Friday, October 24, 2008

Syed Hamid Albar's Pride & Prejudice

Dear Tony,

I needed to bring this to someone's attention and perhaps someone can put Syed Hamid Albar in his place. Read this article in Malaysiakini: Q&A: Home ministers 'burn' themselves for society. I was troubled by the consequences if this news is reported in Utusan or Berita Harian and acceted as the truth. Patriotic Malaysians will be wrongly maligned.

When asked by Malaysiakini: "But how do you suggest making people feel their Malaysian-ness, if they feel that they are being treated unequally?"

Syed Hamid Albar has this to say: "You should see Malays when they fill in their nationality, a Malay would put Malaysian but others would put Indian Malaysian or Chinese Malaysian. Why do you do that? ... "

I'm utterly shocked by his remark and think that he should be corrected or reprimanded. I know with 100% certainty that all my friends and family members don't write in forms "Indian Malaysian" or "Chinese Malaysian" when asked of our nationality. We are all Malaysians and should be treated equally. Period.
It's only when we are queried about our race, which disappointingly is a required field in all government related forms, we'll offer our race information. To begin with, all government and public forms should NOT ask for race information!

I feel sad for Malaysians when we still have Cabinet members and BN MPs that are bigots. I hope the change that we have all been looking forward to since March 2008 will materialise soon. There are so many wrongs to be corrected in Malaysia. AP permits, another RM5 billion of public money for Valuecap (wasn't it established with RM10 billion during the last crisis?), Eurocopter ... The list is endless.

Regards,
EJ


Tony P: This is a clear case of a Minister manipulating sentiments and reality. I've never ever written "Chinese Malaysian" or "Malaysian Chinese" in my life despite having filled probably hundreds of immigration forms. Even for those, if there are those of such persuasion, it'll just be too long to practically do so. This Home Affairs Minister is a disgrace to Malaysians - the BN government are the ones who insist on putting the "race" and "religion" column onto all forms, when we have been asking what's its relevance.

In the meantime, Syed Hamid Albar continues to fumble over the arrest of Sinchew reporter, Tan Hoon Cheng. When asked about this by Malaysiakini, Syed Hamid blamed the media for highlighting the matter.
“I think I would laugh at it, but I will tell you that it was not the core and fundamental reason (for her arrest).

“That was the reason that was highlighted by the media. If you listen to what I said – there is a threat and the police perception of this threat to public order, to security. That is the reason this person was (arrested under ISA).

“Maybe they want to bring her in to ensure that nothing happens to her. I mean this is not the (only) reason – surely you are matured enough to know that this is not the reason.

“A person like me would not use an irrational thing (like this) but I was hit very badly on this thing to say that ‘Oh, it is for her protection’ when it was never the core or the fundamental issue of her arrest,” he virulently defended himself.
Frankly, his answers remained completely un-understandable and irrational, and it's a clear case whereby staying mum is probably a better prescription and talking dumb.
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