Dear Dad by Raja Petra Kamarudin

This article was given to me by Xes, yesterday. Xes found the article at . You can find many articles written by him there including the “Dear Son” article. There is also a photo of him on the website.

I must apologise for not investigating the origin of the article and the identity of the author first before posting it on the site. This shall never happen again.

Like I said in the disclaimer, I am not a member of any political party or Non Governmental Organisation. The main intention of me doing this, is to share some interesting articles that I have come across and to exchange our views on the articles. I am no expert in these issues but I am very keen to learn more about it. Hence, I would appreciate if anyone of you can give me more links to independent local News website (apart from Malaysiakini), forums, Newsgroup, and blogs. To some of you, this might seem boring to you but this is akin to watching reality TV show to me. Moreover, there is no harm learning more about your country’s political system and her rich history.

Please read the disclaimer first before you proceed further. If you disagree with the terms and conditions in the disclaimer,then you shall not read the article below. Thank you very much. The important points are highlighted in bold for those we are too lazy to read the whole thing.

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By Raja Petra Kamarudin
Wednesday, 31-Mar-2004 11:19 AM

Dear dad,
Thank you for your letter of 24 March 2004, which just arrived by Pos Laju yesterday. Maybe from now on we should just use the regular postal service. At least it will arrive at the very latest in three days rather than six days.

I must admit I was very surprised to receive your letter. I was at first afraid to open it lest it be some bad news from home. After all, you have never written to me before and this is the first time, so I suspected it surely could not have been any good news. After reading your letter I now realise why you chose to write rather than tell me what you said in that letter to my face.

I understand and respect your views on Ketuanan Melayu. Many of your generation, especially those who have served the government, share your same views so you are not alone. But my generation no longer holds dear the concept of Ketuanan Melayu.

You say we owe the government a debt for the education we have received. Are you saying you, I and grandfather, would never have received an education and would still be planting padi back in the kampong if not for the government? What about all those Africans and Latin Americans who live in third world countries just like us? They too are educated, in fact better educated than us. Do their countries also have a Ketuanan Melayu policy? If not, then how did they receive an education and how come they have a higher ratio of university graduates compared to Malaysia?

The only reason we need government assistance is because we have to pay for our education and the government gives us loans to finance our education. But, if education was free, then we will not need any government assistance would we? We need government loans because there are not enough places in local universities so we have to go to an overseas university. And this costs money. But if we did not have to go overseas and could instead go to a local university then the problem of financing would be solved, as we will not need any.

One can argue that building universities costs money. How much are we talking about? In the last 25 years or so, our national petroleum company, Petronas, has earned an estimated RM500 billion to RM750 billion in revenue. The actual figure is still a mystery as Petronas needs to only report to the Prime Minister and need not table its accounts for public perusal, not even to Parliament. Could not one or two billion of that be used to build more universities? In fact, they could even have easily spent ten billion Ringgit without feeling the pinch and many universities could have been built with that amount of money.

As an example, look at China, a poor country that has to support 20% of the world’s population. China has more than 1,000 universities. Beijing alone, whose population is less than half of Malaysia’s, has more than 100 universities. If China can do it why can’t Malaysia? How many universities does Malaysia have? Going by Beijing’s ratio, we should have more than 200 universities. But we have less than 10% of that. Yet, on a per capita basis, we are richer than China.

To say the Malays would never receive an education unless we have a preferential treatment policy and unless the government hands out charity to the Malays is an insult to our race. We are admitting that the Malays are failures and can only succeed with government handouts. As a proud Malay, I should imagine you would be the last to admit this. I would imagine you would want to say that the Malays can succeed under any circumstances if just given a fair chance.

On your argument of ensuring the Malays do not lose their political domination, Dad, have you analysed the latest election results? The ruling party created 25 additional Parliamentary seats. At the same time they redrew the election boundaries. Let us take one example, Kuantan.

In the past Kuantan had about 70,000 voters. Then the Election Commission moved out about 20,000 Malay voters to Paya Besar. With the ‘loss’ of 20,000 Malay voters, Kuantan now became a ‘Chinese’ seat so the ruling party had to field a Chinese candidate in Kuantan, which traditionally had been an UMNO or Malay seat.
This was done all over the country. In an attempt to defeat PAS and keADILan, both who depended on Malay votes, Malay majority constituencies were carved up and turned into ‘Chinese’ seats. And what is the result of all this?

In the recent election, UMNO won only 96 seats in Peninsular Malaysia and another 11 in Sabah, a total of 107 out of 219, and slightly less than half the seats in Parliament. And this is supposed to be UMNO’s best performance ever. Imagine what it would look like if UMNO performed badly, say like in 1999?

UMNO, which at one time had the majority seats in Parliament, are now just the largest minority. If you want to include the PAS and keADILan seats as ‘Malay’ seats, though they do not regard themselves as Malay parties, then the total would be 115 seats.

In what way do you say UMNO’s or the Election Commission’s interest is merely to ensure that Malay political domination is not eroded. The way I see it, the manipulation of election boundaries has done exactly this, erode Malay political domination. Now, I am not propagating or supporting the idea of Malay political domination mind you. I am just showing you that your argument to justify the Gerrymandering and rampant cheating in the last election as necessa
ry in the interest of Malay political domination does not hold water. What is has done instead is to give the non-Malays a stronger voice in Parliament.

Allow me to paint this hypothetical scenario. What if the non-Malay parties, even those in the ruling coalition, gang up on UMNO? And what if PAS and keADILan side with the non-Malay parties in the interest of multi-racial politics, or at best, do not side with anyone? Would your UMNO then still be able to defend the Ketuanan Melayu policy with less than half the seats in Parliament?

So you see, your loyalty to UMNO based on the notion that it is defending Malay rights and privileges is flawed. UMNO can only do so as long as the rest do not mount any challenge and are prepared to live and let live. However, once they decide to change things and make a move to end the Ketuanan Melayu, then there is very little UMNO can do.

I know, Dad, this fact has never occurred to you. You have always believed that UMNO is invincible and commands the majority voice in Parliament. This is not so. In fact, even the policy of Malay as the national language and Islam as the official religion can be abolished if the majority in Parliament wishes for this to happen. Then whom does UMNO turn to? The rulers? We must remember that the rulers are no longer required. Even if they do not sign the law it will still automatically become law with or without their signatures.

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah pointed this out in the late 1980s when he opposed the Constitutional Crisis engineered by UMNO, which may I add our new Prime Minister, Pak Lah, too opposed. Tengku Razaleigh said, what if one day UMNO loses its majority in Parliament and the non-Malays seek to remove Malay as the national language and Islam as the official religion? Now, said Tengku Razaleigh, it cannot be done without the rulers’ unanimous consent. But once the amendments to the constitution are made and the rulers’ consent is no longer required, then the Malays face the danger of losing their language and religion plus their special rights and privileges.

More than twenty years ago Tengku Razaleigh saw this coming. He knew UMNO would one day lose its majority in Parliament and the only thing left for the Malays would be their Raja-Raja Melayu. Today, what Tengku Razaleigh predicted has happened.

I must repeat that I do not subscribe to the concept of Ketuanan Melayu. You do, Dad. I just want to point out that if the only reason you support UMNO is to defend the Ketuanan Melayu, then that reason no longer exists. The Ketuanan Melayu will remain not because UMNO says so. It will remain because the non-UMNO Parliamentarians allow it to. In that case, is there any longer any reason to continue supporting UMNO?

Your son.

7 thoughts on “Dear Dad by Raja Petra Kamarudin”

  1. have u read the “Dear Son” article … i’m lil pissed off .. do you think they regard us as second class citizen? LOLthought provokin man

  2. hmm frank, as a matter of fact, e DEAR SON letter stated dat e malay owned e land while e others r immigrants. e malays r immigrants as well n they dun have rite 2 own e land, just dat they came n settled down earlier. perhaps e ownership goes 2 e org asli, but dat’s wat happened 2 america’s red indians as well.heck, many chinese had arrived much earlier. but oh well, majority alwiz wins anywayz. just like e case in usa n aussie.

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