Monday, September 25, 2006

Why Lee Kuan Yew is only partially correct

I think we Malaysians must not deny that there is indeed a large segment of our population that is marginalised politically, economically and socially, including Chinese Malaysians. Now, the world-class * questions that need to be further and critically explored are as follows: 1. Are Chinese the only category of Malaysians that is being marginalised? What about Indians, Orang Asli, Ibans, Kadazans and other ethnic minorities?

2. Umnoputras are certainly Malays by constitutional definition and their function in the Malaysian social formation (which is constituted by the juxtaposition of both the neo-feudal or rentier as well as capitalist modes of production) is parasitic, exploitative and oppressive. However, have empirical evidences not also suggested that there are always a significant segment of the Malay community that is also subject to intra-community exploitation and oppression although many of them are indoctrinated with some ideological forms of false consciousness such as xenophobic ethno-nationalism (there is also inclusive nationalism in the idea of Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya or PKMM) and reactionary Islamism (there is also a fine tradition of progressive Islamism like that articulated by Dr. Burhanuddin Al-Helmy in his time) that serve to retard the growth of true awareness of their real position in the modes of production or social formation, both domestic and global.

3. Although ethnic minorities like the Chinese are generally marginalised in the patronage system of Umnoputra, are there not exceptional individuals, just like some Chinese Indonesian cukongs who thrived and prospered under the 32-year authoritatian rule of Suharto, who are 'smart' enough to cling to the system and manipulate it for personal gains by selling out the legitimate rights of their respective communities which live in marginalisation?

4. The missing methodological dimension of Lee Kuan Yew's observation on the Malaysian social formation which renders it partial or incomplete is class analysis in modern political economy and sociology.

5. While Lee Kuan Yew's observation is only partially right, the response of Umnoptras and its Chinese Hang Tuahs which denies the existence of any marginalisation of any people in the Malaysian social formation is completely wrong or utter rubbish * *.

Well, the headline of this entry can be amended to read Why is Lee Kuan Yew only partially wrong without affecting an iota of the substance of my critical observations on the constituent elements of the Malaysian social formation. It can also be changed to read Above and Beyond 'Ketuanan Melayu' and 'Malaysian Malaysia'.

* Marx the millennium's 'greatest thinker'

* Einstein's reflection on human conditions

* * M’sia has worst income disparity in SEA, gov’t flayed

* * ‘Worrisome’ gap between rich and poor


Blogger James Wong Wing-On said...

Well, if you think I am too polite a nice guy to be rebutted publicly, you, Malaysians or Singaporeans, can email me privately to object to any or all of the points I raise in this entry. Don't be shy. I was educated in First World university to be critical and questioning from all perspectives. Come on, forget about pantun. Go for hardheaded political economy and sociology. Take the bulls by the horns. Call a spade, a spade and slug it out.

1:07 AM  

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