Tuesday, October 23, 2012

No More Bullshit, Please, We're All Malaysians, by Kee Thuan Chye

I recorded this book on request for the Malaysian Association for the Blind, and much like Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy, it made me laugh, but more often reduced me to tears of frustration and rage. This is a collection of essays and articles that the author has published throughout the years, all pointed squarely at the insanity and downright wickedness of Malaysian politics.

Some of the most prickly burrs under his saddle-pad:  Malaysia proudly touts itself as a democracy, but all the mass media is government-owned, so opposition candidates have no forum in which to present their platforms.  The current Prime Minister and his staff came up with the vague motto "1Malaysia", ostensibly to promote racial harmony whilst simultaneously promoting policies that deepen the wedges between the races and religions. Politicians are quick to say that to be anti-Barisan (the ruling coalition) is to be unpatriotic, as if the present government is the country.  The minority race-based members in the ruling coalition -- MCA (Chinese) and MIC (Indian) have routinely rolled over and capitulated to Big Brother UMNO, the Malay party, often leaving their constituents with no real voice. The government has politicised the educational system to suit its own purposes, and the laws prohibiting any political activity amongst university students keeps them from either learning about or participating in a genuine political dialogue.

As a non-citizen, I cannot vote, but I dearly wish every Malaysian would read this book before the general election, coming in the next few months. I truly believe that the people of this country can live together peacefully and respectfully. Kee Thuan Chye and his wife obviously hold the same opinion very deeply -- they gave both of their children three names:  one Malay, one Indian and one Chinese.  I also believe his contention that it's often politically useful to keep the races divided and distrusting of each other. I laud the author's courage in publishing this book, and I pray that some of his essays will motivate voters to express their wishes for the future of Malaysia.

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