Friday, November 7, 2008

If Obama had been a Malaysian…

Perhaps as Obama was growing up in a Christian family in Malaysia, his church might have been demolished by government authorities. And when the congregation his family belonged to tried to rebuild the church and conduct worship services, the government would have cut off the electricity and water supply to the church.

Perhaps the government authorities would have confiscated and banned the Christian children’s books, which Obama might have read if allowed the freedom to practice his faith without persecution.

Perhaps, while a young student, Obama would have had to attend a decrepit school because he was not a bumiputera – but the Barisan Nasional related parties such as the MIC, which pander to the Umnoputeras would have nonetheless had the audacity to tell Obama’s parents that the Barisan Nasional regime was ‘very fair.’

Perhaps Obama’s school teacher would be someone who would have harassed and terrorised him with racial slurs everyday and told him he belonged to an uncouth race. And as best we know, there would be no public admonition of such teachers. In fact, such teachers would be quietly hushed away and transferred to another position – which might even be regarded as a promotion!

As a teenager, Obama may pass his SPM exams with flying colours – perhaps even get perfect scores - but he would eventually be denied admission to Universiti Malaya because he was not a bumiputera. If his parents were not wealthy, he may have ended up not being able to pursue his desired course of study.

Then again, if Obama was lucky enough, he might have had the chance to attend a National Civic Bureau (BTN) indoctrination program where along with other non-Malay students, he would have been told by the so-called ‘instructors’ that his race of people were pendatang, they should be thankful for being given Malaysian citizenship, and should not question special Malay rights.

Then again, perhaps Obama would have ended up attending a local college doing a diploma course because he was not a bumiputera and would not have been able to get a government scholarship to continue his education.

Perhaps he would have done really well in his diploma studies. Then, if fortunate, he may have gotten a job – perhaps with a multinational firm that came to town and opened a local office in his area.

Perhaps after a while, he would have tried for a government job but based on the racial hiring preferences and discrimination, he would not get the job. And even if he got the job, he would endure years of discrimination that would deny him any promotion or ability to rise up the ranks based on his ability.

So Obama would have stuck with the job in the private sector, but perhaps there was a bad economic recession. Most of the non-bumiputeras like him who did not have job security would have been retrenched. But those with government jobs – and almost lifetime job security – would have enjoyed lucrative privileges and benefits that gave them access to, among other things, discounted housing loans, educational benefits for their children, and perhaps even paid attractive vacation packages!

Perhaps, as an adult, he would have struggled to keep his church functioning because the authorities again harassed the worshipers and had designs about demolishing the church where he and his family had worshipped for years.

Perhaps an Islamic court in the country would have declared Obama an apostate and prosecuted him under Islamic court for being a Christian without their approval.

Perhaps, this in turn would put the status of his children in jeopardy, as some religious agency would have decided that they will take custody of his children and raise them as they deem fit.

Perhaps – when Obama’s grandmother, Mrs. Dunham, died - the ‘body snatchers’ in Malaysia would have struck, captured her remains and claimed that she should be given a Muslim burial.

Perhaps, Obama would have been devastated.

But the BN regime and its non-Malay conponent parties would have told him that he is much better off under their regime - rather than a non-racist regime.

Perhaps one day he would have read in a news bulletin that the prime minister of Malaysiasaid that the reality of leaders being chosen regardless of race can happen anywhere.’

Perhaps Obama would have said to himself: ‘Wow, these Umnoputeras and their BN lackeys must really think we the public are all truly clueless fools.’

G. Krishnan

P.S. I find it rather bizzare that we have a racist regime and politicians who endorse and perpetuate racist policies in Malaysia expressing delight and congratulating Obama - a man who stands for transcending racism - for being elected the next president of the United States.  Have you heard of the word: hypocrisy?