Malaysian blogsville is abuzz with news of the coming Ijok by-election. Though I am too far away to feel Ijok, I am rather annoyed at news reports about the situation. I don’t see why we should keep harping on the fact that Keadilan (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) had chosen a Malaysian Malay and not Malaysian Indian to run for the elections. When can we stop thinking along racial lines?

And if newspapers want to be part of nation building, it should also stop reporting along such lines.

It reminded me so much about Lunas in 2000. I was there to cover the elections with journalists Zakiah Koya and Ng Boon Hooi. We were more interested in the blatant corruption that was going on and the evil use of phantom voters to secure votes than to bother that BN had chosen an Indian (Antonysamy) and PKR a Malay (Saifuddin Nasution) to contest in the by-election. The newspapers then, like now, went to town with the news that PKR had neglected the Indians by choosing a Malay candidate.

So a Malay cannot represent Chinese and Indians and a Chinese cannot represent Malays and Indians and an Indian cannot represent Chinese and Malays?

It’s disheartening to note that all we can come up with are arguments why an Indian should be chosen instead of a Malay or even Chinese. As you see, no problem there, coz even the DAP has decided to let it go because it’s not a Chinese hot seat. So, doesn’t it tell much about the DAP’s trend of thinking?

Is this what we want after 50 years of nation building?

To me, the Election Commission has much role to play in this sad state of affairs. Election after elections, the first thing it does, is present figures about the percentages of racial breakdown. Do we really need this? For me, I’d like to know how many live below poverty lines, how many are in need of a hospital or schools or even public transportation. Can we have these figures instead?

Political parties should be really choosing candidates who can negotiate, speak out and understand policy making, instead of those who are only apt at inciting racist sentiments. I hope we don’t immitate these jokers by giving them a spot in our blogs to fan their insidous and hopeless propaganda.

After 50 years of Merdeka, most Malaysians should know how to deal with people of other ethnic groups, cultures and religions. Which is why, I didn’t mind Parti Socialis Malaysia’s argument about the matter.

PSM said it believed that potential elected representatives must be a person who is concerned about the welfare of the working class and urban settlers.

Yes, Khalid Ibrahim, the PKR candidate was a former Guthrie CEO, but he has left his post. Yet he needs to answer, can he really understand the grassroots needs and represent the Ijok people? That is the crux of the matter. That is the answer we should all seek. 

Else, what PKR is doing is nothing but giving its new knight a chance for training and publicity to prepare him for the coming general elections.

27 responses »

  1. monsterball says:

    Susan….race and religion are still very much alive in dirty politics in our country…don’t you know that?
    It is this way… putting fear into the hearts of voters so much so…now they are quarreling which race is a better candidate..not which is more qualified. It is so clear.
    Again..who gave them the rights to talk like this….WE VOTERS!!
    So why be surprised!!

  2. Libra says:

    I agree with what you said but unfortunately, to the vast majority of Malaysians, race does matter.
    I can vote for any race as long as he stands under the DAP or PKR banner. Likewise I would not vote for any BN candidate even if that candidate is my father or brother or sister or mother.
    That has been my stand all my life.
    Since our political parties functions on cummunal lines and every government policy is based on race, tell me, what else can we expect of our people. Will you agree with me that many of us look at ourselves first by race and then as Malaysians?
    How many of us have the sense of ownership in this country when we are considered second class and others, sons of the soil?

  3. susan loone says:

    Libra, I agree with you. But I dont see myself first as race. It starts with us to make the difference. BN wants us to continue to be stuck in the mine field of race so we should be aware of it and do not allow ourselves to be deluded by it. But sadly, this does not happen. From what I know of PKR, it tries to break this pattern, but how many can see it? because there are other forces telling us it is not so. That race matters. What matters are human beings and whether they are right or wrong. Likewise, I cannot bring myself to vote for BN due to its racial policies, like you say, whether the candidate is a family member or friend.

  4. wits0 says:

    Libra: That has been my stand all my life.”

    Mine too.

    The added problem is that in Bodohland incalcitrant racists hate to have their pet negativity criticized and condemned. This is the hegemony in mindset which some ppl cling to like there’s no tomorrow. They also bring in religion to further reinforce this.

    In theSun today, page 4, on the Keris waving nonsense, we have some racist MPs defending that in the most outrageous way. “Waving the keris is something very normal in Malay culture”.

    Sounds like Middle Eastern culture too…waving swords and Kalashnikovs.

    So if it’s culture, it’s automatically sancrosanct too, eh?

    Such is the third world mentality. The way to go!

  5. Winston says:

    Susan, it’s gratifying to know that you are a thinking person.
    Such people are a rare commodity in this country.

  6. monsterball says:

    Libra…I have never considered myself as second class citizen since merdeka.They can say anything they like to brain wash or hero worship one race. Only these 10 years see malays do not appreciate to be considered spoon fed with special previledges race.
    I used to tease my malays..who is a bumiputra….a chinese with property or a malay with none….so I do make myself a self made real bumiputra….because I do own soils in our country.
    On people…I am like Susan….I talk and ignore race…but only on discussing politics. In business…I seldom see anyone this or that race….hopefully will see completely a human talking to me…not a race.
    Sad to hear you vote based on party concept….but fortunately…you are voting DAP….a party that do give a balance in democracy and a watch dog for the country. For that…I do not blame you.
    As for me…I vote quite similar to you….but changed to give Pak Lah a chance. I will consider my vote seriously at the last moment….as not one party to my mind is trully sincere for the country….be it ruling or oppositions.

  7. wits0 says:

    Susan: “…. Likewise, I cannot bring myself to vote for BN due to its racial policies, …”

    I’m glad to say that I’ve never voted for this fraudulent parties. I’m not swayable unlike those who hope against hopes. Can’t go against own conscience or awareness.

  8. roy says:

    Hi Susan, I stand by your opinion that politics should not differentiate race.. it’s more towards getting what needs to be done…

    Oh yes, in addition to your blog and many other credible and able writers’ blogs, I have added one additional blog my own to discuss politics and current affairs – it is in Malay medium…

    Feel free to visit:

    p/s: polanalisa means politik dan analisa

  9. c53k says:


    Right on the dot. BUT we’re a very small minority who thinks this way.

    PKR should use this slogan in Ijok;


    I believe the M’sian rural folks are very well attuned to this than the M’sian urbanites.

    Just be careful that this slogan can become a tight spot if the BN turns it into Malaysia for Malaysian, a past PAP battle cry that is somehow remained a very dark spot in the heart & mind of the Malay urbanites!

    Sad – very sad.

  10. Libra says:

    UMNO and BN wallows in racial politics as pig wallows in mud. For a pig, it is a pleasurable experience. It emerges ugly from the mud and relishes being so.
    BN politics is no different. They derive so much pleasure in whiping up racial sentiments, conjuring imaginary threats from the other races – that each race fears the other, yet apearing to be united under that Dacing Banner.
    The keris told the story loud and clear.
    That the Chinese will swallow up the Malays if they do not give their undivided loyalty to UMNO – the protector of the Malay race.
    BN’s racial politics has created a Frankenstein- which will ultimately swallow up its maker and the country!!!!!! This is inevitable but I know not when.

  11. wits0 says:

    It seems, Libra, Bodohland can only be reformed if it’s first re-colonised by the Brits again!. Of course this won’t ever happen…despite all the rubbish Mugabe-ish anti-colonism – sometimes still being invoked.

    Yep, it’s a Frankenstein, alright. One whose passing must also bring down the whole (lab)works. After creating this Frankenstein as the backbone, talks of “nation-building” actually are like profanities.

    Raja Nazrin made a good speech which was applauded. One might have expected that to have been the logical attitude already ingrained as a basis of nationhood. But hell, no, the reality is is an inversion instead, all along. Yet the MSM blathers on with their regular surreal proclamations by nefarious politians.

    The real state of Bodohland is well illustrated by this famous art piece :

    The prognosis is not good but there’re lots of privilege powered deluded ppl around. The BN can only promote the same old surreal distortion of reality, built on the backbone of contorted lies and half truths.

  12. monsterball says:

    hahahahaha…Written with such vigour and hatred towards Barisan National..making me feel so guilty voting for them last election. I wonder how many feel the same.
    Strange as it may seem…this so call Frankenstiens or little Napoleans as PM puts it have been hot favourites to manage us since Independence day.
    Shall we all make them the minority next election?
    If I can hear voices..the answer will be a loud YES!
    But come election day….they still win Machap by election. Weekend Ijok residents will vote…a township with more evenly spread races. Lets wait and see the results.
    Presuming Barisan win again….can we conclude…frauds…foul play…. buy votes this or that will be the real reasons on their winnings?
    If so…going on for 50 years….then we all may as well not call ourselves voters….but robots and let them rule our lives as they like…why complaint? We made them. LIVE AND LET DIE!!

  13. hasilox says:

    Not easy for the opposition to break this racialist idiocy if BN continues to monkeying around it. Govt policies very much determine the behavioral of its society. This is common even in mature societies.

    If BN continues to run bolehland like a zoo, it stays that way until…..

  14. monsterball says:

    hasilox….I somewhat disagree…as when UMNO went to the limits with their nonsense….like TDM did for 22 years…..look at the last general election results under him….razor thin victory. That is also because DAP made the most idiotic move to team up with PAS.
    Majority malays are more level headed. Chinese are extremely flexible with their votes….thus it is not so call monkeying us around. It is Chinese are mostly self employed and do not depend on the government…be it anyone managing the country….so if there are peace and prosperity for all…they will continue voting Barisan National. This is my own personal opinions. What the Chinese needs to do is look at a larger picture of benefits…and realise a stronger opposition will make the country more democratic and more watch dogs to speak out in Parliament sittings.

  15. wits0 says:

    The people deserve the government they get. This must be particularly true when there is election, however flawed. An aphorism that’s generally true and indisputeable.

    They, en masse, create the Reality with a very low level of ‘the lowest common denominator’ wrt to intellectual and moral consciousness.

    For pigs and hippos to wallow in mud is not a disgrace for that is their nature appropriate to them. For the poor dogs to return to their vomit is because they know no better.

    But for human beings to wallow forever in stupidity and selfishness is a breakable habit within their reach. For the weak minded to stay that way is a choice but they do NOT see that.

    The masses is not us, we are individuals and our enlightenment or darkness is a personal responsibility and choice. We, individually, are not oblige to follow the crowd.

    Our individual obligation is towards our own integrity and see to it that we don’t commit/partake in what is perfidious and against humanity by following wrong “values” that anathematize oneself.

  16. elviza says:

    Dearest Susan,

    So a Malay cannot represent Chinese and Indians and a Chinese cannot represent Malays and Indians and an Indian cannot represent Chinese and Malays….

    Thats what they think because they havent joined the AllBLogs or BU before… sebab tu lah.

    How are you Susan? I hope you are well my friend.

  17. monsterball says:

    eviza…I think the Malays think of the country. The Chinese think for themselves and Indians do not know what to think……..hahahahaha

  18. jeancumlately says:

    Witso… that was a good point and monty, that’s a good conclusion. But you really made me feel like an indian…

    Its just sad that malays thought that they would be doing the country a favour by voting for bn. Sorry to say, I was one of them…sob…sob… I was promised integrity and tranparency but all they gave me was badawi and khairi…

    I was hoping that the chinese majority machap could send some message to putrajaya but nah… putrajaya bought them wholesale.

    So, all the races are guilty as hell and susan is right.

    But I hate to say this susan… throughout history, anywhere you go, whoever was in power would certainly prioritize their own race. The question is, how would the chinese i.e. dap convince the malays that they would be fair once and if they are in power? I would certainly believe that someone like susan will be fair to me but I would hate to imagine myself being a malay living in southern thailand, mindanao or even singapore…

    I am not a racist but I am not sure yet that DAP will not discriminate me. Tough choice.

  19. hasilox says:

    Monty, lets look at another perspective. Under normal circumstances, Msians tend to vote along party line. Unfortunately, that means along race-based agendas, directly or indirectly, due to the nature of Msia’s political parties. When there is no explosive issue, politicians fall back to racialist issue, the only circus-show they are good at.

    Only under special circumstances like the Tengku Razaleigh’s and Anwar’s cases, the voting pattern changed drastically. Grouping by races, the chineses’ votes can only provide the tilting point, not the leading factor.

    Who can break this racialist cycle? It has to come from the dominant parties with the executive power.

  20. […] Loone comments on the influence of ethnicity on Malaysian elections. “Political parties should be really choosing candidates who can negotiate, speak out and […]

  21. monsterball says:

    Yes yes yes hasilox…but you forget the ROOTS of it all.
    Whatever you or jeancumlately or anybody with inrelligence are saying things like these….we FORGOT the root of it all….started from the school…plus chosen malays like penkulus..influencial teachers…enrich them…to help build up the strong base of so call loyal members UMNO …followed by small fry MCA and MIC.
    Like I said….only these 10 years or see drastic change…firstly due to Internet…and secondly due to clear indications that TDM and Hadi Awang were splitting the malays with their dirty politics…for their so call parties agendas.
    Half past six and yes men are made ministers….all have benefitted financially….still in present cabinet.
    Dirty and corrupted politics was at it’s peak…especially the last 10 years of TDM’s time.
    So there is no solutions to this except people of Malaysia ….especially the malays MINDSETS change…that is do not be one track minded or simply do as told and consider that as loyal Malaysian…without having a mind of his/her own to THINK!! They must THINK and weigh the pros and cons….not be a yes person and call it royalty. HOWEVER…quite alot of malays do feel they cannot compete at a plain level field…thus no matter how much DAP or others are doing good…they will not appreciate and will ignore….but they will always remember the dirty politics played by DAP.
    Now the Vision2020 plus awakening Johore Bahru…by Pak Lah to compete against S’pore in many things is the right move. Why smart TDM never thought of this before? Because he knows malays cannot compete against S’poreans work ethics and intelligence. Why don’t he use his 22 years to do something…instead of just creating slogans like ‘Look East”.
    I think Pak Lah also know it is difficult…but he is a much more sincere leader than TDM by miles apart..thus smartly…put the project out and if it fails…not his faults…the malays are not up to the standard. HE IS CHALLENGING THE MALAYS TO CHANGE!!Therefore..schools textbooks are speed up …altering malays mindsets to be better ones..more broad minded people.
    Chinese mindsets are down rooted from hundreds of years hardship in Malaysia…plus there roots from China…no need to worry…so it will always be the Malays running the government..police and law matters…ruled by malay leaders. So it is the malays that will face their own downfalls…and suffer most in the long run….not other races.
    There is no prospectives..this or that. There is simply drastic changes needed. UMNO knows it. THE CAT IS ACTUALLY OUT OF THE BAG!! PAK LAH IS THE CAT.
    So better loose popularities and even loose elections…than loose the whole country sooner or later to foreigners.
    Here again….foreigners are invited to invest with no restrictions by Pak Lah. This frightens the weak minded malays. They forget….only if you can be trusted will foreigners come to invest. S’pore is desperately trying to kill the dirty politics played by TDM for 22 years against them. They can never do harm to Malaysia…as their people are related to the chinese here…but if S’pore is to really come out with brilliant ideas to bring up malaysia…you can bet your last ringgit again….that for face savings….the malays will reject. Such is the nature of how much love some malays give to our country. This is my own opinion.

  22. RANJIT SINGH says:

    Susan, Tahniah kerana anda sudah hits 454,947 sekarang.Saya harap Counter-Visitors dan angka jumlah visitors must be in bold. supaya senang orang membaca.Selain dari itu mesti ada clock menunjukan Time in Bangkok. Ramai bloggers ada menunjuk time. Regards. Ranjit.

  23. Black says:


    It’s true. I’m sad with one happened in Malaysia. PSM had a principle stand rather than PRIM who still trapped in Racial line. Uthayakumar even said that UMNO (who the one who created Kampung Medan tragedy) is much better then PKR. DAP well, we all know. They are “racial” minded.

    This Nation is sick!!! From rulling party to opposition party, all is same. Young people will do something regarding this.

  24. Mata keadilan says:

    PKR Hypocrite-You guys just pretend to be heroes in Berembang,Ampang and all those coverage in your website konon nya championing squatters but at the same time your best candidate is tainted with force eviction of squatters.

    If the man behind Berembang tragedy is Mr x The Man behind Bukit Jelutong trajedy is Mr Khalid Ibrahim.Heas The Chairman of Gutire personally came down to the squatter eviction to make sure all the people got chased out and thier houses were demolished.What kind of leaders PRK have?

    Maybe if the man behind Kp Berembang tragedy joins PKR he will be welcomed with open arms and might even be given the Ampang seat to contest.

    All those drama in this website and keadilan website on squatter eviction and memperjuangkan hak rakyat tertindas is all merely a huge drama.

    Practice what you preach-you guys just dont have principles.
    Who is next-Mahathir-Rahim Noor?

    PKR-Parti Kelentong Rakyat.
    19/04 12:03:36

    PKR must explain its choice, says PSM-Malaysiakini

    Apr 18, 07 8:11pm

    Opposition party Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s (PSM) recognition of the PKR candidate for the coming Ijok by-election, Khalid Ibrahim, will depend on PKR’s response to several ‘human rights violation allegations’ involving the former plantation top gun.

    “We have raised this issue with the PKR leadership who have given us an assurance that they will bring up this issue and take appropriate action,” said PSM pro-tem Secretary-General S Arutchelvan in the statement today.

    The statement follows a meeting between PSM’s national leadership and PSM’s Subang branch which had expressed displeasure over Khalid’s (photo) candidacy and alleged that he was directly involved in the eviction of plantation workers particularly at Bukit Jelutong near Ijok.

    The Subang branch had previously said that it had ‘problems’ campaigning for Khalid and had also toyed with the idea of fielding its own candidate for the Ijok by-election to ‘make a principled stand’.

    No racial politics

    Arutchelvan, however, confirmed that PSM would not be fielding any candidate for Ijok, nor would be supporting any independent candidate.

    “Would like to state that we reject Barisan Nasional. A victory to the opposition at this juncture would be a good outcome as a sign of protest to the rule of BN.

    “We have also therefore decided not to field any candidate in the by-election as well as not put our support behind any independent candidates,” he said.

    Arutchelvan also said that PSM was against racial politics of any form.

    “Any candidate chosen to represent any party should be able to represent the interests of the people rather than be representative to any particular race or religion.”

    Contacted later, Arutchelvan told malaysiakini that the party may re-evaluate its stand regarding Khalid’s candidacy for the by-election if they receive a response from PKR on the matter raised.

    The yet-to-be formally registered PSM commands a following among estate workers and urban settlers in Peninsular Malaysia, including at Ijok.

  25. susan loone says:

    elviza i am alright, just too busy with work for my liking 😉

    jean, i am not convinced of the dap myself. but i like to think that we as individuals can break the pattern. we cant depend on political parties to change our lives. they have vested interests.

    and mata keadila, you are right. khalid must answer for all of this, if PKR wants to come clear and be a respected political party.

    lets see if journalists are willing to ask him this question instead of asking wan azizah why a malay should be chosen instead of an indian!

  26. wits0 says:

    Susan: “we cant depend on political parties to change our lives. they have vested interests. ”

    It’s only the innate belief of weak-minded people who falls for that idea in toto when it is inherently our own personal effort that solves our own problem.

    What we need is a level playing field, not one that unabashedly promotes parochial and elitist privileges to accumulate wealth. For this reason, the party that forms the incumbent government needs tro be much more critically assessed, always.

  27. oweii says:

    The malays know that if they cast their vote to the DAP, malaysia would become second singapore; or malaypore; or rimaupore.

    If DAP was succesfully forming new government, I don’t think the Malay Rulers council, and malay-majority police and armed forces would be loyal to them.

    If DAP wants to abolish bumiputra and malay special rights, they would have to amend the federal constitution, and also get the permission from the Rulers council, which I think is nearlly impossible.

    So to DAP, face the reality. This is malaysia, not singapore. The malay is still the biggest race in malaysia, and democracy will always favour the majority.

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