Saturday, July 23, 2005

The one about meritocracy...


After nearly 50 years of the National Economic Policy ("NEP"), some UMNO delegates believe that the Bumiputeras still cannot compete on an even playing field with other Malaysians. It seems it is akin to a wheelchair-bound person running against able-bodied athletes in the 100meter dash! That attitute is astounding. I'm glad the PM does not share that opinion. The Government mustn't continue to play the role of "Santa Claus", he says. Strange metaphor that. However, Pak Lah, there's more to actual implementation than lip service. Let's see this happen.

Another UMNO delegate speaking at the General Assembly said that the Media has played up on the weaknesses of the Bumiputeras in business. Gotta say, blaming the press is just so passe. We've all heard it before, haven't we?

Prior to all that the UMNO Youth, often utilising their "young" age as an excuse for "radicalism", had suggested a 15-year National Agenda to empower Malays in the economic sector. Recently named "Most Powerful Man in Malaysia" Khairy Jamaluddin, said the NEP must be revived to support this new Agenda. Now I'm confused. Exactly what did the last eight Malaysian Plans set out to do?

Sometimes, I must say, listening to all these rhetorics makes me want to quickly check the Australian Immigration website. We read in the Star weekly of Malaysians abroad who have been so successful and who would NOT return here if wild horses dragged them. Then I think...hey, I was born in this country; I have lived in this country for the last 38 years and the small place I call home is located in this country. I am as Malaysian as any one of those UMNO delegates. I feel Malaysian and I hurt just as much when the country is criticised or loses in sporting events.

So then when will the time come when I am treated as a Malaysian by my fellow Malaysians? I remember sometime back, when Anwar Ibrahim was Education Minister, he criticised those who went overseas to study saying that we underestimated the quality of Malaysian universities. Fact is, I would have loved to study in a Malaysian university but because I am not a Bumiputera, that was truly impossible.

I leave you all with one more question... when will we get to embrace the Malaysian race?

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