In Response to the “Beauty of Division”


ZainnalIn theory democracy is an appealing idea, in practice however it is far from perfect. There are people who take the cynical stand that democracy is the tyranny of the majority. That is what the people in Sabah and Sarawak has suffered in our quest to build a nation since 51 years ago. The Malaysia project was never the merger of a complete country but a work in progress towards building of a federation called Malaysia. This was what our founding fathers believe in and that was what we are made to believe for 51 years. The unfortunate thing is that the Malaysia project is look upon by some segment of the people as a way to sustain and maintain the Elites or a new class of people – which are NOT democratically elected to be in office. It was not the people of Malaysia that elected the Prime Minister to be in office – it was just a small group of people in a political party that agrees that he should lead the PARTY not necessarily mean the most democratically right person to lead the country. As the result, as the Prime Minister he only need to satisfy the demands and needs of these small group of people at the expense of others.

Even where a cross-cutting cleavage will divide society into many fragments, even where they will eventually form two large groups that will confront each other for the right to rule is never an assured recipe for fairness and justice for all. The United States is a very good example which does not show any difference in policies between the Republicans and the Democrats. It is very clear for those that studied the two-party systems, it has never been the politicians or the administrator that is running the United States – it has and always be the Capitalist – the Military just go where they are told to go – without question. The reason, their policies are the same – the difference is in the way they put it. James Madison thesis of the Republic was high jacked in December 23, 1913 with the advent of the Federal Reserve.

Is it then a possibility for a two party system to work in Malaysia? So that tyrannical unity at the state level might be checked by liberating division at the national level? In Malaysia it is not just a difference of opinion or policies, it also involves the different levels of maturity, understanding as well as rate of development of the component parts of the country but of its people and leaders as well. Therefore forget about seducing the people with assurances and promises that once in Putrajaya all these can be resolved. Thinking in this way is delusional; societies cannot simply be engineered or manufactured to suit a particular circumstance or situation, societies must be given a chance to evolve organically and find its own equilibrium.

We have wasted 51 years of nation building, instead of a nation of multiculturalism; we end up with loony supremacist and religious bigots who can only show their mob strength domestically but out-performed and out-classed internationally. Are these not the result of untiring work of a benevolent despot? Whose objective was to establish the perception of racial supremacist based on religious beliefs rather than based on the intrinsic strength of its own cognitive faculties? These people are only useful as long as their minds are wrapped in ignorance and their lives can be manipulated to serve the Elites craving for more power.

They can never understand that as a country such as Malaysia is inter-dependent with other countries. The only strength that Malaysia may have to face these global challenges is its people and the value of their intelligence, but only when all Malaysian stand as one – not as a slogan but as a country. Failure to understand this means the country can be easily be threaten and manipulated by others for their own purpose.

Certainly Sabah and Sarawak’s founding fathers did not bargain to build a nation of supremacist, religious zealots and bigots. They did not bargain to be manipulated and taken advantage of, and certainly they did not bargain our wealth to be pillaged and plundered as an excuse to build this nation. They have agreed as succinctly put by Lord Cobbold “Malaysia should be regarded by all concern as an association of partners, combining in the common interest to create a new nation, but retaining their own individualities”. Is Malaysia today an association of partners, do we have a common interest to build a nation and do Sabah and Sarawak as partners still retain our own individualities?

We in Sabah and Sarawak have been denied many things this past 51 years, but manipulating our societies and specifically the minds of our youth is unforgivable. Instead of understanding our plights, without any conscience we were taken for granted and our development forgotten. The past 51 years we learn we are not reinforcing or complementary to the way of life in Malaya rather Malaya was prospering at our expense.

It cannot also be denied that it is our wealth that is the main cause for all these ills which stunted the Malaysia’s growth as a nation; it is our intrinsic right to take it away legally. We have allowed Malaya and its elites to determine the pace and direction for nation building, the present corps of intellectuals in Sabah and Sarawak are not interested to compromise. If ever we consider rebuilding Malaysia then it should be from our perspective and our standards not by the vision and standards set by Malaya and its Elites.

There is obviously no beauty in divisions and there is no strength in unity as well. Democracy for all intends and purposes are the tyranny of the majority. A nation is built through hard work and perseverance not by protecting and pampering the majority at the expense of others. Japan did it, Korea did it and closer at home Singapore did it, why should Malaya be an exception to this rule. It is time that they should learn what it means to be empathic, it is time for them to learn frugality and it is time for them to understand the word sacrifice.

Happy Malaysia Day.

Zainnal Ajamain

Zainnal Ajamain is an economist by profession, graduating with a Masters degree from the University of East Anglia. He has held several high ranking civil service positions in government and government think tanks and has worked as a university lecturer, senior researcher, stockbroker, and economist and published several papers in international media journals. He was the co-author behind the Sabah Government’s vision for development and progress in the Sabah Development Corridor and created the first Offshore Islamic Fund in Labuan. He also held the position of Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems at the University Malaysia Sabah. He was the Co-Founder of the United Borneo Front (UBF) and a passionate activist to abolish the Cabotage Policy. He is also the Secretary General of a newly formed political party in Sabah.

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About sifusiber
A husband & a father who wants his children to have a better future

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