A consideration on where Malaysia and her citizens have failed when it comes to racial unity.
The current call by our Prime Minister for 1Malaysia is facing hiccups from its management and not forgetting the public whom are looking at it as something new. It is obviously a hard boat to ride.
Though the media is widely used for the implementation of this idea, the light at the end of the tunnel does not seem to be visible. He who proposed this idea probably did not consult his office or at least forced them to agree. Seems like he doesn’t have the iron fist that Dr. M had.
Leaving that behind, I remember during the 90’s when I was in primary school, we used to read and hear people saying Malaysia Negara Masyarakat Majmuk. We used to be proud of it, somehow or rather our essays relating to Malaysia would always espouse that element. However, it has been years since I have heard that maxim from anyone.
We failed when we refused to voice out our disagreement when Dr. M made a public statement that Malaysia is an “Islamic country” solely to gain Malay support for the election. I do not want to go further on all the other damages he has inflicted upon our country during his dictatorship.
Mr. Lim voiced out – but there was nothing much he could do. The Constitution says Islam is the main religion of the country and that we are free to profess our own religion. Never has it said that Malaysia is an Islamic country. These politicians use the name of religion and race to fulfill their agenda, and sadly it seems like we are blinded.
There is not one, but a series of mistakes we have been a part of since independence. We can’t change a person overnight, what more an entire nation. It has to be instilled from the very beginning.
Having single vernacular schools is where we failed in the first place. The British formulated this for us, in line with their main agenda of divide and rule. But we got together, fought and obtained our independence – these single vernacular schools should have been abolished then. But the BN government to their avail did not, simply because BN adopted the same method of divide and rule.
We have gotten so used to this lifestyle and refuse change. Some arguing that it is “our right to learn our mother tongue.” I respect those who have such love for their mother tongue. However, growing children spend more time in school compared to any other single place. So schools are an important place to start building unity.
Singapore although small, seems to have had a bigger vision. I was informed that it is a must for all students to take up their mother tongue as a compulsory subject there. Their education system can’t be denied as obviously better then ours.
Children should be allowed to mix with all races and religion – this should not be a matter choice but a must. To achieve this, single vernacular schools should be abolished and all schools should be National Schools. By growing up and studying in such an environment, these children grow up to eventually disregard the differences among them. They would understand each other’s culture well and learn to respect them as well. They would then grow up in a healthy race unity mindset.
This cannot be achieved by putting up advertisements and jingles in the radio. This cannot be achieved by giving speeches or by organising events and camps. Implementing National Schools will be a slow process but one that would yield positive results. What we need is proper education. Fight for that rather then dividing the future generations.
This 1Malaysia campaign is a political gimmick that has failed. These dictators cannot be rid off without us being united first. Lets us not let our future generation suffer due to our fixed mindset. Realise the fact that we are being divided since the very beginning.
We don’t need race based parties to protect our rights. We don’t need single vernacular schools to safeguard our mother tongue or proper education. We are Masyarakat Majmuk Malaysia. All we need is Racial Unity and there would not be any May 13 incident, church arson incident, nor cow head incident… and most certainly no Perkasa!
LB: N.G. Vinod from Johor Bahru is an LLB Hons graduate from Multimedia University. The second out of three siblings, he received his early education in SRK Masai and Secondary education in SMK Dato Jaafar Johor Bahru. This fresh practicing lawyer is often described as “crazy” by his friends with his constant out of the norm comments and views – but it never stopped him from voicing them out. An immense interest in Political Science and Human Psychology made him a person who feels that changes are not possible without revolution, and a revolution is not possible without realisation.