29 Aug 2017

Manifesto for a Better Malaysia

Manifesto for a Better Malaysia

“Why the next Prime Minister of Malaysia should be
an Indian without having to be a Malay first”

By: Uthaya Sankar SB

Dear beloved, precious, fully appreciated Rakyat,

People have been talking about Ubah – or Change – perhaps since 1999.

Now, let me tell you about the real change. The ultimate change that would change everything. The change that would bring the expected and the unexpected change in everything changeable in this ever changing Bolehland.

Yes, this is the real change – the real Transformasi Nasional – that the country needs: A Prime Minister of Indian origin, without having to become a Malay first by conversion.

How could a non-Malay become a Prime Minister, you ask?

Well, in Sejarah Melayu – the Malay Annals – the Bendahara has always been someone of Indian origin. The famous Tun Perak, and Tun Sri Lanang for example.

And in case you are wondering: Bendahara in the Malacca Sultanate is what we now call Perdana Menteri or Prime Minister.

Even the title “Perdana Menteri” is of Indian origin: pardana mantiri. Head of the ministers.

Rakyat jelata yang budiman, agamawan, dermawan dan angkasawan,

Trust me, so many things would change once we have a Prime Minister of Indian origin.

Could you imagine anyone digging personal information from the National Registration Department and making a statement like this: “Do you know that this candidate, this Prime Minister, is of Indian origin, and his actual name is Uthaya Sankar SB anak lelaki …?”

Could you imagine anyone coming up to a Prime Minister of Indian origin and calling him “Hoi, keling”? No, for two obvious reasons. One, because I am not a Keling with the Kalinga Empire origin. But mind you, my great grandfather and Tun Mahathir’s grandfather might have travelled in the same ship from Kerala.

Reason number two: if anyone dares to call a Prime Minister a “keling” … as the Queen of Hearts would say, “Off with his head!”

But anyway, it’s a known fact that people of Indian origin are very humble and very flexible – if I may say so myself. You wouldn’t have any problem in seeing a Prime Minister of Indian origin attending and taking part in any cultural and religious events, even when it’s a non-election year.

There wouldn’t be any moral police and religious authorities to stop me from being a real Prime Minister to all the citizen, regardless of race and religion and sexual orientation. Now we are talking about the true spirit of Satu Malaysia! Meraikan kepelbagaian. Celebrating diversity.

Dear Malaysians and imaginary friends,

As long as we have a Malay politician from UMNO as our Prime Minister, whenever he or Putrajaya talk about “people’s unity”, what they really mean and what the majority understands is “people need to be united under the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO)”.

Once a person of Indian origin becomes a Prime Minister without him having to become a Malay-Muslim first, he would talk – and walk the talk – for the real national unity and the real national integration. No strings attached.

Why? Because the Malays are still the majority, and the Indians are still the minority (right below the Bangladeshis in the list). So, a Prime Minister of Indian origin would know how to actually find a sustainable balance in creating a real “Bangsa Malaysia”. And in keeping everyone happy. As my lobbyist would say, “A happy ending awaits you.”

Now, what I’m going to say next might hurt some of you, but a fact is a fact. You would never ever see a MIC guy becoming a Prime Minister. You need a non-MIC, non-Barisan Nasional, non-PKR, non-DAP person of Indian origin to have the guts to be the next Prime Minister for the real Change to happen.

Mind you. We are not going against the Constitution. We are neither questioning nor abolishing any special privileges. The Yang Di-Pertuan Agung, the Sultans and the Rajas are there to fully protect all the rights and special privileges.

So, why do YOU need a Prime Minister of Indian origin? Well, perhaps to finally have someone who would actually work not for his wife, but for the Rakyat.

Thank you.

[This fiction was written and presented by Uthaya Sankar SB at the Arts for Grab and KL Alternative Bookfest in conjunction with The Cooler Lumpur Festival on 20 August 2017 at Publika. The event also featured Amir Muhammad, Jo Kukathas, FS Saad, June Tan, Zurairi Abd Rahman, Nivetha Sri Shanker, and Anthony Chong.]

Uthaya Sankar SB graduated from University of Malaya in 1998. He has worked with Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) and lectured in a few colleges (1996-2010). Currently, Uthaya is a freelance writer, editor and consultant. He is keen in doing research and writing about Indian culture in Bahasa Malaysia. His recent books include Pulau Pendatang (2015), Nari! Nari! (2015), Malaiur Manikam (2015) and Mandala Bicara (2016). Uthaya has always been a controversial figure in the Malaysian literary scene for his outspokenness on many issues. He is the founder of Kumpulan Sasterawan Kavyan (Kavyan Writers’ Group) which has been actively organising language, literature, arts and cultural events throughout the country since 1999. Uthaya says that he’d rather die than become a politician. [Read more]