Scream racism as a weapon of attack

Bersih4.0的自省:“我是觉得颇为羞惭的...”-Viral-Cham

But there is a limit to tolerance. One day you will exceed this limit and can no longer tolerate. And that is when you explode. So this is the problem in Malaysia. We have lived for so many decades with the spirit of tolerance. And we are proud of this tolerance. But we do not realise that tolerance is a negative and not positive thing.

Scream racism and the employer will back off and not sack you for underperforming. Scream racism and the local council will back off and not reject your application to set up a place of worship or ‘cultural centre’ in a residential neighbourhood. Scream racism and the government will back off and increase the quota for economic ‘refugees’.

It works every time. An allegation of racism is a powerful weapon to attack those who disagree with you. It puts those you attack on the defensive. No one likes to be called a racist. So they give way just to avoid being called a racist.

Chinese who propagate mother-tongue education and the setting up of Chinese schools resent being called racists. They will argue they are just defending Chinese rights and mother-tongue education and Chinese schools come under rights and not racism.

Those who oppose mother-tongue education and Chinese schools will be accused of being a racist and of denying Chinese their rights. So they will back off and not oppose mother-tongue education and Chinese schools because they do not like being called a racist.

Malays who propagate the upholding of Article 153 in the Constitution plus the retention of Malay privileges will be called racists. So many Malays want Article 153 in the Constitution to be repealed and Malay privileges removed not because they agree with this but to avoid being called a racist.

Those who oppose Article 153 in the Constitution plus the retention of Malay privileges will be called racists and they hate being called racists. So they will argue that repealing Article 153 in the Constitution plus abolishing Malay privileges is for the good of the Malays because this ‘crutch and rent-seeking’ policy makes the Malays weak, lazy and unable to compete.

The Malays are failures and they would become more successful if they learned how to compete rather than be ‘spoilt’ by the government with handouts and quotas that allow them a handicap and unfair advantage. The racist New Economic Policy is what makes Malays failures, so the argument goes, and anyone who supports the NEP is a racist.

The Deputy Prime Minister has been forced to come out with a statement denying that he is a racist. He is accused of being a racist because he is proud of his Indonesian heritage. So that makes him a racist.

If a Chinese were to say that he or she is proud of the 5,000 years of Chinese civilisation would you call that Chinese a racist? Probably not, because the Chinese are the minority in Malaysia and you are not allowed to criticise minorities or else you would be called a racist. Only the majority group can be criticised.

Of late the word ‘racism’ has become the most used word in Malaysia. You attack anyone and anything you do not like with allegations of racism. And it works because people are scared of being called a racist. It is worse than being called a crook, gay, sex pervert or whatever. Racist is the next worse label to paedophile.

If you call someone a crook, gay, sex-pervert, paedophile, etc., you need grounds to do that and will need to prove it. But calling someone a racist needs no proof. Just because you may disagree with someone or something is enough to label you a racist.

I said something in the past, more than once, in fact, and I was called a racist. I said that race-relations in Malaysia is very bad. In fact, it has been bad for a long time now since back in the 1960s and 1970s. Only that people do not want to openly discuss this or say so because it is a ‘sensitive’ issue.

I even said that Malaysia is a time bomb waiting to explode. Malays, Chinese, Indians, etc., do not really get along with one another. They tolerate one another. And they tolerate one another just to keep the peace and not allow any racial problems to surface.

The word ‘tolerate’ is the second-most used word after ‘racism’. And I explained that this is bad. If the Malays, Chinese, Indians, and so on, need to tolerate one another then this is not good. It is a very bad sign.

You tolerate the dog shit on your lawn that your neighbour’s dog deposits every day. You tolerate your noisy neighbour who plays his stereo loudly till way past midnight. You tolerate your neighbour parking his car in front of your house thus blocking your driveway.

You neighbour is very selfish and inconsiderate and you actually hate his behaviour. But you tolerate his bad behaviour anyway just to keep the peace and not fight with him. So tolerate is actually a negative and not positive word.

And this is what the Malays, Chinese, Indians, etc., do in Malaysia. They tolerate one another. But each considers the other as a racist. But they tolerate this racism because they want to avoid conflict. That does not mean, however, that there is love between the different races.

But there is a limit to tolerance. One day you will exceed this limit and can no longer tolerate. And that is when you explode. So this is the problem in Malaysia. We have lived for so many decades with the spirit of tolerance. And we are proud of this tolerance. But we do not realise that tolerance is a negative and not positive thing.

Raja Petra Kamarudin

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