Leaving behind the pendatng issue and move on
At the recent 57th MCA general assembly, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak declared that the Chinese are loyal citizens of Malaysia and should not be perceived as immigrants. This was one the strongest statements from a prime Minister on the status of non-Malays in the country.Many may be skeptical of his but should be turning point in the history of the nation.
After four to five generations of arriving in the country how can they be still regarded as immigrants or ‘pendatang’ when they all born and bred here. In fact many of them have never set foot on a foreign soil. It would be unfair and illogical to call them pendatang and thereby deny them of equal opportunities with their other fellow Malaysians.
Pendatang or otherwise Malaysians of all races have contributed greatly to elevate the nation to where it is today. They have all also benefitted immensely from that development for which they are all thankful. Despite having originated from different lands, they were exceptionally united in fighting the colonialists, the Japanese and the communists which led to the formation of truly independent nation. Unfortunately the unity that existed then is fast eluding us which should indeed be a cause for concern. After more than half a century, isn’t it time for us to put aside this issue of pendatang and move forwards as Malaysians?
The time has come to recognize Malaysians by their contributions to the country regardless of race. The time has come to tap the potential of all citizens to remain competitive in today’s fast moving global world which recognizes no borders based on ethnicity. The time has come to give assistance to all Malaysians in need regardless of ethnicity, as the primary concern should be poverty. The time has come to create a mindset to regard all citizens as equal and legitimate citizens, who are here to stay and share the fortunes and misfortunes of the nation which we all regard as our motherland.
The Prime Minister has declared and introduced the 1Malaysia concept to fulfill these aspirations to make Malaysia a modern, progressive and united nation. To make this a reality, the Barisan Nasional, in particular Umno must lead the way do away with race politics which is the main obstacle to the ideals of 1Malaysia. Race-based political parties must ultimately make way for multi-racial ones which will ultimately breed leaders who will regard themselves as Malaysians and champion the plight of all citizens not just their own race. Only with such leaders will we be able to ensure that no one community, however small, is neglected for whatever reasons.