Not the time to be struck by Datuk Onn syndrome
GERAKAN should get an award for being relentlessly idealistic.
For quite some years now, the party has established a rather distinctive sound when voicing its stand on matters pertaining to openness and multi-ethnicity - Bangsa Malaysia, open dialogues on sensitive matters, secularism and, three days ago, renewing its call for the multi-component Barisan Nasional to merge into one party.
At the party's youth assembly, its Youth chief, Datuk Mah Siew Kong, said all 14 parties in the ruling coalition should be consolidated so that race would cease to be an issue in Malaysia.
"The future of national unity is far more important than winning more votes in an election. Gerakan Youth believes that after 50 years of independence, we should take the first step to unite all component parties into one big party."
Mah added that the creation of one party from a coalition of all component parties would need much effort, commitment and co-operation from everyone.
Well put (again), Gerakan. Many Malaysians would agree that, after 50 years of Merdeka and looking at the fact that racial tones are obsolete in many countries, this is the way to go.
But realistically speaking, many Malaysians also know that, given how most of the country's politicians operate, this is not going to happen, not in our lifetime at least.
The political system will not easily allow it to happen, no matter how receptive some leaders may spontaneously appear to be at the suggestion.
Since most political parties here are race-based and founded on ideologies that are built on the foundation targeted to benefit the struggles of a particular community, these politicians have no choice but to live up to these ideals.
They sometimes even thrive on issues that require them to throw in the race card to score brownie points. And it is quite clear that for many, it would be political suicide to detach themselves from these struggles.
They would not want to be caught in what is called the Datuk Onn syndrome - the political death knell suffered by Umno's founding father Datuk Onn Jaafar when he tried to open the party's membership to non-Malays.
Even such an iconic and respected political personality as him could not withstand the onslaught of race consciousness that backfired on him.
His subsequent attempt at setting up multiracial parties - the Independence of Malaya Party and Parti Negara - landed him in the political heap we all know now.
Try again, Gerakan.
The second one and as expected, is non other than from The Instigator Paper's Awang Selamat:
BISIK-BISIK AWANG SELAMAT
SETIAP kali ada perhimpunan agung parti politik, pasti ada sahaja tuntutan, permintaan dan cadangan. Ia memang lumrah dalam senario politik.
Terbaru, Pemuda Gerakan mahu 14 komponen Barisan Nasional (BN) bergabung sebagai satu parti atas alasan mahu agenda perpaduan nasional dicapai sepenuhnya.
Awang ambil semangat positif dalam menilai cadangan itu namun merasakan bahawa ia tidak praktikal.
Sebab itu, Awang lega cadangan itu ditolak oleh Perdana Menteri, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, yang juga Pengerusi BN.
Sebenarnya kita masih berdepan dengan cabaran yang kompleks terutama berkaitan perjuangan berteraskan perkauman mengikut parti masing-masing.
Itulah realitinya. Bayangkan sahaja bahasa kebangsaan dan sekolah aliran perdana masih belum diterima secara total sebagai elemen perpaduan di negara kita. Sedangkan kekangan sedemikian tidak berlaku di negara lain.
Selagi pendekatan itu tidak berubah, selagi itulah penggabungan sukar tercapai. Pun begitu, Awang percaya tanpa penggabungan, BN masih mampu meningkatkan kematangan mencapai perpaduan nasional, biarpun secara perlahan-lahan.
Awang – Ada formula lain.
Yeah, try to follow more like that spanking new EIC in publishing a letter by their political master, seeing every matter in a racial manner - Chinese patient, Malay donor, Malay staff.