The Power Of SMS


Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 17, 2009


Written by: Dr Agoes Salim, an economist and first secretary-general of the National Unity Ministry. He is also the former chairman of Bank Pertanian. He was on the public service secretariat of the National Operations Council following the riots and helped draw up both the Rukun Negara and the NEP. Edited by The Mighty Pen website for this website’s use.

I think we are farther apart now than we were in 1969. But you have to remember that I grew up going to an English school, to a university where there were people of all races. At that time, although we did think in terms of race, it wasn’t in the way people do now. We felt that we were Malayans. We socialised much better than we do now. Bahasa Malaysia can be a unifying factor. But it can be a factor separating people, too. As Sukarno would say, “The important thing is the jiwa.”

You don’t have to have a common language, if you have the same jiwa (heart, spirit, passion, image devotion). This is what we don’t have right now.

In 1956, the historical society of Universiti Malaya went to India. There were lots of Indians in the group, but they didn’t think of themselves as Indians, they thought of themselves as Malayans. That’s the jiwa.

But later on, because of certain reactions, suddenly people stayed away from this jiwa — they don’t feel as though they are fully Malaysians. They are made to feel that way.

When I was in the service, there were lots of non-Malays in the civil service, holding good positions. But do you see them now? If you go to the universities, where are the non-Malay professors?


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