but should I accept blatant pilferage, corruption and gross incompetence?

Can I expect professionalism from the civil service, the police and the armed forces? It is not about Malay dominance, but can I expect them to perform their tasks professionally, impartially and efficiently?

Can I expect that affirmative action programmes be implemented with minimal leakage? Again, I am not quarrelling with affirmative action per se. But have the programmes reached the intended targets? If not, who siphoned and accrued the benefits for themselves?

Is our national language still an issue? I thought we had accepted it a long time ago – to pass state-mandated exams, to gain admission to public universities, to secure jobs in the civil service and to deal with government departments and agencies.

How do we “force” Malaysians not to learn English or other languages when Bahasa Melayu is not used internationally or widely in commerce?

For a long time, religion was never an issue in this country, at least based on my experience growing up. We lived harmoniously. We were respectful and sensitive to each other. We never encroached or became domineering.

Who really made religion such a contentious issue in this country today? Who really ignored the basic principles of our constitution? Who really wanted to follow the “practices” and the “ethos” of some other countries which have nothing good to show to begin with?

As for the Malay rulers, I think the people were the subjects of Malay rulers in various states way before Malaysia became a unified country. So where is the issue?

TK Chua is an FMT reader

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