Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Replacing Agenda Melayu


Replacing Agenda Melayu
by Azly Rahman




Mahathirism is giving way to Radical Multiculturalism, or to be more accurate to Radical Marhaenism. There is a sense of meaninglessness in the word "Agenda Melayu" these days. There is also a sense of fear of holding on to power for too long when the rakyat has lost its trust in a government that is no longer gentle, let alone clean, efficient or trustworthy. The Internet is helping raise critical awareness of what actually is going on. The blogs have become our last frontier of the spaces of justice we are yet to discover. "Thus Sprach Cyberspace" as a philosopher would say.

What goes on inside the mind of the present coalition is this: it wants to have a strong check and balance as being a coalition with absolute power can also be a painful experience. More force is needed to stop the growing wave of dissent. How much of the ideological state apparatuses must one abuse? "Dissent is patriotic", as American philosopher statesman Thomas Jefferson once said. More water cannons, laced with chemicals are needed in a toxic democracy such as Malaysia's on the eve of choosing a new regime. To be patriotic, one must dissent.

But there is still hope for detoxification. We all want this – ruling party or the opposition, regardless. It is a dictate of the mandate of heaven. We must go for a strong check and balance system.

Malaysia has achieved the goals for Agenda Melayu. Time's up – game over? The 2007 report by Asli spearheaded by eminent scholar Dr. Lim Teck Ghee gave us a glimpse of objectivity in reporting what ought to be reported in regard to the economic pie Malaysians are so obsessed with.

We need to spend the next 50 years making Agenda Bangsa Malaysia a reality. We need a political will to go with it. We must be brave to ride the new wave of change – as brave as the astronaut we sent to experience the joys of being in outer space.

Agenda Melayu a bad excuse

Agenda Melayu has become a leit motif at best and a bad excuse at worst for the few to oligopolise this resource rich nation; a nation whose oil revenues should have best been used to finance the education, welfare and health services of Malaysians of all races instead of building tall structures and "corridors" to showcase the autocracy of our oriental despotism. Instead of building "corridors" all over, one might ask: why not build affordable houses for the poor and build minds that will learn how to live ethical lives and resuscitate this nation? These corridors will ultimately be of benefit only to local elites that will be plundering the nation in concert and in cohort with foreign investors from faraway and nearby lands. Or, why not meet the needs of Indian Malaysians and all those that are still in abject poverty?

Agenda Melayu is a base and superstructure of the hegemony of one race that lives and breathes the spirit of neo-cybernetic-feudalistic construction of elusive and heterogeneous power; a modern-day daulat that has lost the magic of "divine rights" that never was there in the first place – the power derived from materials, artifacts and the politics of language that colonises the mind of the silently-reproduced Malay.

The rise of Makkal Shakti (People Power) through Hindraf, the emergence of a yellow wave through Bersih, the persistence of rallies, the uncertainty of socio-political stability, and the increase in the use of state apparatuses to crush dissenting viewpoints – all these are the symptoms of mass dissatisfaction against the regime in power that is begging for a fresh mandate.

Unembarassingly too, soem time ago, the Malaysian education ministry avowed its contradictory stand on political culture by releasing statements the students can cast political votes but cannot be involved politically. Education as an enterprise to create good citizens and through ars liberalis (the arts of the free man/woman) has become a huge conveyor belt to create minds filter-funneled with ideologies of an outdated race-based politics surviving on the modus operandi of fear, ferociousness and phantasmagoric proclamations of world-class this or that.

The writings are on the wall. The graffiti of our national grouses and grievances are even written on the walls of that Petronas Twin Tower, a Caesar Pelli-an symbol of the Malay Agenda. We want to reach the heights that imitate the advanced industrial nation but our political and civic consciousness can at times be in the pits of neanderthalism. The height of this abysmal consciousness is embalmed in the Royal Commission of Inquiry, epitomised in the ideology of "Lingam-ism". The narratives that we read on the proceedings of inquiry into the conduct of the judiciary is like a freestyle of a most vulgar form of gangsta rap that humiliates the minds of Malaysians yearning for blind justice to prevail.

Issues before the next general election

The issues before the Malaysian general election are plenty, amongst these:

As it affects Malaysians of Malay origin, the continuing growth of the abject poor, now sprawling in the urban areas, the continuing exposure of corruption amongst primarily Malay leaders of the ruling regime, the clampdown on dissenting views in public universities and the recent warning by the minister of higher education for students not to be engaged in politics, the unresolved mystery of the Altantunya murder case involving Malay suspects, and the rising prices of basic necessities as a result of the rise of oil price.

As it affects Malaysians of Chinese origin, the continuing dissatisfaction of the way the NEP has favoured one race over others in terms of educational funding across the board.

As it affects Malaysians of Indian origin, the continuing marginalisation of the community left to fend for themselves in abject poverty, the demolition of Hindu temples, the neglect of their basic education via neglect of Tamil schools, and the continuing detention without trial of the five Hindraf activists as a result of the clampdown on now the internationally-broadcasted rally for their rights.

As it affects all Malaysians, the uncertainty of what is to be derived out of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the "Lingam Tape" in which the public is now confused on the matter of how much information is being given to ascertain if indeed the entire workings of the judicial system is based on unethical practices; one allegedly based on rigging of the appointment of judges.

As it affects the rights of the indigenous people such as the Orang Asli and the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak, the systematic effort of failing to protect their rights in face of hypermodernity the government has embarked upon.

The tightly controlled government media has been playing up and down issues before the general election. It has played up Barisan Nasional's "confidence of a winning big" at a time unlike the previous elections in which the Internet was never a tool of counter-hegemony. It is assumed that the ruling party will continue to be given the mandate (more that 2/3 majority) at every election even though the issues mentioned above continue to be unresolved. The nation continues to see parties carrying their baggage and unresolved critical issues into this election.

New masks, old spirits

The ruling party assumes that by announcing that "new faces" will be introduced to replace the old despots, the system will be rejuvenated, somewhat like a political dialysis. This reminds one of the blood transfusions of Keith Richards, the stoned-aged-but-still-alive guitarist of the legendary rock group The Rolling Stones; whose life defies the stories of the dangers of drug addiction. It is assumed that by getting new individuals to run in the elections, a fresh mandate to carry out the Malay agenda will be given.

But the issue is not about propping up new individuals – it is about ideology and institutions that support it. It is about a race-based ideology that is no longer in sync with changing times, as if the cognitive capacity of the nation will never progress and surpass the ideology of the Malay Agenda.

The overplayed doctrine of "Malay dictatorship/hegemony" (Ketuanan Melayu), an arrogant sounding developmentalist agenda pillared upon arrogant and truncated theories of development which brushes off new findings on the ownership of the NEP, continue to dominate the mind of campaign strategists.

The biggest issue before this coming general election is the ideological shift. Because Umno as the dominant party actually does not have an ideology, except sentimentality and authority to deploy the ideological state apparatuses, and because the dissatisfaction of the masses/rakyat is growing in leaps and bounds and is tsunami-ing the streets, we have got a national problem.

What will the election bring us? It is you and I who will decide.

Did Marx the historian not say that we must become makers of our own history?

Or - if we are to become a superstitious nation who believes in numerology, we must also believe in a mandate of heaven, where it rains change predictably.

3 comments:

Tamerlane said...

Youre absolutely right. Time to replace malay agenda with indian agenda of Hindraf‘s hindu rights etc. Also time for another dosage of your medication doc.

ajoyly said...

Dr. Azly

Your article is an eye-opener to the many things that has to be put right. And the strategies required in rectifying them must be emplaced. So that fifty years hence or earlier, they would become a reality.

The most worrying is the sidelining of the Malaysian agenda specifically Bangsa Malaysia. Why is Bangsa Malaysia not given the priority and urgency over all other issues?

As it is, it cannot be denied that it will be a key instrument to Malaysia's social and political peace. Bangsa Malaysia is close to the hearts of all Malaysians.

Being a Bangsa Malaysia gives a sense of pride and belonging to Malaysians. And patriotism too. Why? Because it is an endorsement by the nation that you belong to this country called Malaysia, your motherland.

It is also a recognition that Malaysia has only got one race, Bangsa Malaysia although it is made up of diverse ethnic groups. This would make the work of uniting the people much easier.

Of course, problems experienced by the country must be looked at, from the perspective of Bangsa Malaysia and not otherwise.It is no longer restrictive but open.

It means when speaking of poverty, it refers to the rural poor and urban poor encompassing all Bangsa Malaysia whatever their racial origin are.

Similarly with other matters, they should be dealt with in the same manner. Treating all citizens fairly and without bias.This must be implemented and strictly monitored by the authority to ensure that there is no abuse.

On the other hand if no remedial measures and policy changes are undertaken, the consequences for the country would be very bad. It would result in disunity, anger and disloyalty.

Meaning as mentioned in the earlier part of this commentary that they would be no social and political peace - thus affecting also the economic position of the country.

Anonymous said...

Macam ni la

Tolong bagi tau sikit kat Najib Bros & Geng:

JANGAN lah anggap Melayu tu semua bodoh sangat kala mendengar HAWTAR.

APAKAH LOGIKNYA KEPANDAIAN KABINET MELAYU SEKARANG SEWENANG2 MENGHAPUSKAN F.I.C.

-- semata2 kunun segolongan Melayu yang berpeluh masam Q depan MIDF dulu menjual balik saham2 IPO
-- yang didapatnya melalui catuan undi
-- sempat bolot untong cuma setakat hanya 20 – 30 sen/saham,
-- buat tampong gaji maid jaga anak & saraan mak bapak & bayar balik hutang mertua kalau ada berlebih
-- tak sempat2 menunggu harga naik RM 3 – 4/saham,
-- yang dibelinya dengan hutang Bank Buroh Navaratnam paling tak 95% back to back
-- yang harus dilangsai tepat2 bila genap bulan?

[kalau bukan kroni, haram, kalau ada rezeki ong naik dapat pun “A” LOT cuma – bukan macam kroni nya yang dapat agihan lots & lots.]


APAKAH BODOH SANGAT KABINET MELAYU SEKARANG menyangka yang ramai2 Melayu yang dapat Pink/White Form tu masing2 dah pulon untung berjumlah RM52billion?

PEMBOHONG BESAR LAA KALAU ITU MAKSUD YANG NAK DI SAMPAIKAN NYA PADA CINA

Apakah benar untung Melayu (Kroni/tak kroni) sebanyak itu lepas ditolaknya hutang bank kala beli?

Kaya le dah Melayu middle class macam tu


>>> *** Sapa yang tak melabor balik Laba NEPnya?? *** <<<
Guna le sikit hati murni tu -- jawab!


SAH LAH BODOHNYA PEMIKIRAN/PENGIRAAN KABINET MELAYU HARI NI BERBANDING ZAMAN MAK BAPAKNYA YANG MENGHANTARNYA KE SEBERANG LAUT MENIMBA ELMU EKONOMI DUNIA

NAMUN MATA KERO BUAT2 TAK NAMPAK NILAI SAHAM YANG DIGENGGAM CINA DAN LAIN2 BANGSA ENTAH BERAPA RATU$$$$ RATU$$$$$ BILLLLLLLION TAK LUAK2

KINI NAK DIPERMUDAHKAN PULAK LELONGAN HARTA FELDA??

JANGAN KAN FELDA

– SATU BURSA MALAYSIA TU KALAU DILONGGOKKAN, JUMLAH NILAI SAHAM NYA TU TAKAT CUMA CUMA SATU (1) MID SIZE NYSE COMPANY JE, EG GILLETE/COLGATE

TAK KAN BNM/MTEN/KLSE/MIER/ISIS/CEO2 GLC/UNMENTIONABLE TAK TAU

HABIS LAH HARTA TANAH MELAYU GITU AJE PANDAINYA MELANGSAIKAN

DEMI MENGEJAR TUKARAN DUIT ASING/AH SENG

NAK KONAR TEMPEK PROJEK LAIN

-- DULU ADA YANG KATA: USAH GUSAR, 1 HOON PON HAK MELAYU TAK KAN LUAK DIPAJAK

TAPI GAMAKNYA KINI DAH TAK PERLU ADA 1 HOON PUN F.I.C - YANG DULUKALA BAPAK NYA JUGAK JADIKAN BUAT S.A.F.E.G.U.A.R.D M.A.L.A.Y I.N.T.E.R.E.S.T

KINI FIC – DAH HANGUS SEMATA BAGI MEMUDAHKAN PENJUALAN FELDA

BALIKNYA MEMIMPIN DIBERI PEGANG TAMPOK KUASA TAK BAWAK SATU PAEDAH UNTUK UMATNYA

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