Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2009 08:34:14 +1000
Local: Sat, Jun 13 2009 6:34 am
Subject: Re: Search for better lives, non-bumis face dilemma
Are you going to be a suicide bomber to show an example that you want to
stand up for the cause? Going in as protesters will not be of any use. If
you make too much noise, they will just jail you. A few suicide bombers will
force the government to change and start according fairness to all. It is
bums like you that enable the current system to flourish
Search for better lives, non-bumis face dilemma
Derrick Chan | May 28, 09 6:22pm
I refer to the opinion written by George CN Lee titled "Why talented
Malaysians have to leave".
George's opinion is shared by many Malaysians. This is especially
among Malaysians of non-bumiputera origin. He points out the
negativity in the economic, social and political situation in
Malaysia. Mr. Lee is a shameless armchair critic.
Mr. Lee sends his pessimistic views from a far. What makes it more
difficult for me to stomach is that he offers no solution to the
problem. He also refuses to be part of the solution. He complaint
about Malaysia even after calling somewhere else home. I know many
will agree that this is just plain typical of the third generation of
Malaysians of Chinese-origin.
I dislike the effect his opinion will have on Malaysians. Mr. Lee has
inadvertently encouraged Malaysians to migrate by painting a very
sorrowful situation in Malaysia. I admit that what he wrote is true
and I do not deny it. However, the sad part is that other ex-
Malaysians like Mr. Lee are too afraid to take part in the movement
for change. He has decided that flight is better than fight.
Like Mr. Lee, I am a Malaysian of Chinese origin. As I grew up, I came
to terms that I am a Malaysian-born citizen who happens to be a
Chinese. It was by fate, and not design.
Back then in China, the local armed strife is well-documented. As a
result, my ancestors left China many years ago. They were left with no
choice as the land they toiled was forcefully taken over by the
Communist movement, by force, in China. They were left in dire
conditions. It broke their hearts to leave but they had to because
they were supporters of democratic principles. They tried their best
and risked their lives trying to counter the Communist movement but
failed. It was only then they decided to take flight.
They boarded ships, not knowing where they would land. All they knew
was that they were heading South. I believed that it was destiny that
brought them to the shores of the peninsular so that they could
rebuild their lives and live peacefully. The then Malaya provided them
with this excellent opportunity. This was a land that gave new hope
and as I like to call it, they lived the Malaysian Dream.
There is a caveat to my definition of ‘Malaysian Dream'. It is unlike
the American Dream. I would not be able to define this in my short
treatise. However, the summary of my Malaysian Dream is that every
Malaysian regardless of race is accorded the justice and equality to
build a home and live happy lives. I can imagine that many of you
think that equality and justice is a fable to non-bumiputeras and I do
not deny it. However, we can change it to what it was before and
flourish like how Malaysia did in its formative years.
I would be lying if I said that I have never considered migration. I
have but not anymore. I weighed the pros and cons of why I should and
should not migrate. I even went to the extent of writing it down. At
the end, I came to the conclusion that I would never ever leave home.
I was born in this country and I will be buried with my forefathers
who also call this place home.
Home is an institution. It is unlike a house. A house is merely a
structure with four walls and a roof over it. I must say that Malaysia
as my home is still an institution. It has not been reduced to a
house. Malaysia was a good home to all of us.
About 60 to 70 years ago, you would hardly hear anything about racial
conflict. Everyone lived in peace and harmony. However, for Malaysia
to maintain its homely status, it needs housekeeping. And housekeeping
is every Malaysian citizen's duty.
It was not until all of us Malaysians started to be complacent and
left the duties of housekeeping to a few people. The Malaysians who
became complacent started not to care. This contributed to the
infamous ‘tidak apa' attitude that still prevails in Malaysia.
Mr. Lee compares the living standards between Malaysian and Australia.
I shall take the bull by the horns on this issue. The reason that
Australia and other Western countries have better system of governance
is simple: The people who live there have a more participative
attitude towards governance. This is opposed to the nonchalant
attitude among Malaysians and an example of this would be that they
have never voted in their lives.
They are scared to participate in civil society. They're afraid to
join peaceful protests in Malaysia because they're afraid that the sun
will darken their skin. Basically, they're just not interested. This
non-interested approached has hurt Malaysia and is the main cause why
Malaysia is in the state it is today.
Every Malaysian is given a broom by right. That broom is to clean up
our home. It is to keep it neat and tidy. However, the sad thing is
that many Malaysians have never lifted that broom. They've assumed
that it's better to flee to other countries, as if they don't have
housekeeping duties there.
To sum this up, my message to fellow Malaysians is simple: Go and pick
up that broom you were given. Go and participate in the democratic
movement in Malaysia and get involved especially if you, such as Mr.
George Lee, think that Malaysia is losing its status of being a home
to you. Don't be persuaded by what he says. He didn't bother lifting
up the broom to tidy our home.
Don't throw in the towel until the broom you've been given is broken.
If your broom breaks like how my ancestor's one broke in China, then I
would not fault you if you take flight as you've already fought.
I will certainly not give up on Malaysia. I hope you will not too.