How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How race and religious divides crept in... officially

I found this in Patrick's Niamah blog. I was initially attracted by the place 'Sentul' (my alma mater was just across the road of the writer's La Salle). Long before Vision Schools were introduced, MBS Sentul had a Chinese school on the left and an Indian school on the right.

As I read the letter, I could relate to the writer's feelings because he is probably only a few years younger than me. Just like him, I had experienced or at least came across the start of racial discrimination in education, employment and promotion opportunities, business opportunities and so on.

Excerpt of the long letter:

"Form 2, La Salle Secondary School

I wake up one morning at home to read in the newspaper that I must achieve a certain minimum score in the Bahasa Melayu paper if I am to hope for a Grade 1 in the LCE. I immediately develop a mental block to learning that language, and in an ultimately self-defeating and warped exercise in resistance to the wider education system, I go on to pay the price in all subsequent exams."

Form 3, La Salle

Students are being registered to sit for the LCE in the school classrooms. One by one, each of us stands as the teacher in charge reads out our names and residential addresses, and asks us to confirm the details.

My turn comes up, and the Malay teacher reads out my full name (including my middle name and the name I have chosen for the Catholic sacrament of Confirmation): "William John Martin de Cruz," he reads out, pauses, and then adds for all to hear: "You don't want to add son of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, ah?"

"That night on TV, our group is named as a finalist. It is then announced that we have been disqualified - because if you begin as a trio, you must close as a trio. The women in my family cry, my brother and I are devastated, speechless.

Not long after, in the same talent quest, an all-Malay five-piece singing group enters the finals despite the fact that they have been reduced to four, and they go on to win.

1973/74, RTM headquarters, Angkasapuri

My brother and I are invited to perform at a Christmas TV special. We arrive at the briefing early one Saturday. As the performers and RTM backing band mingle, a clerk comes up to us and shows us a sheet of paper, with a list of words and phrases, typed out one after the other to make almost one-and-a-half pages.

It's a Christmas show, but according to that piece of paper (RTM policy on the run), any song we sing cannot have words such as Jesus, Mary, Joseph, God, saints, angels, Bethlehem, Alleluia, Christ, goes on, ad nauseam.

We nevertheless end up singing a Kris Kristofferson classic, ‘The Pilgrim (Chapter 33)’, which sounds religious but actually glorifies a legend among musicians who drinks, takes drugs and loves like the best and worst of them. We have thrown a stone at the fools on the hill, but a blindly ignorant RTM just doesn't get it..."


Update on Nov 1: A letter in Malaysiakini: Policies that contribute to the brain drain

This recent letter shows the effects being felt years later, of discrimination which started in the early 1970s. At the time, I noticed doors being closed, with advertisements in the papers openly stating 'Bumiputeras only' or 'Bumiputeras preferred', while those Non-Malays holding senior positions in government departments opted out to go into private sectors or went overseas because  their junior staff were earmarked for promotions as heads of department.

More recently, despite efforts by Talentcorp, returnees are unlikely to be welcomed in their places of work.

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