Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Presidential Visit to Malaysia

A three-day visit by the US President to Malaysia is indeed a great honour though it's only a leg in a tour of the Asian Pacific countries. President Obama has certainly captured the hearts of the young and old in Malaysia through his meet-the-people sessions where he spoke and answered questions in a most informal and open manner. No prepared speech and no assistance from his advisors or assistants. His clarion call and advice to the youths of Malaysia (and those of other Asian countries present) was loud an clear."Respect others who are not like you" and "work together" to fulfil your ambition. "Together" (with the U.S of A) you can make this a better world.a big welcome for the President

In many instances during his speeches, Obama revealed the belief that the non-Muslims in Malaysia had been sidelined or not given equal treatment in line with the principles of democracy which the US is advocating. Since most of the Muslim are the Malays, by the non-Muslim he must be referring to the non-Malays. He stated emphatically that no nation will prosper unless everyone is treated equal irrespective of race, religion or political leaning. That's a great statement coming from a great nation that had been fighting for equal opportunity until today with serious racial discrimination marring its history. The fact that an African-American is now the President of the US can certainly pass as proof that racial discrimination is no more. But the Chicanos and the Latinos in the US beside other immigrants who are trying to earn a living in the country, must certainly have a different story to tell.meeting the crowd

If only Obama had asked the question: who owns most of the grand multi-storey buildings, shophouses and opulent homes in Malaysia especially in the urban centers, he would've realised that the Muslims are not the privileged, wealthy majority in Malaysia. The non-Muslims had been and are still far ahead of the Muslims in economic and material progress underscoring the rational for the New Economic Policy which aimed at a redistribution of the new growth in the economy. Note that what has been acquired in the past WILL NOT be affected. In spite of the privileges given to the Muslims (i.e. Bumiputras) by the NEP which have been mostly rescinded, they have not been able to catch up with the non-Muslims corporate magnates and tycoons or even the rich towkays. Who are the rich and wealthy Muslims in Malaysia today? Apart from a few successful businessmen and entrepreneurs, they are those in the corridors of political power. The average Muslim is still a middle income wage earner.who owns KL?
Yes there are still some birthrights accorded to the Muslims - the Malays- as protected by the Federal Constitution.But the non-Muslims have never been discriminated against or sidelined to the extent that they have been deprived of equal opportunities to do business and earn a living in this country. As far as the business sector is concerned the fact is that they have monopolised most of the opportunities making it quite impossible for the Muslims or Malays to start a business unless assisted by the government. Even then, the number of failures due to lack of experience, know-how and capital is alarming. Obama should check how many of the shophouses along the major streets of Kuala Lumpur belong to the Muslims. He can count them on his fingers.

Nonetheless, we Malaysians are most grateful for the visit. It's the first step towards understanding the real Malaysia, not that which has been portrayed by the West and the US with the Muslims dominating the minority groups. If economic freedom is borne by the fact that most of the billionaires and millionaires in Malays are non-Muslim, religious freedom is visible by the number of churches, temples, and other places of worship with images of the Lords that are revered, which can be found in this country. As far as social justice is concerned the law applies to everyone alike irrespective of race colour or creed.

No comments: