Friday, May 09, 2008

Ong Tee Keat: Drop the "Ketuanan"

My friend and MCA Vice President Ong Tee Keat has said it loud and clear. "Drop the ketuanan". When asked about possible backlash against his statement, Ong responded "What backlash? I’m speaking the truth.”

Ong said the phrase "Ketuanan Melayu" had nothing to do with the Federal Constitution and was not something that needed to be said any more considering the special position the Malays already have.

“For other races, ketuanan (superiority) implies the word kehambaan (slavery). The root word of ketuanan is tuan (master), and that does not give it a good meaning.

“In Malaysia, we have lived together for so long and the relationship is not the same as between a master and a slave,” added Ong.

Nevertheless, UMNO leaders including Abdullah Badawi have tried to play with this rhetoric to prolong the use of the phrase. The PM justified its use by saying that the Malays need something to rally them for betterment.

In today's world, superiority refers to knowledge and power. A knowledgeable society is a superior society. If the Malays want to be more superior, they should be encouraged to acquire the right knowledge to enhance their socio-economic position in the country. Power, of course, is a realist terminology. A developed society with access to both knowledge and resources is a powerful society e.g. Japan, US, Germany etc.

If the phrase "ketuanan" is used in a feudalistic context where superiority is given through birth then the community is surely being misled to believe in such nonsense as superiority through social status or legislation.

I applaud Tee Keat for his frankness and his courage to speak out the truth. I urge MCA members to support him as their next President because he is definitely more forward thinking than any others.

1 comment:

Foo Yoong said...

If they want ketuanan issue as a motivation for the malays, don't only say it here. They should voice it outside of the country since the malay archipelago covers Indonesia, southern Thailand, Mindanao etc. Try doing it in Indonesia and be prepared for a backlash. When Indoesia says Rasa Sayang song belongs to them and whoever wants to play it must first seek permission from them, we did not even dare to fight back.
While we want to standardise the malay language with other countries in the nusa antara and we took the lead to change our national language to Bahasa Melayu, Indonesia do not feel the same and they call their national language Bahasa Indonesia taking into consideration of the diverse cultures and different dialects they have. After finding no co-operation, then only we decide to change back to Bahasa Malaysia to have our own identity.
Now since the malay supremacy can't spread its wings, they decide to call their shot in the country thinking other races are easy to be bullied.
If they want to promote ketuanan issue like during the Malacca sultanate, they will first have to set their influence on neighbouring countries and not just in their own turf like jaguh kampung.