Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

To the Empire They Go

A Kadir Jasin

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[Updated Version -- Dec. 10]

A word of caution. I noticed that some debaters are getting a tat too emotional, a tat too racist and a tat too provocative. Please be more rational otherwise I may be forced to rejects more of such comments or close debate on this topic altogether. Thank You.

[Original Post]

good that the Malaysian Hindus have brought their alleged marginalisation to the Queen of England because their plight, as they have alleged, started with the semi-slavery of the indentured Indian workers by the British Empire.

Portraying the Malays as lazy natives and condemning them to the subsistence economy of the villages and shoreline, the British imported en-masse indentured workers from India and China.

Thanks to them, the British successfully mined tin and gold to pave the Streets of London. Leveled the lush rain forests to plant rubber that they stole from Brazil, tea and later oil palms.

When the Communists started to attack their plantations and tin mines, they recruited the lazy Malays and told them of patriotism and the evil of communism and the danger of Chinese dominance.

They Malays love their Tanah Melayu (the land of the Malays). They become soldiers, auxiliary policemen and plantation guards to ward off the marauding Communist terrorists.

They sacrificed their lives to protect their English Tuans and Mems. They kept the Tuans’ Chinese amahs, Malay drivers and Indian gardeners safe. And not to mention the thousands of indentured Indian and Chinese workers in the plantations, tin and gold mines, small towns and kongsis.

Then, in 1957, the Tuans left. For some reasons, they forgot to send back to China and India or bring with them to old England the millions of indentured Chinese and Indian workers.

Instead, the Tuans told the lazy but kindhearted Malays, led by a prince no less, that they could have their independence on condition that they accord citizenship to the Chinese and Indians who choose to stay put.

Overnight, the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu aka the Federation of Malaya embraced one million Chinese and Indian immigrants.

A full 50 years ago later, the descendants of the Malaysianised indentured Indian immigrants sprang into action under the banner of the now banned Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf) with a massive protest in Kuala Lumpur in November 2007 and suit in an English Court alleging marginalisation, injustice and the whole works.

On Dec. 8, according to Malaysiakini news portal reported that their “representatives” led by a Malaysian Chinese woman identified as Tricia Yeoh, the director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies at the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) appeared before the House of Lords in London to brief Sandip Verma, the Conservative party’s Shadow Minister of Education.

They Malaysiakini quoted Yeoh as saying that “a full revamp of economic policy is urgently required to address the problems of the marginalised Indian community in Malaysia.”

So, thanks to the outlawed Hindraf and its supporters, we, the Malaysians --- the Melayu, Iban, Kadazan, Cina, India and a host of other ethnic peoples --- will have to endure the scrutiny and examination by the likes of Baroness Sandip Verma, who, according to Wikipedia, was born in Punjab in 1959 and moved to England when she was a year old.

She is a businesswoman and member of the House of Lords and the Opposition Whip and Spokesperson for Education and Skills and Health.

I do not know what the Malaysian Chinese are having in mind. I can’t imagine them making a beeline to London or complaining to the Chinese government.

But according to Press reports, the Jiao Zong (United Chinese School Teachers’ Association) had threatened “mammoth demo” should the government decide to continue the policy of teaching of mathematics and science in English.

The association, according to its president Ong Chiaw Chuan, sees the policy as “the greatest threat to Chinese education.”

So, here we are, another day in multi-racial Malaysia. But a piece of chapati and a cup of teh si kosong keep me happy.

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