Connect The Dots: Catching Ourselves

Connect The Dots by Azira AzizCONNECT THE DOTS by Azira Aziz

Fed by misinformation. In conduct of an internal inquisition. In formation of an inquisitive mind. Like a child beholding a picture book, connecting the printed dots and filling the colours of my fascination with the beloved nation of mine.

Connecting the dots in the mind of a closet racist.

Beware of your thoughts, they become your words.
Beware of your words, they become your actions.
Beware of your actions, they become your habits.
Beware of your habits, they become your character.
Beware of your character, it becomes your destiny.

~Unknown.

853617_Coming-out-off-the-wall_620

Human beings are the product of their environment. Genetics play a part, but we are natural imitators. We are subconsciously inclined to emulate the people that we look up to, the alpha homo sapiens. We emulate their manner of dress, their manner of speech, and at times, their very thoughts and opinions.

We allow ourselves to be convinced by smooth delivery and beautiful prose that certain ideas are beautiful and wonderful when there is no logical causal link to it.

We are indoctrinated to accept what is generally accepted by the majority. Our internal data is validated or reinforced by surrounding echoes of similar strains of thought. “That’s how things are, and that’s how things should be,” as gloriously exhibited by UMNO. Classic example of absolute obedience to mind control, but I digress.

Today I’d like to talk about self awareness. I’d like to ask you read the situational questions below, really put yourself in that situation and respond honestly.

1. You’re in a conversation with a group of your peers. The “story of the day” concerns a horrible accident that occurred along the Federal Highway and you were told that 20 people died. What would your first question be?

2. It’s lunch time and you’re off to lunch with your colleagues. Usual sharing of the latest office gossip takes place (come on, don’t lie, everybody does it!) and we refer to certain individuals whose names we do not recall as …?

3. You’re sick and believe that if government hospitals are good enough for the masses, it is certainly good enough for you, and made your way to Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. As you coughed, sneezed, and tried to brave the nausea from being sick, you were at least aware enough to leave the “race” column blank to express your political opinion on racial profiling. The medical officer taking your temperature and blood pressure grunted and ask you for your race. You refused to say anything. He attempted to startle you with “Melayu ke Cina?” What would you do?

4. You’re watching television, and there is news of a high profile murder trial involving two suspects of a certain race.Your first thought would be to identify the two persons as…? After the identification is found, your first thought is to link it with?

5. How would you feel if you heard news about a person of the same cultural heritage (or race) committing a heinous crime? How would you feel if that person was of a different cultural hertiage (or race) than yours?

6. When a Malaysian wins an award or does something exemplary that the international community covers it in their news, what would the first reaction be?

7. You see a Malay/Chinese or Indian/Malay or Chinese/Indian or the 300k other multiracial combination couple out on a date. What would you do? You are a non-Muslim person hanging out with some friends, one of which is a Muslim.

8. You are a non-Muslim person hanging out with some friends, one of which is a Muslim. All of you want to eat at a non-halal shop, but he can’t, being the religious sort. What would you do?

Have the answer yet? Reflect and be honest with yourself.

Done?

Here is what I think would be the most likely responses to the respective questions above from the average Malaysian:

1. Cina, Melayu ke India?

2. Chinese f’ler, Indian f’ler, gwai loh, lelaki Melayu.

3. This is from my personal experience. I told him “Bangsa Malaysia” and blew my nose in my tissue. My Mom happened to pass by, and he grunted “Hmmpphhh” and sent me for a blood test.

4. Oh, [insert race], they’re all like that one, very [insert stereotype]!

5. Most people, whether they admit it or not, would likely be angrier at suspects and convicted criminals from a different cultural heritage or race. If the cultural heritage or race is the same, the sentiment would be “Bring shame to [insert racial community] only!”

6. Cina, Melayu ke India? You feel proud if from same race. Feel indifferent if not, with a slight tinge of envy somewhere in your gut. Sabotage where possible.

7. STARE. If one girl is a Malay/Muslim, stare even longer and think about the poor non-Muslim having to convert into Islam and the children having no choice but to remain a Muslim. In my personal opinion, in any relationship, you take the other person as he or she is when you found them – religion, family, bad habits and all – or it’s not really love. Asking another person to convert for you is a bit much, especially since the trend in Malaysia is not converting into Islam, but “masuk Melayu” though I have yet to test the theory of how a non-Malay could genetically be remade into a Malay through marriage and conversion into Islam as yet.

8. In Malaysia, the “sensitivities” of Muslims trumps the rights of everyone else. For some reason, if there is a Muslim present, even if there are 10 non-Muslims and he or she is the only one, everyone must only eat at a halal place. Tapau-ing halal food to be considerate to the non-Muslim friends is wrong, even when the restaurant allows it.

The conclusion from the scenarios is this: Most of us are all still closet racists. Don’t beat yourself up for it. We’ve been short-changed by the same propaganda drilled into our brains since primary school until university (if you’re in public university).

The Government preaches tolerance but not acceptance. It preaches 1Malaysia while maintaining the affirmative action policies which it knows does not benefit people who need them the most, at the expense of the other equally Malaysian Malaysians.

Tolerate. I dislike that word. It’s like when someone passes wind of the very unbearably “aromatic” kind but you grit your teeth anyway and put up with it because you know it will to go away soon, (especially with a speedy fan) and you’d rather not create an awkward situation.

Why not acceptance? We accept that people are different by keeping an open mind. Everything has an underlying issue, and each person is unique.

But that’s okay. That is when you don’t know that you are in control of your awareness. You control what your thoughts are, every day. That voice that tells you that you can’t reach that deadline comes from within you. That voice that tells you you’re on top of your game is also you. You choose what to think. It is only natural that our thoughts govern our actions, every day.

Think instead, everyone is human. If we get into an accident and require blood transfusion, do we care what race our blood packs come from? If your neighbour has no food, and you do, do we not do the right thing and share what little we have with each other? No man is an island entire of itself. No singular community is an island, as everyone is interconnected.

So, why not choose to remove thoughts based on labels and racial profiling?

Azira Aziz is a self-professed mongrel Malaysian. She hopes to have “Malay” and “non-Malay” relegated as a relic of the past sometime in the future. She is a UiTM graduate currently undergoing training to become a lawyer.


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This young lawyer harbours hope that one day Malaysians irrespective of ethnicity and religion have equal rights under the law, as we all are before the eyes of God. She is moving with UndiMsia! (http://UndiMsia.com) and will always be an Anak Bangsa Malaysia. (http://SayaAnakBangsaMalaysia.net)

Posted on 7 November 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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28 Responses to Connect The Dots: Catching Ourselves

  1. rlowc

    >Now you misrepresent.

    dont you think you miss something too? Please give answer. not this kind of pause i was imagined.

    >Lol I’m not and it *IS* true. But wait till you get what I mean then you will understand!

    I am sorry that you must not right all the time.

    >I have and continue to do so.

    sorry. you are dont.

    >It sounds like bad example.

    How it sounds like? Want more better? But this still prove war happens. Don't think only human make wars, animal and tree make wars too. Contradiction between species create wars.

    >I think you need to develop better awareness first before simplifying like that.

    It is the facts. Nor you could denied it?

    >Try this one then, “Law exists only as the perception allows.”

    Oh ho ho. Law still there even you could not find it. it shows our limitation on finding it.

    You still could not denied any law? Instead of making laws, we actually find it.

    >On a wrong but equally valid tangent.

    How that possibly wrong? Prove me the wrongness. Possibility any answer could right.

    >That is the surface.

    On the surface? think again. think book without a cover.

    >Secrets exist for some people because of perception issues. There are neither facts nor mysteries. This has some roots in Sufiism but I will not got into that here.

    Go to that roots and find it. Is that a mystery for you? No problem. Tell us. We also want to know. Give us your ideas!

    >This is the way YOU *currently* live.

    Sorry. it actually not only me, but on whole world. Please sing your "Imagine" Song and tell it to your world.

  2. Think again out of your box.

    1) Now you misrepresent.

    This is a lie. You are liar.

    2) Lol I'm not and it *IS* true. But wait till you get what I mean then you will understand!

    Think about your first before saying others.

    3) I have and continue to do so.

    Oh ho ho. To make trust is not easy. Saying i trust thins, this this, talk, speak is easy but on practical, very hard.

    4) I nor anyone, never said it was easy.

    I prefer prerogative progressive.

    5) Its a free world.

    What i say here that, the war between DC and AC. Learn history first.

    6) It sounds like bad example.

    Take Artificial Intelligence here. Many tried to perform AI but failed. not even now we have know possible way to solve it without human interference.

    Whatever AI makers do, it still use maker programs. it could not generate it by itself, without other people program.

    7) I think you need to develop better awareness first before simplifying like that.

    There is many kind of law. law of physics and etc.

    We are thinking we are free but, we really tighten by law. even we calculate, 1 + 2 = 3 we must obey the law. law for calculation.

    8) Try this one then, "Law exists only as the perception allows."

    Why X, Why Y is there. Why X make Y, is that X must make Y? Why Y take over when X is not there? Why not Z take over from X.

    9) On a wrong but equally valid tangent.

    Yup. The one who own power could do that. See from history. Why Rome fall or China become Republic.

    10) That is the surface.

    Secrets is everywhere. We, the one needed to find it. But to find it, we need to solve mysteries. If we could find it, it will not become ’secret’ anymore. Where, mysteries are solved. Solved mysteries are become facts.

    11) Secrets exist for some people because of perception issues. There are neither facts nor mysteries. This has some roots in Sufiism but I will not got into that here.

    This is the way we live.

    12 ) This is the way YOU *currently* live.

  3. rlowc

    >Think figurative not literal.

    Oh, so, from your figurative thinking, all of them getting along just fine? This is your box thinking style. But no way all of them getting along because all of them not having the same heart.

    Think again out of your box.

    >There are no secrets. Even the heart of man is the same.

    This is a lie. You are liar. Anyone may have secrets, deep inside them. Even you have secret deep inside your heart.

    >Think outside the box.

    Think about your first before saying others.

    >You must learn to trust and replying thus means you have not, but who you can trust is another issue.

    Oh ho ho. To make trust is not easy. Saying i trust thins, this this, talk, speak is easy but on practical, very hard.

    >Argue for argument’s sake? Your prerogative though.

    I prefer prerogative progressive.

    >This will not matter just because a person is so and so. One can use AC or DC.

    What i say here that, the war between DC and AC. Learn history first.

    >It is not random at all. Explore sufficiently and you will find that the options and experiences one may have in at least physical life really are quite limited.

    Oh ho ho oh. It is special random by mind calculation. Do you know how to make these calculation?

    Example. Pick a number from your mind. Could i guess it? No way i could guess it.

    Take Artificial Intelligence here. Many tried to perform AI but failed. not even now we have know possible way to solve it without human interference.

    Whatever AI makers do, it still use maker programs. it could not generate it by itself, without other people program.

    >Body language is limited and varies by culture. There is no real ‘Law’ but only a semblance and socially engineered form we abide by for convenience. Free yourself from these limits but remember the spirit of the law must not defeat the word of the law where it applies.

    So, tell me could you live in a world without law? even when your body moves, your body must agree to law. Law is applied everywhere. Don't think only on human law. There is many kind of law. law of physics and etc.

    We are thinking we are free but, we really tighten by law.

    even we calculate, 1 + 2 = 3 we must obey the law. law for calculation.

    >Ponder on this : “If not for X something/someone would be Y.” Why must X make Y? Could something/someone by Y independent of X?

    So, think it like this.

    The answer for your question is easily solved but it sill make me think.

    Why X, Why Y is there. Why X make Y, is that X must make Y? Why Y take over when X is not there? Why not Z take over from X.

    >Then at the end of your ‘exercise’, tell me if the lands and wealth of the world belong to all mankind or plutocrats and politicians who write law. Or if there are such things as ’secrets’.

    Yup. The one who own power could do that. See from history. Why Rome fall or China become Republic.

    Secrets is everywhere. We, the one needed to find it. But to find it, we need to solve mysteries. If we could find it, it will not become 'secret' anymore. Where, mysteries are solved. Solved mysteries are become facts.

    This is the way we live.

  4. @LimKimKat,

    Well, duh!!!

    @rlowc

    …HOW many here is dumb and deaf, or even blind?

    1) Think figurative not literal.

    And if a government job is concerned, the local language which is Malay here must be learnt!

    … so, its mean that Malay language dominates you, because of the requirement, why?

    2) Thats the way you read it. But nobody can be forced.

    …but this also not solve the secrets between these peoples. As i say again, secure connection between races?

    … but in the heart, how we could see?

    3) There are no secrets. Even the heart of man is the same.

    … this is problem because human always use media to perform communication. for this case, speaking.

    4) Think outside the box.

    … remove bureaucrats. this i may support on 50% basis. Yup, is indeed “but INDIVIDUAL NATURES in individuals that matter. Be cautious against the plutocrat or power mad politician whatever their race” but, you see, in the basic form of communication, there is always discrimination between other races. no matter any races.

    5) You must learn to trust and replying thus means you have not, but who you can trust is another issue.

    …this also 50% also. this is because we never know there is peoples that have greed, power abuser or anything. we dont judge books by its cover.

    6) Argue for argument's sake? Your prerogative though.

    … there is patents all over the world. why this happened? greed. Why edison support AC for electric chair, because he wants to condemn AC and support his DC. Its like if there is light, there must be dark side. could not be separated. If “language” have no meaning, people still use anything to provide communication between both parties. this shows that human is complex.

    7) This will not matter just because a person is so and so. One can use AC or DC. Light and dark do not truly exist, but grey in endless shades is closer to reality. Language is useful but you could be talking to a machine. There are other forms of communication that are more valuable and these are not based on language or posture at all.

    … Why, because human thinks. if human is simple, you may calculate what i may do tomorrow. Human act based on randomness that even computer could not generate. and why? because human learn everyday. your knowledge, experience and your living environments teach you, even you know that or not.

    8) It is not random at all. Explore sufficiently and you will find that the options and experiences one may have in at least physical life really are quite limited.

    … the law is complex as people is complex too. did you know any “body language”? where your body perform language?

    9) Body language is limited and varies by culture. There is no real 'Law' but only a semblance and socially engineered form we abide by for convenience. Free yourself from these limits but remember the spirit of the law must not defeat the word of the law where it applies.

    Challenge yourself by living 'the hypothetical' as reality even as 'reality' is hypothetical in itself. All perception is limited by awareness. One cannot truly be free unless one applies oneself challenging oneself in this manner.

    Ponder on this : "If not for X something/someone would be Y." Why must X make Y? Could something/someone by Y independent of X?

    Then at the end of your 'exercise', tell me if the lands and wealth of the world belong to all mankind or plutocrats and politicians who write law. Or if there are such things as 'secrets'.

  5. rlowc

    @AgreeToDisagree

    Ok try this example. Among the dumb and deaf, even blind or those who have taken Oaths of Silence. Do you not see them getting along just fine? They seek not advantage but merely to get along.

    …HOW many here is dumb and deaf, or even blind?

    And if a government job is concerned, the local language which is Malay here must be learnt!

    … so, its mean that Malay language dominates you, because of the requirement, why?

    Of course the private sector has no such requirements so they are also free to not speak but it will be inconvenient at times.

    …but this also not solve the secrets between these peoples. As i say again, secure connection between races?

    As for supposed secrets, all humanity is the same, birth, marriage, old age, death and even with immortality nothing is truly hidden.

    … but in the heart, how we could see?

    Trade and industry or technology secrets are another thing but if we are willing to equitably distribute wealth and living space in a manner that does not have single persons holding more than what they need, if we are talking about the regular citizens of the world not speculating in properties and commodities or hoarding wealth, language is not needed as there really are no secrets at all!

    … this is problem because human always use media to perform communication. for this case, speaking.

    It is not Malay or non-Malay, but INDIVIDUAL NATURES in individuals that matter. Be cautious against the plutocrat or power mad politician whatever their race.

    … remove bureaucrats. this i may support on 50% basis. Yup, is indeed "but INDIVIDUAL NATURES in individuals that matter. Be cautious against the plutocrat or power mad politician whatever their race" but, you see, in the basic form of communication, there is always discrimination between other races. no matter any races.

    A Malay, even holding titles and qualifications may not intend the Malay race as a whole well. Conversely, a minority who speaks no Malay but has no such greed and power madness or desire to control others would be a safer person to be around.

    …this also 50% also. this is because we never know there is peoples that have greed, power abuser or anything. we dont judge books by its cover.

    Mos human beings are simple creatures with inherent goodness in their heart, that is why civilisation and large populations have occurred. And these are the people to whom secrets in whatever language have no meaning.

    … there is patents all over the world. why this happened? greed. Why edison support AC for electric chair, because he wants to condemn AC and support his DC. Its like if there is light, there must be dark side. could not be separated. If "language" have no meaning, people still use anything to provide communication between both parties. this shows that human is complex.

    … Why, because human thinks. if human is simple, you may calculate what i may do tomorrow. Human act based on randomness that even computer could not generate. and why? because human learn everyday. your knowledge, experience and your living environments teach you, even you know that or not.

    While there are laws that must be upheld and non-maliciously applied, there are no secrets among man. Humans are that simple. The ACTIONS and INTENT, not WORDS or LANGUAGE are the things that matter more.

    … the law is complex as people is complex too. did you know any "body language"? where your body perform language?

  6. LimKimKat

    yeah you should go stay there by yourself……if you have the money la macha. poodah la lu loser

  7. @LimKimKat,

    Bantha-poodu to you too! La Macha, Costa Rica? Last I checked, its was a villa not a cave.

  8. LimKimKat

    AgreeToDisagree, poodah la go live in a cave la macha!

  9. Ok try this example. Among the dumb and deaf, even blind or those who have taken Oaths of Silence. Do you not see them getting along just fine? They seek not advantage but merely to get along.

    And if a government job is concerned, the local language which is Malay here must be learnt! Of course the private sector has no such requirements so they are also free to not speak but it will be inconvenient at times. As for supposed secrets, all humanity is the same, birth, marriage, old age, death and even with immortality nothing is truly hidden.

    Trade and industry or technology secrets are another thing but if we are willing to equitably distribute wealth and living space in a manner that does not have single persons holding more than what they need, if we are talking about the regular citizens of the world not speculating in properties and commodities or hoarding wealth, language is not needed as there really are no secrets at all!

    It is not Malay or non-Malay, but INDIVIDUAL NATURES in individuals that matter. Be cautious against the plutocrat or power mad politician whatever their race.

    A Malay, even holding titles and qualifications may not intend the Malay race as a whole well. Conversely, a minority who speaks no Malay but has no such greed and power madness or desire to control others would be a safer person to be around.

    Mos human beings are simple creatures with inherent goodness in their heart, that is why civilisation and large populations have occurred. And these are the people to whom secrets in whatever language have no meaning.

    While there are laws that must be upheld and non-maliciously applied, there are no secrets among man. Humans are that simple. The ACTIONS and INTENT, not WORDS or LANGUAGE are the things that matter more.

  10. rlowc

    @AgreetoDisagree

    EQUALITY and FREEDOM FROM APARTHEID is good and to share the wealth and lands of the world is good.

    i am sorry that i could not support your ideas. Not possible at all.

    When you are trying to preserve your ideas, there is a hole. a big hole.

    When you are saying equality, it must be a understanding between races.

    We can see from this simple idea. Language.

    "A" knows chinese.

    "B" knows chinese.

    "C" knows malay.

    "A","B","C" knows malays. If dont know, thats mean that these people lied. At least little knowledge required. This problem become less as that "people at that time" is sinking.

    "A" can talk with "B", in front of "C" without "C" knowing anything. Establish secure connections, as we can see.

    but, when "C" talks, "A" and "B" always know anything.

    It is not fair!

    To get "C" to find out "A" and "B" language, "C" must learn chinese language.

    Its same to others language.

    When people keep hiding secrets between the race, then, you could see that you could never found equality.

    Thats why malay could not comply with non-malay.

  11. Qama Gill

    Azira,

    my part of bargain on your enquiries.

    1 ) Really?? (dat's a valid question with a question mark)

    2 ) old f'ler (used it always to refer to every person i don't know)

    3 ) india! *chuckles (nvr answer irrelevnt question though)

    4 ) "sial" linked with "b*bi". (got tendency of referring bad ppl with animal. poor pig *sigh)

    5 ) damn! this goes regardless of whatever race *serious tone

    6 ) not impressed much since my standard of living still remains the same, as well as other Malaysian. ~duh

    7 ) see whether the lengloi is nice or not. (well, i'm common guy. Eyes were made to see good view *chuckles)

    8 ) i'm a muslim thus unable to answer on behalf of non-muslim. what happens to me is i will tag along and order teh ais lorh. yes, i do have problem since they leave me with to decide. but i always assure them not to mind about me and will go to non-halal eatery then. can't eat doesn't mean can't go.

    i enjoy our diversity. you want to be racist, to hell with it. i'll preach whenever i can. it's just dat sometimes things not always go according to our view. the least we can do is to stay firm on our conviction. btw, you have a wonderful piece. i'll search u on fb k? keep on swinging till then.

  12. Chua Li-Shun

    i've been in ipoh for 3 days and already i've met house owners who only rent property to people of a certain ethnicity. they've used some preeeettty derogatory terms to describe previous tenants too.

    it has nothing to do with location, but everything to do with one's upbringing and experience. i'm sure if the landlords/ladies had good tenants in the past, they would be more likely to see things in a bigger picture through empathetic eyes rather than zoom in on a fault as something that is part of being of a particular race.

  13. @ladymissazira

    Whoah. Okay. One at a time, and the rest later when I can.

    Ross : I would appreciate some clarification.

    LN : I'm aware of that article. It's interesting, no, how we tend to not notice ourselves doing things subconsciously. Is it genetics? Is it natural inclination? Do we become racists out of choice or are we born racists? Thank you for your feedback. ^_^

    Talhah, galavanting, 1Rojak : Thank you for answering my queried suggestions in full, but the intent of the article is just to highlight human tendencies, human weakness that we all tend to succumb to.

    What is the norm for one in KL, is different to Ipoh, or Kelantan, or Perlis, or Johor, get my drift? You may come from a relatively friendly athmosphere, but as I recall one self-professed UMNO cybertrooper telling me that I am blessed with the environment I have which cultivated my current attitudes towards racial and political views, I note, not all is the same template.

    Sadly so, at times, and gratefully not, at times.

    Jason Kay : I found that quote a few years ago, one helluva philosophy to live up to. Still trying, still making mistakes. Still unwilling of that light at the end of the tunnel. =) Yes, "Our liberties are equal rights of every citizen". My sentiments exactly.

    Marcus : Well, it is sensitized because we're encouraged not to mingle, not to make fun of each other, not to engage in a continuous cycle of exchange of information about it other; hence my little problem with the in group out group mentality.

    Vasantha : Let's! ^_^

    AgreeToDisagree : I am fond of making fun of myself.

    Will continue the rest when I can.

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  15. hi Azira Aziz,

    Don't refer to yourself as a mongrel, it was not your choice though not something most people prefer. And where who you are, even as for us 'where we are' in nations not of our ethnic group, who will be accused to speaking thus out of necessity, but being privileged at being caused the provocation of thought and subsequent awareness arising from such displacement which in fact fosters intelligence, never let anyone make you feel diminished, for while racial purity has a role, racial mixing could in fact be a safety mechanism in the event of holocaust style genetically engineered terrorism against any race. I do want to see the end of APARTHEID and EQUALITY for all Malaysians too and if you are up to it, do look up Haris Ibrahim's MCLM 3rd Force.

    Heres something for to help raise awareness in readers as well :

    EDUCATE YOURSELF ON TYPES OF DEMOCRACY

    USA, UK and Malaysia, are *Representative Democracies* (2nd class version of democracy) and thus not even truly an open system being limited to the whims and fancies of parliamentarians alone. *Participatory Democracy* (1st class version of democracy) is a process emphasizing the broad participation of constituents in the direction and operation of political systems.

    It avoids the concept of the people having a single view with the inevitable limitations that come from trying to agree what that view is. Government is heavily decentralized into smaller independent groups to allow personalized preferences within groups to be expressed in a functional manner PREFERRED by each particular group.

    The system seeks to avoid problems with centralized and electoral governance, while still providing a stable democratic system and ensuring all forms of human expression especially those diametrically opposed to be allowed expression. For example theocrat moralists / and sin industries (adult or gambling) can all be represented and functional even while proponents within each group do not use or believe in the other.

    Under *Participatory Democracy*, all expressions will have their own place, albeit in a highly separated manner.

    @Talhah

    For example should the Chinese demands a portion from the Bumi equity. This is baddddddddddd.

    Bumi equity itself is also bad. But an equity system itself is also bad – especially when UMNO-putra parasites have been keeping all the 30% or even Vehicular-APs to themselves.

    EQUALITY and FREEDOM FROM APARTHEID is good and to share the wealth and lands of the world is good.

  16. vasantha

    Food for thought. Let us strip ourselves naked off all hypocrisy.Look in the mirror that reveals our inner selves. Sometimes we may be surprised at what we see!

  17. Azira,

    Thanks for a good read. All I would add is that there is a difference between being "race-aware" and being a "racist". Just because someone thinks about race first, or attributes certain characteristics to certain races, or is in some other way "race aware" does not make him a "racist".

    It is unfortunate that Malaysia has come to a stage where race is such a sensitive issue. Perhaps it has always been that way, but as kids we were blisfully disconnected and unaware of the bigger issues. It used to be that we could all hang out and, yes, even poke fun at each other using racially-loaded slurs, and not take personal offence. These friendships still exist, thankfully, but I fear that if we (and politicians are particulary guilty of this) keep blowing up every racially-tinged issue, those sensitivity-free relations may be a thing of the past.

    I actually know of some people who believe that "macha" is a racist term. We live in sensitive times, and our tolerance seems to be slowly eroding away.

  18. 1Rojak

    My answers:

    1. ANS: huh what race? really is anyoine really keeping a tab on this type of scorecard?

    2. ANS: that dude/budak tu/mamat tu

    3. ANS: next time, better follow what the doctor's ask you to do, they know what's best for your health

    4. ANS: crooks, thieves, rapists, bribe offerors and offerees, cronies, etc etc, perhaps understand the 1Malaysia concept better, they come from all races

    5. ANS: see 4

    6. ANS: aiyo, good la like that. after this no need to work la he/she, sure govt give he/she some money one. give datukship somemore. aiyah, like that one la Malaysians, everyone also want datuk la

    7. ANS: good la, must mix-mix one here and there. like rojak become more sedap mah

    8. ANS: go separately first loh, later we can still catch up at the club. aiyah, he also not sampai hati lah, nine of us must follow him eat one ah?

  19. galavanting

    Talhah..very much agree with you….good one

  20. Brilliant opening. I never knew of the quote. Thanks.

    I share your disdain for the word tolerate/tolerance. To this I can only quote Willkie, Wendell Lewis, 1892–1944 – "No man has a right in America to treat any other man "tolerantly" for tolerance is the assumption of superiority. Our liberties are equal rights of every citizen."

  21. Talhah

    My honest answer and i swear them in the name of Allah ( as in the God the one and only.) A malay muslim myself.. and you know muslims dont foolin around with this.

    and little bit of my self to see whether i am a typical Malay/Malaysian or not. If i am to you please continue reading. If not just ignore this post as it will be pointless in the context of the question from 1 to 8 herein.

    An OMEGA male(as opposed to the Alpha male. Can be one if necessary.)Not suffering neither of Freudian Oedipus complex nor womb envy. A PERKASA sympathizer and it's cause – but not really a fan of Ibrahim Ali. Can be liberal on certain issue but not all. A staunch supporter of DEB as well the non-Malay rights as per the constitution. On religion -leaning slightly toward conservatism . Locality-Ipoh Perak. Having my own cari makan business – my partner is a Chinese – a real one – not the Ali-Baba type.. Believe Muslims should emulate Muhammad s.a.w kindness towards animals including pigs and dogs. Malay Muslim sorely lack of this attribute. No need to be a dog-hugger or pig-lover though – suffice to respect them as Allah's own creation like us humans.

    So my answer for the questions:-

    1) Where exactly (along the Federal highway i.e PJ Subang batu Tiga etc as the victim could be my family, friends etc)

    2)The (dude, Fella, Pakcik, Auntie, Bro, girl, the boy etc) who is/has …..etc

    3)Melayu. (Why? Different races has different habits lifestyle diet etc. This will help the Doc in his diagnosis. Further certain medication might be made from a non-halal source one.)

    4) Bad person/Wht were their motives?. (Race wont come into my mind. )

    5)No difference. There are bad Arab and good Arab. Bad Malay good Malay. Bad Chinese good Chinese etc.

    6)Cayalah Malaysia/KITA menang. Yahoo!! Hurrah! Syukur!!! But wouldnt it be nicer if Dato Nicol David speaks Bahasa Malaysia more often.? After all a datoship is a form of Malay aristocracy what?. Penang datoship yes but still… ?

    7) Well that's their business. (personally as a muslim i'd say -Murtad? what murtad? Belum convert lagi kan? And furthermore it's not my place to question my muslim bro-sister 's Iman/akidah. Its the job of the Mahkamah Syariah. If the court say murtad then they are murtad. If not then they are not… As simple as that.

    8)Cant exactly answer this – a muslim myself. But I have been to non-halal eateries many times before with my non-Muslim friends. No problem

    So you see Azira — the world is much bigger than mmm say your circle of friends and your personal experience. I believe such answers by you yourself to such questions were kinda "bawah tempurung" type of answer. It may sound harsh but i sincerely think so — ya you said "most likely" but ya a bawah tempurung type the answer. You need to see more people before drawing into conclusion. Your "most likely" is not well tested.

    In other words- you yourself stereotyping people based only from your own personal experience – no doubt from your own circle of friends, family etc as well.

    I guess you are from KL. Things are different here in Ipoh – well at least to me and my circle of friends. We cannot lump together a Chinese pig breeder from Kota Baharu with a DEB, UITM graduate Malay executive in KL just like that and make conclusion on their "most likely" answer.

    But nevertheless I tend to agree that most us are closet racist. But you see rhetorically nor dialectically, we must not limit racism in its all form and substance as BAD BAD and BAD only. We may argue and have dialogue debate if you will but still we wont get anywhere.

    If we examine racism to it's very core (forget all the rhetoric and dialectic) WOW ..it is not such a bad thing at all… really. (i.e without racism can Chinese diaspora be so successful. ie Racism in controlled environment keeps Malaysia intact. DEB is a racist policy but hey its a good one. If not different races have their hands on each other throat already. Why the HINDRAF fought for the Indian estate worker's plight only? What about poor Chinese rubber tapper? This is racist too but its good for the Indians cause)

    Racism you can say is a paradox by itself. Can be GOOD or BAD. When its transgress certain limits only then we can see its ugly side.For example should the Chinese demands a portion from the Bumi equity. This is baddddddddddd. Why this is Bad? Look beyond the rhetoric and dialectic please if you will.

  22. LN

    What do you guys think of the following article?

    http://www.newsweek.com/2009/09/04/see-baby-discr

    Anyway, I reckon we're naturally suspicious of people who are different from us. But when the government keeps emphasising on the superiority of one race over another or when the education system promotes stereotyping for instance, we develop unhealthy prejudices and bias. I like the opening salvo of this article, i.e

    Beware of your thoughts, they become your words.

    Beware of your words, they become your actions.

    Beware of your actions, they become your habits.

    Beware of your habits, they become your character.

    Beware of your character, it becomes your destiny.

    We cannot accept status quo if the status quo is unfair or unjust. We must constantly be vigilant about our thoughts and actions and try to change for our own good and for the benefit of brethren. This is how a society can evolve positively.

    Cheers for the article.

  23. Ross

    Believe me you will go one full round and come back to the starting lineup…sorry.

  24. @ladymissazira

    Adriana : As always, thank you *hugz*.

    Syazwina : Very true. Even though I have theory in my skull, I'd always ask for clarification, lest I make 'ajaran sesat' and inadvertedly offend people without meaning too. It's a lifelong education process, I must admit. Thing is, most folks prefer to stay silent because it's 'sensitive', and so easily solvable problems and misunderstandings become like pus. *sigh*

    Mohd Razzi : Which version of history to follow? I say, open your heart and open your mind. It is not my place to tell others what to believe, and whither does truth lies, for I did not live during those times, and even if I did, each person would have seen the events unfolding and interpreted it differently. Such is history. It is not unlike an onion, layers under layers under layers until the core of it all; people's daily lives disrupted by series of events worth noting.

    As for tradition, I have great respect for tradition, I live by it tho I disagree with it at times. In this matter, I advise you to only follow your heart.

    But I can honestly tell you, it is not tradition to discriminate people purely on the colour of their skin. That is human error.

    DUIT : I'm not sure about playboys, but I have no doubt that they are chauvenist egomaniacs. The thing about Perkasa is, they have feudal mentality, where they genuinely believe that there is a class who rules, and a class that is ruled.

    Neither must touch nor engage, it must be one way. I see them remaining in the Malaysian political scene awhile, and that is a good thing because it will unknowingly aid in the development of thinking Malaysian citizens.

  25. DUIT

    aZIRA, we all know those panglima gagah berani in umno and perkasa who scream day and night about ketuanan melayu are actually a bunch of lazy playboys who use this excuse to lord over the masses so to continue in power to enrich themselves

  26. Mohd Razzi

    Let's face it. Racism is not and easy subject to breach let alone discuss. It can be seen everywhere you go. Examples in point would be slavery,the death camps,apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Centuries apart but it goes to show that superiority,greed and the contempt for the human race has been with us since the dawn of mankind.

    There story is no different back home here in Malaysia. We go through it everyday. I blame history. History which has taught us to be grateful and treasure whatever we have. But which version of history should i follow? The one that is taught or the one that truly depicts the struggles of the "pelbagai kaum" to build this country. Without discourse would it be his-story of history as we want it to be?

    I also blame tradition. Tradition that requires you to follow what has been practiced since who knows when. If you don't conform to it then you are "tak Melayu lah" or "tak alim" or worse still a "Mat Rempit." These too are labels and it seems that racism has not spared the Malay people from themselves. All of us are guilty.

    Try not to border our minds to Melayu,Cina,India but spare a thought for the Indonesian labourer, the Nepalese factory worker or even the Pakistani carpet seller. They all have contributed tremendously to our nation. That would be acceptance in the truest form. Till then we still have a long way to go.

    Who is to say that we are smarter or more deserving than one another? Who gives us that right? Does the colour of my skin mean I'm better than you?

  27. Syazwina

    I was exposed to postcolonial politics (as an academic subject) when I was in university. My mentor was a PhD candidate, and Egyptian in heritage. His close friend and another mentor of mine was Somali-Australian. They were married to an Eritrean and a Colombian, respectively. When we all hung out, it was a practice in treading multicultural lines carefully, each having to point out when the other is offended, each learning that our cultural heritage is not shared and not an assumed fact. Half our time together was spent explaining ourselves, the rest of the time we were trying not to be taken aback by each other.

    This unique situation, coupled with their shared academic understanding of postcolonialism, provided me with an appreciation of multiculturalism. Angela Merkel of Germany recently declared that multiculturalism was a failed endeavour. I think it is, but only is you take political correctness too seriously.

    Being half-Chinese and half-Malay (as far as we can tell, genealogy-wise), I don't beat myself up over racial identity. I don't necessarily feel the need to call refer to myself as belonging to a monocultural entity – bangsa Malaysia – because I assume that everyone living in Malaysia is one already. ButI think that race (or even religion) is still a relevant qualifier because it connotates a different culture that not all might necessarily understand. True, it's a fine line between that and racism, but it helps us become honest with each other, especially since there's so much we need to learn.

    I asked a colleague the other day if she had plans for Deepavali. She rolled her eyes a little and said that she didn't celebrate Diwali – she's Christian. My sheepish smile aside, I appreciated her honesty, especially considering my ignorance. That's the kind of honesty we need, rather than a sweeping it aside under the rug of political correctness.

    If multiculturalism is to succeed anywhere, we need to understand where it's overrated and where it's applicable. In the case of Malaysia, we should not stand for preferential treatment in accordance to race, but we should also not balk at referring ourselves, among other Malaysians, according to race or religion. These labels carry with them cultural/religious connotations that we're better off explaining rather than tossing aside.

  28. Adriana

    Well said, Azira. The same question has been bothering for a long long time. Malaysian indeed we are. To make a change, we've to start from ourselves. Abolish discrimination within ourselves in its entirety.

    Keep writing, Azira.