Thought of the day

I thank whatever gods may be / For my unconquerable soul. / I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul. ~William Ernest Henley, Invictus

Government's promises are like the Ringgit, they depreciate with time.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Big tight slap on the face, Dr Mahathir!

A day after Dr Mahathir uttered nonsensical remarks regarding the Malay Singaporeans kowtowing to others during the Gertak function, this is what we hear from our friend in Singapore:

In Singapore, we don't kowtow

I READ with concern Tuesday's report, 'Malaysian Malays might kowtow to others if...', in which former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad claims that even though Malay Singaporeans enjoy the benefits of a more developed country, they have to 'terbongkok-bongkok' (kowtow) to others.

Tun Dr Mahathir could have been more sensitive towards the feelings of Singapore Malays.

As a Malay Singaporean living and working peacefully with fellow Singaporeans of all races, I cannot agree with what he said.

Singapore's leaders worked hard for many years to achieve racial harmony, tolerance and understanding among Singaporeans. Today, we live and work together as one family; and we have reaped the rewards of being one of the safest and most developed nations in the world.

While Dr Mahathir's opinion on Malay Singaporeans enjoying the benefits of a developed country is spot-on, we have never kowtowed to others. Singaporeans of all races, including Malays, engage in healthy debate and discussions with our Government. The decisions made by the Government, after hearing feedback from its people, are respected as we trust it is in the best interests of all Singaporeans.

Through community support and hard work, Malay students in Singapore have bettered their results in various national examinations. Such achievements are celebrated by all Singaporeans.

With better education, Malay Singaporeans have achieved a better lifestyle for their families compared with a large percentage of Malays in Malaysia. We worked hard to be where we are today and in no way kowtow to anyone to gain success. Meritocracy remains the benchmark of our society. While this works in Singapore, it may not work in Malaysia.

Having many relatives, friends and business associates of all races in Malaysia requires me to travel frequently across the Causeway. Over the years, I have seen and learnt that for the minority to succeed in Malaysia, they need to kowtow to others.

The irony is that many ordinary Malaysian Malays who have no connections, or fail to share their potential success with the 'right' people, will never have it easy to succeed. Perhaps, favouritism, cronyism and bribery are problems Dr Mahathir may want to address in his country.

As for me, a Malay Singaporean, I would like to say thank you to my Singapore leaders. You have made Singapore the best place to live peacefully in for me and my family.

Mustaffa Othman

Once again, in the clash of the Titans, Lee Kuan Yew wins hands down. Nenenepupu.

Remarks from other Malay Singaporeans:

"Like others, Malay Singaporeans work hard for the benefits in a meritocratic system." Mr Ahmad Abu Bakar

"The Malays in Singapore stand shoulder to shoulder with other Singaporeans." Mr Niaz Mohamed

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