Don T Barter Sovereignty For The China Card
From Collins Chong
A true adherence to the spirit of Merdeka would mean complete freedom from fear and threats and autonomy to dictate our own policies in securing our interests and sovereignty.
The reality is that we have been largely at the mercy of external demands that require our acceptance of some form of adherence and quid pro quo in exchange for assurances, and to meet urgent internal needs.
Changes in our foreign policy orientation from being pro-west to nonalignment and maintaining the stance of centrality, has produced some mixed results as well as dwindling prospects.
Our current entrenched dependence on China reflects the vulnerability of our future resilience and the limited options and openings available to exercise our interests.
The enticing lure of easy capital and the relatively easy requirements for capital and resource inflow result in the start of a perfect storm in trading our future strategic interests for urgent current needs, politically or otherwise.
Growing sentiment locally, especially among the Malaysian Chinese populace, of equating criticism of China to the west’s containment efforts has created a cycle of ignorance of the risks involved.
This yearning to affiliate with Beijing has resulted in dangerous and risky overtures and blind acceptance of all the narratives churned out by Beijing to the detriment of our principles and values.
Many have been upset by the call for greater and strategic review of our ties with China, citing the importance of Beijing to our interests and salvaging our economic lifeline. Critics, especially those from within the Malaysian Chinese community, have been accused of being unfaithful to their own roots and traitors to the cause of their community.
One of the arguments is that China is our neighbour and is here to stay, at least geographically, and that we have no choice but to preserve our current status quo for long-term stability.
But we Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, have no obligation or duty to pander to any foreign player’s intention and agenda, irrespective of historical affiliation. Especially not given China’s incursions into our airspace, constant coercive tactics in disputed waters and increased propaganda.
We definitely are unable to choose our neighbours, but we are in control of ensuring that our long-term security and interests are secure. We have to welcome – but discreetly – western counterbalance measures in military and security.
Our own policymakers are deeply aware of the current predicament – of keeping the status quo in ensuring our short-term goals are met at the potential expense to our long-term interests – but alas, their hands are tied by prevailing circumstances.
But we should not forget our patriotic duty to the sovereignty of the nation. This Merdeka Day, we should reaffirm our non-negotiable and unshakeable faith and commitment to our beloved country.
Happy Merdeka, Malaysia. - FMT
Collins Chong is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.
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