Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Ruling multiracial Malaysia

There’s no need to wonder who should rule in Putrajaya: what’s more important is how they rule.

LEE Kuan Yew got it right. Whether it is Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat in Putrajaya, this country will still be under Malay rule.

So what, this aunty would like to ask?

For this citizen of Chinese descent, it is a given due to our history, racial composition and politics.

To quote Deng Xiaopeng, it doesn’t matter if it is a black or white cat, as long as it can catch the mice.

Similarly, I can accept Malay rule, regardless which side is in power, as long as it provides good government.

But as a voting citizen, I do have my hopes and expectations from my leaders.

You see, I am fine with Malay rule as long as the leaders cherish and respect the Constitution and continue to abide by the provisions in this document and not to tinker with it as they like.

I have no problem with Malay rule as long as those in power upholds Islam’s position as the official religion but will also respect other religions and protect the rights of all Malaysians to practise their faiths without discrimination, harassment or fear.

I am really okay with Malay rule as long as those who rule are not afraid of the past; who understand history should not be reinterpreted to make one community look better than others and who will acknowledge the contributions of other races in the building of this nation.

I will defend a leadership that will not use other races to invoke fear in the Malays by insinuating that these ungrateful interlopers are greedy and grasping and will steal the nation from under them if they are not careful.

I will support leaders who are strong and courageous to stand firm against those who preach hate and divisiveness and punish them appropriately, regardless of who these hate-mongers are.

I will cherish a Malay-led government that is fair to women and believe in gender equality; that will end all laws that continue to discriminate against women and treat them like simple-minded creatures.

I will admire a leadership that recognises the competition is beyond our shores and if we don’t stop bickering among ourselves and trying to frighten each other, our country might be left far behind, even within the region as all our neighbours get their act together and grow from strength to strength.

Hence, I will rejoice to have leaders who embrace meritocracy and will fight to nurture and retain all its talented citizens to benefit our society and nation and give us the edge on the international front.

I am all for a principled government that upholds the rule of law and that means, as defined by thefreedictionary.com, the government exercises “its power in accordance with well-established and clearly written rules, regulations, and legal principles” and “no branch of government is above the law, and no public official may act arbitrarily or unilaterally outside the law”.

In other words, a leadership that enforces laws with fairness, morality and justice.

I will support those in power who believe in educating and empowering its people and not keeping them stupid and poor in order to control them and making them dependent forever.

I will happily live under a leadership that nurtures a thinking society and does not fear dissent or those who challenge its authority through peaceful expressions be it in words, or through art, performances, music and film.

I will cherish a leadership that is inclusive with a consistent message to all, actively promotes true racial accommodation and acceptance and not play lip service to mere tolerance.

That is simply intolerable.

I will be in awe of leaders who can articulate and defend their policies by speaking with intelligence, backed up with quality research, facts and figures, and not insult the intelligence of others, especially those who question them.

And I can cheer them on proudly when they promote or defend Malaysia’s interests abroad because they can speak in crisp, clear English with authority, knowledgeably and wittily.

I will respect leaders who understand that becoming Yang Berhormats does not automatically elevate them to a status that demands obeisance from others.

Rather, they understand they are the people’s servants and respect must be earned.

I will honour a government that is led by leaders who are morally clean and upright, with zero tolerance for corruption and will not use underhanded means to enrich themselves and to keep themselves in power.

I am all for Malay rule as long as my leaders are committed to and believe in a multiracial, multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysia and want to keep it this way.

SO AUNTY, SO WHAT? BY JUNE H.L.WONG contributed to this post:

> Aunty hopes August, being our Merdeka month, will be a good time to remember our shared history. Feedback to junewong@thestar.com.my or tweet #JuneHLWong. The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own. 

Related post:

Rebooting the history of Chinese contributions to Malaysia -

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