A nation is made of many races, in any country. There is no country in the world that is absolutely homogenous. The homogeneity is usually borne out of symbiotic association.
The Chinese are a race of many different dialects, who have graduated from calling each dialect a race and consider all dialects to be Chinese, although one really cannot understand what the other is saying. If left to themselves, the Chinese would have fought among themselves over their dialects. And they did.
I am sure that this aggregation of convenience occurs among the other races in Malaysia, although I will not delve into them.
Except to mention that in Sarawak, it will do the indigenous people much good if they are willing to subsume their individual language under a larger agenda. But the way things are, given the education system, it will be that Malay will dominate as the national language and everyone else has to speak plus English. There is much to be said however about the preservation of ethnic cultures of all language/dialect groups in the nation, if only to remember the roots of where we all come from.
But looking ahead in forging the identity of the nation, it will do well that the Nation has an identity that is a composite of as many of the key and good elements of all of us.
We have already seen the successful amalgamation of religion with race, whether the key identity of the race is religion. But even then, with the religion, not all races are the same. In other races, we see of religions being practiced within a race. This integration of various elements in a race occurs naturally according to the fancy of each individual of each race and therefore cannot be stopped. To do so will be to ostracize an individual as an outsider and not be a member of the inner fold.
A political party therefore is no different from a club whereby membership requires a fee and there are benefits to be derived from being a member. How the nation has been and is being divided is that the holders of positions in the club stand to be elevated so that command by the club over the whole of society can be maintained, with the club imposing its values on everybody.
The club is as good as what it can deliver to its members. If the club fails to deliver to its members, its members will leave.
Other clubs will also rise looking for members, peddling probably the same old stuff of the old club but with a twist - that new members have a chance to be part of the core team. The community therefore splinters into different groups.
But what is the catch for everybody? It is nothing but money and wealth. It is telling that one old guard could declare since we have not managed to make everybody a millionaire, at least we have made a few people billionaire, including himself and his friend, of course. It is all about money.
It is of course true that everybody is in it for the money. You and I and everybody else, because this is the construct of our present society - that we need money to survive. But money for wealth sake is an entirely different kettle of fish - it is about greed and jealousy and domination.
So it is therefore no mystery why politics is couched in racial terms as a means to obtaining the monopoly on wealth. It is about the distribution of wealth. Wealth distributed through projects and it is not surprising that public projects are big projects financed by debt, and this debt is to be reduced by extracting as much as possible from the general public in terms of taxes and reduction in subsidies.
The distribution of wealth in this country is therefore a direct result of the government policy to redistribute wealth directly, at the expense of growth. This policy is leading the nation downhill. When an elite can be made rich and the rest should pay for it. Those who are poor will be given handouts in order to keep them quiet.
The key to economic prosperity is always through economic growth. Through savings and investments and hard work to make a success out of their ventures. It will be a combined effort of skills as well as acumen in business to know the business terrain and to compete. This is what makes a nation tough. But a government that looks jealously at the successful businessmen and say I must have a share of your success without your losses is a recipe for national failure.
Where is the entry point for young people into the economy when the government creates companies that dominate the economy. The structure of the economy is fixed by the politics. The rest, if they want to succeed, must go underground to create an alternative economy.
The obsession of wealth distribution over economic growth leads to the result that is to be expected. That wealth will be distributed and growth will decline.
It is a perverse strategy that to try to keep the economic growth up, the government brings in a foreign third force - foreign direct investments, after having stifled local direct investment. The success of local direct investment will be seen in the form of local physical assets and hence a display of wealth which jars the eyes of politicians. Foreign direct investments merely take their profits out, leaving behind a skeleton physical structure which they are always willing to let go. And the building of infrastructure for foreign direct investment is paid for by the general public in the form of taxes and reduction in subsidies.
With everybody now quite comfortable with handouts, small businesses suffer a shortage of manpower and the only solution seems to be to import foreign workers. There are now many foreign workers, which is leading to a second wave of immigration (issue of citizenship yet again). I should think this second wave is good for the nation, in terms of economic growth. Whether it is good for racial politics or not is something that is left to be seen. We really have to think seriously about our nation.