Related post (kind of): Perspectives
Respected fellow blogger in the Malaysian bloggerhood, Aisehman, did an interesting post, asking us to ponder about marginalization. In the post, he points us to a website called Minorities at Risk (MAR), part of the Center for International Development and Conflict Management, Univerity of Maryland.
MAR gives a very good perpective of how minorities the world over face marginalization, to one degree or another. As far as Malaysia's marginalization of the ethnic Chinese and Singapore's of their Malay community are concerned, vis-a-vis the current hoo-ha about Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's remarks, both our countries are guilty, to some degree, of marginalization.
Apology has been offered, albeit received with varying degrees of reservation by most Malaysians. To Walski, what's done is done. Let's move on. The important thing is that we don't get emotionally sidetracked from facing the real issues.
And let's face it, people - denial is easy. Facing the facts, however, can be a little more painful and a lot more difficult; for various reasons, depending on where you are coming from, your political aspirations/affilitations, and many other intermingling factors.
And really, is there any point in arguing who's more guilty? Or using the argument that only those without sin may cast the first stone? Is a shouting match going to solve the real problems, whatever they may be?
Walski thinks that the answers to the above are self-evident.
If we, the people of Malaysia, collectively, really want a Bangsa Malaysia, isn't it time we looked at marginalization from a wider perspective, and not based on ethnicity alone?
(more marginalized thoughts in the full post)
This is the question that we should be asking our elected representatives. Continuing to harp on racial inequalities, in the end, is not going to bring us any closer to a united Malaysia. Nor is it going to bridge the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, regardless of ethnicity.
The funny thing about inequality is that it doesn't care whether you're collectively brown, yellow, ebony or any other color. Equal opportunity, another nebulous concept to some, actually means exactly what it states - giving everybody a fair shot. What we have today are preferential policies - something different altogether.
But then again, eliminating ethnicity from the equation of equal opportunity is going to put a number of political parties out of business, isn't it? And at the end of the day, that's what it really is all about - politics. Plain and simple.
So, what say you, Malaysia? Isn't it time our government reassess our policies from a needs-only perspective, regardless of ethnicity and creed? After all, peel away the epidermis, we are, after all, one race - the human race.
And if you don't agree with that statement, which f*cking planet do you live on?