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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Awang di ambang paranoia

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Zaid Ibrahim’s thrashed it. So has Galadriel. Plus, if you bothered to look further, Walski is sure many more would have by now. And now, it’s Walski’s turn.

Seriously… Awang is paranoid. But that’s probably par for the Utusan course. Utusan, being the harbinger of doom for anyone who still wants to ascribe to race-based status quo, and continues to believe that UMNO speaks on behalf of all Malays.

In fact, if you read The Malaysian Insider headline in full, ignoring the punctuation marks,

click on image for original article, image hosting by Photobucket

it would give you a much truer picture: Melayu dikhianati Awang Selamat.

So, allow Walski to say something in a way that Awang (and those of similar mindsets) can understand:

Awang Selamat lah sebab utama mengapa minda sesetengah Melayu masih jumud, dan tidak dapat menerima hakikat yang kita ini telah menjangkau abad ke 21.

Awang Selamat, dan sekutu-sekutu yang sebengap dengan.   
(added bilingual tirades, and more,  in the full post)

Utusan represents a paradigm that’s fighting tooth and nail to survive – the archaic Malay mind. One that’s trapped in a time-warp, still thinking that we live in 1957. Or maybe 1969. Or at some point in history that’s not the now of the 21st century.

Which is why Awang’s version of 1Malaysia is pretty much a restatement of the UMNO status quo. He still talks with the idea that we live in an absolute monarchy, not a constitutional one. His feudal synapses simply cannot accept that the Malaysia most of us aspire for is one where all Malaysians are equal under the law, where citizenship is the main criteria of inclusion.

Tak paham apa yang Walski katakan, Awang?

Bangkitlah dan hayati keharuman abad ke-21… kalau tak paham-paham jugak, terjunlah dengan labu-labu si Luncai… Walski membisik, “biarkan… biarkan…”

Granted, some things don’t translate well from English to Bahasa Malaysia. Or at least, Walski can’t translate them well enough. So if anyone can provide a better version of “wake up and smell the 21st century” in BM, do let Walski know.

In all likelihood, there is no one single individual named Awang Selamat. Rather, it is a pseudonym that reflects upon the collective Utusan mindset, and what it stands for. And to Walski, it stands for a dying paradigm of UMNO political hegemony.

Dan kalau Awang masih tak nak menerima hakikat yang Malaysia hari ini bukan lagi Tanah Melayu zaman Hang Tuah, lantak engkau lah. Walski tak akan menangis kalau Awang ketinggalan bas.

For a newspaper that loves to flaunt the fact that Malaysians are blind to history (buta sejarah), Walski would really like to know: whose version of history is Utusan trying to pull over our eyes? 

Orang Melayu menerusi Umno bermurah hati melonggarkan syarat-syarat dalam undang-undang negara ini sehinggakan dalam masa 12 bulan selepas kemerdekaan, 90 peratus penduduk bukan Melayu menjadi warganegara. Ini berbeza dengan keadaan sebelum merdeka di mana 90 peratus daripada mereka masih tidak diiktiraf sebagai rakyat Tanah Melayu walaupun hampir 100 tahun hidup di bawah pemerintahan penjajah.

The Malays, through UMNO, were generous enough to loosen the conditions within the country's laws to the extent that 90 percent of the non-Malays became citizens within 12 months of independence. In contrast, 90 percent of them were not recognized as citizens despite having lived for almost 100 years under colonial rule.

What Zaid Ibrahim wrote in his blog post yesterday, however, probably mirrors a more accurate version of historical reality, challenging Utusan’s race-supremacist version of it.

Kita mendapat kemerdekaan kerana British telah bersetuju dengan pihak Perikatan dalam hal syarat-syarat kemerdekaan tersebut. Bila kita bersetuju, kita hormatilah perjanjian tersebut. Usahlah nak ungkit bahawa kita bermurah hati memberi kerakyatan yang mudah kepada Cina dan India. Hakikatnya itulah syarat yang kita setuju. Tak ada siapa yang memaksa kita memberi kemudahan itu. Pada masa itu adalah mustahil untuk British melepaskan Malaya pada tahun 1957 jika soal kewarganegaraan kaum Cina dan India tidak selesai. Sejak Gerald Templer dihantar ke sini oleh Winston Churchill pada tahun 1952, semua pihak berusaha mencari jalan ke arah memerdekakan Malaya tetapi dengan syarat yang perlu diselesaikan ialah penerimaan kaum Cina dan India sebagai warganegara. Kerajaan British tegas dalam hal ini. Dan UMNO setuju dengan syarat ini. Itulah harga kemerdekaan yang Perikatan faham dam menerima dengan hati terbuka. Apakah Utusan ada fakta sejarah yang berbeza?

We obtained independence because the British agreed with the Alliance in the areas of certain conditions relating to said independence. When we agree, we have to honor the agreement. No point in bringing up our “generosity” in giving easy citizenship to the Chinese and Indians. The fact is that those were the conditions we agreed to. No one forced us to provide such leeway. At that time, it would have been impossible for the British to let go of Malaya in 1957, had the question of citizenship for the Chinese and Indian communities not been resolved. Since 1952, when Gerald Templer was sent here by Winston Churchill, all parties strived to find a path towards Malaya’s independence, but on condition that the question of citizenship for the Chinese and Indians be resolved. The British Government was firm on this point. And UMNO agreed to this condition. That was the price of independence that the Alliance understood and accepted with an open heart. What, does Utusan have alternate historical facts that are different?

But that's Utusan for ya - living in a make believe world of historical facts that border on fiction. And trying their utmost best to make sure that everybody else within spitting distance experiences the same delusions as they do.

Utusan’s racist scare tactics may have worked in the past, but Malaysians today are a lot more mature and politically savvy. Save a few sorry ones that choose to be left behind.

And like Awang Selamat’s mind, theirs, unfortunately, is also evolution-proof.