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Sakmongkol ak 47

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

No Man is an Island

I wrote earlier on my take on Khalid Ibrahim. I seek to examine his actual motives for proposing that UITM offers admission to non Malay students.

As to the opening up of UITM to non Malays, that is another matter. We have to examine the merits of accepting such a proposal. It has nothing to do with having to prove we are racist or otherwise.

Already the MRSM colleges have begun accepting non Malays into their midst. Most of these come from average non-Malay parents. Meaning, they are not the rich kids from rich families.

One positive impact from admitting these students was to foster an increase in interpersonal skills. It is good to inculcate tolerance at the young and tender age. The younger citizens of this country are impressionable and can unlearn what prejudices we adults have adopted.

The other positive aspect is you introduce competition. It is beneficial I think if you pit the best and brightest Malay boys and girls with the brightest non Malays. Competition brings out the best in all of us.

If we are to build a genuine bangsa Malaysia, I think it is incumbent upon us to adopt a little more open and tolerant mindset.

I think those people in UITM are also responsible people. Their uncompromising attitude is shaped more by the emotional attachment that UITM is the last bastion of Malay nationalism. It is the last thing, we can honestly regard as pure Malay in its entirety. We need to learn to respect this.

Other than being a refuge of certain kinds of people under which nationalism is the safe house of choice, I must ask the well meaning people in UITM to search their conscience.

Does it serve the wider Malay interest if we remain an island? Many of us non Christians even, will remember John Donne;

"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

But then it’s not good for the Malay amour propre not to have UITM in its present form.


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