3:37pm Mon Nov 18th, 2002

Dream on for a 'Malaysian race'
YW Yeoh

A reader suggested that Malaysians should embrace a common identity. I agree
whole-heartedly except this will never be the government's goal.

Why? Assuming a common Malaysian identity would ruin the government's
discriminatory 'divide-and-rule' policy. Ironically, because of this,
non-Malay Malaysians need never fear that they will ever be required or even
allowed to use 'national' names as had been the case in Thailand, Indonesia
and the Philippines, in the past.

The neighbours do not require their different ethnic groups to maintain
their separate identities as they do not have institutionalised
discrimination on the same scale. Ironically, these other nations have
progressively liberalise and whittled down discrimination against minorities
while Malaysia has been going the opposite direction.

In Malaysia, even public shares allotments in initial public offerings are
race-based. Similarly for employment, university places, etc.

I know for a fact that non-Muslims are not allowed to give their children
Malay/Muslim names. They are required to give their children Chinese, Indian
or Eurasian names as the case may be.

Is it not abundantly clear that the government is not interested in a
Malaysian identity as this would jeopardise its racist, hypocritical