Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Politicians and racism
Politics has been said to be the art of the impossible. There are also quite a number of sayings in politics often quoted by politicians themselves which is revealing about their true nature .
Examples: “In politics, there are no permanent enemies or permanent friends” – which may mean that there is no true friendship but only marriage of convenience or a relationship based on needs. If is this so between them, can you really expect them to have the People’s welfare in their hearts? I think not. They are responsible only if it means they will not be able to hold political office if they are otherwise. They are not naturally responsible.
If the People (Cat) are not watching, the politicians (mice) will run amuck doing what they want – accumulating more wealth, power, influence and self importance. Let RAPERAs never forget this.
Obviously our country is blessed with citizens of various ethnic origins – Kadazans, Ibans, Orang Asli, Javanese, Minangkabaus, Mendalings, Malay, Bugis, Indian, Portugese, Chinese, and so on.
If you look deeply and closely at the Malays, for instance, you will find associations of Bugis, Javanese, Achenese, etc. In itself, there is nothing wrong.
If you look deeply and closely at the Chinese, for instance, you will find associations of Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese, Teow chiu, etc. In itself, there is nothing wrong.
If you look deeply and closely at the Indians, for instance, you will find associations of Malayalam, Singhalese, Telegu, Tamilians, etc. In itself, there is nothing wrong.
If you look deeply and closely at East Malaysia, for instance, you will find associations of Ibans, Kadazans, Dayaks, Bidayuhs etc. In itself, there is nothing wrong.
Then you have the Malay, Indian and Chinese associations.
It is nothing wrong if it is merely a result of human characteristic to associate with one’s “origin” and with people with familiar and similar cultural traits. That may be a start in the lesson of human interaction.
It becomes wrong if it means disassociation from others; distrust of others, “us against them”, “political tool”, “vested interest tool”, “purely economic tool”, “superiority complex” and such.
It is wrong because such an attitude degrades us all as human beings, as creations of the Creator.
It also means that instead of celebrating the Creators’ creativity; you are mocking His infinite wisdom in creating diversity. You are rejecting the signs of His existence. Allah says in the Quran:
"O Men, We created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may KNOW one another (NOT THAT YOU MAY DESPISE EACH OTHER)." (Quran 49:13)
"And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. Verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." (Quran 30:22)
As correctly pointed out in the Quran, those with knowledge will not subscribe to the parochial or racist mentality. The simply cannot. Only the ignorant ones or the ones with a vested interest or the rejecter of Faith can.
Racism or parochialism does not mean the that Tamil cannot speak up on behalf of another Tamilian or a Javanese on behalf of another Javanese or a Malay on behalf of another Malay or a Chinese on behalf of another Chinese. It is only when any one of them speak of their own rights/interests to the deliberate exclusion of others that it becomes not right.
Helping people from your own ethnic origin by itself is not racism. Refusing to help others when you can is.
There are in my view, Malay, Chinese and Indian, etc politicians who play the racial card. While in private they have the best of friends from other races but in public, they position themselves as the sole champion of their race and denounce other races as a threat.
These are racists. Such politicians are shameless creatures. Cannibalistic. Hypocrites. Dangerous.
Racism does not reveal its true self most of the time clearly. It hides under the garb of politics, science even, religion, tradition and culture, economics, etc. In fact it is a parasite that will thrive on anything that allows it to live.
Politicians uphold the principle of pragmatism strongly. This is their first value. Hence they will shamelessly manipulate the racist sentiments lurking in society for their own political gain.
If we want to obliterate racism, we have to first clean our own hearts. We have to train our minds and educate ourselves on what being human beings mean. The sooner this happens then, the sooner the politicians will stop their shameless act.