Wednesday, September 22, 2010

IS MERITOCRACY RACIST?


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on August 24, 2010 5:28 PM

1. In 1964 Malaysia held its first elections. The Tunku had an understanding with the Chief Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kwan Yew that the PAP (People Action Party) would contest only in Singapore and would stay out of the rest of Malaysia. It was really not a smart kind of agreement. It was not put on paper at all. Only an understanding between two leaders.

2. It was not surprising that the PAP decided to contest in the peninsular. Lee had expected the Malaysian Chinese who had been represented in the Government only by the MCA could be persuaded to support him. If he defeated the MCA then the Tunku would replace the MCA with the PAP in the Alliance.

3. The PAP is a Chinese party largely. But it had always projected itself as non-racial. To win in Malaysia he had to appeal to Chinese chauvinism. However he could not do this openly.

4. Being the astute politician that he is, Lee came up with a slogan which did not sound chauvinistic but which played up Chinese sentiments to the core. The slogan was "Malaysian Malaysia".

5. While appearing to be appealing for all Malaysians the slogan was clearly suggesting that there was no equality between the Chinese and the Malays. He and his party was made out to be fighting for equality between the Chinese and the Malays, whereas the MCA represented only the Chinese towkays.

6. The Malays were alarmed at the prospect of the Peninsular Chinese combining with Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak Chinese to outnumber them. Split as they were between PAS and UMNO, their chances of continuing to dominate Malaysian politics was at risk.

7. Strangely the PAP bid failed against the MCA. But the Tunku was shocked and decided that Singapore's inclusion in Malaysia posed great danger. One year after the election Singapore was expelled. But the PAP chauvinistic legacy was taken up by the DAP. And the slogan "Malaysian Malaysia" continued to figure in Malaysian politics, evolving into a new catchword, "Meritocracy". If "Malaysian Malaysia" conjures equality between races, "Meritocracy" implies something stronger. It implies dominance by the race with the greatest merit in every field; in education, in business and in all fields of human endeavour.

8. When the Malays, understanding the implications, protest against meritocracy, they were condemned as racists. Faced with being labelled as such, most Malays dared not support even the NEP. Some, perhaps due to mistaken pride have begun to support meritocracy, undermining the Malay position further.

9. Today we see a lot of Malay NGOs trying to defend the Malay position. Invariably they have been labelled racists. The unfortunate truth is that those who labelled them are equally racists because of their advocacy of meritocracy.

10. It is the same with political party which appeal on the basis of the religion of Islam. In Malaysia the Malays are all Muslims. There are quite a large number of Indian Muslims in Malaysia but they do not figure in the political party said to be Islamic. The party, by using Islam, knows full well they are appealing to Malays almost exclusively. But the intention is not to defend the Malays but merely to gain their support. One can say they are not Malay racists. Rather they are Malay political opportunists.

11. That is why they find no difficulty in switching tactics in order to win the support of the non-Malays. Where before they condemn UMNO for working with non-Muslims, today their co-operation with non-Muslims knows no bounds.

12. The difference between UMNO and the other parties is that UMNO is openly partisan, not hiding its concern for the well-being of the Malays. Unfortunately because of mismanagement it has become weak. That is why today we have Perkasa and other Malay NGOs who are as openly concerned about the Malays as the UMNO once was. The condemnation by those said to be advocating meritocracy is because they see the racism of the meritocrats, just as the Malays of 1964 saw the racism of "Malaysian Malaysia".

13. What we are seeing today is not a campaign against racism but a campaign by racists against racists. The meritocrats are as much racists as the Malay NGOs, and Perkasa.

14. Incidentally by writing this I know the meritocrat racists will condemn me as racist. So be it.

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ADAKAH MERITOKRASI BERSIFAT PERKAUMAN?

1. Pada tahun 1964, Malaysia telah mengadakan pilihanraya umum yang pertama. Tunku dan Ketua Menteri Singapura Lee Kwan Yew bersetuju supaya PAP (Parti Tindakan Rakyat - People's Action Party pimpinan Kwan Yew) hanya bertanding di Singapura dan tidak di mana-mana kawasan di Semenanjung Malaysia. Ianya bukanlah satu perjanjian yang bijak. Tidak pun dimeterai secara rasmi. Hanya persefahaman di antara dua orang pemimpin.

2. Tidak mengejutkan PAP kemudiannya memutus untuk bertanding di Semenanjung. Lee menjangkakan yang kaum Cina Malaysia yang diwakili di dalam Kerajaan oleh parti MCA dapat di galakkan untuk menyokong beliau. Jika MCA Berjaya dikalahkan, Lee percaya Tunku akan gantikan MCA dengan PAP di dalam Perikatan.

3. PAP ialah sebuah parti yang didominasi kaum Cina. Tetapi ia sentiasa mengetengahkan ianya sebagai parti yang tidak berlandaskan kaum. Untuk menang di Malaysia dianya mesti menarik sokongan chauvinis Cina. Ini tidak dapat dilakukan secara terbuka.

4. Sebagai ahli politik yang cekap, Lee memperkenalkan slogan yang tidak terlalu berbaur chauvinis tetapi tetap menyemarakkan sentimen Cina. Slogan tersebut ialah "Malaysian Malaysia".

5. Sementara ianya ternampak menarik bagi semua rakyat Malaysia, slogan tersebut sebenarnya menarik perhatian kepada tidak adanya kesamarataan antara kaum Cina dan kaum Melayu. Dia dan partinya diketengahkan sebagai memperjuangkan kesamarataan antara Cina dan Melayu, manakala MCA hanya mewakili golongan towkay Cina.

6. Orang Melayu berasa cemas akan kemungkinan penyatuan kaum Cina di Singapura, Sabah dan Sarawak akan menyebabkan orang Melayu menjadi kaum minoriti. Perpecahan di antara PAS dan UMNO menyebabkan peluang orang Melayu untuk terus mendominasi politik di Malaysia menghadapi risiko.

7. Yang anehnya PAP gagal dalam cubaannya menentang MCA. Tetapi Tunku amat terkejut dan memutuskan yang penyertaan Singapura di dalam Malaysia membawa bahaya. Setahun selepas pilihanraya, Singapura disingkir. Tetapi legasi chauvinis PAP ini diteruskan oleh DAP. Slogan "Malaysian Malaysia" terus dimainkan di dalam politik Malaysia, dan berubah menjadi satu perkataan yang baru, "Meritokrasi". Jika "Malaysian Malaysia" membawa makna kesamarataan antara kaum, "Meritokrasi" membawa maksud yang lebih keras. Ianya bererti dominasi oleh sesuatu kaum yang mempunyai merit di dalam setiap lapangan; di dalam pendidikan, perniagaan dan semua lapangan yang diceburi manusia.

8. Apabila orang Melayu, memahami akan akibatnya, mula menentang meritokrasi, mereka dicerca sebagai bersifat perkauman. Kerana tidak mahu dilabel sedemikian, ramai orang Melayu tidak berani menyokong Dasar Ekonomi Baru. Ada sesetengah, mungkin kerana sikap bodoh sombong, mula menyokong meritokrasi dan menekan lagi kedudukan orang Melayu.

9. Hari ini kita lihat banyak NGO Melayu bangkit mempertahankan kedudukan orang Melayu. Dan semestinya mereka ini dilabel sebagai bersifat perkauman. Malang sekali, sebenarnya yang melabel mereka ini juga bersifat perkauman kerana sokongan mereka terhadap meritokrasi.

10. Sama juga dengan parti politik yang meraih sokongan menggunakan agama Islam. Di Malaysia, orang Melayu kesemuanya beragama Islam. Terdapat juga sebilangan besar kaum India Muslim di Malaysia tetapi mereka ini tidak berperanan dalam parti politik yang dikatakan parti Islam ini. Dengan mengguna Islam, parti ini sedar yang ianya hanya untuk menarik secara eksklusif sokongan orang Melayu. Niat mereka hanya untuk meraih sokongan orang Melayu dan bukan untuk mempertahan kedudukan orang Melayu. Mereka ini boleh dikatakan bukan bersifat perkauman pro-Melayu. Tetapi mereka mengambil kesempatan politik ke atas orang Melayu.

11. Itulah juga sebab kenapa mereka tidak punyai masalah menukar taktik untuk menarik sokongan bukan Melayu. Jika dulu mereka mencerca UMNO berkerjasama dengan bukan Islam, hari ini kerjasama mereka dengan bukan Islam tiada batasan.

12. Perbezaan di antara UMNO dan lain-lain parti ialah UMNO secara terang menyebelahi sesuatu pihak, tidak menyembunyi akan perjuangannya untuk kebajikan orang Melayu. Malangnya kerana kelemahan urusan pentadbiran ianya menjadi lemah. Sebab itulah hari ini ada Perkasa dan lain-lain NGO Melayu yang secara terbuka memperjuangkan nasib Melayu sebagaimana UMNO terdahulu. Pencercaan oleh golongan menyokong meritokrasi ialah kerana mereka melihat NGO Melayu bersifat perkauman, sebagaimana orang Melayu pada tahun 1964 melihat sifat perkauman dalam "Malaysian Malaysia".

13. Yang kita lihat hari ini bukanlah kempen menentang sifat perkauman tetapi kempen oleh pejuang perkauman menentang pejuang perkauman yang lain. Penyokong meritokrasi juga bersifat perkauman sebagaimana NGO Melayu dan Perkasa.

14. Sehubungan itu saya juga akan dicerca sebagai bersifat perkauman oleh pejuang meritokrasi yang bersifat perkauman. Biarkan.