Thursday, April 2, 2009

How do we define being marginalised?

This letter which I wrote to the editor of Malaysiakini was published today. You can read it below or click here to view from Malaysiakini's webpage.

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I refer to the letter Perak Malays feel they're being marginalised.

What is the definition of being marginalised? It means to confine to a lower social standing or edge.

Does helping other races constitute confining other races to lower social standing? Does helping the needy regardless of race constitute marginalising? Have the Malays become of a lower social standing after what the Perak government has done so far?

I do not think so, and far from it. If the writer’s logic is any true, then help to any race other than the Malays would have been an act of ‘marginalising and alienating the Malays’.

However, in reality, it is the writer’s crooked philosophy, that has been used so profoundly in BN’s policy, that really alienates the rest of the race.

The writer said and I quote, ‘...granting of many hectares of land…to Chinese schools and associations (in Perak) have alienated the Malay community...’ What then have the BN been doing for the past 50 years by giving so many incentives to the Malays? Alienating the non- Malays?

I think the key word here is ‘need’. If the Malays needed it, as the NEP tried to justify, then help should be rendered. So the question that goes begging here is not whether those schools were Chinese or not, but if those schools really needed the money.

For years (in fact, since independence) the Chinese schools have been deprived of financial backing from the state government, funding that they deserved.

So why is it giving back what they deserve and what they need in order to expand and improve our country’s education system an act of ‘marginalising’?

Furthermore, the author has a zero-sum mentality which suggests that if you raised the social standing of a particular race, then you must have lowered the social standing of another. It begs to suggest that there can only be one ‘supreme race’ on the surface of Malaysia.

But in fact, these are two independent acts. One can raise the social standing of the Chinese race and at the same time raise the Malay’s too. There isn’t any conflict and so why would helping the Chinese schools constitute as marginalising the Malays?

In fact, if we look beyond this case, we could surely see that (since the last election) the Perak government has done so much good for the state in overall, which benefits all races!

This suggestion by the writer that Malays in Perak are being marginalised is just like any other BN political tactic where they disregard the big picture, zoom in on a particular spot, find fault and then exaggerate it.

Although it may be true that the feeling of being marginalised is a perception that many Malays in Perak share, it is also true that this perception is wrong. Unfortunately, as the writer says, perception is everything in politics.

1 comment:

Kok Chiang Ng (KC) said...
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