Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Racism: Two-Face

Recently, someone asked me a question.

"Which side are you on?"

My answer?

"My side."

"Yeah, but deep down inside, what are you? Malay or Chinese?"

This is due to the fact that I am half-Malay and half-Chinese.

"Well, deep down inside...really deep down inside, I am a millionaire."

This, I imagine, has pissed off a lot of people over the years.

I have managed to offend both the Malays and the Chinese constantly by not completely supporting their agendas.

See, the smart thing would probably be to convince the Malays that I am on their side, and the Chinese that I am for them and their fight. Unfortunately, I have done the complete opposite. Quite a few of my Chinese friends now believe I am a Malay-supremacist and some Malays believe I am a Chinese turncoat.

The truth is, I find both arguments from the extreme sides of the two-races to be wanting, and racist.

From my perspective, Malays have political power, but commands mere pittance of the country's economy despite being what, 55-65% of the population.

Despite having political power, the same issues with most Malays still prevail over the past 50 years. In my kampung, there are still people who knock on people's doors every morning to ask for left-overs because they don't have money to feed their starving children.

It is easy to dismiss them as lazy bastards who would never be able to afford a daily Starbucks beverage because they only make RM200 a month. IF they are paid.

The rich Malays - and there are rich Malays staying in 25 million ringgit homes - and the politically-powerful Malays who fight every day for more power, have done little for these people over the years. Not that they have not done anything, but it has not been enough. And yet expect these poor folk to support them in their endeavors. Was it any surprise that these very Malays decided to vote for whoever BUT the past Government in the last elections?

From their perspective, would it put food on the table? And we are not even talking about roasted chikins or seven-star groupers, Australian crabs or tenderloin steaks. They're just looking for probably the lowest grade rice - beras hancur - and some day-old fish. With pucuk paku or some shit like that.

Meanwhile, the Chinese completely dominate the economy, but have always wanted more power. More power will result in more money for the Chinese, I guess. Though what else can they get, when they have all of it already. What, you want slaves or something?

The poor Chinese - and I do believe there are poor Chinese, though I have never met one myself. At least, not as poor as the poor Malays - I believe have been kept poor by a number of the rich Chinese. Why? So that they will feel discontent and fight for the rich Chinese in keeping their economic stranglehold and pursuit of more political power.

I see racism as a desperate attempt by the rich on both sides to ensure status quo and maintain their positions in society.

I believe that the main issue is this: each side has something the other wants, and neither wants to share. From another angle, the rich has money they want to keep from the poor and they will do anything in their power to keep it.

I am a pessimist, and a very young person, so I believe - in my inexperience and lack of judgment, perspective and foresight - that this can only, finally, result in one thing - death.

Murder, rape, violence, destruction, despair and death. But, who is going to die? The poor people with not much to lose.

The rich will continue to hoard their treasures and their powers to keep themselves from dying in the ensuing riots.

Oh well. I know nothing, and am not politically savvy enough to become clairvoyant in what is to happen to this country. Hell, I am so clumsy politically, that I have yet to master the simple trick of convincing people I am on their side. I always end up making people feel uneasy, though I can't afford to do this. If I am a millionaire, who the fuck cares? But I am not. And therein lies my problem.

I will only focus on my own struggles to stay afloat. I have my scripts I need to do and hand in by Monday. I just woke up from a cough-syrup induced sleep, and will do more to settle my brain before I start earning my beras hancur and my Starbucks beverage. Among other things.