Thursday, April 08, 2010

More than 4 ethnicities, languages in Malaysia - 1Malaysia must acknowledge this and accept this.

How many ethnic groups are there in Malaysia? The 1Malaysia advert in television simply seems to say that there are Malays, Chinese, Indians and Others... Is this respecting the other ethnic communities in Malaysia? I do not think so - we should appreciate, acknowledge and accept the various different ethnic groups in Malaysia. The advert should have mentioned the ethnic groups of Sabah and Sarawak, and certainly the Orang Asli ethnic groups of Peninsular Malaysia. Kadazan, Murut, Iban, Kenyah, Melanau, Bidayuh, Semai, Temuan, .....

Languages - the advert talks about 4. What is this? Malay, English, Mandarin, Tamil? What about the other languages of Sabah, Sarawak, and other Malaysians? What are these 4 main languages?

Let us not oversimplify matters when it comes to ethnic groups and languages of the people of Malaysia. Let us acknowledge the diversities of our people.

Lumping people into specific categories like Bumiputras, Indians, Chinese, etc - and allocating benefits, privileges to these groups according to these categories can lead to injustice for there are majorities in these groups, and there is a tendency that minority groups will be discriminated against.

The people of Sarawak and Sabah were not too keen to be lumped into a single group known as 'Bumiputra' and 'Minority Bumiputra' because there was concern that the ethnic groups with the lesser number of persons may end up losing out...and also unrepresented.

For the Indians, the Tamil community is the majority - and the other minority communities (with their own different languages and culture) tend to be isolated. At one time, accepting the differences, the language of MIC was English  and the 1st President was one Budh Singh (a Punjabi) - but then ethnic politics crept in and the dominant Tamil population ruled. Today, it really is not representative of all Indians - the Telugus, Gujeratis, Malayalees, Punjabis, etc... for none from these minority communities can expect to become President of MIC. A similar situation also may be the case for MCA. And, possibly also in UMNO - for there are different ethnic, sub-ethnic groups, languages, cultures...but there has been concerted effort to erase these differences and present the Malay as one - I wonder whether it has worked.

That is also why planning...and the channeling of  government aid, benefits, etc is best not done in this way. It is better to focus attention on persons, families based on their socio-economic positions. NEP's, one of 2 primary objectives, was to eradicate poverty - and this was good because there was no ethnic, religious, cultural element - but alas, when it came to implementation it went wrong.

Let's focus on persons irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion, culture, family backgrounds, political affiliations, etc in Malaysia. 

100 apples - 55 Malays, 25 Chinese, 10 Indians, 3 Kadazan, 3 Iban, -----
 5 Malays get 50 apples, 3 Chinese get 25 Apples, 2 Indians get 10 apples

End result of Apple Allocations : Malay - 50%, Chinese 25%, Indian - 10%

This has what has happened in Malaysia - and we see that the majority of persons seem to have not benefited, and a few have become really rich ... Wonder how the present PM's brother...and an ex-PMs son are in the list of the top 50 richest persons in Malaysia....In this list, there exist Malays, Chinese, Indians, .... yes, wealth distributed according to ethnic lines will result in this injustice and inequality. We still have so many poor Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Orang Asli, Ibans, Muruts, Bidayuh, Melanaus, ....

Let us acknowledge our diversity but when it comes to distribution of wealth/benefits amongst the people of Malaysia - let us just look at persons, families (and no more ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, etc....)

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