Friday, September 5, 2008

Am I a PADI (Pendatang Asing Dengan Izin)?

We have reached a point that racism is like a trump-card for some politicians that has been played over and over again when they are at the bottom of their political lives.

21st-century racism in Malaysia is different from that of the past. Contemporary racism is conscious, and it is expressed in direct, unsubtle ways. This is best evident by Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail who still has refused to apologise over his recent racist remark calling the Chinese community “immigrants who do not deserve equal rights”. Another latest example is the racist indoctrination course by Biro Tata Negara for JPA scholars as reported in media today.

Also, I’m always questioning the need in having Bumi or Non-bumi columns for applicants to tick in almost all application forms at government agencies.

I think that the issue is twofold. I believe that Chinese's perception of Malays is still generally defensive based on their limited interaction with Malays, whether this is via the media or in person. On the other hand, Malays need to respect the truth that our country is built by the joint effort of many communities, and we are living together next to each other since time in memoria. One must remember, respect is a mutual thing.

I am a firm believer that the concept of 'race' is flawed. Our differences as human beings are what make this world exciting and interesting. If we were all of the same culture, how boring would that be?

Let us hope that Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the head of UMNO can really walk his talk in his 51st National Day message that “solidarity among the united citizens is the cornerstone of the country’s social harmony…” to prevent racism from being institutionalise. For instance, he must immediately sack Ahmad Ismail from UMNO.

Lim Lip Eng
DAP MP for Segambut

1 comment:

Steven said...

Greetings! MP

As a resident here from Sri Segambut, thanks for the published article here.

It's great to read this and the awareness of multiracial must continues.

We (Rakyat) read this as "harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi" let's BN to Be End.