I am a Chinese Malaysian male with diverse groups of friends - Tamils, Malayalees, Sikhs, Jaffna Tamils, whites, Eurasians, and Babas and Nyonyas. The problem is I have very few Malay friends.
Umno tells them iI am a threat to them. Umno tells them I am undeserving of equal rights. They might even believe it, and since I don't want to think any less of them, I prefer to keep my own counsel.
Generally I don't talk much about anything important with Malays, and certainly not about politics. I think meaningful friendships between Malays and non-Malays are becoming rare in Malaysian society.
There is not enough dialogue between Malays and non-Malays at the ground level. Umno speaks from both sides of its mouth - telling the Malays the non-Malays are a threat to them, and then turning round to tell the non-Malays that their rights will be protected.
At other times it may say the reverse, the key denominator being what it needs to say to win votes at the time, and the ethnic composition of the audience. After 51 years of Umno's divide and rule, it is no wonder that race relations are a joke.
With Biro Tata Negara, Khir Toyo and Ahmad Ismail to lead the way, only a fool will think Umno wants good race relations. Umno leaders wants good race relations only when it will keep them in power. Power and money are the real motivations for Umno's political leaders.
After the twisted judicial treatments and twisted sentences meted out to the likes of Lim Guan Eng, Anwar Ibrahim, Teresa Kok and Raja Petra Kamaruddin, I think we can safely rule out any semblance of a sense of right and wrong and common decency as a meaningful guide to Umno's decisions.
There are a number of things I want to put across to my imaginary Malay audience in cyberspace - you - particularly if you believe every racist, inflammatory, bigoted, and demonised stereotype, opinion piece and fabricated news that Ahmad Ismail, Khir toyo, Utusan Melayu , and Biro Tata Negara tells you about me.
If I were a Malay leader, this is what I would say. The Malays totally dominate the aristocracy, cabinet, parliament, judiciary, police, military, and huge government bureaucracy. The Malays have the highest birth rates.
You have benefitted from the racial quotas in education, commerce, licenses, contracts, jobs and promotions - funded by non-Malays. Therefore if you are feeling aggrieved, if you are feeling angry, and if you are feeling insecure, you need to ask yourself why.
If Umno tells you that your culture, language, race and religion is threatened by non-Malays and non-Muslims, i would suggest you think critically before you act. Umno has destroyed any hope of English literacy amongst the Malay masses.
Without English literacy the professions are out of the question for you. High-paying jobs will be hard to find. You will be handicapped in your career and business. Umno tells you that the non- Malays have advanced economically at your expense.
Umno loves to say that the non Malays have used unfair means to advance by cheating you. The truth is Umno leadership has advanced economically and socially at your expense by destroying your competitiveness but to cap it all, they have succeeded in making you blame the non-Malays for their mistakes.
Umno makes you think that the way for you to reach global competitiveness would be to oppress and hamstring the non-Malays with steep racial quotas for jobs, licenses, and university places.
The truth is that it is the competitiveness and grit of successful Malays and non-Malays who compete in the open market in open competition that acts to provide every Malaysian - you and I - with the best goods at the cheapest prices.
You could buy a good quality, long lasting, reliable Japanese car in any other country for what you pay for a crappy Proton in Malaysia. Meanwhile, the AP scam that gives select Malays a license to smuggle in thousands of cars without paying duty will never be awarded to anyone other than the most overly privileged, wealthy and connected Umno elite insider - and definitely not to you if you are an ordinary decent Malay.
With Umno's wholesale corruption, and racist propaganda that scapegoats and demonises the non-Malays to play on your fears and anxieties, our beloved country will come to resemble the uneducated, unproductive, expensive, impoverished countries like Burma, Indonesia, Philippines and Zimbabwe.
Umno leaders will do anything to stay in power and wealth, and that includes to divide and rule with lies, judicial abuse, and more. In the beginning the NEP picked the low-hanging fruit so there was an easy prosperity for everyone but now the signs of terminal decay are everywhere.
Economic and political reality has come back to roost, and if you are still poor, you need to ask why filthy rich Umno leaders are telling you that the non-Malays continue to cheat you of your rights and prosperity. The truth is that the success of any Malaysian in the open market that is subject to open competition will benefit all Malaysians.
Businesses, academics and professionals who have succeeded because of their competitiveness, innovation, hard work and determination bring prosperity to all Malaysians. Non-Malays and Malays who compete in the open market, if they succeed, it is because they offer everyone - you and I - a better product at a lower price.
Businesses and businesspersons who have succeeded because of a government-sanctioned cartel or monopoly that denies others the chance to compete will make all Malaysians poorer - that is, except the lucky filthy rich Umno-BN leaders who gave themselves or family or cronies the cartel or monopoly - APs, Proton, UEM, Renong, Bank Bumi - in the first place.
If you are reading this letter, I can presume that just like me, you did not get the exclusive contract, license, cartel or monopoly either. The truth is you and I and everyone else have been made poorer by the system that Umno has created.
If the economy is heading for a downturn, and if the financial crisis affected your business, and you are wondering why people in other countries don't work as hard as you, and still earn much more money, then you will begin to understand that they live in a superior system.
Their leaders do not rob and abuse their citizens as much as in Malaysia. If you drive a Proton and they drive a Japanese car for the same price, then you are never going to be as well off as them.
Advanced progressive modern countries have achievement-based values, equal rights, open competition, meritocracy, and legislate against racism.
Such countries will have wealthier and healthier citizens who are not any smarter than you, and who will not be working harder than you, but they will be better informed than you, their kids will receive a better education than yours, and they will be earning lots more money than either you or me.
Umno will tell you that advanced countries like Singapore have prospered at your expense. The truth is that Umno will never give you a superior system. It cannot reform because it has an addiction problem. Umno leaders are addicted to huge amounts of easy money - your money!
Umno will tell you that their addiction to your money is in your best interests. Umno will say they only take money from non-Malays. Umno will say it is your fault if you are addicted to Umno's Ketuanan Melayu policies and bumiputera privileges..
The truth is that Umno is addicted to your tax money, and Umno will try to weaken your will to succeed on your own by getting you mentally addicted to their falsehoods. Unless Umno can make you feel addicted to your privileges, and make you feel unable to compete, and frightens you with the non-Malay bogeyman (or bogeywoman like Teresa Kok), and that he or she is a threat to your safety, finances, future, race, language, culture and religion, then Umno knows it will lose your vote in open competition to PKR and PAS.
The biggest obstacles to Malay progress are low standards and low expectations. Umno tells you that you cannot compete with the non-Malays. Yet there are so many parameters to what is better or not that it is impossible to measure them all. It is illogical to think that someone else is better than you.
To believe that you cannot compete is a very low expectation that guarantees very low standards, and it is the last thing you would ever want to leave to your children. The solution requires guts and faith - in you. You must insist on open competition, meritocracy, equal rights, and an end to all forms of racism.
You are not inferior, you can compete, and you control your own destiny. If you allow Umno to brainwash you, and your children, then low standards and low expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The NEP has inevitably deteriorated to become a scam whereby Umnoputras will get all the benefits and be laughing all the way to the bank and everyone else gets poorer funding their excesses - mansions, wives, fat bank accounts, licenses, contracts, monopolies, APs. You get nothing, and I get even less than nothing - blamed for being the pendatang .
PAS and PKR want to change the NEP so that it will help the poor of all races but since the Malays form the bulk of the poor, then the Malays will automatically benefit exceedingly, and no one will feel left out or despised.
We must create a superior system of government that will be efficient, productive, progressive, competitive, and meritocractic - one that can hope to outperform Singapore - if we are to hold our heads up high, in open competition, and without prejudice.
The Malays will still totally dominate the aristocracy, cabinet, parliament, police, judiciary, military and government but in a country that is progressive, meritocractic, educated, progressive, prosperous and respects equal rights, human rights and freedoms.
This would be real legacy worth leaving to your children. Choose wisely.