This morning I had a conversation with this acquaintance that I sometimes do some charity work with. He is a successful businessman. A dato. A card carrying member of the MCA but not an active politician. Nice guy. But what he said got me quite pissed off at first and then it set me thinking about things in my country. How they are. How they should be. How they could have been. Okay this is how it started. As always.
He sort of insisted that I was always such a negative person when it comes to things about Malaysia. He suggested that I should change my attitude because negativity never got anybody anywhere. We have to be positive he said. Because without a positive outlook we can never change anything or get anywhere. Fair words I guess. I can’t argue with that surely. So what pissed me off?
Personally I get pissed off when people assume that I am negative about things just for the sake of being negative and that I don’t do anything about it. In other words that I don’t "walk the talk" which is fast becoming the 'in' catch phrase these days. Anyway, before this becomes a personal defense blog, which I don’t mean it to be, let’s get back to this ‘discussion’ I had with the Dato.
Okay, to counter my negative attitude toward things in Malaysia he invited me to attend an event to meet other ‘concerned’ Malaysians to talk about how we can make the difference. Okay nothing wrong with that either. Then he said that he could get some Chinese business person to give talks on how they, even being Chinese, had been able to benefit from government sponsored programmes and get government loans for business and this and that. He also said that there were educationists who were going to speak who would dispel notions that I had about the quality of education that my children would receive in Malaysia’s education system. Then he went on some more about how wonderful things are and that people should not focus on the negatives. Otherwise there will be ‘trouble’. I guess my tone of voice made him stop short of pulling out that ever useful reference to … (cue ominous music here…) May 13!
When he told me about the Chinese business person being able to get government loans etc. and that our children and grandchildren can and do get quality education which will equip them for the increasingly competitive future I stopped listening and began thinking to myself.
Here is a typical Malaysian. Chinese (but he could be Malay or Indian or Lain-lain). Fairly successful. Fairly well-off by any standards. Involved with charity work. Giving back to the community. Good man. But in my opinion his thinking is flawed. Why?
What points of debate he offered to counter my negativity very obviously showcases his thinking. He is thinking like an ‘orang pendatang’. Sure, Malaysia is a wonderful country. Can make money here. Life is not too tough. There are no calamities. Natural or man made. The food is good. Keep my mouth shut. Do some charity work. Life can be good. Very good.
Listen, Dato. We know that already. Nobody is arguing with anybody about the fact that Malaysia is a paradise and that is why we are willing to fight to defend it. Against what? Against bad administrators. Bad managers who, if left un-checked will bring our little paradise to ruin.
I believe that every true Malaysian, be he Malay, Chinese, Indian or any of our dozens of ethnic diversity, knows that Malaysia belongs to all Malaysians. And that to truly succeed in becoming a credible and respected player on the global stage we must all work together. Pull together in the same direction.
And now, Dato here it is…my negativity stems from the almost laughable way the administration has been handling their duties as elected managers of Malaysia.
They are the ones who tell us to unite as one nation, one people. But they are also the ones who divide with religion, race and culture. Claiming that it needs to be done to protect the ‘sensitivities’ of one race or another. And as we have witnessed time and again over the past couple of years this administration has taken on an air of arrogance that is now manifesting itself in its strong-arm, high-handed methods in resolving any issues that it deems irritating. I need not name incidents here for fear of treading on the sensitivities of so-and-so and this-and-that la.
Its recent handling of events like walks, marches, demonstrations shows its almost total non-understanding of what is happening on the ground to the people to whom they should be responsible. The Rakyat. Or perhaps they do understand and it is their way of showing us that they are the ones who wield the REAL power. Cannon, tear gas, ISA etc. Come la. Like that Nazri clown said on the Al-Jazeera interview the rule is “if you can call 40,000 I can call 1 million…”. Remember that boast? Unclear on the concept la the fler. But then that’s stating the obvious la. Anyway, I digress. Sorry. Or perhaps they are really desperate. They see what’s coming and don’t know how to deal with it. They are scared shitless. They finally realise that the people, the rakyat DO care and CAN make a difference and ARE prepared to speak out for their rights. Something we haven’t done for a long time so perhaps the BN flers have been lulled into a false sense of security and the wake-up call had altogether been too sudden and too unexpected.
Negative? Sure I am. I am negative about how I am being treated in my own country. I am negative about people who tell me to be positive but send their children to schools and colleges abroad. I am negative about people who tell me that it is wonderful to live here whatever is happening and then sign a check to pay for their mortgage for that house in Perth, Australia. I am negative about people who claim that they love Malaysia but also treasure their permanent residence status in another country. Just in case you know.
I am a Malaysian. I will live and I will die here. I have a stake in this country for my children and their children’s children. Yeah. So fuck you! I will be as negative as I want to be. This is my country.