When Umno meets, non-Malays bear the brunt of attack
Described as the poster boy of race relations, Umno has its annual meeting this week, and its first target remains the non-Malays for their lack of support to the dominant Bumiputera and the Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin.
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin set the tone for the 2013 general assembly in his policy speech where he castigated non-Bumiputera companies for not hiring Malay chief executives, unlike the Malay-led government that had non-Malay secretary-generals.
First question: What ever happened to meritocracy in the country? Or is race still the main pre-qualifier for Umno Youth despite party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak's emphasis for 1 Malaysia and meritocracy?
Second question: If we are going down the path of race relations, how many government-linked companies have Chinese or Indians as their chief executive officers?
Instead of provoking further angst in his party against non-Malays, perhaps he should ask the question: Why is Malaysia still a country divided by race and religion after all these years of Umno rule?
Malaya gained independence in 1957, and founding prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman spoke of a happy race under the Malayan sun. Six years later, Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore formed Malaysia. Was race also a major consideration then?
Former Puteri Umno chief Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said also spoke about race at the wing's meeting, where she warned that Umno should take stock to get the youth vote and not lament later of a youth tsunami after the so-called Chinese tsunami at the 13th general election.
Has Umno become a party that blames others for its inability to get the popular vote? Or is it the fear that it is no longer the only party to represent the Malay majority in the country, some of whom who think they are Malaysians – rather than just Malays – first.
All said and done, Malaysians should just take the Umno assembly for what it is:
- A party whose politics of fear and hatred, and seemingly endless possibilities of affirmative action have made Malaysians view each other with suspicion and envy.
- A party whose policies and use of the media to create stereotypes has hurt this country and made many Malaysians view things through the prism of race.
How sad are we that we have yet to form the Bangsa Malaysia that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad spoke of in his "The Way Forward" speech outlining Vision 2020 in 1991.
How sad are we that we have yet to be the 1 Malaysia that Najib brought with him when he took power in 2009.
Khairy may well be correct with his information on the lack of opportunities for Malays in the private sector but this is only the product or symptom of a sick, distorted and decaying system put in place by the party he represents. No?
Khairy instead should take his Umno Youth mandate and reinforce that the party is the poster boy of race relations by working on bridges between Malays and other races in the country.
Blaming non-Bumiputera corporations for a lack of opportunities is just taking the easy
way out and playing to the gallery. A leader does not do that. A leader offers the way forward, not excuses. – December 4, 2013.