Joan Lau of the Malay Mail wrote a brilliant commentary on their website on how we are all racists. And honestly, I love this one quote she wrote:
We, as communities, fight for our “rights” and are not willing to give a centimetre because we think in previous times we have already given away too much.Joan Lau
And this is exactly correct. Ages ago, Saul Alinsky wrote something similar in his book Rules for Radicals, calling it the “middle income syndrome”.
He implies that the middle class American was stuck in the middle, not wanting to give anything more to the poor, but wanting more from the rich. It is the same concept being used in race relations of Malaysia today.
The Malaysian Malays and the Malaysian Chinese communities believe that both have given enough, and have too little received in return. And as typical is the case in Malaysia, every other race is overlooked.
At this point, it is imperative to understand that we will not be going anywhere in terms of unity at any point soon as a nation – mostly because we have rejected the notion of Bangsa Malaysia ages ago.
In fact, the concept of a “Malaysian race” has too many divides in it to matter – there is no common language used by all, there is no common religion used by all, and there is no common belief or pride in the nation held together by all.
This is why bringing back the concept of Rukunegara, will fall flat. It is not due to being unpatriotic, but the five so-called unifiers are no longer unifying the people as a whole.
A belief in God is not held by everyone any more. In fact, the belief in God is being used to divide everyone and anyone, and even used as an enforcement tool against the Malays who do not believe as others do.
If we are to talk about the loyalty to King and Country, well, that was another whopper altogether when it turned out the last King had to resign his post and had his expenditure leaked to the general public.
Then we have the sanctity of the Federal Constitution. Well, if it is sacrosanct, then we are actually holding up Bumiputera rights for all and everyone to adhere to without question. Do we actually do that?
The respect of law – this one gets me every time. Do we follow laws if the laws themselves are unjust? If we were to look at laws especially religious law, then every smoker in Selangor should be sued and brought to court, every homosexual should be tried and put in jail, every adulterer is to face the same penalty.
In this day and age, those laws should not even exist any more.
As for courteousness, well, a guy who got into a fender bender and told to take it to the police decided it was necessary to pull out a baseball bat and got himself killed in the process.
A lecturer who was part of the Jawi syllabus got threats from an NGO and had to cancel their appearance on television. A Chinese man decided to egg a political branch office because he was so pissed at the same topic.
And finally, you have a Minister who sent out a press release in Tamil and then decided to berate a non-Tamil news portal for translating it for everyone else to read.
So let’s not kid ourselves – the Rukunegara is obsolete, the modern world made it so. And since that concept can be translated to the common tenets of our nation and was introduced to reunite the nation after May 13, 1969, those tenets are now crumbling at best and nonexistent at worst.
Sadly, that is exactly the condition of our national unity right now. With no common unifier, no agreed upon tenets, and a total free for all to keep what they have without giving an inch – it is a great recipe for anarchy.