Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Marginalised vs Mainstream vs Elite

Will there be chaos in Malaysia? With everybody up in arms against each other, and things coming to a head?

The old thinking is that there was a social contract between two groups - citizenship for special privileges. That was one generation ago. The old generation of one group is very old, and some members may have already died. The old generation of the other group has enjoyed the special privileges. The only stirrer now appears to be an old man telling stories about the old compromise.

The new thinking of the new generation of the two groups is that nobody wants to be marginalised. One group does not want to be marginalised in the land of their forefathers. The old group does not want to be marginalised in the land in which he is born.

The question now is how not to be marginalised. In other words, how do members of society participate in the mainstream of economic life without being marginalised through penalisation.

Now, members of both groups fear marginalisation. This means that a third group has taken the ball and run off. The system must change so that the elite group will not monopolise the economic gains through quotas and licences. There is a genuine need to provide a better set of redressal measures to bring marginalised groups into the economic mainstream. The political power can stay with the descendents of the soil.

Now, it is unfair to blame the guy who has to clear up the mess, instead of the mess created by his predecessors.

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