After 51 years of Merdeka, what does one get? One would have thought that unity be achieved and the people living in harmony. Well, that's as far as the fairy tale goes. 'They live happily ever after' only happens in fairy tales.
The scene in Malaysia is gloomy and the dark cloud will never disappear to allow sunshine to brighten up this land for as long as the racist regime holds power. Many of us have been told in the face by a Malay to 'balik Cina'. Yes, throughout my 46 years in this Bolehland, I've had my fair share.
What was worse, when I was younger, I was indoctrinated to believe that I am living in someone else land and I should just keep my head bowed. I was kept reminded. Guess who indoctrinated me with such poison? Yes, it was MCA.
I was a life-member of MCA but somehow I'm not sure if my resignation from the party has been accepted. I have heard nothing from them. No, not even a simple letter to inform me anything at all. While I was a member, I received NO mails from them to even inform me of an EGM or AGM. After I handed in my resignation letter, I received NIL reply and NIL of the same too. That makes me wonder if I'm still a MCA member. If I am, I would feel like a dog!
The irony of things is that while my father had long passed away, up till this year, he still receives mailers from MCA!!!
One may ask me why I joined MCA back then. Allow me to explain. First, I was given the impression that MCA acts like what a chinese secret society does in protecting its members. The membership card is as good as 'lau yah hoo' or simply talisman.
Living in Muar, even today, if any reader doesn't believe what I have to say here is to simply try it out. Just get yourself issued with a parking ticket. Go to MPM and pay the summons. At the counter, tell them you are a MCA member and presto! Your fine is immediately reduced to RM10. No question asked! No explanation needed! No appeal required!
Then it was the kick-butt thingy. My best friend then, a lawyer, argued that the best way to kick some butts would be to join MCA. So, kick butts we thought and I agreed to sign up as a life member of MCA.
As time passes, maybe call it ignorant or maybe call it that I had been brainwashed. But I wasn't alone. I looked around and witnessed fellow Chinese being shouted at to 'balik Cina'. No, nobody stood up to tell the other off. We were all zombies programmed to accept this as a fact of life that we are living in someone else land and therefore we must submit. Yes, we were brought up to accept that we are all squatters in this land called Malaysia.
I awoke much earlier than the rest to realise that this wasn't supposed to be. I woke up earlier to know that I'm a part of Malaysia and I'm a Malaysian. When I shouted out loud and clear that we've been had, I lost many friends. When the rest realised that I was an active participant at Bungaraya forum, secrets were kept far far away from me. I suddenly realised I was to be avoided at all costs, like a plaque.
But the political awakening happened. March 8 will go down in Malaysian history as the day the people woke up from their slumber. Allow me to describe a few scenes I saw and have been seeing.
The air of change is evident. While prior to March 8, I could hear people voicing out their support for MCA and would not hesitate to accuse the DAP of being useless except to 'bark'. It is and has been, long perceived that DAP is only capable of barking but not solving. This has been MCA propaganda that had been effective. Effective because history tells us that development funds are only for BN controlled areas while opposition areas are punished. MCA ensured that DAP is looked upon as useless all because DAP was denied any aids that will benefit the people.
Now, MCA stronghold, Bakri parliamentary seat had fallen. Never before has BN ever showed any weakness nor hints of relinquishing this seat. This was the seat held by the ex-Health Minister, Chua Jui Meng. DAP didn't think so either and that was why an unprobable candidate was nominated to challenge BN. None would have believed that this man could dethrone BN, I included. DAP fielded a candidate that couldn't even speak proper Bahasa Malaysia let alone English! He's only a familiar face to those wishing to deal with the local JPJ!
Won this DAP man did! Unbelievable! Even the aunties manning their hawker stalls were stunned. Some poked fun. But it didn't take long for the joke to be reversed. People began to ask how a qualified candidate from MCA could lose to a nobody who can't even speak Bahasa Malaysia and English. The joke was on MCA instead!
Now, when I eat out at hawker centres, if ever there's talk about politics, I hear a reverse in their conversation. People are more receptive to Pakatan Rakyat today. They begin to question why after 51 years of Merdeka we are still divided. Best of all, they awake to ask why they have been indoctrinated that they are living in someone else land.
Before Malaysia became a Federation, they argued that this land was Tanah Melayu. Therefore, twisted logics argue that this land is forever Tanah Melayu. I once asked them a question. I sold my car and someone else bought it. Can I claim ownership since I was the original owner? I sold my house and someone else bought it. Can I still claim ownership since I was the original owner? I sold my piece of land and someone else bought it. Can I still claim ownership since I was the original owner?
Willing buyer willing seller. A fair deal when both agree. So, what's all those mumbo-jumbo about the granting of citizenship rights in order for Malaysia to achieve Merdeka? It was agreed then that citizenship rights would be granted. If so, having received our rights to citizenship, why are they backtracking on the agreement and asking us to 'balik Cina'? For someone like me who's born in Malaysia, I know no other land. This is my homeland. This is my country. Negaraku.
Ever heard of Fahmi Reza? Heard of 'Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka'? A documentary which tells of the fight for Merdeka. Piecing together a historical event from survivors, it tells us something untold about a People's Constitution that was presented to the British demanding independence and to create a nation consisting of Malaysians!
The British must had shitted in their pants. Divide and rule was the name of the game that had given them power over the nation. Nevertheless, I assume, gladly assume that there were heroes, Malaysian heroes, back then in 1947 who had already envisioned a Malaysian Unity, a Bangsa Malaysia!
So, together the races of Malaysia came together to fight for Merdeka. Successfully ridding the land of the British, Tunku Abdul Rahman did a commendable job in steering the nation towards Malaysian Unity. All his efforts were undone by the 1969 coup. Efforts to Malaysian Unity ended. The polarisation of the nation began.
The British replaced by UMNO. To survive and to move up in UMNO, one needs to be a racist. Najib played the racist card in 1987 and will not be erased from memory. Hishamuddin did the same in 2005. The list continues. But I will narrate a scene when I was a little boy.
My parents ran a small sundry shop along Jalan Bakri. There was a madrasah some 100 metres away from my parents' shop. One only needed to walk down the small laterite lane behind the shop to access the madrasah. One prominent Malay man who lived there became my father's partner in a construction company that bidded for government projects.
I do not have many memories of this Tok Haji. We used to refer to him as 'lao haji' and when met, I would call him Tok Haji. If not mistaken, his name was Haji Maarof. As he was well off, he was capable of feeding many mouths. Many of his siblings' children were taken care of and provided for by him.
One of them, a young teenager then, once came to my parents' shop and bluntly told off my parents that this land belongs to Malays and he will one day take it back. Yes, he did tell my parents to 'balik Cina'.
My father didn't want to pursue the matter with Tok Haji. He thought this chap young and arrogant. Nothing else. Besides, my dad was a MCA member and was indoctrinated to believe that we are living in someone else land.
This young arrogant chap grew up to become the Mentri Besar of Johor. Yes, he's Muhyiddin, the arrogant chap who lived some 100 metres away from my old house when he was little. Young a racist, I have not heard him playing the racist card to the extreme though. But I will always remember UMNO's motto of Dulu, Sekarang dan Selamanya.
So, the polarisation today, some blamed it on the British. If what the British did was despicable in segregating the different races in its divide and rule policy, why did UMNO see it fit to continue this divisive policy in its racist Ketuanan Melayu?
The mockery of it all, the present Mentri Besar of Johor, Ghani Othman said that "It will be sad if certain parties succeeded in ruling the country through the divide and control system". Hello, are you talking to the man in the mirror? Oh I forgot, people say that it is best to tell it to Jamilah if you want to get something to Ghani! Maybe I should.
Racism institutionalised, UMNO's Ahmad Ismail is the latest to utter the same racist line.
Racism institutionalised because the Prime Minister, Badawi came to his defence to say that he will tell this UMNO racist not to use this again.
Racism institutionalised because the component parties of BN aren't able to do anything. As if a confession made, ex-Health Minister, Chua Soi Lek wrote in his blog: If Umno does not change nothing will happen. That is for sure because it is the biggest party.
Racism institutionalised because even the group chief editor of the Star, Wong Chun Wai is pleading that this UMNO racist be given a chance to apologise and to end all.
Merdeka was when we freed ourselves from the British. Feudalism is when we allow UMNO to lord over us. Racism institutionalised is when we allow the UMNO racists to walk freely trampling on the rights of Malaysians.
As I said earlier, I was one of the many who were indoctrinated that we live in someone else land. The gameplay ends here, MCA! Either you stand up and walk on two legs or continue to run around on four. The nation has no use for a running dog. Redemption is only when you stand up and defend our rights as a Malaysian.
We are anak Bangsa Malaysia. Nothing less will do.