Like it or not the decisions made by government on the liberization of the economy and equity conditions for foreign investment, together with the use of Bahasa again in the teaching of Science and Mathematics in 2012, will influence the voting atmosphere in Manik Urai. Generally, the former is viewed with trepidation by the Bumis while the later is received with a sense of relief - giving the young Malaysians a common lingual base for building up a national consciousness again.
With regard to the liberalization move, it must be remembered that a lopsided growth for the Malaysian economy will only invite sharper contrast between the rich and the poor and, therefore, generate more tension. On the language issue, while the significance of English for seeking knowledge is indisputable. the pride in its command often diminishes the pride of being a Malaysian national with our own national language. To this is added the traditional employers' belief that an employee who can speak English can work better than one who can't.
Let's face it.No matter how English or American you sound when speaking in their language, you're not one of them. Who are you then, if you're not a Malaysian? Would a foreigner respect you more for your excellent English or for being a proud Malaysian citizen? The Malays used to be derided by other Malays for trying to speak like an Englishman after visiting London for only a few days. Many of us still pinched our nose when a Malaysian speaks English with a simulated English or American accent while the grammar is rotten.
" Apa khabar, Encik?"
" You know, I just return from London and feel the weather too hot over here."
We might laugh at such a scene but when a Minister or a VIP gives an address in English with a simulated accent to a Malaysian audience we never feel insulted at all.
On his 100 days in office the PM also announced 11 gifts to the citizens of Malaysia. Road users, the cabdrivers, the smalltime businessmen and the public in general will be most happy over the gifts. Hopefully that includes the voters in Manik Urai although the gifts were never intended to be a by-election incentive, just like the coming of the durian season to the area. Puteri members are also all over the place to help out parents in distress.
How wonderful if we can have by-elections all the time. All the impossible things requested for development suddenly become possible and urgent.