Mariam Mokhtar on Malay unity, or the lack of it

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It’s not about defending the Malays, but everything to do with protecting the rice bowls of the Malay elite.

Malay unity. Fact or Fantasy? The parties which like to claim they defend Malay unity are now fighting amongst themselves.

For months, ‘they’ acted like hyenas cautiously circling one another for the kill, fangs bared and saliva dripping from their mouths. This was not a National Geographic clip of hyenas attacking their prey. This was a shameful display of ‘Malay unity’, with politicians from Bersatu, Umno-Baru and PAS vying to be top-dog.

For decades, Malays have been brainwashed into believing that only Umno-Baru, PAS and a mutation of Umno-Baru could ensure Malay unity and defend Islam.

In the end, the bitter feuds were just about who can drive the gravy train and control the government purse strings. There is no Malay unity.


Propped-up by non-Malay political frogs, the majority Malay PN administration is only a show of avarice, for material wealth and power. Ordinary Malays do not benefit, whilst non-Malays stand to lose more of their rights.

Trouble had been brewing for months, ever since PAS sucked up to Bersatu/PN and kicked Umno-Baru out of the marital bed. Hopefully, Umno-Baru realises how it feels to be the first wife who has been relegated to the last place in PN’s affections, by the new mistress, PAS.

Malay disunity proved that Malays are not fit to rule Malaysia. Only the well-connected are treated with reverence, for instance, the difference in quarantine and punishment between the political elite and the ordinary rakyat.

For decades, the ‘defend the Malay and protect Islam’ call was always accompanied by the warning that ‘non-Malays and DAP are the enemies’. How could we forget that handpicked Malay cronies stole from Tabung Haji and Felda? Despite the corruption and theft by Malays in power, many ordinary Malays still mistrust the non-Malays.

The performance of some Malay leaders leaves much to be desired. Destroying temples and diverting a river to deprive other Malaysians, including Malays, of water, shows political desperation and arrogance; but few Malay leaders condemned the Kedah MB.

The Kelantan MB blamed drug usage for the rise in sexual crimes and domestic violence in Kelantan. A few years ago, a PAS politician blamed proximity to the sex pots of Thailand for a rise in HIV cases. When will Kelantan MPs take stern action, instead of making more excuses?

Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man showed a woeful knowledge of the environment and climate change. This is what happens when clerics become politicians. The cleric-cum-politicians in PAS only think about life after death. They claim it is God’s will when we end up with radioactive waste, red earth, denuded hills, polluted rivers, air and soil and tonnes of imported plastic garbage.

Some Malay politicians who are short of ideas are fond of using sex videos and audio clips. They try to score a political point by dragging God, his name, his holy book or his place of worship, into the argument.

The former Umno-Baru secretary-general, Annuar Musa, wants the veracity of an audio clip, allegedly of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim congratulating the Umno-Baru president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s performance at the last Umno-Baru annual general assembly, to be proven by swearing (sumpah laknat) in a mosque. Does anyone really care who said what?

Remember how the felon, Najib Abdul Razak, swore in the mosque that he played no role in the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu?

If we make a habit of swearing in a mosque to prove someone’s innocence, our judiciary might as well close shop. However, few Malays or Malay lawyers have spoken out against the abhorrent practice of using God’s name in vain.

Whilst all the brouhaha about PAS, Umno-Baru and Bersatu was going on, Najib was spoiling to be noticed. He claimed that the bankruptcy notice was part of a political conspiracy to terminate his political career.

Perhaps, he should have paid his taxes on time, like the rest of us, and more importantly, not treated taxpayers’ money from 1MDB like his own.

When Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed that both MCA and DAP were once ‘extreme’, the secretaries-general of both parties were livid. His remark will confuse many Malays, especially as last June, Mahathir told Malays that they need not fear the DAP.

For decades, Malays were told that the DAP was the enemy. However, many Malay families who are in dire straits approach the DAP to resolve legal issues, obtain financial aid, food, or apply for jobs. Few Malay extremists will want to publicise aid coming from DAP, for fear of bursting the ‘DAP is the enemy’ bubble.

More confusion was sparked when Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein declared warm feelings for ‘big brother’ the People’s Republic of China. Why can’t he show the same affection for ‘home-grown, Made-in-Malaysia’ Malaysians of Chinese ethnicity?

Malay unity is also synonymous with political theatre. When Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin visited Sarawak on April 1, he claimed that Sarawak was his second home and that he had travelled to and from Sarawak several times. He waxed lyrical about his fondness for the people of Sarawak and Sabah and assured them that they were not states, but regions.

GE-15 is due soon and Sarawak and Sabah are PN’s critical vote banks. Muhyiddin’s fondness for East Malaysians is just skin-deep.

Leaders of other nations talk about national unity but in Malaysia, some Malay politicians focus only on Malay unity – and, every five years, they temporarily switch to Malaysian unity.

Forget the illusion of Malay unity, because there is none. However, there is plenty of Malay hypocrisy. It’s all about money, not maruah Melayu. It’s not about defending the Malays, but everything to do with protecting the rice bowls of the Malay elite.

Bring out the popcorn and muruku for Round Two of fictitious Malay unity with an emasculated Umno-Baru and an ever-demanding PAS. – Rebuilding Malaysia