THOSE who speak of “pendatang” – in referring to the Chinese and Indians – in this day and age must be really stupid.
There are no more “pendatang” in Malaysia as far as the Chinese and Indians are concerned.
Our ancestors and forefathers forged a workable and acceptable understanding referred to as the “social contract” to achieve our Independence.
Without this “social contract,” Malaya would not have attained nationhood on August 31, 1957.
This is not to deny that eventually we would not have obtained Independence – when and at what price are matters of speculation.
But the three major communities, to their credit and common sense, arrived at a solution for Independence through compromises.
Those founding fathers were sensible people and leaders who trusted each other and worked together for the common good.
But today we have bigots and idiots still harping on “pendatang”.
They don’t – and they are not expected to – realise the reality of history.
With the demise of these brave and visionary leaders and their people from the pioneering days of the struggle for Independence, the “pendatang” ceased to exist.
This is a fact of history.
With the demise of that generation, the “social contract” also ceased to exist. It was binding on them.
What we have today are not “pendatang” but full-fledged bona fide citizens of Malaysia who are guaranteed their legal status under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution:
“All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.”
We are bound by the constitution.
But, unfortunately, we have dim-witted extremists who, for their own political gains, keep harping even to this day that the Chinese and Indians are “pendatang”.
These provocative statements are allowed to be uttered because there is no political will to stop this.
These are seditious statements and action should have been taken against these unscrupulous and selfish politicians who are bent on destroying our peace and harmony.
Why has no action been taken against these politicians?
Wasn’t the question of citizenship put to rest on our return to parliamentary democracy following the May 13, 1969 tragedy?
When the National Operation Council was abrogated paving the way for the democratic way of life, wasn’t a caveat placed on the question of citizenship making it illegal to question it?
It is the earnest prayer of well-meaning citizens of this nation that the government will deal with these half-baked politicians with a stern hand and bring the full weight of the law to bear on them.
Their commitment to the rule of law is of paramount importance to the success of Malaysia.
Only then justice will be served. – October 31, 2019.
* P. Ramakrishnan is Aliran’s former president.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.