Lets go back more than 100 years ago and look at how an author from the colonialist, Britain described the people in Malaysia (it was still Malaya then).
In 1907, Britain occupied Malaya with a 'divide and rule' tactic. British divided the 3 major races in Malaya and compartmentalized them in their respective racial group. Inter-racial communications were restricted. British was the 'boss' and played the central roles to 'safeguard' welfare of each race. British further branded or stereotyped each race with a degrading 'weakness', and manipulated it to stoke strong dislikes or contempt of one race towards another.
Hence, there was a common branding of a Malay was idler. Chinaman or Chinese was known as a thief. Indian was deemed a drunkard. This was part of the British tactic of 'divide and rule' in Malaya.
Lets fast-forward 107 years to the present day in 2014. Malaya gained independence in 1957 and Malaysia was formed in 1963. One would have thought that this British 'divide and rule' tactic should only be part of history since Malaysia is now an independent country for more than 50 years. Should you think so, you would have been misled.
In 2014, the ruling regime in Malaysia, formed by Barisan Nasional (BN) coallition, which is dominated by United Malays National Organisation (Umno), pretty much practise the same governance by using the same racial divisive branding for Malay, Chinese and Indian. Seriously?!?
Mahathir, the former prime minister of Malaysia but still an active Umno member, openly say Malays are lazy in 2014. Idler branding for Malay has been around all along and is still widespread today. An idler mean a lazy person.
Branding for Chinese has progressed from thief into gambler, greedy person and even Pendatang (foreign immigrant). A Malaysian of Chinese ethnic can be called a Pendatang by NGOs linked to Umno even though he or she is born in Malaysia as a full-fledged Malaysian citizen.
The drunkard connotation for Indian has not changed for the past 100 years. Indian is still branded as 'kaki botol' today. It is a Malay phrase for drunkard. Government agency of this ruling regime is reported to be still using 'kaki botol' to describe Indian.
The key question is why should the ruling regime in Malaysia still be practicing this irresponsible colonialist governance of 'divide and rule'? Multi-racial Malaysians have evolved over time to live happily with each other. Malaysians in general love their neighbours and disdain racial extremists. Here lies the problem with Umno. Umno started and continued to exist on the self proclaimed purpose of 'safeguarding' Malays. Now that Malays do not need the so called 'safeguard' anymore, Umno has lost its purpose of existence.
It is clear that this ruling regime is not interested in racial harmony and civil peace in Malaysia. It is more interested in prolonging its firm hold on power in disregard for the interest of overall Malaysians. Umno dominated government in Malaysia is still behaving like a colonialist in its very own country. This is puzzling.
The ruling regime, which effectively controlled by Umno, seems to be uncomfortable with this in fear of losing grip on power. Its dated 'divide and rule' tactic has not been working as well as before. The government itself is known to be in many occasions provoking racial discontent among its own people to justify its existence and support from Malays. Should Malays or Malaysians allow this to happen? Malaysia is at its critical crossroad. Share your views.