March 13, 2008
Responsible e-mailing means leaving your name when you provide comments on my quotes. I received the following in the mailbox today. A rather interesting but highly inaccurate reading of what I had said.
“This term of office (by a Chinese, multiracial and Islamic party) is a make or break for them.” Tricia Yeoh, Centre for Public Policy Studies (reported in International Herald Tribune (IHT), 10/3/08)
Note: Notwithstanding the perceptive observation by Tricia Yeoh, her reference pertaining to Democratic Action Party as a “Chinese party” is factually incorrect (unless it is misquoted in IHT), because DAP had fielded Indian and even Malay candidates in the 12th General Election. In its website, you will read Lim Guan Eng’s press statement (9/3/08) as follows – “DAP wishes to emphasis that we will be an inclusive government that represents all Malaysians. No one will be discriminated or victimised even if they had supported the BN. We want to be the government as well as a responsible and constructive opposition in other states for all Malaysians. DAP will continue to build up on our success in winning Malay votes in significant numbers to win seats we otherwise would not have won. We want to prove that we fight for the interests of all Malays, Chinese Indians, Kadazans and Ibans so long as they are Malaysians.” http://dapmalaysia.org/english/2008/mac08/lge/lge865.htm
Thank you, “Abc Abc” for leaving this comment, although I do wish you would have had the courtesy to leave your name, so that I could contact you and explain in further detail. Nevertheless, I am happy to elaborate on my blog the reasons for your error.
Firstly, I commend you for your obvious desire for a multiracial Malaysia. I too believe strongly in a country that transcends bigoted racial politics, a system that has unfortunately for umpteen years dominated the very socio-cultural fabric of the country we know and love. Indeed, the political parties that advocate a multiracial approach are the ones that have emerged the unsuspecting victor in many constituencies. You and I both were probably very surprised at the outcome, one that nevertheless marks well for a democratic future.
However, please be very careful. You do not want to present false information. This is precisely the thing we want to avoid during this politically heightened period of time. First of all, please read the ORIGINAL article. You can find the link here. (Title of the International Herald Tribune article is: “Malaysian Opposition’s Gains Signal Era of Change”) To my enlightened reader, this is how you read an article. This part of the story was NOT what I said.
The opposition as a whole must show that a Chinese, multiracial and Islamic party can work together on national issues – no mean feat, given their religious and ethnic differences.
The following part of the story (the part with actual inverted commas, i.e. this symbol “) is.
“This term of office is make or break for them,” said Yeoh of the Center for Public Policy Studies.“What is essentially needed is for them to get down to the negotiating table, work out common policies, work out the nitty-gritty administrative details,” Yeoh said.
I’d like to remind everyone that we should strive as far as possible to refrain from making false accusations. This principle applies to any rumour that we hear about any political leader. Verify our sources of information before sending them out on SMS. Do not be rumour mongers. At this stage, the best is to maintain calm, and not be pulled into any fiery conversation that would result ultimately in slander and unnecessary criticism. We must maintain a rational state of mind, to even dialogue and discuss what’s happened over the last couple of days in Malaysia.
But thank you kindly for your message. And please continue advocating for a Malaysia that recognises the interests of all Malaysians alike, whether Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban or otherwise. Racial identities should exist for cultural reasons, but insofar as economic access and opportunity are concerned, we should be colour blind, the oft-quoted phrase of late. 🙂
Finally, please see this article for my views on multiracial Malaysia.
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