Mariam Mokhtar: Do Malays Know What They Want?

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I don’t know the answer to the question, “Do Malays really know what they want?”.

You will have to ask them yourself, but a lot depends on his upbringing, his education, his religious indoctrination, his social circle, his insecurity and his gullibility or naivety.

Pseudo Malays

Solving Malaysia’s internal problems lies with the Malay.

He belongs to the majority race, but he behaves as if he is in the minority, consumed by the irrational fear that his way of life and religion are under threat.

Malay leaders have failed him, with their corruption and involvement in crime, but 63 years of political brainwashing compounded by 50 years of intense religious indoctrination, prevent him from trusting a non-Malay.

Although many Malays are brought up with a strong moral compass and know the difference between right and wrong, many adult Malays turn a blind eye to the injustice, abuse of power and corruption that is destroying Malaysia. Why?

Is the answer self-preservation? Is the Malay prepared to sacrifice integrity and self-respect, as long as he keeps his job (especially civil servants), his pension and is not ostracised by society?

Are Malays reluctant to answer ‘that’ question for the following reasons?

Loss of Community Interaction

After Merdeka, the evolution from agriculture to manufacturing saw a migration from rural to urban areas for jobs. The Malays once lived in houses surrounded by fruit trees and herbs. Families who moved into flats in towns, for work, found that a staircase and landing was no substitute for a gap in the garden hedge in the kampung, where they would gossip with their neighbour. Urban living deprived them of active community interaction.

Social Isolation

“No man is an island” (John Donne), but many Malays have been metaphorically isolated from others in their community by selfish leaders. The Malays have been told they are ‘superior’ and given special allocations in social housing, scholarships, and houses of worship.

Inability to Communicate

Our needs are not just food and shelter.  The Malay is told he is ‘superior’, but when his world falls apart, if he is passed-over for promotion, fails to make the academic grade, is abused, or loses his job, from whom should he seek solace and advice? Many Malays are conditioned to bottle-up their emotions and not bring shame on their families. When the bottle overflows, the Malay runs amok.

Loss of Identity

The Malay was happy until some ulamas joined the politicians in the battle for the control of the Malay mind. Malay creativity in dance, song and acting, was strangled, when the arts and culture scene was decimated by conservative ulamas.

The Malay has lost his identity. He litters his speech with Arabic phrases, dons Arabic clothing, and gives his children Arabic names.

Negative Image/Messages

Malays are constantly reminded about the communist (always Chinese) atrocities committed during the Japanese Occupation, and that they will become extinct, if they allow other races to dominate.

Leaders refuse to encourage different races to work together as a team or learn from one another’s experiences.

Living in Denial

In the 1970s, the Malaysian economy was on par with other Asian Tigers, like South Korea and Taiwan; but today, these nations have become advanced, high-income nations, competing on the world stage.

Malaysians have been left behind and are still scrabbling in the dirt, demanding more Malay rights, increased representation and higher Malay quotas.

Cherry-Picking Home-Grown Talent

Our education was once one of the best in Asia. Many Asian countries recognise the intellectual abilities of their home-grown talent and retain them to develop their countries; however, Malay patronage means that the children of elite or well-connected Malays usually receive recognition. To fulfil their ambitions, many non-Malays and Malays who do not fit the Umno-Baru mould, have left, vowing never to return.

Hardship

Millions have lost their jobs because of the economic recession brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic. It will turn ugly, when the Malay elite start squabbling amongst themselves.

Oppression

Think JAKIM and the various laws, like the Sedition Law, which are used to silence people. Malay leaders must stop the Malays who dare to express themselves. Their power comes from being able to control the Malay community and fear that outspoken Malays may inspire others.

Disempowerment

The average Malay is confused. Many Malays live the life that the government has decided for them, and not the life that they would want to make. They lack power over their own lives. For some of them, life has little meaning, despite the four wives, the children and the government handouts.

Lack of Focus

Many Malays have ambition but are held back. Usually because other Malays see them as a threat, or want to be like them, but lack the drive of the people they envy. The solution is to forge ahead, but few Malays are willing to upset the apple cart.

Be warned; 97% of Malays will hesitate to answer this simple question, “Do Malays know what they want?”.

As the Coronavirus pandemic reprograms our way of life, the western-educated, English speaking, well-travelled Malay will become as insecure as the rural Malay; but for different reasons.

The needs of the rural Malays will continue to be food and shelter. On the other hand, job openings, government contracts and educational opportunities will become intensely competitive.

Thus, Malays who have been force-fed a diet of “It’s the DAP, or the fault of the Chinese”, will soon view other Malays as the threat.

How will PAS or Umno-Baru react? – Rebuilding Malaysia