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“No need for research to expose the hypocrisy of race-based government” – Ramasamy

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COMMENT BY YB PROF DR P.RAMASAMY, DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER II, PENANG

No need for research to expose the hypocrisy of race-based government

There is no need for a major research to confirm or dis-confirm that there is widening disconnect between what the government says and does to assist the Bumiputra community in the country.

Race and religion are convenient tools that serve to submerge the real intentions of the government that ostensibly exists to protect the interests and welfare of the Bumiputra community.

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In fact race and religion have been used and manipulated by the government elites to divide the various races in the country. This division merely exists to cloak the real interests of the elites for the acquisition of power and the extraction of resources.

By turning the Bumiputras against the non-Bumiputras and vice versa, the government from the time of independence has somewhat perfected a methodology of divide and rule.

The idea of divide and rule was inherited from the British colonial power, but it has been perfected to some extent by the elites in the post-colonial government in the country.

The New Economic Policy (NEP) of growth and distribution is an example of a policy with lofty ideals but ended up serving the narrow and sectarian interests of the Bumiputra elite.

It is a perfect example of an affirmative action policy to serve the narrow and selfish interests of a tiny minority in the country. Short of ethnicity, there is a deep class divide in the country. Such a divide does not serve the long term detriment of all the races in the country especially those in the lower socioeconomic bracket.

The objective interests of the elite are clouded by the presence of ideas and thinking that the real exploiters are members of particular ethnic communities.

It is this false consciousness that has served the class interests of the elite to the overall detriment of the solidarity of inter-ethnic communities.

It is not really false consciousness in the sense that it can be removed once the objective conditions are made clear. This consciousness has a certain degree of autonomy from the objective material conditions.

Its continuation despite criticisms is a testimony to the fact that it’s existence serves the class interests of a particular minority within the elite circles.

But unfortunately given the racial and religious polarisation between the races, racial policies have not been abandoned, but in fact reinforced by citing fears of the fears of the perishment of the Bumiputra community.

It has become a vicious circle to the extent the move away from the racial and religious entrapment might be construed as abandoning the racial and religious interests.

In other words, those who control the levers of power are unable to extricate themselves from the measures that were introduced decades back.

Measures termed as means to uplift the Bumiputra community are essentially meant to promote the class interests of those in power.

The Bumiputra community has been left completely in lurch by those who are supposed to represent them. Some sections of non-Malays have been able to mitigate the deleterious overtly pro Bumiputra policies, but the larger battle has been lost.

The elite might be able to camouflage their self interests under conditions of economic stability, but cracks are there. However, when the economy deteriorates under their self-inflicted wounds, then the hypocrisy of the government towards the Bumiputras can become clear and obvious.

I am not sure what it make take the government to reverse its old and archaic race based policies, but the their disastrous consequences are clearly written on the wall.

It is not a question of switching on and off policies. It is more a question of such how race based policies have become deep rooted to serve the interests of certain classes.