Mariam Mokhtar: Do Malays know what they want?


Do Malays know what they want?

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 up-bringing, 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.

Melayu atau Arab atau confuse? (Pic from FB)

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.

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