Here In My Home - Malaysian Artistes For Unity

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Yet The Race Question Again

Last night I caught an episode of the TV social re-engineering drama Gol and Gincu that focused on the question of what makes the Malay race as the heroine's boyfriend wanted her girl to be less westernised and more Malay. As usual the immediate reply from the girl was that she ate the Malay heartland food of belachan and tempoyak to signify that she was still a Malay despite her western ways, and after a conversation with her mom when she listed the stereotypical Malay traits her mom told her that she and her father had discussed what makes a Malay and their conclusion that it was what you are, and not what race you are listed as.

This I quite agree with as can be discerned from my previous post I am no believer myself of the colonialist artificially created concept of Malay as a race, and that's why I celebrate my heritage as a Mandhailing more as the negative traits of a typical Malay stereotype really do not reflect the Malays as a whole, though a large majority may display such traits. Thus I do not subscribe to the superiority of the Malay race, though I subscribe that the privileges of the Malay native and the supporting infrastructure to ensure that they are not left behind in their own hereditary lands must be maintained as long as possible. Nonetheless I do believe that such institutions may not last or even be necessary forever and have personally ensured that my family at least do not need to depend on such a support network.

Thus back to the question of what makes the Malay race, my simple conclusion is that we are at least confused on how address the matter. The show's proposition that a member of a race need not practice nor reflect their race's attributes to be one as depicted by the scene when a Chinese salesman mistakenly approach the heroine by speaking Cantonese to her as he mistook her for a Chinese and when referred to the Chinese cast who replied that she cannot speak Cantonese herself to depict that she need not give out vibes to be Chinese is flawed to me. This is because how anglophile or westernised or even better Malaysianised one gets, it is my experience that at home one still will speak their mother tongue and maintain some of their traditions no matter what, so the scene should be the guy talking Mandarin to the Chinese girl but her reply would be she only knows her dialect would be more believable. That is the problem actually as within a race there are actually many ethnicities, and the race classification only lumps the heterogeneous ethnicities into a homogeneous grouping that does not reflect this fact.

So the guardians of a commonly shared culture that to me is what "race" is all about should know what it is they are promoting and protecting. Otherwise another scene rightly depicts these guardians own ignorance of what they are protecting when the heroine made a non-typical Malay pantun verse in the form of pantun jenaka or comedic pantun in a pantun recital was laughed down by the so called pantun experts or supposed guardians of Malay culture, without realising they are actually exposing their own ignorance. So this is the conundrum of what we are facing, to protect the commonly shared culture of a race when these commonly shared cultures are actually evolving in a much larger melting pot, hopefully creating the Malaysian race finally no matter how long it takes, as then the race will not only encompasses the ethnicities within a specific race but all ethnicities prevalent in the country.

Nonetheless I do want to comment on this creeping movement to equate the plight of an ethnic people in the domestic war in Sri Lanka to the plight of a people invaded by a foreign country in Gaza, the whole M. Kugan mess where it is conveniently forgotten that the victim nonetheless is a criminal suspect and the trumpeting of their efforts to term as racists derogatory postings against their race in blogs while ignoring what other racial postings are being done against all the other races, as if theirs is the only persecuted race in the nation. Are you subtly using the issue of race that you claim you deplore to further your own agenda? That is one question that everyone should consider before blindly supporting such so called "non-racist" acts that actually belie their racist attitudes.

Our Government leaders should really honestly ask themselves, why is the strongest party taking all this crap and could this be why they lost in the hearland itself?

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