Diversity: can different paths converge? (SSS Unity series No. 4)

14 05 2010

When people are taking different paths, can they converge?

DS Najib said: “Sin Chew might take a different path, Utusan (Malaysia) might take a different path and other newspapers might take different paths, but although we take different paths, we must converge and we must reach our destination.”

Below are examples of the different paths portrayed in different newspapers.

Can there be unity in diversity? How do we go about converging and reaching our destination?

Let’s talk about these for a bit.

But let’s be clear on the definitions now. Per the Oxford dictionary (any better one than Oxford? And why?):

diversity: being diverse, unlikeness; different kind; variety
diverse: unlike in nature or qualities; varied, changeful

We certainly are diverse. No harm in that. We may even get there as a diverse lot. Just avoid May 13 and keep remembering it to avoid it. Celebrating or commemorating it may be arguable but at least remember it. Forgetting it would lull us and get us carried away with our different and divergent paths. No harm in being different, but very harmful in being divergent.

divergent, diverge: proceed in different directions from point or each other; go aside from track; differ, deviate; deflect

“different directions from each other” is certainly no go. We’ll never reach any where together that way. Our paths will never converge. We’ll just lose each other. No good, ain’t it?

So, it’s OK to have different paths but definitely not OK to have divergent paths.

Being pedantic anyone? Let’s split hairs, shall we? Let’s go thru our stand, our views, our mindset, etc, etc with a fine comb.

At least we’ll hear from one another and see if we are just different or divergent. And think how to correct it.

There may be unity in diversity but not if that diversity involves divergence politically, economically, socially.



The Sun Wed, 03 Mar 2010

Celebration, not tolerance, of our diversity

DATUK Seri Najib Razak speaks with so much passion about the Malaysian dream of a united, harmonious and prosperous multicultural and multireligious nation whenever he has the opportunity to do so or is called upon to do so. Indeed he has to be as he is the Number One salesman of 1Malaysia – his government’s national unity formula – and no one can sell 1Malaysia better than he can. Perhaps others too, when speaking about it, should demonstrate more commitment to it even if they cannot match the passion of the prime minister.

On Sunday, Najib was presented with another opportunity when he was guest of honour at a Chinese New Year open house hosted by the Sin Chew and Guang Ming dailies, and knowing the coverage he was going to get among the Chinese from the two widely-read newspapers, he told the gathering that the time for tolerance is over and that Malaysians should now accept one another as fellow citizens no matter their cultural and racial background.

Malaysians must accept wholeheartedly the multiracial, multicultural and multireligious nature of the country. Indeed Malaysians must accept and celebrate diversity as it is well-known that it is this diversity that has made the country strong and prosperous.

Aware that some sense of disquiet had arisen following certain demands by a few members of a community, Najib tried to dispel the uneasiness of the others by warning that no community should make demands that will be at the expense of other communities. Stressing that “we can make demands, we can make statements”, he said any demand made by a community should also be good for all communities. He added that “it cannot be a zero sum game”.

Knowing that senior editors of the other newspapers were also among the large gathering, Najib said the media are allowed to express different opinions “and even dissent”, but that they must be ever conscious that they are not pulling this nation apart. He said: “Sin Chew might take a different path, Utusan (Malaysia) might take a different path and other newspapers might take different paths, but although we take different paths, we must converge and we must reach our destination.”

It was a serious speech regardless where it was delivered and timely, one, to tell the communities that the demands of any one of them must also be for the good of the others, and two, to tell the media that whatever different opinions they hold or different paths they take, their objective must be the same – a united, harmonious and prosperous Malaysia.



Wednesday April 28, 2010

Chua: Organisation a thorn in MCA efforts to win over Chinese


KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA has lambasted Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali for asking the Government to delay development allocations to the Chinese community.

“Malaysia will not be able to progress if we continue to have people like Ibrahim, who professes to champion along racial lines with disregard to the sensitivity of other communities,” said party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Organisations such as Perkasa, he said, hindered MCA’s efforts to get Chinese support for Barisan Nasional.

“Politicians should not utter remarks that can hurt the feelings of other communities. This will be contrary to the 1Malaysia agenda as propagated by our Prime Minister,” he said in a press statement.

Also, the Government’s money belonged to the people, and it should be used for development, not to punish voters, he added.

Dr Chua said he had discussed the matter with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who gave his assurance that Barisan would not renege on promises made, and also would fulfil its development pledges to Hulu Selangor voters.

Separately, MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu called on Barisan to distance itself from organisations spewing racist remarks if it wanted to gain support from the non-Malays.

He said Ibrahim – who criticised the Chinese community in Hulu Selangor as ungrateful and unappreciative – had said things that were “irritatingly disturbing and damaging.”

He added that racially-bent statements from a few Barisan leaders had also taken its toll in the election.

In Putrajaya, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat called on MCA and Barisan leaders to take a hard look at the result of the Hulu Selangor by-election, in particular the level of Chinese voter support.

“What we want to know is the heart and soul of the people when they make certain decisions … there must be some reason behind (their decisions).

“Is it because of certain misgivings and fear, founded or unfounded? I think all these need to be studied,” he said at a press conference after launching the Red Means Stop campaign organised by the Road Safety Department with Sun Media Corporation Sdn Bhd here yesterday.



Updated: Thursday April 29, 2010 MYT 5:51:28 PM

Dr M: Perkasa only responding to statements from others (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Perkasa is perceived as racist only because the group is responding to racist statements from other groups, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

“There are others who are saying things which causes Perkasa to reply,” Dr Mahathir said.

“There are extremist groups who are saying there is no such people as the Malays. So Perkasa will reply,” he told reporters after delivering a lecture themed Malaysia As A Maritime Nation – Are We There? here Thursday.

“If somebody says something, another person will reply. This is why racial issues should not be discussed publicly,” he added.

Dr Mahathir also said Perkasa may have contributed to Barisan Nasional’s win in the Hulu Selangor by-election by swinging the Malay votes the coalition’s way.

“Maybe Malay voters voted for Barisan because of Perkasa,” he said.

Asked if Umno should distance itself from Perkasa, Dr Mahathir replied that MCA should also distance itself from extremist Chinese groups.

MCA has criticised Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s statement urging the Government to delay promised development allocations to the Chinese community, after the poor Chinese support in the by-election on Sunday.



ARKIB : 28/04/2010
Orang Cina Malaysia, apa lagi yang anda mahu?


SUDAH banyak kali saya menulis mengenai sikap sahabat kita, orang Cina Malaysia terhadap kerajaan yang ada sekarang. Saya juga sering mengaitkan cita-cita DAP yang mahu ‘pulun’ semua sekali pengaruh Cina di negara ini.

Seperti mana yang saya tulis sebelum ini, DAP sejak akhir-akhir ini sungguh senyap dalam pergerakannya. Di Selangor pun ia senyap, di Pulau Pinang pun ia mulai senyap, di Perak pun begitu. Senyap-senyap DAP sebenarnya diam-diam berisi.

Gerakan halus mereka bergerak kencang. Harus diingat arus bawah lebih bahaya berbanding ombak di atas. Tapi apakah BN sedar dengan strategi DAP itu. Jika kira-kira 30 tahun dulu, malah 20 tahun dulu, orang Melayu generasi saya amat cuak dengan DAP atas sikap cauvinisnya, kini generasi Melayu sekarang tidak tahu itu semua. Mereka sudah tidak peduli.

Mereka tidak membaca pun buku 13 Mei yang ditulis oleh Tunku Abdul Rahman dan mereka tidak pernah tahu pun wujudnya perarakan penyapu oleh DAP yang mahu menyapu orang Melayu pada masa itu.

Bukan tujuan saya mahu membangkitkan rasa benci kepada parti itu atau kepada sesiapa, tapi ia adalah sejarah yang semua orang anak-anak Melayu, Cina, India, Orang Asli malah sesiapa sahaja harus dan berhak tahu mengenainya.

Saya pernah menyarankan supaya buku 13 Mei itu dijadikan teks di sekolah. Matapelajaran sejarah yang sesetengah daripada orang Melayu sendiri amat membencinya, harus diperkuatkan semula. Aspek kenegaraan, soal-soal realiti kemalaysiaan harus diterapkan.

Masukkan juga satu subjek mengenai konsep 1Malaysia yang sudah mulai disukai ramai itu. Sejarah silam dan aspek kontemporari harus disatukan menjadi satu subjek wajib, yang harus diikuti oleh semua pelajar, bukan sahaja pelajar Sastera, malah juga pelajar Sains.

Tujuan saya membangkitkan semula perkara ini bukanlah bermakna saya ini ultra-Melayu, tetapi untuk menyatakan mengenai realiti politik yang berlaku di sekeliling kita sekarang.

Pilihan raya kecil Hulu Selangor amat unik. Dalam sains politik, ia amat menarik untuk dikaji bagaimana orang Cina (bukan semua, tapi rata-rata) masih tidak mahu kembali kepada parti kerajaan.

Apa lagi yang mereka mahu? Apakah mereka masih merasakan merekalah penentu kepada sesuatu keputusan pilihan raya di negara ini?

Perlulah diingat pilihan raya umum 2008 bukanlah satu ujian sebenar bagi proses demokrasi di negara ini. Ia terlalu artifial. Tsunami yang berlaku adalah akibat kemarahan rakyat kepada kerajaan ketika itu dan kecelaruan fikiran orang Melayu ketika itu.

Akibatnya, DAP telah berjaya mencuri peluang itu. Orang Cina ramai-ramai memihak kepada mereka dan berlakulah tsunami politik yang tidak pernah berlaku dalam sejarah Malaysia.

Tapi jika diambil Hulu Selangor sebagai model pilihan raya umum ke-13 kelak, orang Cina bukanlah (lagi) penentu kepada keputusannya. Orang Melayu masih lagi menjadi faktor mutlak bagi menentukan kepada keputusan itu, dengan syarat – mereka bersatu.

Bersatupun, mereka haruslah secara majoriti menyokong kerajaan dan orang India pun turut serta memberi undi kepada parti kerajaan, maka ketika itu orang Cina bukanlah penentunya. Kecualilah jika orang India dan Cina solid lari daripada BN, maka BN akan tersungkur.

Namun, hakikatnya angka majoriti undi BN di Hulu Selangor bukan lagi satu gambaran kepada kemenangan sebenar. Itu pilihan raya kecil. Semua jentera tertumpu di sini. Dalam pilihan raya umum situasinya adalah jauh berbeza.

Secara angka, Melayu Hulu Selangor pun masih tidak solid. Kita tidak pasti apa lagi yang mereka mahu. Semua yang mereka mahu sudah diberi. UMNO pun sudah tunjuk perubahan. Seorang rakan memberitahu ”mungkin kita perlu pendekatan radikal untuk menyelesaikan masalah yang tenat.”

Namun, keputusan Hulu Selangor amat disenangi oleh Lim Kit Siang. Beliau dalam ucapannya di rapat umum penutup selepas keputusan kekalahan mereka diumumkan, memberitahu para hadirian yang rata-rata terdiri daripada orang Melayu, keputusan itu sebenarnya ialah kejayaan kepada ‘rakyat’ Hulu Selangor.

Tanpa mahu menyentuh perasaan orang Melayu di situ, beliau sebenarnya merujuk ‘rakyat’ itu sebagai orang Cina Hulu Selangor yang rata-rata tidak memberi undi kepada BN, tapi sebaliknya memihak kepada DAP.

Kit Siang ternyata amat gembira, sebaliknya Dr. Chua Soi Lek dan Dr. Koh Tsu Koon yang gagal.

Ironisnya, apa pula maksud Soi Lek apabila beliau berkata ”MCA kena vokal”? Saya pun tak tau?

Orang Cina Malaysia, apa lagi yang anda mahu?TAJUK di atas penuh bermakna. Apa lagi yang orang Cina Malaysia mahukan? Kita tolak dulu sebab-musabab mereka tidak menyokong kerajaan yang ada sekarang. Kita kaji dulu apa lagi yang mereka mahu?

Ikut sejarahnya orang Cina berhijrah ke Tanah Melayu ini untuk mencari peluang. Mereka hidup susah di tanah besar China ratusan tahun dulu. Seperti mana orang putih berhijrah ke benua Amerika untuk mencari peluang, begitu jugalah orang Cina yang kini menghuni di negara bertuah Malaysia ini.

Ternyata, percaturan datuk moyang mereka dulu berbaloi. Mereka dapat apa yang mereka mahukan. Mereka hidup mewah di bumi bertuah Malaysia ini.

Malah, bukan Malaysia sahaja, Singapura pun mereka kuasai sepenuhnya. Singapura bukanlah negara asal mereka. Orang Cina Singapura pun asalnya adalah dari tongkang yang sama bersama-sama orang Cina Malaysia. Cuba bezanya, Singapura berjaya dikuasai sepenuhnya, dan Malaysia tidak.

Di Malaysia, orang Cina hidup aman damai bersama-sama orang Melayu, Pribumi dan India. Berbeza dengan di Singapura, di sana orang Cina yang menguasai politik dan sekaligus pemerintahan negara itu. Di Malaysia, politik dan kerajaannya masih lagi dikuasai oleh orang Melayu.

Sistem kedua-dua negara itu sama, cuma ia terbalik sahaja. Orang Melayu di sini, orang Cina di sebelah tambak itu.

Bezanya orang Melayu di Singapura dan orang Cina di Malaysia amat berlainan sekali. Orang Melayu di Singapura hidup biasa-biasa sahaja. Orang Cina di Malaysia hidup lebih daripada biasa-biasa.

Malah Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad pernah memberi gambaran sekiranya semua bangunan orang Cina di Kuala Lumpur diangkat dari peta, yang tinggal hanyalah Kampung Baru itu sahaja. Semua yang lain ialah kepunyaan orang Cina Malaysia.

Orang Cina Malaysia amat hebat. Kesemua pekan-pekan besar dan bandar-bandar di seluruh Semenanjung, Sabah dan Sarawak dikuasai mereka.

Mereka juga berjaya melahirkan para profesional yang paling ramai dan berjaya. Sistem sekolah Cina mereka adalah antara yang terbaik di mana-mana sahaja di dunia ini (jika ada).

Kebanyakan pelajar-pelajar di kolej-kolej swasta yang terbaik di Malaysia dipenuhi oleh pelajar-pelajar Cina. Orang Melayu hanya mampu ke kolej milik kerajaan dan yang tidak ternama. Pusat-pusat membeli belah di kompleks-kompleks ternama di Malaysia dipunyai oleh orang Cina.

Di organisasi korporat dan swasta, orang Cinalah yang menguasainya. Orang Melayu boleh di bilang jari dan pekerja bawahan. Malah, kini mahu mohon kerja di situ pun perlu faham cakap Mandarin, sebagai prasyaratnya.

Akhir sekali, orang paling terkaya di Malaysia yang banciannya dijalankan saban tahun oleh sebuah majalah busines di Malaysia mendapati lapan orang Cina yang berada di 10 ke atas. Berikut adalah senarai 10 orang terkaya di Malaysia.

1. Robert Kuok Hock Nien 2. Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan 3. Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng 4. Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow 5. Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay 6. Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan 7. Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhry 8. Puan Seri Lee Kim Hua 9. Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King 10. Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun. (Sumber: Malaysian Business, Feb 2010)

Itulah hakikatnya Malaysia tanah airku yang tercinta ini. Apakah kerajaan sekarang yang sudah memerintah 52 tahun ini terlalu zalim, kejam dan kuku besi?

Apa lagi yang orang Cina Malaysia mahukan? Tapi saya tahu, anda tahu jawapannya.