Mariam Mokhtar: Muhyiddin, Maruah and Malay Dignity

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I know who is destroying the Malays, but do you?

Trying to decipher the Malay psyche is not difficult, because it all boils down to Malay maruah, or dignity. In other words, ego.

Hari Anggara

When I asked some Malays, what holds the “other” Malays back, their answers include greed. The Malay insolence. Being too lazy to read and discover facts. They are master procrastinators who prefer to wait for God and the afterlife to punish wrongdoers. Their word is not their bond, and they think they know best.

The Malay has delusions of grandeur, and this affliction has been fed by Umno-Baru. The lives of those under 40 years have been conditioned by the three “Rs”. If you’re Malay, you are taken care of from the cradle to the grave. If you are part of the VVIP set or belong to an elite political group, you are practically an “untouchable” and can do no wrong. If you’re non-Malay, you must toe the line.

For the past 60 years, the politicians from Umno, Umno-Baru and recently, PAS, together with their cybertroopers, have brainwashed Malays with the mantra, “The Malays need protecting; Islam needs to be defended”. The non-Malays and the progressive Malays, whom they term liberal or deviant, are openly mocked.

When we asked, whom or what was threatening the Malays and Islam, no response was forthcoming.

Today, many Malays are euphoric because their idol, Muhyiddin Yassin, has made their dreams of a Malay/Muslim cabinet (minus the token few non-Malays), a reality.

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To the rest of us, Muhyiddin’s leadership is an insult. He may think he has the mandate to rule, but he does not have our trust, nor is he fit for the task.

At the 14th general election (GE14), Pakatan Harapan had the will of the people behind them, but Muhyiddin will today claim that he has the ear of the King. Recently, the sultans of Johore, Perak and possibly Kedah, had to “choose” their menteris besar.

So, why don’t we just get rid of all politicians, as they are redundant and superfluous to our needs? These politicians who are indecisive and cannot keep hiding behind the hems of the royals.

Those Malays who adore Muhyiddin probably envisage a Golden Age of Melayu, in the same way as the Golden Age of Islam signalled a period of cultural, economic and scientific advancements, when Greek scholars and Arab academicians exchanged ideas between the 8th and 14th centuries.

This will never happen because in 21st Century Malaysia, many Malays think that fluency in other languages, including English, is unpatriotic, and Malay leaders can’t handle the fact that an advanced Hindu-Buddhist civilisation, in the Bujang Valley in Kedah, predated the Malacca sultanate.

Freedom of speech has been curbed

Impatient Malaysians, who wanted to punish Harapan for failing to implement the reforms quickly enough, now suffer under Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN).

It is a worse regime than Umno-Baru/BN. Freedom of speech has been curbed. A police state is emerging. Incompetent people run public institutions as a reward for their loyalty.

Under Harapan, disgraced Najib Abdul Razak, his spouse, the self-styled former First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM) and Najib’s former deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption charges were brought to court.

Under Harapan, the allegations about former defence minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, and his ministry’s land sales were being investigated. Today, Hishammuddin has returned to the cabinet. So, will every allegation be forgotten?

It has been alleged that the former FLOM made demands to business people, in exchange for government contracts. Zahid allegedly benefited from the importation of migrant workers from Bangladesh; Adnan Mansor allegedly sold prime real estate, in Kuala Lumpur, to foreign buyers; and the former chairperson of Tabung Haji, Abdul Azeez Raheem, is allegedly involved in money laundering over government contracts. Will these allegations also be swept under the carpet?

The latest scandal in our courts should jolt the conscience of the Malays who support Muhyiddin. Riza Abdul Aziz the stepson of disgraced Najib, has been given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) for money laundering involving US$258 million (RM1.121 billion) linked to 1MDB funds. The DNAA is conditional upon the return of some of the foreign assets linked to this alleged crime. Or will Riza be returned to court, if he fails to repay the money?

Do the Malays who approve of Muhyiddin understand the gravity of the message that is being sent to the rakyat – that crime does pay?

Under Muhyiddin, people with connections, receive preferential treatment.

Two weeks ago, the daughter of a senior politician from Umno-Baru received a fine of RM800, for flouting the coronavirus lockdown order, and yet, a single mother, charged with the same offence, spent eight days in jail before her appeal, after which she was fined RM1,000.

The Malay leaders and heads of department openly abuse the trust and goodwill of the rakyat. They have probably declared that no son or daughter of a prominent Malay family will face jail, so as to preserve the dignity of the Malays, irrespective of any wrongdoing.

So, after all the hard work of promoting change for a better Malaysia, some Malays just want to save Malay face and are prepared to stitch-up the rakyat.

After all that has transpired, many Malays still believe that the country will be imperilled, by the DAP, the Christians, the Chinese, or the communists.

Do you still need to be told who will destroy the Malays? – Rebuilding Malaysia