Every year, during the first two or three days of fasting, I suffer from headaches. That is because my blood sugar level drops. Thank God this will go away after the 3rd day of fasting.
Low blood sugar level may cause hypoglycemia. In some cases, symptoms of hypoglycemia include impaired judgment; irritability; belligerence; confusion; belligerence, combativeness and rage. Thankfully, as far as I know, I don't have those symptoms.
When Tun DrM said yesterday that meritocracy and "meritocrats" are racists, my first reaction was one of irritation. Then I was bemused. Later I was amused. And finally today I think it must have been the fasting month and the obvious low blood sugar level which was affecting him.
Meritocracy as I understand it is the act of rewarding or awarding an individual or a body of individuals or any entity with anything based on merit. Like awarding a student who has scored 13 As in SPM a place in the university. Or awarding X Sdn Bhd a contract to maintain a submarine because X Sdn Bhd has successfully maintained 15 other submarines before this without any problem at reasonable costs as compared to any other company who were bidding for the job.
Conversely, if someone becomes Chief this or that just because he or she has good contact with the appointor, that is not meritocracy. It is also not meritocracy if a person obtains something just because he or she is of a particular race, religion or even has a particular sexual preference.
In the sporting arena, Datuk Nicole David has been a world champion for so long because she is so good at what she is doing that there is no other living creature could be as good as her. Therefore, Datuk Nicole is a champion by virtue of meritocracy. God forbid that Tun DrM thinks that the good Datuk is a racist or that the World Squash Championship people are!
The same thing with our badminton teams. We have won the Thomas Cup umpteen times just because we are the best. Are we racists or the organisers of the Thomas Cup racists?
The Spaniard recently won the World Cup because they played the best football. Are they or FIFA racists?
At King's College, London University, students who top their class are given a Merit award on their post-graduate degree. That is because those students qualify for the said award by being top students. They are not given a Merit just because they are of a particular race or profess a particular religion. In other words, the students get the award based on merit. Is King's College racist?
I believe Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar is the chief of Khazanah because he is really good at what he is doing. And he is appointed by the Prime Minister. The same goes with the new Petronas chief who replaced Tan Sri Hassan Marican. Recently, Dato' Bakke was appointed as the new Sime Darby chief because it is said that he is the most suitable person to be the chief of Sime Darby. He has done a great job at FELDA. Again, the PM must have had a hand in his appointment.
The PM also chooses all the members of his cabinet. I am sure the PM appoints all the cabinet members because the PM thinks those people are the most qualified persons to be in the cabinet. Thus we have people like Idris Jala and Amirsham in the cabinet. These are proven people from the corporate sector.
Tun, is the PM racist then?
Dear Tun, allow me to say this. Malaysia could be a united nation, with a confident Malaysian society, infused by strong moral and ethical values, living in a society that is democratic, liberal and tolerant, caring, economically just and equitable, progressive and prosperous, and in full possession of an economy that is competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.
But we cannot be so until and unless we overcome the nine central strategic challenges. They are:
- the challenges of establishing a united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny. This must be a nation at peace with itself, territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership, made up of one 'Bangsa Malaysia'.
- the challenge of creating a psychologically liberated, secure, and developed Malaysian Society with faith and confidence in itself, justifiably proud of what it is, of what it has accomplished, robust enough to face all manner of adversity. This Malaysian Society must be distinguished by the pursuit of excellence, fully aware of all its potentials, psychologically subservient to none, and respected by the peoples of other nations.
- the challenge of fostering and developing a mature democratic society, practising a form of mature consensual, community-oriented Malaysian democracy that can be a model for many developing countries.
- the challenge of establishing a fully moral and ethical society.
- the challenge of establishing a matured,liberal and tolerant society in which Malaysians of all colours and creeds are free to practise and profess their customs,cultures and religious beliefs and yet feeling that they belong to one nation.
- the challenge of establishing a scientific and progressive society, a society that is innovative and forward-looking.
- the challenge of establishing a fully caring society and a caring culture, a social system in which society will come before self, in which the welfare of the people will revolve not around the state or the individual but around a strong and resilient family system.
- the challenge of ensuring an economically just society. This is a society in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation, in which there is full partnership in economic progress. Such a society cannot be in place so long as there is the identification of race with economic function, and the identification of economic backwardness with race.
- the challenge of establishing a prosperous society, with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.
Tun, with all due respect, we cannot run away from those challenges. We, as a nation and as a people, have to confront those challenges and by hook or by crook, overcome them in order to be a developed country.
What we are doing now is to forget those challenges. To assume that they are not there. To sweep them under the carpet and pretend that everything is okay when it is quite obviously not.
We are letting racism and communal interests rule the day. We are not working as one nor living as one. We are not even willing to attempt to do so. We have abandoned the ideals of this nation when this nation was at the brink of achieving independence. The ideals and aspirations of our forefathers have been betrayed, destroyed and consigned to our archives and treated as if they are not worth the paper they are written on.
Where is the nation at peace with itself, territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership, made up of one 'Bangsa Malaysia' stated above?
Have we even attempted to achieve a psychologically liberated, secure, and developed Malaysian Society with faith and confidence in itself? How are we to be liberated if days in and days out we keep reminding a particular race that they are weak; that they are not good enough to compete; that they always need crutches to walk; that they should unite lest they would be destroyed and various other negativism?
Have we even thought of establishing a matured,liberal and tolerant society in which Malaysians of all colours and creeds are free to practise and profess their customs,cultures and religious beliefs and yet feeling that they belong to one nation?
What liberalism are we talking about when some headmistress who outwardly is a Muslim allegedly spouted racial hatred to her students, describing non-Malays as mere passengers in a car who can be asked to leave the car anytime and anywhere? Yet some hot shot Minister dismissed that incident as isolated and almost irrelevant? What liberalism are we talking about when cartoon books are seized just because some people are lampooned in it; when radio DJs are sacked just because he dares to speak out on sensitive issues; when candle light bearing people congregating to propagate the abolishment of a draconian Act of Parliament were met with batons and riot police? What liberalism?
What about establishing a fully caring society and a caring culture, a social system in which society will come before self? Sorry, but I am suddenly enveloped by this uncontrollable need to laugh. What caring society are we talking about when there are Ministers who suggested that baby dumpers should be sentenced to death knowing full well that those who do so are mere children who have acted irresponsibly by having unprotected sex?
What about ensuring an economically just society. This is a society in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation, in which there is full partnership in economic progress? Have we even had a plan for this? Or are we in self denial mode still?
Have we realised that such a society cannot be in place so long as there is the identification of race with economic function, and the identification of economic backwardness with race?
I don't think we have. Because all I could see now is the identification of everything under the sun with the colours of our skin.
By the way, before you dismiss those nine challenges which I had referred to above as being the unachievable ideals of an idealist, allow me to remind you dear Tun, in case you have forgotten, that those are the nine challenges that you YOURSELF have identified for all of us to overcome if we ever want to achieve the status of a developed nation by 2020 in your Vision 2020 speech.
Yes. It is you who have said all those. Not me. Not Dato' Sri Najib. Not Lim Kit Siang. Not Anwar Ibrahim. It was you who said it.
Perhaps Perkasa, MPM whatever should now lodge a police report against you. Just as they did to Dr Chua Soi Lek.
What has happened since you espoused those ideals Tun? What has happened to your plan for a Bangsa Malaysia? It's been hijacked by Harris Ibrahim, has it?
In addition, you also said the followings:
- Of the two prongs of the NEP no one is against the eradication of absolute poverty -regardless of race, and irrespective of geographical location. All Malaysians, whether they live in the rural or the urban areas, whether they are in the south, north, east or west, must be moved above the line of absolute poverty.
- This nation must be able to provide enough food on the table so that not a solitary Malaysian is subjected to the travesty of gross under-nourishment.
- The second prong, that of removing the identification of race with major economic function is also acceptable except that somehow it is thought possible to achieve this without any shuffling of position. If we want to build an equitable society than we must accept some affirmative action. This will mean that in all the major and important sectors of employment, there should be a good mix of the ethnic groups that make up the Malaysian nation. By legitimate means we must ensure a fair balance with regard to the professions and all the major categories of employment. Certainly we must be as interested in quality and merit. But we must ensure the healthy development of a viable and robust Bumiputera commercial and industrial community.
- A developed Malaysia should not have a society in which economic backwardness is identified with race.
Oh, what was it that you said about merit then? Yes, you said, "certainly we must be as interested in quality and merit."
Interesting. And yet yesterday you said meritocracy and "meritocrats" are racists.