LETTER | North, south, east, west (Vietnamese and Germans) have been united. The Koreans are dating and looking at reunification. The Malays must be a special lot because they are splitting politically.
To some it may sound politically sinister for Dr Mahathir Mohamad to invite all Malay parties to join Bersatu in efforts to unite the Malays, failing which would obviously reduce the potential of Malay parties to win the next election.
Some say Umno already has a headstart working with PAS. But both are not in the government and perceived to be tainted with wrongdoings. Umno losing its stronghold in Johor speaks volume.
Historically, empires and dynasties (Romans, Mongol, Umayyad, Yuan, etc) have risen and fallen. Causes include a decline in morals and values, political civility, overconfidence, fiscal irresponsibility and many more.
Between 1776-1788, Edward Gibbons published The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire analysing how a powerful empire could be destroyed and premised that luxury inherently bears a corrupting element in its DNA. Some even said the introduction of Christianity turned Romans into pacifists.
The downfall of the Umayyad empire was due to many reasons - incompetent leaders, successor issues, oppression and discrimination against non-Arabs. In their era, the Islamic world split into Shia and Sunnis.
The British Empire, the largest the world has ever seen, also had the sun setting upon them.
A lesson to be learned is how China was able to survive conquests by the Mongols and the Manchus - deep roots of civilisation and confidence.
To me, unity is more than just politics but the future direction and development of all Malaysians. Many programmes and initiatives were developed for the Malays but somehow in the last decade, results were disappointing. Morals and values declined, corruption became rampant and most in the B40 group are Malays.
We used to boast about Malay civility but just look around us today. On the roads, in the social media sphere and even in Parliament. Confidence is nearing its nadir. Worries about loss of Malay supremacy are not followed by any concrete action plans to improve and the protection of Islam is not evident from the various wrongdoings.
On the other side of the table on racial discussions, the non-Malays will come up with their own reasons. It suffices for me to just say, those ignorant of history will be making incorrect analyses and conclusions.
For the record, I am happy to see the descendants of the earliest Chinese migrants who arrived from the 13th to 17th centuries have assimilated the local cultures - the Peranakans, Baba-Nyonya as well the Sino-Natives in Sabah.
The sad part is, both sides are preoccupied with advancing their own interests. Statements like, “Now that MCA has lost power, there is no longer anyone who represents the Chinese in government, this will be a serious problem in the future” do not help.
To make unity work, the objective should be on the long-term, not of a particular race only, but for national interest and not with the intention of winning the next general election.
As a country, all citizens must unite to move forward with a clear vision, focused and with confidence. Distractions won’t help. Some see it as having only one political party. Not necessarily. We need a constructive and effective opposition.
If everyone has at heart the interest of the country and not personal glory, we can be a great nation. Why then are people fighting to be the president within the same party? My friends say it is because of the three “ta” - wanita, takhta and harta, otherwise known as a game of thrones.
In our present context, we need to keep religious extremism at bay, continue non- discriminatory affirmative action for the bumiputera and meaningful assimilation.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.