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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday, 31 October 2008

Galileo and Leuwenhoek on Article 153.

Sakmongkol wants to share with readers a contribution made by a frequent if not a daily visitor to his blog. This person’s name is Walla- a nom de plume of course. He is an astute and very perceptive observer of a whole range of issues confronting us nowadays. He is a chemistry graduate from University of Malaya, probably with a first class honours or a strong second upper. He has worked at Accenture and now is a consultant and businessman at large. The world is his oyster.

Sakmongkol has touched a little bit on article 153 discussing not at the article proper but our attitude( Malay) to the article. As to the article itself, we shall let the legal minds work on it.

The question which interests Sakmongkol is how do we confront the article? Do Malays want to define themselves in terms of article 153 and the non Malays in turn define themselves in terms of a conscientious objector to 153? Then we are both trapped by these legal devices and paralysed by it at the same time. This prevents all of us, Malays and non Malays from looking beyond article 153. we have conditioned our mind into thinking that this world is flat and that if we venture beyond the peripheries, we will fall into a bottomless abyss.

But let us indulge in Walla’s thesis.

Maybe the big divide is caused by using different tools to look at Art.153.

One half looks at it using a historical telescope. The other half looks at it using a modern-day microscope. The telescope says there was a 'pact' made as an exchange. The microscope says there is no difference between all so why the differentiation, especially when the rationale given to apply the policy also applies to quite a big number of those who apparently don't come under its purview. The Galileo then says what was, is. The Leeuwenhoek retorts ..but what is, is, isn't it?

Yet there is another way to look at it. We ALL go through it one time or other. It's like this. After finishing our education, we apply for our first jobs. But the employer says you must have experience before we can give you the job. That is indeed an odd requirement because if you don't give me a job, how can i get the experience to apply for it or the next one? Macam tu, i will be forever jobless, betul tak?

If one may say, where the NEP has been found wanting is what happens to our jobless friend above after coming out of the interview hall. What does he do then? To get out of the rut, he applies for a lower job - one which doesn't call for his qualification. The second employer would be silly not to give someone the job who is slightly more qualified for it - because that candidate may be able to use his education to improve the method for the next candidate before he leaves. That's how HR progress is made.

And leave he will, after collecting some experience. Now that bundle of experience may not be exactly suited for the job he really has in mind but any open-minded employer will see that this candidate before him wants to succeed in life - and has made a personal sacrifice by not demanding he be given upfront things just because he thinks he's born to it as a right. That's a good attitude because to build that attitude, the candidate has to climb out of himself first. And that's altitude. In the harsh real kucing-makan-kucing world out there, just and not just is just a chimera. What matter are attitude and altitude, attitude by willfully changing one's own mindset, altitude by riding in the cockpit of a eurocopter (kekeke).

Now, those who use the microscopes will be seeing all this quite closely. Closely because they use microscopes lah. They see everything and ask how come? We also go through the no-first experience grindmills of life. If we can do it, you also can. And the fact that many of you have actually done so on your own only add more doubt that the whole shebang has not been applied correctly. Something's wrong.

The other side however worries about such thoughts. Macam ni we will be swarmed before we can be ready to co-exist, furthermore on our own turf. It's a catch-22 situation. If we don't do it, then we will forever not be able to participate in everything. But if we do it, we will end up feeling there's an invisible divide between us all, and that's the final objective which was the original intent to be achieved by the policy in the first place.

The leeuwenhoeks retort. Hey, Galileos, the earth circumnavigates around the Sun, and not the other way around. You proved that. And you also proved the Sun perambulates around the universe. So all this talk about turfs and divide is quite meaningless because out there the real world is much bigger than the frog pond you seem to be looking at only. If we both continue like this, habislah semua.

It's like the postman at the KL Post Office. He's standing there sorting the letters. He sighs and says 'mana ada harapan?' You understand that immediately. But you're in a hurry because the world demands you to be in a hurry and so he will miss the chance to hear you say, hey bro jangan putus harapan tu nanti kena laparan; you sort letters, saya juga; after ni saujana saya kerja sorting letters for a wage much less than yours; during lunch time, to save money, tidak makan tapi baca buku. Step-by-step lah. Baca dulu buku macam Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan to improve your english so that you can acquire more knowledge so that you can apply for better job, dan lain lain.

Everybody sighs and shakes punya kepala (or kelapa, if thirsty) - it's an impasse. So how to get out of the lockjam? When the lock is jammed, cut another key.

Make two parallel tracks. Look for best fit. Whoever, independent of race or background, fits most efficiently into one track, gets into it. Whoever, independent of race or background, fits most efficiently into the other track, gets into that too.

The Galileos will decry. This is elitism. It will divide.

The Leeuwenhoeks answer. But won't you rather the division be made upfront than it happening on its natural course because of human nature later where it really matters - in the places of production, investment, coexistence, nation-building, helping one another independent of artificial constructs?

After pondering this silently for a while, the Galileos say ah you make sense. We are family. It's like one bapa and his children at the dinner table. The Good One has supplied plentiful. Because this bapa has been somewhat productive, his children have different skin colours (cough). So they all partake the food. Ta'kan he gives one more than the other? All the same but some more than the others because they need the energy to toil the land more so that there be more food for the next dinner ..for everyone. But lately some of the children have seen how this bapa has started to, well, rove. He has been, how you say it, 'tarpauing(?)' some of the tastier morsels, and quietly at night when everyone is asleep, slipping out of the house to go and give to his, erh, other family. Like this, atap pun runtuh, betultak?

Anyway, one day because of this global thing lah, there is financial disaster in the country. The Leeuwenhoeks are just able to scrape through because they have saved for many years, and sacrificed a few generations for the future of later ones. The Galileos however because they had little when they started naturally enough didn't save that much, especially when the policy seemed to promise continued inflows. When the financial disaster strikes, the Galileos find that their assets vaporising by the minute. They are in a dilemma. What to do? They decide to firesell everything to the Leeuwenhoeks. We rather trust you than any others because we both played guli by the same frog pond. We know no one else. Take it, buy it from us even at impaired price.

So the Leeuwenhoeks buy the assets at impaired price. The Galileos say hey need to sign S&P agreement tak? The Leeuwenhoeks reply no need lah. After all brothers beat with one heart and if the heart is wrong how can the contract be right? So to cut the story short, after a few years of dire poverty by the Galileos, the Leeuwenhoeks one day appear. They smile and say brother we are back. Here're your assets plus hefty gains, interests, bonuses, dividends, what have you. We sell back to you. Now according to this invisible S&P agreement, you had sold to us at an impaired price. We now sell back to you at the same impaired price. In your kindness, you may want to add a small administrative fee. If not, also alright. But everything goes back to you.

The Galileos are shocked. But you suffer because of the policy and yet you can do this?

The Leeuwenhoeks reply. It's because you didn't constantly remind us that they weren't ours to have in the first place.

The most important things in life, after all, are honour and conscience, not some invisible agreement or, contract.

And the Good One looks down and Says 'Betul!'

31 October 2008 11:00

Sakmongkol hopes Walla’s exposition will stimulate further discussions of this subject.


MalayMind 31 October 2008 at 15:53  

Article 153 is to protect before it's too late.

When we started not in the same starter line, there will be no fair race.

Anonymous,  31 October 2008 at 18:45  

Wahai saintis yang belajar tinggi,. Saya nak tanya kat mana nya kuota bumiputera 30 % yang menjadi kesusahan kapada orang bukan bumiputra dll ? Tolong lah jawab saintis yang IQ tinggi,adekah 30 % itu merampas hak orang bukan Melayu secara ape pun? 30 % bukan 100 % !
Saintis berbangsa Cina yang pandai matematiks dan perakaunan mesti tahu kira bahawa 30 % bukannya sama dengan 100 %.Seingatan saya tiada satu pun Parti Melayu atau orang Melayu minta dan rampas atau sudah rampas kesemua harta asset bisnes bangunan bank kilang ladang hotel gudang loji tanah farmaci warung kedai makan lori kenderaan wang saham rumah perabot emas dan apa saje harta kepunyaan milik orang Cina atau orang lain !!! Kalau ada pengambilaan itu pun pakai duit PNB dll pakai duit cash money dan beli overpriced.Jangan terlupa.Lupa bolih maaf.Tapi jangan main dengan sentimen mentang mentang PM sekarang dah buat “keterbukaan”.
arjuna waspada.

Zawi 31 October 2008 at 18:55  

Dear Datuk,
I would like to congratulate you for the Datukship being conferred upon you. Rest assured your Datukship is worthy of respect unlike the many others which seemed dubious though they are from the same source.
As to Walla, it is a joy to read his comments on your blogs as they were always pertinent and . Little minnows like me feels intimidated to comment lest we stray from the issues at hand.
After half a century being protected, it is high time we be let loose to fend for ourselves. Without the crutches we should be able to run faster and be at par with anybody else.

Anonymous,  31 October 2008 at 19:10  

wow so long lah...can break down in point form...or make it into a youtube?

sakmongkol AK47 aka Mat Tomoi 31 October 2008 at 19:49  

hello readers,
these essays and comments do not suggest the abolition of article 153. my essay did not and walla's comments did not.
my point is to heighten our attitudinal treatment of article 153. will we Malays treat it as of right and demand it be given to us, or do we want to dignify that right by qualifying it with our own positive contribution. suppose all the population in Malaysia is Malay, everyone then has an automatic stake in the right? that right must never be made an excuse not to move our limbs and use our grey matter.
as to material being lengthy, the subject matter requires it to be so.

Anonymous,  31 October 2008 at 21:48  

Bukan ape Jed Yong,buat cakap sikit nanti ada yang kate tak faham.Raja Raja dah keluar statement pun ada orang tak mahu faham.Jadi ramai betul orang malaysia pandai dan bijak dan belajar matematiks dalam bahase ibunda tapi masih tak faham.Bila bagi terang secara lojik dan secara undang atau kenyataan dasar , masih tak faham.Mungkin nak kena "handpalm " baru faham kut ?Ulasan sya bukan nak di permudahkan yang hanye tegok utube.Ini kan blogging.Kalu nak poin fom, masuk kuliah....
arjuna waspada.

mekyam,  1 November 2008 at 11:21  

hi sak and walla,

[first, an aside to walla: ah, you were with accenture! that's some corporate pedigree, sir. padanlah sooo insightful. every time i read you, my sensor says here is an approach from one who knows analysis (probably an expert in modelling and benchmarking), who has a keen ability to look at a situation or problem in the minutest detail and completely holistically, used to training the mind on solutions, not simply on eyeballing faults and cracks, a pedestrian activity all us nitpickers can do. ;D]

i love the galileos and leeuwenhoeks labels and its neat analogy. after all most disagreements in life can be traced to differences in perspectives, betul tak?

and we know that agreement of any sort can be achieved only when perpectives are shared, even if the only point of reconciliation between the parties is that they are viewing the exact same object with different viewscopes.

while i perceive the ending as walla indulging in a bit of wishful thinking, i'm all for it as i think people nowadays can't be reminded enough that honour and conscience are the most important things in life.

in fact, i think i know exactly how to tie this reminder with the whole shared-perspective thang.

here's how...

let's use the 'no free lunch' scenario. a galileo may consider himself honourable not expecting free lunch. meanwhile his lunch partner, a leeuwenhoek, may see it as conscientious of the galileo not to expect the leeuwenhoek to pick up his lunch tab. they inevitably reach the same consensus and walla! -- i mean voilà! "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds" as voltaire had pangloss enjoined for posterity in his 'candide'. ;D

sakmongkol AK47 aka Mat Tomoi 1 November 2008 at 13:36  

ayyo mek yam,

that is why i say you and walla ini merugikan bangsa Malasyia. instead of being able to enjoy and benefit from your analyses, you prefer to shoot from the sides, sort of guerrilla warfare. but nevermind, loss by others is my gain- haha. sakmongkol is selfish when it comes to accumulation wisdoms from here and there. with voltaire and pangloss, you are in yr own league.
if you have time, do visit de minimis. another sterling fellow.

walla 1 November 2008 at 17:34  

Thank you, mekyam (you write beautifully!).

Actually i was fighting myself more than anything while writing it.

And that's because from the bottom of my heart, even allowing for dissenters to be ascerbic and cynical about things, at the end of the day, we remain brothers and sisters.

Which means, if one is down, the others must chip in to help. If the other is down, so too.

It's not about race. Otherwise we all collectively do Him great dishonour.

And that's because He didn't give us a conscience for nothing.

Hope to meet you someday; then saya belanja. I helped out at the nasi-lemak morning stall in TTDI, the one that was tv-ed on the news. Nice hardworking couple; great rendang with kunyit. ;P

mekyam 3 November 2008 at 07:46  

sak, by your leave sir!

walla said... Hope to meet you someday; then saya belanja. I helped out at the nasi-lemak morning stall in TTDI, the one that was tv-ed on the news. Nice hardworking couple; great rendang with kunyit. ;P

i shall look forward to that the next time i'm home for a visit. if en walla belanja, you must allow me to return the kind gesture when you are in my neck of the woods.

i'm not unfamiliar with TTDI, as one of the parental homes is still there (my parents are late though) but i would have no idea which nasi-lemak stall you're referring to. would that be in the old zaaba township or in the newer helmi(?) side?

i love rendang with kunyit. in fact my mouth is now watering thinking of the many choices of lauk when it comes to the morning nasi-lemak back home.

p.s. i would also love to meet with sak and mrs sak, doc a tabib and some others i have exchanged friendly words with in malaysian blogdom.

sakmongkol AK47 aka Mat Tomoi 3 November 2008 at 09:58  

mek yam,
likewise, we are looking forward ro meeting up with you and hubby. then probably we can get to meet up with all other bloggers, walla, katakama etc.

Anonymous,  14 November 2008 at 00:28  

Soalan yang di utarakan itu terjawab walaupun sadikit tetapi bolih di guna sebagai pandu arah pemikiran orang bukan Melayu.
Saorang hartawan dan pemaju perumahan dan harta tanah Lee Kim Yew telah menyuarakan dengan terang dan kuat bahawa quota 30 % untuk bumiputra menghalang syarikat syarikat hartanah yang di kuasai olih bukan Melayu daripada mendapat untung yang lebih besar,malahan merugikan.
Ini lah contoh terbaik,tak cukup dengan kemewahan pangkat kebesaran,nak ambil peruntukkan orang lain pulak.
Tolong pun tidak.
Cadang nak tolong jauh sekali.
Ini pula disusuli olih TPM Najib yang menyatakan syarat pegangan 30 % ekuiti bolih di longgarkan.
Hairan betul, ade orang nak melawat rumah kita ,jadi tetamu kita,kita pulak bagi pelawat tidur percuma,makan percuma,dan bolih runding apa saje,asal menguntung pelawat.
Tuan rumah rugi, "marah balik tuan rumah".
arjuna waspada.

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