Sunday, October 21, 2007

Good Post

I quite like this letter that was recently published in the Straits Times,

Very well written, succinct which aptly describes the ground's sentiments.

Upset over MM Lee's re-merger comments

I WOULD like to express my disappointment at Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's recent remarks made in an interview with American journalist Tom Plate, which raised the possibility of a re-merger between Singapore and Malaysia.

Mr Lee's comments come at a time when bilateral relations are relatively stable, with renewed hopes of better things to come, and with a new generation of leaders at the helm.

Was the Minister Mentor serious in making such a remark? Did Mr Lee consider the implications of Singapore re-joining Malaysia after more than four decades of separation? A reunion would mean that our sovereignty will have to be surrendered. Due to the aura of instability which a re-merger would evoke, potential and existing investors will be shaken.

Therefore, it is not right to assume that Singapore has the option of rejoining Malaysia should our economy ever fail. Also, our way of life - indeed our identity - would have to give way to a new, foreign one. In fact, a re-merger with Malaysia would negate everything we stand for as a nation.

Mr Lee, in floating the idea of a reunion, also mentioned that Malaysia would 'equal' or 'even do better' than Singapore if the former had 'educated' the non-Malays and 'use them and treat them as their citizens'. Why should the Minister Mentor continue to harp on the bumiputera issue in Malaysia, knowing, from past experience, that it would invite a harsh response from politicians across the Causeway? Mr Lee's comment would only trigger another war of words, which is unnecessary and counter-productive to the aim of cultivating goodwill and understanding between the neighbours.

As a Malay, I concur that this policy of affirmative action for Malaysian Malays does more harm than good for, after more than 30 years, it has largely failed to genuinely raise the whole lot of them socially and economically. Indeed, it is crippling the Malays, making them more dependent on government grants and also on quotas set for university admission.

In short, the bumiputera policy has resulted in a generation of Malays with a laid-back attitude and no motivation to succeed. It has also contributed to racial tension in Malaysia as the Chinese and Indians feel that they have been treated like second-class citizens.

However, the Minister Mentor is in no position to comment on this as it is a Malaysian issue and it is for the Malaysians to decide.

Muhammad Farouq Osman

courtesy of the Straits Times

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