I received an interesting email from a friend, early this morning. Apparently, the email has been floating around and forwarded to many people within the professional circle, lobbying for a 29-year-old, recent Petronas graduate, as a potential DAP candidate. The candidate’s name? Yeo Bee Yin.
It is no secret that the Malaysian public seriously believe that the country is being run by a bunch of idiots. That the “As and Bs in this country are being ruled by the Cs and Ds”. Hence, amongst the “better-educated” public, it is important that the next generation lawmakers, must be amongst the brightest and the best-strategic minds (yes indeed, there is a difference) the country had to offer.
Unconsciously, a new system of internet-lobbying has emerged. In this healthy system, unsubstantiated-opinions are not opinions, lest you’d be bumped out of The Circle. The following was my response to DAP’s candidate.
Are you being heard? Does your opinion, matters? Apparently in this Circle, it does.
What do i think?
I believe that the country needs to be run by older, mature, highly experienced, financially and emotionally stable candidates, and not these recent out-of-college ones. Least of all, not from a chauvinist vernacular/Christian background, no matter how good her academic credentials may be.
She’s most welcome to learn the political ropes and subsequently climb the political ladder, but until she learns that politic is not just about grades, overseas education, or short stints in foreign companies; she would not be ‘ripe enough’ for the people.
Most non-bumis go around spreading the sob story that they have been educationally marginalized by the government for being non-bumis. And have been quite successful at it. So much so, that bumi students have little chance securing international scholarships/places/internships, in countries such as, Australia, UK and Canada.
Of course bumi students arent without blame. Our cultural background, supplemented with dismal national education system (which preaches religion and cultural conformity, above discipline/values) contributed much to our comparatively poorer performance.
The fact that during the 300-years of colonial occupation, the non-bumis–Chinese, in particular–were supported and encouraged to do business; whereas the Malays were secluded in the kampungs, tending to their padi fields, did not help. Hence, during those black 300-years in Malayan history, the former had better access to education, than most Bumis.
Thus, you may have noticed, I often refer our children as the ‘third’ generation. The first generation, i.e., our parents…was the first generation of FREE Malayans, living in post-independence era. Free Malayans just like those who were formerly occupied ‘slaves’, and only recently liberated.
We don’t have to look far, for examples. My mother was an illiterate, whereas my father, was a clerk under the British administation. His parents had to sell their ancestral lands, so as to send him to school. He completed the fifth year of school (equivalent to standard five, today.) He was then, considered as one of the more fortunate, educated and well-off by his entire kampung folks. Perceived rich and educated, though a meagre clerk.
Thus, when UMNO was formulated to ‘balance the social inequality’, and agreed to accept 1.5 million Chinese immigrants as independent-Malaya’s citizens, the party’s founding fathers insisted upon placing a special clause in the country’s constitution. That clause, known as the ‘Bumiputera Special Rights’ was enshrined–and agreed upon by the three major races–to provide special scholarships and business allocations to the Bumis, so as to ‘balance’ the social/financial inequality. Hence, this explained why most Malays, particularly the older generations, were consumed with UMNO. Me too.
But the newer generation of UMNO leaders, created during Tun Mahathir’s era, were entrepoliticians. They enter politics to expand their businesses. They promote politics as a way to develop entreprenuership.
The initial cause to uplift the poor Malays’ livelihoods, at par with other races, was somehow swayed. The 30-year NEP plan had to be extended to 50-years, and perhaps longer.
The failure of the New Economic Policy (NEP) was in part caused by MCA, albeit, The Money Party. During the 56-year BN rule, MCA insisted on getting a portion of everything that the Malays were accorded with. MCA made it harder to distribute ‘the cake’ to Bumis, without insisting a huge chunk for themselves.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, during the massive privatisation exercises conducted by Tun Mathathir’s administration, MCA had successfully ‘siphoned off’ most highly lucrative non-halal ventures originally administered by the state. When MCA was accorded with the money-churning national lottery business–profits of which formerly used by the British-Malaya administration to build roads and other infrastructural services—MCA used it to enrich its party and selected members’ coffers. It was reported that The Money Party immediately made RM120 million in net profits during its first month in operations, alone.
In addition, UMNO’s inept politicians who allow the massive and uncontrollable influx of poor, uneducated Indonesians labourers, Chinese prostitutes, and Vietnamese mafia further escalate our societal ills.
Wow, I can go on and on. But back to your original question: what do I think about the candidate?
Politics is about cause. A politician is only as good as his or her cause. What is this young–obviously, rich–girl’s cause?
“I wanted to be back to make a change to my nation, so that our next generation do not need to wander around the world for a better future, because the better future IS in Malaysia.”
I beg to differ. Our new generation SHOULD “wander” around the world. Go out and learn as much as one possibly can. Learn about other nations’ successes, failures, culture, lives, etc. Learn what works for them and what does not. There shouldn’t be a boundary towards learning.
The fact to the matter is, the FIRST STEP to having a better future is to stop the social polarization and ethnic divisiveness. One currently being cultivated and nurtured at a very young age in vernacular schools. Malaysians shouldnt be educated differently, and shouldnt be reminded of our ethnic differences, almost EVERYDAY of our lives.
We should, instead, adopt a single national education system, using a singular language; whereas the study of other languages be offered as electives. Malaysians of all races need to learn to live cohesively with one another, and the best way to achieve that is via the school system. At the earliest age possible. (Therefore, our current education system which promotes the development of primary vernacular schools is simply mind-boggling!)
Once we are united, in language, cause, dream and determination, then and only then can we talk about “making the nation a better place to live in”. A socially divided nation would not bring meaningful benefits to her citizens. Instead, the citizens of a socially divided nation would continue to live in fear, insecurity and ever-suspicious of one another.
In another word, I strongly believe that this girl, though promising, is obviously too young and NAIVE to be a meaningful candidate, let alone a stateswoman.