Salaam Dato’ Saifuddin and Saudara Khairy

I write to you to express my thoughts about Utusan Malaysia’s rather incendiary headline recently and the leadership’s statement about the Chinese being ungrateful from the outcome of the recent General Elections. I choose to write to you since you’re the closest people within my age group and that I share your vision of progressive politics. My voice is not loud but I hope it is heard by you and thus be counted, conveyed and amplified for the leadership to hear and listen.

The Chinese community is not an ungrateful bunch. They are also not blind, deaf, or dumb. Shrewd yes, but not in an insidious way. They are economically self sufficient already, so they don’t need what our PM has seemingly given away in monetary form, i.e. BR1M, free meals nor do they want a free Psy concert in the run up to the elections because they know those things are one-offs and irrelevant (and the Gangnam Style riff is getting on their nerves too).

The Chinese are more concerned about the threat to their welfare and livelihood of their children and grandchildren (e.g. the Lynas plant that threatens their health and wellbeing; corruption – that it’s getting more rampant and difficult to do an honest business here without having to set money aside to pay some corrupted officials to get some things to go through; the unresolved issues of transparency, accountability and wastage of taxpayers’ money surrounding PKFZ, etc. etc.) To say that it does not exist is to actually be in denial. And if it actually exist in small numbers, it has to be stubbed out as it is a cancer that will eventually erode society. Yes, the Government has done a lot so far (I believe the people in PEMANDU can show the numbers) but can do better and I’m confident that it is capable of more!

The DAP/PR, took advantage of this opportunity and ran away with it during the election campaigns. So to blame and punish the Malaysian Chinese community for voting DAP/PR would be wrong. What BN should do is to BE BETTER and MORE RELEVANT to the Chinese community than the DAP/PR. If the BN can do that, they can definitely win back the hearts of the Chinese and benefit the society as a whole, especially the Malays. What do we Malays have to lose anyway if we go about it this way? The Malay constitutional rights (which the Chinese community doesn’t give a hoot about frankly, since they’re already self-reliant) will still remain if we get their support this way rather than they give the mandate to DAP which will then exercise their agenda. While the DAP are primarily Chinese, the Malaysian Chinese as a whole, are NOT DAP! The Chinese are our friends, our allies and can be powerful ones too given their strong work ethic and resilience in character, traits that we can all learn to emulate which can improve society as a whole.

The Quran in Surah Al-Hujurat, Ayat 13 tells us: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said: ‘Beware! Whosoever oppresses a Muahid (i.e. Non-Muslim living in Muslim land with agreement) or snatches (any of) his rights or causes him pain which he cannot bear, or takes anything from him without his permission, then “I WILL FIGHT AGAINST SUCH A (MUSLIM) ON THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT” (Sunnan Abu Dawud, Volume No. 3, Page No. 170, Hadith No. 3052)’. Therefore, we Malays being Muslims, should take heed to what has been revealed in the Quran and what has been said by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

I may not know a lot but I know this much: I work side-by-side and hand-in-hand with them everyday for the last 13 years of my life which is about 85% of my career lifetime so far. Plenty of sweat and tears have been shed (but no blood as there has been no injuries so far, thankfully) together. I’m not a member of any political party but I love BN and UMNO too much to see it wither away and die a slow death of irrelevance in the future for our children, grandchildren and beyond to see.

Some may say that I have forgotten my roots when I say all this. Let me assure you that I’m a Malay and a proud one at that. I want to be able to stand as tall as the best in the world on the strength of my own two feet. I will gladly help anyone who still needs help to get up to speed so that they too can stand on their own two feet with hope that they will be better off than I am and I will never forget those who have helped me to get where I am today. These are some of the traits that I learnt from the Chinese.

As a Malay, I’ve been taught to respect everybody around me, no exceptions. As a Muslim, I’ve been taught to respect those of other beliefs as well, just as the Prophet s.a.w. did with the non-believers.

I just want us to be better, without having to put anyone down or look down on anyone.


— redzuan May 8, 2013