Wednesday, January 7, 2015


By Mansor Puteh

I have been following the campaign by the Star to encourage moderation by Malaysians and am feeling confused as to what it means and what the Star wants to achieve.

Everything is written in doublespeak and statements made by its originators and unofficial creators are laced with hidden meanings.

How could some mere journalists of a newspaper publishing in English who are not so well-educated on many matters dare to trust themselves to the fore in such a campaign or movement and unabashedly push aside the many others who are better educated than them?

They have failed miserably to definite what they exactly mean by moderation and extremism.

They have in one swipe charged Melayu nationalists as ‘extremists’, they who lead organizations simply to uphold the National Constitution, and nothing more.

They are no more like Mahatma Gandhi who promoted independence of his country, India, or the nationalists of Indonesia who wanted to cause their Dutch colonial masters to leave their country.    

Many Melayu privately wonder if this is nothing but a silly ploy to slowly and moderately change the political system of the country?  

The first Melayu nationalists led by Umno and other Melayu organizations had been recognized for their campaigns and support that led the country to its independence.

They who fought against the implementation of the Malayan Union are ‘extremists’. If they were moderates, chances are Malayan Union would have been implemented.

The newspaper of Malaysia which had championed the cause of Merdeka or Independence of the country was Utusan Melayu; the Chinese newspapers especially did not care too much about helping the leaders of the country on the struggle to achieve Merdeka.

The Star did not exist then.

It is so convenient for the Star to charge Perkasa and the Melayu groups for being ‘extremists’ when they are nationalist organizations.

It is also strange how the campaign to promote moderation and to condemn extremism by the Star has not become a national past-time by most Malaysians of all races and backgrounds; those who had stood up to be counted are mostly those who had retired or pensioned who wanted to be seen to be active.

But alas, they have only managed to get so few people to support their move. Those who offer their support do not seem to have written or said much on the matter

I am confused by what the Star means by 'moderation' and also 'extremism' and who are ‘moderates’ and ‘extremists’.

Therefore one would hope for the newspaper to define what they mean by that instead of using the definition as found in some dictionaries.

I am wondering if the Star condones those who want to be terrorists or militants just moderately? The Moderate Terrorists? The Moderate Racists? The Moderate Criminals, etc?

And is it any bad if one just wants to be extremely kind and generous?

Surely one can now also wonder if the Malaysian football team Harimau Melayu (Malaya?) lost to Thailand in the AFF Suzuki Cup finals simply because they decided to play less agressively to the extreme, but moderately?

Does the Star also want the law enforcement officers and agencies to enforce the law moderately? Does the Star also want the judges to adminster the law moderately? Does the Star want students to study less agressively but moderately?

Did the Star assume that the Malaysian government has not been moderate in their actions?

Tunku Abdul Rahman had been quoted by the Star for being a leader who adopted moderate actions. Is that so?

If Tunku had done so, then surely it could mean that he had agreed to give the Chinese and Indian immigrants citizenship and allowing the Mandarin and Tamil vernacular schools, which have now become one of the reasons for the whole country not being able to develop fully for the full benefit of its citizen.

And is the Star charging the Malaysian government for not adopting a moderate stance so much so that the moderation movement has to be launched and more and more voices from the so-called moderate Melayu and other Malaysians have to be solicited?

Bear in mind that those who have done so including Musa Hitam had not said much on the matter; they said they are moderates. But what exactly have they done to show that they are so?

The Star says it supports the Vision School which the chauvinist Chinese organizations and groups and leaders do not.

For your information the Vision Schools which see schools from the different education systems – Sekolah Melayu, Mandarin and Tamil schools – located in the same area, may be an idea which I had first mooted.

I wrote about it long ago and was asked how such a system be introduced and I said what the government would later describe as the Vision Schools or Sekolah Wawasan.

To me the Melayu who have voiced their support for the movement for the moderates led by the Star to be nothing but decoys to confuse the Chinese even more; they who comprise mostly of people who once held high office but who have not done much upon their retirement and who wants to be counted.

All Melayu know that the shape of the country has changed so much so that in less than a decade Chinese economy and politics that they had tried to exemplify will collapse.

Everywhere the Melayu are present where at an earlier time the Chinese dominated those economic activities.

More and more Chinese have started to accept this as a fact that cannot be denied; that more and more young Chinese have also realized that Sekolah Melayu are their only guarantee for a future.

Those Chinese and Indian kids who do not speak in Melayu will be left behind; unless if they want to be sidelined by the majority Melayu in the country who cannot earn a living if they cannot converse in the Melayu language.

Did Faridah Noor who is one of the twenty-five ‘prominent’ Melayu who support the Star’s moderation movement know what she is talking about?

Wasn’t she who had led the Malaysian team at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Pulau Batu Hitam (Pedra Branca) dispute with Singapore which saw Malaysia lost the islands, because she had conducted the case on behalf of Malaysia moderately?

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