I am not the type who could comfortably discuss issues along racial lines, but political reality in Malaysia is such that it is impossible to discuss one without the other.
Often we hear the concerns that racial polarisation is becoming a Malaysian way, that our lives are governed by whether we are malays, chinese, or indians or ibans or whattever racial affiliation /identification we have. The government is showing concerns. Isn’t that laughable? Doesn’t the government of the day realize that it was polarisation that keep them in power?
In 1998, the Malays were abandoning UMNO. Had it not been for the chinese votes, the Barisan Alternatif would have been in power. From that political perspective, thinking outside the box, polarisation has done the ruling BN a lot of good.
So when people complain about the quality of leadership Malaysia posseses, tell them you get the leaders you deserve. So when the chinese complain about the quality of Malay leaders in government, tell them they deserve it. When the Malays complain about leaders in government, tell them you deserve it. When Karpal singh and Lim Kit siang complain about the government, tell them they deserve it.
Are malaysian polarised? Except in politics and those under the influence of chauvinists, Malaysians are generally comfortable as one, polar-less.
If we are serious about not favouring racial polarisation, we must fight against racial politics and we must fight chauvinism in any form.
The other alternative is to capitalise on differences and polarisations as what the government of the day is doing. We can survive but can we be great? No i do not think we can.