‘The message is loud and clear: ‘pendatang’, know your place!’
David Dass: I understand your feelings, Malaysiakini journalist Geraldine Tong. I also felt a sense of despair as I read and heard a bit of what transpired there.
I was particularly upset to hear Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad talk about ‘orang asing’ (foreigners). Is that how he feels being in Pakatan Harapan? Forced to accept a greater role for non-Malays?
There was a hope that we could come together in a spirit of nationhood to collectively pursue a common destiny. This Malay Dignity Congress has brutally shaken us out of our delusional slumber. We are ‘orang asing’, now and forever.
The majority of us want to simply live peaceful lives. We observe the law and are courteous and respectful to one another. There is no intention to show disrespect to anyone’s culture, language or religion. We accept our Constitution and live within its provisions and under its protection.
The Chinese and Indians did not come here as invading conquerors. Most came as indentured labourers in the holds of ships.
Their lives were harsh and the work was difficult. Clearing the jungle and helping to lay the foundations for a modern state and for a modern economy. And many died of disease in the undertaking.
JW: “Don’t get me wrong. I do think it is important to respect all religions and languages and we should, of course, take pride in our national language. But there was something about their fervour that felt exclusionary.”
Yes, Tong, you hit the nail on its head. We, non-Malays, are not opposed to Malays coming together to share their stories and reflect on their situation.
It is their fervour, as you stated, that is troubling because there is the strong undertone of talking about non-Malays as though they are not citizens, as though they were better off gone from Malaysia.
This is what Mahathir has tacitly given support to. This is why he is reprehensible as PM. He may backtrack all he wants after the congress by denying this and that when queried about the substance and tone of the speeches, including his. But this is just a lot of bulls**t.
If he were sincere, his speech would be very different, at least not add to the exclusionary rhetoric, and realising that as PM, he could not, and must not, serve only one race and religion.
Don’t Just Talk: Malay Dignity Congress organiser Zainal King threatened to take away the citizenship of non-Malays who questioned the rights of the Malays under the Constitution. Non-Malays have never questioned the Constitution.
Malays need not feel threatened because the prime minister is a Malay, the Armed Forces chief and inspector-general of police (IGP) are Malays, the sultans are Malays, etc. And with a Malay-Muslim majority of 65 percent of the population, why do they still feel threatened?
The Malays should look at those who really are a threat to them. They are none other than those corrupted Malay political leaders who stole billions and sold the country to foreigners to cover the looting of 1MDB.
Our citizenship is our birthright, and not something given to us by Zainal’s grandfather; so stop threatening the non-Malays with your nonsensical rhetoric.
Anonymous_1404366050: The message is loud and clear: ‘pendatang’ (immigrants), know your place!
Anonymous 2405191458063842: Yes, there are Malays who would feel ‘the awkwardness’ of this sort of racial rhetoric… but the problem is, the number of this group is quite minuscule to make any difference.
Tong, you are right to ask – where do we go from here.
If you ask the non-Malays, especially the Chinese, they would say the same thing as when BN was the government: I am worried for my children. They have no future here.
After one and half years of the Harapan government, the word ‘Harapan’ is a joke.
Anonymous_5609e49b: The happiness and progress made in GE14 have all been lost. Hijacked by Mahathir and Bersatu, who came in at the last minute with their fake chorus for ‘reformasi.’
Now we know it was the unchanged old wolf dressed in sheep’s skin.
Just A Malaysian: The world is moving at a speed and volatility to which many of us cannot adapt. Whatever is happening in the world today, like the IT revolution, the rise of China, etc, can be bewildering.
Feeling stressed and lost, Malays need a scapegoat and an anchor. The scapegoat will always be the Chinese. The anchor will be their religion.
All these congresses and seminars on how generous they are to others and how bad they are treated in return, imparts a kind of warm feeling to Malays that they are victims.
This is just a denial and escape syndrome. The faster Malay leaders face this reality, the faster we can find a cure together as a nation. Blaming others is not the answer.
Anonymous_74a4f2f6: Malay politicians are so lacking in self-confidence, they have to resort to such kind of speech.
All my staff are Malays. They work hard. We work together, go for lunch together, gather for dinner events together with our family members, and there’s never any suspicion of animosity amongst us.
Our intention is to perform and progress together. I have never seen any lack of skills, knowledge, hard work and non-performance in them. Their expertise and knowledge and input have been welcomed as they help to make our company stronger and progressive.
What’s wrong with these politicians, not doing any proper work other than inciting others to hate one another?
Kawak: Like it or not, under the Umno-BN regime, race relations have been eroded gradually to a point of no return. Decades of Malay supremacy indoctrination and policies have produced today’s state of affairs.
Everywhere, whether it is a social gathering or in schools and institutions of higher learning, we can see people just mix with their own race.
Gatherings during festivities organised by politicians are just a sham to show Malaysian racial harmony.
Kangkuong: I had tears in my eyes reading your report, Tong. This is not the Malaysia our forefathers imagined, certainly not mine with both Malay and Chinese parentage.
Tong, you should ask TV stations to do a town hall session and get people like yourself, your Malay journalist friends and others from various backgrounds, including attendees of the congress and those who gave the hate speeches, for a discussion.
Topics like this need to be discussed in the open, not only among one race (any race). Ignorance is the root of all hate. While a discussion would not stop it, it would at least be an open dialogue.
Freethinker: It’s simple to dissect what was said at the Malay Dignity Congress is hate speech. Just switch the word – “Malay” to “Chinese” and “Islam” to another religion. Then the speeches will become offensive to Malays.
But when spoken by a Malay, it’s championing the dignity of race and religion.
Anonymous_1528810684: You have my respect, Tong. Not many non-Malays would be able to sit through such hate and rubbish for so many hours.