By i hate n’sync
If there is a slant in the definition of the disenfranchised or marginalised, then fix the slant, not introduce another slant. One bad quota should not be replaced with another bad quota. It only invites further trouble down the
wrong road when the true indicators and deciding factors are ignored.
I disagree with your narrative that attributed the decline of the civil service to race homogenization. It is the ‘bonsification’ – [word] thanks Hishamuddin Rais – of the civil servants, enslaved through a mentality of patronage (ability to serve the politicians’ agenda rather than to serve the needs of the nation) that decimated the once highly regarded civil service.
To rub salt to the wound, the Chinese gave up on the civil service and now they gripe over its lack of representativeness. The weaknesses of the civil service is not because of its Malay majority, but because of the overwhelming power of the executive which eroded its integrity. The quality of the civil service suffered because better Malaysians (Malay, Chinese or Indian) have better offers and opportunities in a developing economy. The intake quota did not destroy the civil service, the unmerited advancements based on docility and compliance and connections is what killed it.
The way out for the revitalisation of the civil service is not by bringing in more Chinese or Indians. It is by starting a culture that weeds out non-performance, rewards intelligence and values innovation.
PR copied the BN formula of racial politics to gain nationwide foothold, and I absolutely agree that neither party is showing a way out of communal politics. Despite whatever DAP, PKR or PAS says, none of the parties have a base in multiculturalism.
DAP is rooted in a brand of socialism which straddles secularism, nationalism and capitalism. Till this day I am still amused to see how DAP is being Christianized inside out as it was once the bastion of pure secularism against Islamization.
PKR is rooted in a brand of democracy rooted in liberalism and populist rights and freedom rhetoric. It has no central core to speak of, so it a diverse group that is struggling to define itself.
PAS is trying to roll back its conservatism and rebrand its Islamic credentials to appeal to a broader multicultural base. ]
BN’s power-sharing formula is a reference for the elite bargaining system, not a formula for the masses. The masses live by another BN coda of multiculturalism, of give and take for co-existence. I heard some people are now saying that we need no give and take because there is only one universal truth and standard that will take all of us to the shining city upon the hill.
The Sino-Malay discourse is dominant because like the Black and Whites in the USA, they are the dominant historical voices. In the USA, the Latinos are coming up because they are forming new demographic forces. The Indians are not out-growing the rest, and the Bumiputeras are being absorbed into the Malay sub-narrative.
It is a class struggle because racism is used to shackle the minds of the people and to appeal to their base instinct of otherness (us vs. them). The class struggle here is evident as communalism and is the tool which the elites have used to keep the masses in check. The elite bargaining system is nothing but pure manipulation to invest communal leaders with an imaginary voice to barter their collective ethnic rights.
I don’t want to dismiss the rights of the Malays, Chinese or Indians or Dayaks or Christians or Bahais or whatever denominations have chosen to grab the spotlight for 15 minutes. Every Malaysian share the same rights and responsibilities. Unequal treatment, systemic or deliberate, must be addressed properly.
I am not questioning Uthaya’s right to speak for the marginalised Indians, far from it. I am questioning how being the voice or conscience of the nation could do any good if he or she cannot galvanize broad-based support to his or her cause.
I don’t even question Perkasa’s Ibrahim’s rights to champion Malay interests. But you must be consistent, if you accept Uthaya, you must accept the katak. You might argue that Perkasa has got no case, since the Malays are so fantastically taken care of. Official statistics again will show you the overwhelming problems faced by the Malay community, from social ills to household debts to corporate equities. So what’s left? Are you saying that the Chinese chauvinists should have no champions too?
The problem with an approach through aggrandized
prosecution persecution and victimhood renders the community into a state of self-induced paralysis. They are damned if they take advantage of the crutch and they are damned if they don’t. We are seeing it among our Malay brethern, and you are now recommending the same treatment and medication for the Indians?
Tun Razak started out as a PM trying to represent all disenfranchised Malaysians, but his short reign (and that of Tun Ismail’s) have seen successive UMNOputeras meld the narrative into a Malay supremacy plunder and ethnic bias.
If Uthaya is elected, do you think he won’t be pressured to return the favours and call in the cards to fulfil at least some of the pledges? The same goes to PR and their incoherent manifesto. It reads like a kaleidoscope of contradictory images, but those who found parts they like probably didn’t realize one scenario cannot possible contain a totally opposite one.
This applies to your position on voting for the candidate, not the party. With the current system of party politics, the structure may require the candidate to be in favour of the party faithful who can advance his or her career.
The truth is that in a party system, patronage from the top dogs does more wonders than grassroot support. KJ is an example. However, without mavericks, political parties will die with ossification.
Vote the better candidate of the two, and political parties will have the incentive to field better candidates. The better party is the one with better people.
If a candidate cannot cut
its his way through party politics and expect to advance by toeing the party line, we should continue to look out for the better candidate who can, even if they are across the political divide.
Winning a parliamentary or state seat based on local factors (i.e. advantageous national mood or sentiment, scandal-ridden opponent, appeal to women voters or minority voters in the constituency) is no guarantee of gladiator material in a party system. First among peers require the ability to not just convince the masses, but also your damn colleagues who are out to pull you down at every chance they have got.
If PSM could survive the pole position battles within PR, it means it could not wield enough popular support to make a difference on the bargaining table. As such it should remain the mosquito party that it is.
The robust inter-party games (as opposed to intra-party games) in PR represents an alpha dog contest. DAP supports the weaker PKR to check PAS, but when it suits them at state level, they would support the minority PAS to check the powers of PKR. This is the same game played in BN.
Now, we should always go for the most important unit that matters in a situation. Voters have no control over party affairs where leadership positions are decided by members. However, voters can choose to pick the better candidate in a perfect world with equal information. Even in an imperfect world, the “better” candidate wins (be it through packaging or manufacturing).
If the Presidents’ men lost in the general elections, he will be brought down for his mistakes. I cannot understand why people vote on the basis of political affiliation when it is evident that the association between candidate and party ideals are clearly flawed.
Anyone voting Hannah Yeoh should be perplexed by its bible thumping drivel in a supposedly secular DAP. Clearly, the voters ARE voting based on the “better” candidate, whatever those measurements are.
Poverty porn is available for the Malays, Chinese, Indians and Orang Asli, if you care to make them available. I can give you all the sob stories you want. I have the same academic data that shows the disparity in SES status between the races. I have presented the similar results for public consumption.
Many are aware of the plight of the Indians, the only notoriety Hindraf got was from the Queen Elizabeth stunt to solve it. Interlok got withdrawn too, but it doesn’t mean NIAT or Hindraf was correct.
MINY [Malaysian in New York] said that it is time to take the macro approach ala the Umno NEP style. To NOT do so is unfair, as MINY claimed. How can it be unique when Umno is top-bottoming the whole damn NEP for Malays all these years?
You have environmentalists, rainbow coalition supporters and abortionists as voters. They need to choose who to cast their vote for. Most will cast their lot with the man or woman who are at least not openly hostile to their beliefs and preferences. Some will overlook such affinities for the broader picture, or a silly “principle” or a confounding or overwhelming “factor”.
The point is, it is even presumptuous to assume Hindraf supporters will vote for Uthaya, if him standing under the banner of PAS will not work out for the ultimate aim against a candidate from the sucky MIC. It is not just the party banner here at work. I believe Uthaya should be sunk or made to swim on his own personal capacity to serve in comparison to his opponent, not his party colours. You seem to think Hindraf supporters should vote for Uthaya regardless of his party ticket and opponent, but on the basis that he champions a noble cause.
Well, many a people have championed even nobler causes or causes with equal if not greater value. It is easy to walk from Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur, it is harder to make any actual contribution to make a real difference to the lives of the people.
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Thanks for the reply I hate N’sync
Re: Fixing slant and bad quotas
Fixing the slant often times means introducing a new slant. You change the discourse by introducing a new element in it. I think you are conflating quotas with performance.
Nobody certainly not me, is saying that quotas should not be subject to the strictest performance-based scrutiny.
Re: Bonsification of the civil service.
Your narrative however is a sub theme of the one I put forward. There is ample evidence that the civil service was subjected to a program of homogenization. The system of patronage and subservience to political masters was a natural byproduct of this.
The Chinese and the Indians gave up on the civil service because where once they thrived opportunities become scarce when these programs of homogenization took place. I never once claimed that the weakness of the civil service was because it is dominated by a particular ethnic group. Although this is kind of rhetoric has been used against many who are critical of the civil service.
The quality of the civil service suffers not because better Malaysian have better opportunities elsewhere but because sycophancy and a culture of entitlement is rewarded and integrity only paid lip service. The intake quota did destroy the civil service in the sense that it became part of the cultural identity of a specific community and an extension of a bloated bureaucracy, that was both seen as necessary to safeguard the welfare of a majority community and as a counterbalance to the private sector that was dominated by an ethnic minority.
Re: Revitalization of the civil service
The revitalization of the civil service begins by reaffirming its place as a service for all Malaysian and this means reintroducing a culture of diversity which would establish the principle that Malaysians regardless of race are stakeholders in these institutions and not the political elites. The process of weeding out nonperformance, rewarding intelligence and valuing innovation would then be applied to all regardless of race.
Re: “PR copied the BN formula of racial politics to gain nationwide foothold….”
While I agree with you on this and indeed have argued much the same in other posts, where we disagree is in your next statement (which I find interesting for a variety of reasons and hope to articulate why);
Re: “BN’s power-sharing formula is a reference for the elite bargaining system, not a formula for the masses”
Actually, I would argue the opposite of this. With the rise of PR as a credible alternative to BN, I would argue that the power sharing formula has become a reality for the masses.
True the (Malaysian) masses used to live by another “give and take” formula which I would argue is present in nearly every multicultural polity in the world, but what PR has managed to do extremely well is translate the nebulous “social contract” of BN into some sort of “tangible” reality where beneath the Bangsa Malaysia sham, lurks the assurances that the same old racial expectations would be satisfied albeit in a more “fairer” way.
In other words, the unspoken dogma emanating from PR is that, it is not that the power-sharing formula is “broken” but rather PR would apply it in a more egalitarian manner. How this is possible is beyond me but there it is.
You can witness this in the rhetoric of Pakatan partisan who are very well aware of the nature of the race game being played with the concession that although a Malay majoritarian perspective is always present, the Chinese/Indian perspective is on “equal footing”.
Perhaps it is because of the years of brainwashing nobody thinks that the system needs to be changed. About the only political group who wishes to see a change in the system is PSM that is marginalized for various reasons.
Re: The Sino-Malay discourse is dominant
No arguments here. However, my point was that this Sino-Malay discourse claims to represent all ethnic groups, when the reality is that it does not. As for how powerful the community is as a voting bloc, this remains to be seen. As long as there is a split in the Malay community, as a diminishing minority, the Indian community has room to maneuver.
As for the American perspective, the Latino community has always been traditionally courted by the GOP, for various reasons. Of late, this trend has been changing. As I argued in another post, it is not productive to draw from the American context. The discourse is changing because the Non-white demography will soon overtake the White community. It is very different here in Malaysia. The “Malay” community (however, you define it) will eventually be the only voice in the discourse.
Re: “It is a class struggle because racism is used to shackle the minds of the people”
I disagree. It is not a class struggle yet. Racism has not been used to shackle the minds of the people. People are very aware that their ethnicity determines who they are in this country.
Racism is a byproduct of the power sharing formula. The elites do not have to use racism to shackle our minds because we as a people have no interest in moving beyond race. The set-up of the alternative front is evidence of this. Racial bargaining chips are used by not only the ruling elites but by the economic elites.
However, it will become a class struggle soon. We can already see this when it comes to Hindraf. Hindraf on the one hand is dealing with a race conflict with Establishment forces which includes the Opposition. On the other hand it is involved in a class struggle with the Indian community. You don’t have to look very hard to discover the narrative that the middle-class Indian vote is assumed to belong to PR whereas the ungrateful working/lower-class Indian vote is being put up for sale by Hindraf.
A class struggle will eventually brew within the Malay community. The reasons for this are simple. Not every Malay has a seat on the Umno gravy train. Too many leakages in the affirmative action programs and the rent seeking culture will ensure that a certain disenfranchised section of the Malay polity will awaken to the fact that as Malays and masters of this land they have nothing really to show for it.
The dialogue is already there. I have said that what Anwar has done is seize upon the class resentments of a certain section of the Malay polity. PAS is doing it too using Islam as a rallying cry.
Re: “Every Malaysian share the same rights and responsibilities. Unequal treatment, systemic or deliberate, must be addressed properly”
Re: “I am questioning how being the voice or conscience of the nation could do any good if he or she cannot galvanize broad-based support to his or her cause.”
Well it seems to me you are doing much more than this. But to answer your question, I have no idea. But here is what I think. PR does a remarkable job of gaining broad-based support for its Utopian ideas but these ideas are complete BS.
So do I think that Uthaya should tone down his rhetoric? Of course I do. But somehow I think it does a disservice to his cause if he tells people what they want to hear. To serenade people with the whole Bangsa Malaysia crap.
If the oppositional forces in this country were really the agents of change they claim to be, then someone like Uthaya would get the broad-based support he needs. But I dunno’, it does seem like a losing battle.
Re: “But you must be consistent, if you accept Uthaya, you must accept the katak”
Could you tell me what Ibrahim Ali is fighting for? Could you define what “rights” the Malays are supposed to be losing? What “rights” they aspire to gain. Hell, I don’t accept what Ibrahim Ali says but unlike that douche bag, I have never argued that people should be held under the ISA (like him) who question the status quo.
Re: “since the Malays are so fantastically taken care of. Official statistics again will show you the overwhelming problems faced by the Malay community, from social ills to household debts to corporate equities”
So why doesn’t he (Ibrahim Ali) take it up with Umno? After all, they have had stewardship of this country since independence. They claim to be champions of the Malay (sic) race and Islam. They champion the cause of Ketuanan Melayu and how affirmative action programs are part of Malay “rights”.
With all this why are the Malays statically in the state they are in but more importantly why doesn’t Ibrahim Ali take up his grievance with them ? Better yet maybe he should join with Uthaya and bargain collectively with Umno.
Re: “We are seeing it among our Malay brethern, and you are now recommending the same treatment and medication for the Indians?’
Affirmative action programs are but one aspects of the Blueprint. But I agree with you brother, I do not support affirmative action programs of any kind but unless your argument is that these programs should be discarded, I don’t think you should use it as a criticism against Uthaya and Hindraf.
Re: Tun Razak, Uthaya and politic of compromise
If this is your argument that why should we vote for any candidate? Why is this a criticism against Uthaya personally?
If anything Uthaya is the HRP, so one does not need to do much separating. If anything, Uthaya could have drunk the kool aid and capitalized on the Hindraf goodwill instead of choosing to expose the sham which is the Bangsa Malaysia propaganda. In other words, he chose to piss in the kool aid instead of dispensing it.
Now to me, this seems like a candidate who would not compromise for the sake of political expediency. I could be wrong but I still do not get your point. Again, by your logic we should not be voting for anyone because every politician compromises.
Re: “This applies to your position on voting for the candidate, not the party.”
This is not my position it is YOUR position. All I was arguing was that you cannot separate the candidate from his/her political party, which is why YOUR stance and ANAS ZUBEDY’s is fallacious.
As for your contention that voting for the better candidate would act as an incentive for the political party to field better candidates… again the whole issue of inter party politics and warlordism comes into play.
What political parties find useful are candidates that can win. Now of course there are the partisan instincts of the population but winnable candidates are normally those who play to the lowest common denominator of the voting demographic.
I have no idea where you get the idea that “damning your colleagues” is a norm in Malaysia. I could name you many such instances but at the end of the day those who do are either left out in the cold or leave the party.
Of course, there have been many second acts in Umno but certainly not for such altruistic reasons as speaking up for the average Joe Rakyat but more often because of inter party power plays.
PSM does not survive the inter alliance play of PR not only because it does not get popular support but also because partisan politics trumps ideology.
As I said earlier, people vote on partisan lines so the question of “better” candidate is a moot point. To be honest, I do not get what you attempting to convey here.
Re: Poverty porn available to Malays too
Is it really available to them? I dunno’ maybe. But the point is that as far as the Malays are concerned they have a whole system of STATE sponsored affirmative action programs, social programs, religious programs, NGO programs, private sector (State influenced) and Constitutional safeguards which have been interpreted way beyond its purview which differentiates the community from the Indian experience.
As for the Chinese, the private sector is their safety net. Does this seem an unfair distinction to make? Well yes, it is but this is the reality.
Re: “How can it be unique when Umno is top-bottoming the whole damn NEP for Malays all these years?”
I have three words for you: EVENTUAL CLASS CONFLICT
Re: “The point is, it is even presumptous to assume Hindraf supporters will vote for Uthaya, if him standing under the banner of PAS will not work out for the ultimate aim against a candidate from the sucky MIC”
Why? PR supporters and BN supporters do the same thing. It’s not about the candidate but the party, right? But since he is going the Independent route, this is a moot point, now.
Re: “You seem to think Hindraf supporters should vote for Uthaya regardless of his party ticket and opponent, but on the basis that he champions a noble cause.”
Is there any other reason? What do you think this whole election is about ? It is about people voting for candidates because they believe their cause is noble. PR partisan would vote for anyone running on a PR ticket because they think that banishing the evil Umno would solve their problems.
Similarly, BN partisan would vote for anyone running on a BN ticket because they believe that the cause of national unity would be best defended by BN.
The difference between these partisan and me, is that I am willing to defend my position on why I think the cause is noble, without subterfuge or double speak.
Re: “Well, many a people have championed even nobler causes or causes with equal if not greater value. It is easy to walk from Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur, it is harder to make any actual contribution to make a real difference to the lives of the people”
Honestly, what does this even mean?