It's the reality of Malaysian politics.
Polarisation of the races, fault of not only the Malays, but equally responsible, if not more, are the Chinese and Indians, giving too much prominence to their own culture and language and giving national identity and the national language a backseat.
I have nothing against people speaking their own language anywhere, anytime, but it would be more appropriate to use the national language in political gatherings, political debate or political speeches of any kind if one truly believe in the making of a national identity.
The U.S is one nation that has become analogous, the cohesion of different ethnic origins to proudly call themselves American. They speak one common language while maintaining whatever culture and language peculiar to them.So do the Japanese,Korean,Chinese and so forth.
One can understand if the elderly Chinese or Indians can't muster the Malay language but for the very young generations who can't speak fluent Malay is an abomination.
Advertised on a rabid pro-opposition blog.
Insincere politicians that provide lip service and pro-opposition bloggers who plastered their blogs with posters and banners depicting the desire for "Oneness" is nothing but a charade and pulling wool over the eyes. Needless to say, their hypocritical indulgence are doing great disservice to the nation.
Strange as it may sound for a Chinese, one Hannah Yeoh, a DAP state assemblyman, a great pretender of some kind, demanded that her newborn's race be recorded as "Malaysian" in the birth certificate. She Is Chinese and her husband Indian. It makes one wonder since when the word "Malaysian" has become a genealogy of race.
What makes more sense and more appropriate would be for her to ask for "Chindian" as her child's race, a more appropriate genealogy for offspring born of wedlock of Indian and Chinese parents, which are already in use, unofficially. If Eurasian can be the epithet of race, why not Chindian and Machin for the offspring of Malay who married Chinese? Maybe, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka should coin these words for general usage.
I am for doing away with the race column because I suffered the same malady as the Chinese and Indians because of my grandfather's origin.My birth certificate shows I am of sub-continent origin though I have natives blood in me.For all intents and purposes I would or should be a Malay because we have for few generations shed the Afghan/Persian culture and took up the Malay custom and language.
My criticism is not directed toward any race but against politicians in general and in this particular case, Chinese politicians, who, sadly and selfishly, have taken chauvinistic approach toward the national language. These are the very same people who talked incessantly about integration of the races and domination of multiracialism in a pluralistic society yet do everything possible against achieveing that objective.
A nation must have a lingua franca (common language) before it can speak of national identity.In that respect the Indonesian Chinese are more adapt to speaking the Indonesian language among themselves even when they travel overseas.If you are inside Indonesia you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between Indonesian Chinese and Indonesian Malay because they speak the same language.For that matter, Thailand and the Philippines are the same where Chinese had become inconspicuous, thoroughly assimilated and adopted local culture and names.
Two months ago my wife and I was in Hong Kong and had dinner in an Indonesian restaurant, next to our table was a group 10 elderly Chinese all looking as Chinese as can be.We soon realised they are not Hong Kong Chinese because they spoke in Indonesian and occasionally in Chinese.
How is the DAP going to woo the Malays to join the party and field Malay candidates in elections if their political gatherings and debates appeared as if they were held somewhere in China.
They talked about the unfair advantage of the current system favoring Malays and discrimination against other races when they themselves could hardly shed their bastion of Chinese chauvinism.They forget or could not care less that there are other Malaysians who are interested to hear what they have to say about national politics and not confine the gathering to just an all Chinese affairs.
I have many Chinese friends, they may agree or disagree with me, but the truth is out there. I foresee Malaysia's hazardous long and winding road to win national identity.......a failure that rest squarely on the shoulders of the three major races in the country.
Religion may be seen as one of the dividing factors to national unity which is understandable but should not be a major cause of failure of attaining national identity. The U.S is more complicated, a more diverse melting pot but they all consider themselves American first.
The Arabs, the Pakistanis and other Muslims who migrated to the West had turned out to be the misfits of Western society due to their refusal to shed some of their cultural practices that could not sit well in a Western concept.They ended up isolated from the general population and live in their parochial and clannish hemisphere.
The old adage "When in Rome do as the Romans do" always rang true.
Everything including posters and banners exclusively in Chinese.For the less initiated you may think it was somewhere in China. I did, when I watched the first few minutes of the video.
More debate, somewhere in China
In singapore, most leaders are trilingual.
Meet Singapore founding father:
Kuan Yew's National Day speech
Malaysian Chinese leaders should take a leaf out of the books of Singapore top Chinese leaders who had no qualm and not shy away from being fluent in Malay even though Singapore is predominantly Chinese and they can give two hoots about speaking Malay.