Nationalists or Just Plain Racists?

Malaysia is a plural society as we all know and living in such a society, the tendency to have differing opinions on many things is just part and parcel of such a society. But while hard-core nationalists are often perceived to be racists, where does the average individual then fit?

Deny all we what, we are nationalists by nature. Given the chance, we would rather choose to hang out with people of the same race, provided of course that we think along the same lines. I’m not saying that we don’t mix with other races, we do; but if you’re honest, can you honestly say that you have equal numbers of friends equally distributed amongst the different races in the country?

Really, can you seriously say that you do have the same number of friends equally distributed amongst the races? Ha!

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you know me enough, you would be the first person to vouch that I am not one of those ultra-nationalists; my friends cut across the racial barriers of society, and I’m in a relationship with someone who is not of the same race as me.

But the debate about who led and fought for Malaysian independence is bothering me. I am a big fan of history and when someone from the ruling party, who incidentally just won a seat as vice president within UMNO, categorically states that only Malays fought for independence, thus dismissing the works of other great Malaysian politicians like the late Tun Dato Sir Tan Cheng Lock, is plain shortsightedness and a classic example of Malay arrogance.

I am a Bumiputra but I am not Malay and I don’t one to be one either. And yes I am a nationalist – more like a tribalist really. While I do not condone any form of racism, I also won’t deny that despite the fact that the closest people to me are mostly not my fellow Suluks, when it comes to the people whom I know will always be there for me are my very own fellow Suluks.

Malaysians, irrespective of what race and/or tribe we are from, are racists by nature. The majority may not be full blown racists but the fact remains, we do have some form of racism in us and do practice them in our daily lives.

How many of us have generalized a certain race when pestered or wronged by the worst of that particular race? The socially inept and social retards Mat Rempits are always referred to being Malays, don’t they? So is everyone else who are lazy at work no?

The point is, if we were to be truly honest with ourselves, we will be the first to concede that we are indeed racists. But it’s ok because more often than not, we don’t bear any ill-feelings towards the other races that we sometimes generalize.

Unlike some peeps who sit in the highest offices of our government...


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