Highly Racially-charged 2010
The eventful year 2010 just left us. To all faithful visitors and contributers to Warisan Tanah Melayu Kita, I wish all of you a VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.
The end of 2010 marked the half-way mark of our current parlimentary 5-year term. The opposition parties are beginning to be watchful of a possible snap-GE being called by the ruling BN.
Throughout 2010, the BN coalition were seen to be consolidating their hold on the public confidence. Under the new ‘nakhoda’ DS Najib Tun Razak, UMNO is back to their true strength. Leadership crisis in the second biggest partner in the BN coalition, MCA, has been resolved, and MCA appeared to be back on track. MIC witnessed the change-over of presidency, when DS Samy Vellu finally decided to pass the baton to his deputy, G Palanivel. In Sarawak, TS Taib Mahmud’s leadership of PBB was given fresh mandate, in preparation of the coming state election. In Sabah, BN coalitions led by UMNO remained as strong as ever. All seemed to have worked well for the BN.
On the other side of the political divide, PR loose coalition consisting of PKR, DAP and PAS looked SHAKY to say the least. Their supposed to be SINGLE-PARTY Pakatan Rakyat(PR) coalition had not been registered. Their supposed to be SHADOW CABINET had not been formed. And long list of their GE 2008 promises had not been fulfilled, especially in Selangor, where several cases of corruption and misuse of power were beginning erase public confidence in the capability and integrity of the PR coalition.
Worse for the PR coalition, their ‘double-sided tape’ partner holding DAP and PAS, the PKR under DS Anwar Ibrahim were facing their biggest threat of DISINTEGRATION. Their one-member-one-vote system of electing divisional and national leaders revealed their TRUE WEAKNESS, when less than 10% of their claimed 400,000 members were involved in the divisional and national leadership elections, which were marred by wide-spread unfair practices and even ugly scenes of fighting and chairs-throwing. The mass dissatisfactions led to the withdrawal of one of the candidates for deputy presidency, Dato’ Zaid Ibrahim, and his eventual exit from the party. With more and more of their MPs, state assemblymen, leaders and members leaving the party, PKR ended the year in a state of ‘retak menanti belah’.
However, many would remember 2010 as one of the MOST VOLATILE years where INTER- RACIAL RELATION was concerned. Highly-charged racial issues kept popping up, sending groups of demonstrators from both sides of the political divide onto the streets, sometimes almost resulting into street battles. Situations remenicient of those resulting into the Mei 1969 racial riots appeared, was sending the nation into UNCERTAIN FUTURE.
The rising racial tension brought about the birth and EMERGENCE of a Malay Rights NGO, Perkasa, which have become a new force in Malaysian politics. Perkasa’s effectiveness in defending MALAY RIGHTS issues had caught the imagination of the Malays on the streets, to the extent that, at times, Perkasa was seen as MORE VOCAL than UMNO itself in defending the Malay Rights, when the non-Malays/non-bumiputras began to OPENLY question certain agreed FOUNDATIONS of our nations, like the SPECIAL POSITION OF MALAYS AND BUMIPUTRAS, the SOCIAL CONTRACT among major races, Ketuanan Melayu and such like.
However, DS Najib Tun Razak, the President of UMNO, skillfully re-assured the Malays during the year end UMNO General Assembly, that UMNO would remain the FLAGSHIP among Malays political parties and NGOs in the defense of the MALAY RIGHTS. During his policy speech, he went as far as ASSURING the UMNO members and the Malays at large that ALL ARTICLES related to Malay Rights in the Federal Constitution has been SECURELY SOLDERED permanently and would not be removed by any Government, even by over two-third majority, without the approval of Raja-Raja Melayu themselves.
DS Najib’s RE-ASSURING speech appeared to have re-stored the confidence of the Malays in UMNO, the party which were set up by over 40 Malay NGOs way back in 1946, as a platform for the Malays to fight off the British-imposed MALAYAN UNION, which would have put the Malays on the same footing as the FORMER IMMIGRANTS from China and India, brought in by the British in 19th and 20th centuries to the Malay states, to work in TIN MINES and RUBBER ESTATES.
However, 2010 ended well for the nation. The success of Malaysian young ‘tigers’ in securing a place in the semi-final of the AFF Suzuki Cup football competition against the reigning champions Vietnam appeared to have given the ‘tonic’ which brought the nation together in re-newed fervour of PATRIOTISM and PRIDE for the country.
The success in defeating Vietnam in the semi-finals was followed by them THRASHING the Indonesian ‘garuda’ team 3-0 in the first-leg of the FINAL in National Stadium Bukit Jalil, which were filled up ‘to the ream’ by over 90,000 local supporters. And the ‘hospitality Indonesia-styled’ accorded to our young team in the second-leg FINAL in Jakarta had UNITED the hearts and minds of Malaysians. The team were denied their much needed pre-match training due to securuty reasons, and on the match day, our players were ferried to the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in MILITARY ARMOURED CARRIERS.
However, the spirit of MALAYSIA BOLEH built into our Malaysian players saw them through as the UNDISPUTED FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS of the ASEAN.
Politically, 2010 was a HIGHLY RACIALLY-CHARGED year. Yet, sports appeared to have bounded the nation together, where politics failed. For now, sayonara 2010.
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