I have to come in support of Zahid Hamidi, our Defense Minister and Umno vice-president. Like it or not, the conservative mind of most Malaysians still lingers on the believe that the Malays' duty is to defend the country, the Chinese shape up the economy while the Indians flourish the commodity.
No, sir! I am not racist. Facts are facts. Zahid is neither a racist nor a Malay warrior. But what he said at the Parliament yesterday should not be misinterpreted, especially by MCA President Chua Soi Lek and the non-Malays.
Zahid was talking about the pathetically duty of the Armed Forces, the no-interest shown by the Chinese and the Indians. He was not questioning the loyalty and integrity of the non-Malays but their poor response to new intakes in the armed forces.
There were only 903 non-Malays in the Malaysian Armed Forces who had joined the service within the last two years. They comprised 82 Indians, 26 Chinese, while the remaining 795 were from other ethnic groups from Sabah and Sarawak (read here).
He was not being insensitive by attributing the 'less sense of patriotism' among the non-Malays for their poor response toward calls to join the armed forces.
"There was also a possibility that it was because of the fear of the strict discipline in the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), less attractive pay compared to the offer from the private sector, lack of encouragement from family members, and that there was less encouragement to join the ATM among the ethnic community because of the various negative prejudices," he said.
The Chinese is the second largest community in the country compared to the Indians but their participation was the least. Why?
Such a question normally draws simple answer - that majority of the Chinese are more keen in business and building up their own economy. Making money and getting rich is their utmost objective in life, no matter where they are.
Indonesia, the United States, Australia and Canada where many Chinese from the mainland had migrated a long time ago, the same pattern thrives. They are less concern in national security matters. When communal riots erupted in many parts of Indonesia in the late 90s, many Chinese millionaires fled the country for Singapore, Hong Kong and other nations.
So, what Zahid said is nothing new. He was reminding the needs for Malaysians (rpt, Malaysians) to come together in defending the country. I guess this is one of few major issues Prime Minister Najib got to address before he can claim success in his 1Malaysia. The other is to introduce 'Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua'.
There is no need for Chua and others to make a fuss out of it. It is a fact that the Malays are more concern for national security and defending the country. The number of Malays and Chinese in Malaysia is almost compatible, yet the Chinese is not keen (except for defending their money and property).
We cant blame them because they are such. In fact, its a good practice. The Malaysian Chinese have been sentimental in developing Malaysia's economy, and so are the Indians. The Malays, Chinese, Indians and other races of Malaysia have been living together with that 'understanding'.
But please dont accuse the police (where most of its members are also Malays) of being racist too. As records show more crimes are committed by the non-Malays, they (the non-Malays) are drawn to a conclusion that they police is always bias and racist in expediting their duty.
Lets not rekindle the past as to why their ancestors came to this country a long time ago. Did they come to defend Tanah Melayu, if one may ask? As far as I can recall, the Gurkhas did help defend Malaya!
My apology... but let us think about it.