From Chin Peng to Utusan's recent editorial attack on non-Malays, we have to acknowledge a reality in Malaysia - some segments of the society are still caught in a time warp. Many societies and countries that were more divided than ours had moved on and left their division behind.
South Africa had ended 'apartheid' and implemented a much needed national healing for their racially divided society. The Berlin wall had crumbled. Communism in its purest form had ended and the world's biggest communist country, China, is anything but practicing hardcore communism. It had embraced capitalism since two decades ago.
More than three decades ago, there was no free access to China. Today, Prime Minister Najib's visit to China is played up by our local media as an important foreign affair move by the government to bolster relationship with the East Asian giant.
It is a fact that the world has changed and is still changing almost daily. Hence, it is a huge disappointment to note that our political rhetoric still remain the same. Recalcitrant politicians and editors are still calling non-Malay Malaysians, especially Chinese Malaysians, 'pendatang' or migrants.
Malaysians, born and bred in this country, are still being told to feel grateful for their citizenship. A political party is still boasting about its post-colonial credentials.
A bunch of ignorant bloggers are still putting the blame on Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools for causing disunity in the country. The emergence of both China and India as important regional geopolitical and economic powers has made the learning of both languages a smart decision.
Interestingly, they blamed these vernacular schools for creating generations of non-Malays who are not able to communicate in perfect Bahasa Melayu. To be frank, how many Malays speak perfect Bahasa Baku (formal Malay)?
I was at the Midvalley GSC cinema and a counter sales person who attended to me, Alif, actually spoke to me in Mandarin. This is a new Malaysia where multiracial Malaysians no longer seek a purist position for their race or language. For Alif to speak to me in Mandarin was a plus point for him. I am sure he will do well for being multilingual, a skill which should be applauded and not frown upon.
Hence, my fear for a part of Malaysia which is not able to move forward to embrace a new world. That is why we are still living and compromising with an outdated political system which is race centric. We are still putting up with a post colonial mindset which is unable to accept that citizenship with equality is a birth right of all Malaysians.
We are still tolerating a concept which believes that listening to patriotic songs, corny slogans and speaking the same language is a key to unity.
If this is the case, we are worse than the socialists. We are no different from the North Koreans whose government has been beaming and transmitting patriotic songs, slogans and messages to its people almost daily. I was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to visit the border which separated a free and liberal South Korea from the socialist North Korea. The contrast was evident. It was easy to decide which society lives a better life.
Malaysia, this is a serious matter. Only you, your family and friends can decide which kind of Malaysia you wanted. This country is at a crossroads. Its future direction is dependent on the kind of Malaysia we wanted this country to take. It is not for UMNO, Utusan Melayu, 1Sekolah proponents and other parochial groups to decide.
These voices are the minority unless we help to magnify them through our support, endorsement and votes.
It is time we leave the old, haggard and divisive Malaysia behind. Only you can make this happen.