Sunday, November 7, 2010

A letter from Dr Kamal Amzan

I am a Malaysian first, second, and last


by Dr Kamal Amzan

We are a nation that defines race in our constitution. Well, there is nothing wrong with that. But we should know that we are in the league with countries like South Africa and Israel.

Other countries have their own definition of race, but very few take pride enshrining it in their constitution.

Whatever your stand on that, let us admit one thing, we are not in the best of companies.

Religion teaches us that God created us as equals, and some even say that we are all related (albeit distantly). Say what you want, twist and cite all the verses in every holy scriptures you can, but the crux of the matter is that we are all the same before Him, we are all related even.

Yes people, that makes us brothers, sisters, first cousins, second cousins and distant cousins if you must.

In my opinion, 1Malaysia was a long and overdue call. A battle cry, after years of trouble. However, being a sceptic that I am, it was a call that sounded too good to be true.

And i didn’t wait long to be proven right. The first crack was when the government ministers hesitated to declare themselves a Malaysian first vis a vis their race. I assure you their silence (elegant or not) speak volumes, and is more deafening with each passing day in the eye of the Malaysian public.

Second was when an independent member of parliament from Pasir Mas (who later had a heart attack) started ranting on and on about a topic that would have landed anyone else into ISA. Surprisingly a statesman followed suit. Mind you, this statesman was the first to introduce the term ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ in the 90′s and the idol to millions including myself at one point or another.

Third was when government servants, I repeat ‘servants’ made seditious, racial remarks in school, and in government run camps. They seem to forget they are paid by the Malaysian public – brown, yellow, green, red and black people combined. Worse was when our leaders said they didn’t have the power to do anything about it. I couldn’t believe my ears because if they don’t, who does?

Fourth was when they called a rapper to give his statement for voicing out his anger, due to the fore-mentioned injustices online. A hint, this rapper was first famous for his one-hit ‘negarakuku’.

I pity him. I really do and my heart goes to him, his family and friends for speaking up. They cannot be blamed for emulating and taking cues from the MP of Pasir Mas.

But that was the last straw for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be a Malay and all that it entails, but being Malaysian is always first, and everything else comes second.

It is always about putting the national interest before oneself, before society and community. And when you do that, you automatically become a Malaysian first.

People look hard for reasons to disunite, even when there’s none. At the end, the winner will be a powerless master in a broken country from disunity.

It is not wrong to say that we would fare better without politicians fanning the flames. As far as i’m concerned, most of them are hypocrites. They demand one thing and request another. They speak like they own the world and preach us to sacrifice what we have, when they themselves are reluctant to sacrifice an iota of their common sense for the benefit of the masses.

Not to say they have a lot of common sense to begin with.

To all my brothers, sisters, cousins, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are, we are all Malaysians in the eyes of the world, and we are a sight and strength to be reckoned with, together.

Similar to a combination of colors forming a rainbow or pieces of jigsaw puzzle that is priceless together, but worthless apart.

Let us not tear this magnificent rainbow away.

As we move towards the year end, our resolution must be to put this country first before any man, woman or child. That our differences should and must be our strength, not weakness and that we should build the future by graduating from the past.

Our children should thrive in an environment that promotes respect, tolerance, and celebration of each other’s differences, not antagonize, suspect and oppress one another. They should stand equally tall, speak equally loud and strive equally hard to realize each and every one of our dreams.

They should all be Malaysian first,second and third and none else in between.

Then and only then will we truly live the spirit and virtue of 1Malaysia.

I offer no apology for saying all this and more.

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