Sunday, January 17, 2010

Business as usual

Here we go again. In a blatantly transparent effort to pacify non-Malays and pull-back their support for the BN, the regime comes up with more of its quota schemes. This time, we’re apparently supposed to be impressed by the regime’s scheme to allocate 30 percent of the intake to the RMC to non-Malays. This is in an effort to presumably “show that the RMC as a full-boarding school was open to all races in the country.”

Well, maybe you’re impressed but frankly, I’m not. Neither am I impressed that the so-called Cabinet Committee on Indian Affairs wants the regime to set aside "about 10 percent work in government projects for Indian contractors.”

I suppose such news would come as very encouraging, if not great, changes to those who celebrate the culture of patronage politics that Umno has been notorious and infamous for. And that is precisely the problem with both these developments. If I recall correctly, those of us who find Umno’s “bumiputera-only” and “bumiputera-first” policies offensive and counter-productive do so precisely because such policies have been the embodiment of patronage and racist policies that have brought us to the very crossroads we find ourselves at: the crossroads of intense racial polarization.

And what is Umno’s remedy? More racist-based policies! Yes…such policies are by definition racist. According to such Umno patronage politics, the solution to loss of non-Malay political support is to pander to them now with the same patronage-style racist policies that alienated non-Malays in the first place. Talk about a one-trick pony. This Umno machinery truly lacks in any imagination, creativity, and innovative capacity. It seems only capable of giving us racial quotas!

If the principle of using racial quotas was offensive in the case of preferential policies for Malays, why should it not be offensive now? And given that the main non-Malay BN parties have been actively self-destructing like never before, I suppose they must be hoping that their non-Malay support base would view these bones thrown their way as a sign of great accomplishment for their races.

How pathetic.

If ever there was evidence that these BN parties are so addicted to patronage politics and are innately incapable of getting past this way of operating, you really have to look no further. Despite the fact that it’s self-evident that this is a foolish and shallow game, it is proof that Umno/BN really are incapable of taking the nation beyond such shallow policies.

I don’t care if 100 percent of the RMC intake is Malay – so long as they’re the best qualified candidates. And whatever non-Malays are also given admission to RMC should be the most deserving based on merit and not because they meet some quota.

Similarly, the best companies should be ones receiving government contracts based on a competitive tender and not because the contractor is Indian, Chinese or whatever.

Zaid Ibrahim is absolutely correct when he says that to get rid of patronage politics, you need to get rid of those controlling the system.

Malignant cancer is like that – unless you get rid of it - lock, stock and barrel, it goes along like business as usual, eating away until it destroys the entire body.

G. Krishnan