Selamat Menyambut Kemerdekaan Ke-50

Tomorrow, Malaysia will celebrate its 50th independence anniversary.

Countloon prompted me to this recent independent survey commissioned by the New Straits Times, supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, and was conducted by the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research.

The telephone survey of about 1,200 Malaysians also found that the majority of the various races find comfort and security in their respective ethnicity and not in a common ‘Malaysian’ identity. The survey also found that negative racial stereotyping was deeply entrenched. For example, minority Chinese and Indians see the majority Malays, who make up 60 percent of the population of 25 million people, as lazy.

Chinese and Indians make up 26 percent and 8.0 percent of the population respectively.

It found that more than half the population does not trust each other. For a nation that claims to be a ‘melting pot’, only eleven percent of the respondents said they had eaten often with friends from other races in the past three months. Thirty four percent said they have never had a meal with people of other races.

The survey found that 42 percent do not consider themselves Malaysian first, 46 percent say ethnicity is important in voting, 55 percent blame politicians for racial problems and 70 percent would help their own ethnic group first.

According to the survey, 58 percent of Malays, 63 percent of Chinese and 43 percent of Indians polled agreed that ”in general, most Malays are lazy.”

Meanwhile, 71 percent of Malays, 60 percent of Chinese and 47 percent of Indians agree that ”in general, most Chinese are greedy.” Sixty-four percent of Malays, 58 percent of Chinese and 20 percent of Indians agreed that ”in general, most Indians cannot be trusted.”

Hari Raya Puasa was wrongly perceived as the Malay New Year by 32 per cent of Malays, 84 per cent of Chinese and 45 per cent of Indians –when the festival actually marks the culmination of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.

Similarly, the Chinese New Year was thought to be a religious festival by 57 percent of Malays, 53 percent of Indians and a whopping 62 percent of Chinese respondents.

Despite the lack of unity, the country has enjoyed long periods of peace except for one race riot in 1969.

And unlike in some neighbouring countries where uniformity is enforced, Malaysia’s minorities are not restricted and are free to practice their own cultures and religions and enjoy a vernacular education.

So, where will we be 50 years from now?

Xmas Gifts Exchange 2004
Muhibbah? Hopefully always. Front bending: James. Center row: Angel, Lily, Poo Geok, Alvina, me, Alice, Savina, Poh Le, Moon Siew Back row: Andy Lim, Muaazam, Khor, Phang

8 Replies to “Selamat Menyambut Kemerdekaan Ke-50”

  1. all thanks to our politicians thinking lah bro. we commoners usually share the same common things, no hidden agendas punya. i think we should go away with the race-based political parties dah!

    wanna tubuh one party bro? name it Party TFK… our motto… WE CARE AND U CAN DIY!

  2. And I would disagree with “free to practice their own cultures and religions”… well at least with the religions part. Because of the restriction on new temples and churches thing.

  3. maybe its time to abolish the NEP? initially its for only 20yrs after merdeka rite?

  4. Here was a comment made last night when one of the so-called first family was raising the Jalur Gemilang.

    “Better if we had stayed a colony at least then there would have been a system of fair governance and transparency”

    An interesting thought as you celebrate 50 years of what ? Nationhood – as a foreigner I doubt it and concur with the survey in terms of the results.

    The key issues:-

    1. Good Governance – Raja Nazrin Shah hit this one on the head and yet look what happens ? Nothing.
    2. Politicians exploit race for their own ends and all follow suit
    3. Religious Teachers particularly Muslim teachers who have no concept of Islam and merely propogate a narrow minded Wahhabi approach – far removed from the Islam of the Prophet.

    The current on going trial in connection with the demise of a foreign national and all the speculation surrounding it sums up the state of the nation far better than the parades and the other flag waving.

    But there is hope as my 4 year old son stood up and shouted “Merdeka” and this morning his elder brother recited the Rukun Negara word perfect.

    If we can change the mindset then there is hope – perhaps we should return to a Monarchy as it appears the Monarchy are far more in touch with reality as to what makes Malaysia than their political counterparts. The political masters are merely concerned with how much of the cake they can eat. Sadly some Sultans follow suit however the new generation and fortunately the current Agong and the Raja of Perak have shown that they are more in tune with the common people.

    Where will Malaysia be in 50 years time – well unless someone stops the rot – join Kenya where the family of Daniel Arap Moi is accused of stealing 1.2bn USD !!!! Or Indonesian or Myanmar.

    A sobering thought

  5. well said Forelorn Foot Soldier. i strongly believe in leaders who have a heart for its people not leaders that trying to please other clan leaders so that ppl see him as ‘D’ man.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: