Yesterday there was the brouhaha of Negaraku, supposedly a “people’s movement” launched to reclaim the nation … FOR … Ambiga and her following … FROM … Isma and its cohort.
Reported in the Rakyat Times – a news portal linked to Haris Ibrahim – Negaraku is described as a movement “focused on the formation of Bangsa Malaysia – a move away from the current ethnocentric and race-based politics of of the day”.
To put it simply, “Bangsa Malaysia” has been hijacked by Haris Ibrahim and his buddies to follow the story line that they are scripting.
Bangsa Malaysia, first key challenge of Vision 2020
Haris’ interpretation, however, may not be what the originator of the concept had in mind.
It’s really time we returned to the source. Dr Mahathir Mohamad had coined – or if not, then it was he who popularized – the phrase “Bangsa Malaysia” in his working paper ‘The Way Forward – Vision’ which he delivered to the Malaysian Business Council some two decades ago.
[You can read the full text of his famous ‘Vision 2020’ speech in the PMO website.]
Dr Mahathir said on 28 Feb 1991 that Malaysia needed to meet nine central strategic challenges in order to become a fully developed country by the year 2020.
“The first of these is the challenge of establishing a united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny. This must be a nation at peace with itself, territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership, made up of one ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ with political loyalty and dedication to the nation.” — Tun’s own words as the architect of Vision 2020
Allow me to dissect
According to the Tun, we should be aiming to become:
- “a united Malaysian nation” … okay lah, nobody’s going to object to this noble aspiration
- with “a sense of common destiny” … shrug, we don’t even have a common language
- and “shared destiny” … urm, I don’t think so that we’re all sharing the same idea. Isma is steering us to an Islamic state. But the Tun is saying hudud may be impractical to implement. Meanwhile Haris is convinced that we’re a secular state and always have been.
- “a nation at peace with itself, territorially” … today the Tun fears parts of Johor are slipping into Singapore hands. Then there are the secession noises being raised in Sabah and Sarawak. And how about Kedah taking back Penang, eh?
- “ethnically integrated” … the Vision School concept has been soundly rejected because the SRJK(C) people don’t even want to occupy an overlapping space with the Sek. Keb. people. And they talk about “unity”?
- “living in harmony” … hmmm, what do you all think?
- in “full and fair partnership” … MCA president Liow Tiong Lai declares that his party is a full and equal partner in the BN. The question is, does anybody believe him?
- “made up of one ‘Bangsa Malaysia’“
- “with political loyalty and dedication to the nation” … it would be a start if Malaysians were willing to cheer our badminton champ Lee Chong Wei when he plays China ace Lin Dan, but errr, no.
How does Tun himself evaluate our progress?
From the horse’s mouth: “Speaking at Perdana Leadership Foundation’s CEO Forum 2010 on the 29th of September, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia very frankly expressed his doubts about Malaysia’s ability to hit the targets of Vision 2020, due to the economic crises that have hit the nation (1997/98 and 2008) in the two decades since the Vision was unveiled”.
“On Bangsa Malaysia, the octogenarian was more pessimistic. He explained that he had envisioned in 1991 that economic progress and general prosperity would be able to overcome race-based mindsets and concerns. However, talks of racial rights, privileges and opportunities abound in the country today, attributed partly, in Tun’s opinion, to Malaysia’s more modest economic progress, and partly also to the fact that the government is not as ‘strong’ as it used to be, and as such, can be easily taken advantage of and pressured by racial-interest groups.” (Source: Perdana Leadership Foundation website)
Taking the national identity back
Yeah, yeah, I know that Dr M is not a young man anymore – he turned 89 yesterday.
But these people, not content with appropriating lafaz ‘Allah’ and now the name of our national anthem, also wanna grab our national identity and cookie cutter it into the form that they choose and they desire.
For example, what is the shape of Anak Bangsa Malaysia as prototyped by Hannah Yeoh’s daughter?
This land was once under the yoke of the Christian Portuguese, then the Christian Dutch followed by the Christian British. Do we want to be under another rule of neo-colonialism again?
A nonagenarian is a person who is between 90 and 99 years old. Dr Mahathir Mohamad is almost there.
Nonetheless, I can’t think of anyone else capable of spearheading the fight to reclaim ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ from the band of brazen horse thieves. Can you?