潘俭伟反驳狮城巡回大使
马华青追求民主非妄想

(吉隆坡8日讯)民主行动党全国宣传秘书潘俭伟认为,大马华裔青年并不“妄想”,反之,他们是具有灵魂和愿景,追求和塑造一个并非以种族和宗教为定义,以正义、良好管治和民主理想为原则的一个更美好的国家。

他今日发文告针对新加坡外交部巡回大使比拉哈里于6日在新加坡《海峡时报》撰写一篇长达3000字且主题为“马来西亚正在经历一场对新加坡产生深远影响的系统性变革”的文章作出回应。

针对比拉哈里指大马华裔青年相信可以改变以马来人为主导的政局,是“妄想”的有关说辞,他认为,比拉哈里首先需要区分马来人“优势地位”的原则,明显与大多数反对声音质疑的马来人“霸权”有所不同。

“没有人会否认,马来人将主导大马的政治和经济领域,他们将一般上会占据主导地位,因为他们在国内是占大多数。”

新加坡没“华人至上”

他反指也许比拉哈里能对新加坡的差别有更好的理解,因在那里毫无疑问的是由华人主导政治、经济和社会空间的国家,但她并没有转化成为一个“华人至上”的城市国家。

“又或许比拉哈里已忽略的一个事实是,即使民主行动党无可否认地其领袖多数是华人,但行动党全力支持拿督斯里安华为大马的首相人选,安华始终是一位马来人和一位回教徒。”

他说,还有更重要的一点,比拉哈里并没有意识到,反体制情绪和最近的净选盟4大集会与种族完全无关。

“没有一个人在大集会上拿着标语牌或高喊种族需求的口号,那些参与大集会的人,肯定不会看到他们只是代表着自己的民族根源。”

以下为其文告(原文/中文版;英文版在文末):

民主行动党全国宣传秘书兼八打灵再也北区国会议员潘俭伟8-10-2015(星期四)于吉隆坡发表文告,请刊登,谢谢。

马来西亚的年轻华裔青年并不“妄想”,相反的,他们是具有灵魂和愿景,以便追求和塑造一个并非以种族和宗教为定义,而是以正义、良好管治和民主理想为原则的一个更美好的国家。

我要回应新加坡外交部巡回大使比拉哈里(Bilahari Kausikan)于2015年10月6日,在《新加坡海峡》一篇长达3千字且主题为““马来西亚正在经历一场对新加坡产生深远影响的系统性变革”(“Malaysia is undergoing a systemic change that has profound consequences for Singapore”)的撰文。

比拉哈里在他的撰文中,引述华人社群的压倒性反体制情绪,以及总动员出席最近举行的净选盟4.0集会作出分析说:“这是我的印象,许多年轻的马来西亚华裔已经忘记1969年513事件 的教训,以为可以改变以马来人主导的政治。这可能就是为何他们抛弃马华,投向民主行动党。他们是妄想的,马来人将通过各种方式,捍卫他们的主导权。“

事实上,比拉哈里甚至警告说,以上所述可能带来的结果将是“非回教徒的空间变得更小”。

作为新加坡最高层的外交官,不能造成比这个更多的错误。

首先,比拉哈里需要区分马来人“优势地位”(dominance)的原则,明显与大多数反对声音质疑的马来人“霸权”(supremacy)有所不同。没有人会否认,马来人将主导马来西亚的政治和经济领域,他们将一般上会占据主导地位,因为他们在国内是占大多数。

也许比拉哈里能对新加坡内的差别有更好的理解,因为在那里毫无疑问的是由华人主导政治、经济和社会空间;可是,她并没有转化成为一个“华人至上”(Chinese-supremacist)的城市国家。

又或许比拉哈里已经忽略的一个事实是,即便民主行动党无可否认地其领袖多数是华人,但行动党全力支持拿督斯里安华为马来西亚的首相人选。就我们所知道的,安华始终是一位马来人和一位回教徒。

其次和更重要的是,比拉哈里并没有意识到,反体制情绪和最近的净选盟4.0大集会完全与种族无关。没有一个人在大集会上拿着标语牌或高喊种族需求的口号。那些参与大集会的人,肯定不会看到他们只是代表着自己的民族根源。

民众参与大集会,是因为他们渴求一个不是标榜种族和宗教主义的更美好的国家,而是渴望一个通过正义、良好管治和民主理想原则的国家。他们表露出愤怒和沮丧,是因为看到一马公司(1MDB)的数十亿令吉公然地被挥霍和挪用,以及“淫秽”(obscene)的26亿令吉捐款汇入首相的私人银行账户。

比拉哈里宁可选择把一马公司的丑闻框架为拿督斯里纳吉和敦马哈迪医生并列的一场政治斗争,而不是把闹得沸沸扬扬的一马公司丑闻视为一个反贪腐的勇敢斗争。

比拉哈里辩称:“一马公司丑闻的腐败比不上在巫统里面的权力斗争。即便马哈迪已经不是首相,但似乎还希望进行操控。他对其继任者的不满已使到他们与新加坡的关系升温。纳吉决定要解决铁路土地课题,在大马伊斯干达特区进行合作,以及拒绝敦阿都拉和纳吉时期要进行的白象计划:新马弯桥;可是,马哈迪却希望以一个更柔韧的人来取代纳吉。”

比拉哈里指出:“纳吉了解到马来西亚和新加坡需要彼此。到目前为止和异乎寻常的,我们还不是很清楚地知道当中有多少争议。”

以上所述很明显的,尽管纳吉被可耻的数十亿令吉贪腐丑闻纠缠,以及可疑和来历不明的资金不合法地被充作竞选用途,你最好是“与魔鬼进行的交易切割”,但比拉哈里却想要去说服新加坡人。

虽然新加坡人“别无选择,只能在马来西亚内与任何系统或领导者的工作”,但比拉哈里强调说“有些系统将会更容易比其他人工作”。

比拉哈里的看法清楚地展示了新加坡如何作为一个国家,尽管它具有巨大的财富和发达国家的地位,但却完全缺乏道德指南。比拉哈里支持“什么是正确和公正的”,而不是在与新加坡与其邻国的关系上“对我来说是什么”,不管它是如何邪恶或其制度有多麽腐败,这对他来说都是不重要的。

这名新加坡前外交部常任秘书进一步对于希望联盟要击败以巫统为首的国阵表示出轻蔑之意,比拉哈里嘲笑希望联盟作为“一个由民主行动党、人民公正党,以及从伊斯兰党派系中分裂出来的少数份子组成,是一个渺茫的希望(双关语)”。

即便如此,我却以能够看到数以十万计的马来西亚人民在吉隆坡街道过夜,传达要求公正和自由的选举讯息,以及不顾一切地要求执政政府履行诚信和问责制而感到自豪。正是因为这些被指摘为有“妄想症”(delusional)的马来西亚青年具有真正心灵和灵魂,这才是沸腾的希望所在。

在另一方面,比拉哈里辩解的自私和傲慢看法,仅能巩固新加坡是东南亚的可鄙的夏洛克的印象。比拉哈里在其撰文的总结中发出微妙的警告说:“这不是邻里中最有益健康的”。我不得不去翻查辞典寻找“salubrious”(有益健康)这个字的意思,它意指“健康的、有益的或舒适的(healthy, wholesome or pleasant)”的。

比拉哈里的说法恰好地具有讽刺意味。这犹如“当他看到隔壁的居民在光化日之下抢劫盲人,而他却毫不掩饰地锁紧他自己的所有门窗,他与邻居肯定不能做一个‘有益健康’的邻里”。

Media Statement by Tony Pua, DAP National Publicity Secretary and Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 8 October 2015:

The young Chinese community in Malaysia are not “delusional”, they are Malaysians with souls and aspirations for a better country defined not by race or religion, but by the principles of justice, good governance and democratic ideals

I refer to the lengthy 3,000-word opinion piece by Singapore’s Ambassador-at-large, Bilahari Kausikan entitled “Malaysia is undergoing a systemic change that has profound consequences for Singapore” dated 6 October 2015 published in The Singapore Straits Times.

Mr Bilahari wrote in his analytical piece, referring to the overwhelming anti-establishment sentiment of the Chinese community and the turnout at the recent Bersih4 rally, that

It is my impression that many young Malaysian Chinese have forgotten the lessons of May 13, 1969. They naively believe that the system built around the principle of Malay dominance can be changed. That may be why they abandoned MCA for the DAP. They are delusional. Malay dominance will be defended by any means.

In fact, he even warned that the likely outcome of the above will be “even less space for non-Muslims”.

The top Singapore diplomat could not have gotten it more wrong.

Firstly, Mr Bilahari needs to distinguish the principle of Malay “dominance” which is significantly different from Malay “supremacy” contested by most opposition voices. No one denies that Malays will dominate the sphere of politics and economy in Malaysia. They will generally dominate purely because they comprise of the majority in the country.

Perhaps Mr Bilahari can understand the distinction better in the context of Singapore, where the Chinese indisputably dominates the political, economic and social space. However, that does not translate into a Chinese-supremacist city state.

And perhaps Mr Bilahari has overlooked that fact that even the DAP, whose leaders are undeniably comprised of a Chinese majority, fully support Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the Prime Minister candidate for Malaysia. As far as we can tell, Anwar is and has always been a Malay and a Muslim.

Secondly and more crucially, Mr Bilahari failed to recognise that the anti-establishment sentiment and the recent Bersih4 rally isn’t at all about race. No one went to the mega-rally holding placards or shouting slogans making racial demands. Those who attended the rally certainly did not see themselves present to represent their ethnic roots.

They took part in the rally because they aspire for a better country defined not by race or religion, but by the principles of justice, good governance and democratic ideals. They were angry, frustrated and galvanised to act in the light of the tens of billions of ringgit embezzled and misappropriated by 1MDB, as well as the obscene RM2.6 billion donation deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal bank account.

Instead of seeing the uproar against 1MDB as a courageous fight against corruption, Mr Bilahari chose to frame the 1MDB scandal as a political fight by juxtaposing Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed. He argued that

[t]he 1MDB scandal is less about corruption than about a struggle for power within Umno. Dr Mahathir seems to have expected to exercise remote control even though he was no longer prime minister. Among his grievances with his successors were their warming of ties with Singapore, Mr Najib’s decision to settle the railway land issue, cooperation on Iskandar Malaysia (IM) and the refusal of both Tun Abdullah Badawi and Mr Najib to proceed with his pet white elephant: the “crooked bridge”. Dr Mahathir wants to replace Mr Najib with someone more pliable.

Mr Najib understands that Malaysia and Singapore need each other. So far and unusually we have not figured very much in the controversies.

It is clear from the above, Mr Bilahari wanted to persuade Singaporeans that despite the disgraceful multi-billion ringgit corruption scandal Mr Najib is entangled with and his less than legitimate election to office with funds sourced from dubious unknown sources, it is better the devil you can cut deals with.

While Singaporeans “have no choice but to work with whatever system or leader emerges in Malaysia”, he emphasized that “some systems will be easier to work with than others”.

Clearly as the Ambassador-at-large, Mr Bilahari’s views demonstrate how Singapore as a country, despite its enormous wealth and developed nation status, completely lacks a moral compass. It is less important for him to support “what is right and just”, as opposed to “what is in it for me” in Singapore’s relations with its neighbours, regardless of how evil or corrupt a regime is.

The former permanent secretary for Foreign Affairs further poured scorn on the attempts to defeat UMNO-led Barisan Nasional by mocking Pakatan Harapan as “a coalition of the DAP, Keadilan and a minor breakaway faction from PAS, is a forlorn hope (pun intended)”.

Conversely, I’m proud to be a Malaysian to see hundreds of thousands of Malaysians march the streets of Kuala Lumpur to demand free and fair elections, integrity and accountability from the ruling government against all odds. This is because these allegedly “delusional” young Malaysians actually have hearts and souls. This is where hope is effervescent.

On the other hand, Mr Bilahari’s unapologetically selfish and arrogant views only cements the perception of Singapore as the contemptible Shylock of Southeast Asia. He concluded his thesis with a subtle warning that “[t]his is not the most salubrious of neighbourhoods”. I had to look up the meaning of the world “salubrious” in the dictionary. It means “healthy, wholesome or pleasant”.

Mr Bilahari is ironically spot on. It certainly doesn’t make a “salubrious” neighbourhood with a neighbour who unabashedly locks all his own doors and windows when he sees the resident next door robbed blind in broad daylight.

Tony Pua

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