Article written by Jennifer Soars –
Today, I am taking a walk with nonagenarian. He’s 94, and today, I want him to remember. So we will start our walk a few days before May 13th 1969 erupted. And, while people say we should never look back, it is important that at this time, we do. Otherwise, how will we ever learn. We can only learn from what is in our experience. Tengku Abdul Rahman, my beloved Prime Minister at that time, said he was the happiest Prime Minister because he marveled at how peaceful we were, a country with different races, different cultures and different religions, and with people that lived together in harmony.
Before he died, in an article entitled, “As I see it”, Tengku Abdul Rahman named the people who plotted May 13th. He named you, and said that you were part of a group of rabble rousers called Ultra Malays. As a group , aka the Ultra Malays, you Sir, together with Musa Hitam and Ghazali Shafee, were instrumental in the announcement made at Ampang Hilir, that there was going to be a coup. Then from Datuk Harun’s house, where people with hate in their hearts were assembled, a rumour began that the Chinese were killing the Malays and the rest is history. The riots began. To stop the riots and to contain the violence , Tun Razak deployed the army and people were shot in the streets. It was a dark time. To put the final nail in our beloved First Prime Minister’s coffin, you wrote the yellow letters, in which you accused Tengku of siding with the Chinese and blamed Lim Kit Siang for the riots, even though he was not even in town. Tengku’s account of this chronology had the truth in it. Three years later, he died.
Still, subsequently, as Malaysians, we moved on from this very very dark time in our country’s history, and bless our Malaysian hearts, we forgave it all. So, those of you reading this article, please understand no malice is intended by my writing it. On the contrary, this article shows that we all know what happened, but because, unlike the rest of my families that fled in fear, we stayed to serve this country, as did all of you. This is our country, Malaysia. And we are still here.
I have loved this country for 70 years now, and still do. This is my country. I cannot say it enough times. In spite of all that has happened and in spite of the fact that my family was split, post May 13th 1969, this is my country. This type of love tells the world what a glorious and forgiving and loving people, Malaysians are. We are special. True Malaysians are one family.
But we tarry. Let’s move on.
Fast forward to your appointment as Minister of Education. The slide and rot of our once excellent education system began with you. After GE 14, you Sir, wanted to come back as Education Minister and when it didn’t happen, you sent us your lackey. All he has done is set the cat among the pidgeons. But again, let’s not tarry.
We must not waste any more time on our MOE. He is ineffectual, and despite the fact that he has a winsome smile he is not going to “Khat It”. Time is now of the essence.
So, come along, dear Sir. So sorry to rush you, but there is much more you need to remember, Dr Mahathir.
Let us go back to a little more history, post riots. Once established as the blue eyed boy of UMNO, by no other than Tun Razak, the same one who ousted Tengku Abdul Rahman, one by one , you got rid of Tengku Razalie, Musa Hitam and the likes. Guess they got their just rewards. The destroyers became the destroyed. Karma is a bitch. And throughout all this time, you played the racial card.
No, Dr Mahathir, it’s not us that use race and religion to divide us. You do it so very well and provide us our daily bread with the race/ religion rhetoric. This time you’ve even gone one step better. Now you’ve allowed ZN to insult and question our birth right and our loyalties and yet, you keep him here. He even has outriders. Almost on par with you, Sir. If that’s not adding insult to injury, what is? By the way, the fact that ZN says he was misquoted, tells us that like you, ZN has taken Malaysians for fools. By your refusal to see what he is creating, you are telling us how much you care for the people who were willing to forgive your history, open our hearts and put our trust in you. Yet underlying your rhetoric, you are saying every true Malaysian, suck it up. And so, we are stuck with the man. And yes, we continue to “suck it up”.
A couple of nights ago, I was out celebrating Merdeka. It is ironical that I still believe in the word Merdeka or the concept of it. And the people, who were with me and who still want to believe in you, say you are always one step in front of us, way ahead of our puny brains with your master plan for this country. Forgive me if I’m skeptical that this is even remotely true. Master plan or another nail in our coffins? The next few months will tell us. But move on, we must, lest you get lulled into believing there isn’t more.
We now walk through the advent of GE14 and the choices voters made. The old adages “ Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t” and “Hobson’s choice “, were in play then, and you appeared as the saviour of my beloved land. So post election europhia, we were excited. Our country needed money. The real troupers of this land paid into a fund that was launched to Save Malaysia, so, when Lim Guan Eng came in as finance minister, he launched this fund. We all did our part to help put money back into our coffers. We ALL did. All we wanted was to drag ourselves out of the mire created by the marauders and rapists who were destroying our country. We heeded the cry to arms. We won. Or did we?
If you believe that we cared tuppence for the PH manifesto, you were mistaken. We are realists. No pie in the sky, no pipe dreams. We had our feet on the ground. Then you began removing the rug from under our feet. Each month your lackey annoyed people. Then you started letting Dumno has-beens, leap frog into your party to swell your party numbers. God, there are some real jumpers there. You could hold a leap frog race and they would win hands down. You came in on a PKR and DAP ticket, but you knew you were on shifting sand, and sought to strengthen your position. Your son got some choice offers, slick move that. And you, barely in office too.
Aiyohlah, how are you different from Jibby. It wasn’t long then, before a slide built up. Soon we saw that a new rot, smelling a lot like the old rot, had started to creep in. And then came the “piece de resistance”, a stench of things to come. And that stench, is firmly entrenched on our soil. He’s here, and it looks like he is here to stay, while we, the Indians and Chinese, bonafide Malaysian citizens, are accused of all kinds of things, of being anti Islam, racialistic and of being bigots. The dirges for DAP and PKR have started playing. A funeral soon for their demise?
Sir, we are ending our little walk now. I know you are tired. But before you leave, take a stroll around the Government offices, in Putra Jaya. How many employees are there in Government Service? Which race dominates? Visit the Universities and Hospitals and every other Public Facility. Which race dominates? And then Sir, answer this question. How much more and for how long more, do the other races have to give in?
As you are driven around the city, pray read the names of companies that are building highways, have Government projects, own the canteens in schools and government offices . Then visit the MOE and your other ministries. Which race dominates? And then ask this question again. When will Government tenders finally be transparent and opened to us, the marginalized? How much more do you’ll want , Sir, and for how long more?
It must be very tiring staying ahead of the pack at your tender age. But you are running short of time. No one is immortal. It must worry you that God may call us anytime. So while I am no God, I really believe that one day you will be asked, by God, whom we all will face , to explain why you never kept your promises to ALL your voters . ZN did not vote you in. But he’s here. We voted you in and yet we are being told, in so many ways, to go back from whence we came.
I believe also that you will be asked by God, to explain how , as the Prime Minister of this wonderful land, you took care of your “Ummah Wahida”? What will you say? You will surely be asked how much you did to mesh us all together with our Muslim brethren? You will have to answer. Did you do right by us, or did you just pit us against each other? And most importantly, what did you do to eradicate racialim and religious bigotry in this once glorious land. I think, my precious nonagenarian, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Time is not on your side. But because I’m a nice person, I will pray for you to get it right this time. Please Sir, get it right, this time. I will pray everyday for my country. God Bless us all.
Written by Jennifer Soars