by: Effuan Aswadi
There is much talk on how racism in Malaysia occurs. A lot of most Malaysian know the tragedy of 13th May where incidents of violent happen between Malay ethnic and Chinese community. it has said that Chinese have been ripping off the wealth of the country and the Malay ethnicity only been working in the villages doing rural work.
After the 13th May tragedy, Government has set up a new policy which is called N.E.P (New Economy Policy) where to raise Bumiputera equity in the capital Malaysia. This policy also stress that Malays need to achieve 30% quota in the capital market. Another reason is to actually improve the inter ethnic relations especially between Malay community and Chinese community by letting the malays to hold some portion in the Malaysian capital market but after 30 years, the situation has not been improved and arguable. Although some malays did become rich due to this policy, it did not represents the total masses. Most Malays still feel that they are being neglected and far from being rich. The policy is said it enrich malays that have linked with the government and it is being use to strengthen the power of the politicians that represent the government.
No. i did not want to talk further about the policy or whether it give a positive impact towards everyone. What i would like to say is, most Malay and Chinese that i have personally meet is not racist and is actually open to others. but there is some issues that actually hinders the interethnic relationship between this two community. and surprisingly is, the problem did not lies on the government, but actually comes from the community itself.
one of the issues that i would raise is the issues of languages. it is actually sad to see some chinese in Malaysia still cannot speak good bahasa malaysia (the official language in Malaysia) although they are born and bread in Malaysia. this is mostly due to vernacular school that is being implemented in Malaysia. Although i strongly respect the efforts to preserve Chinese traditions, I (and probably most other silent majority Malaysians) still believe that vernacular education system hinders national unity and did not improve ethnic relationship in Malaysia.
this is mostly because Chinese that is being educated in vernacular schools usually prefers to talk and practice their traditions and unintentionally hurt the feelings of Malays which is the dominant race in Malaysia. Again, as i said it before, although it is unintentionally done, it does create discomfort among Malays.
Although, if we talk to both sides, they are actually facing the same problem like other peoples. For example, unemployment, low wages, police oppression and so on. but there is still huge barriers among Malays and Chinese to talk about this issues simply because there is still simple issues that they cannot even comprehend!
therefore, I strongly believe that there is issues that need tolerance in order to everyone sees what is the best for this country. if everyone speaks in different languages, it will be actually hard for people to communicate between each other, let alone to discuss REAL issues, such as poverty, economic and opportunities, to name a few. we need to concentrate more on racial unity before we talk on others issues. there is no such things as sensitive issues if we are willing to hear other peoples views and to learn from them.
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