Daim pulls no punches, but he speaks truth. Below is Daim’s latest speech…
It is most breathtaking as an address on the current issues facing Malaysia today. Nobody in Malaysia has ever spoken like this before. But he will be flamed thoroughly in many quarters :
“To understand our current political climate, it is important to look back at our history. Kusut di hujung, balik ke pangkal.
The history of the Malays starts from long before the formation of Tanah Melayu. We are descendants of great empires, from Langkasuka, to Srivijaya, to Majapahit, to Melaka. Melaka, of course, is our most popular tale, that of a world-famous port whose global success led to its eventual colonisation.
And when Melaka fell to the Portuguese, those descendants of Sultan Melaka who survived founded a new empire here in Johor. They took control of the southern Malay Peninsula, spreading across Riau, Anambas, Natuna, Tambelan, Borneo, and Sumatra. Their success was attributed to the wisdom of their rulers, and their openness to international trade.
In more recent history, the formation of the Malayan Union and the subsequent opposition led by Umno were significant events that triggered real change in the political organisation of the Malays. Onn Jaafar, himself from Bukit Gambir and an MB of Johor, founded Umno in 1946, signalling the height of Malay political supremacy. We were united and we were strong.
This talk is entitled Naratif Malaysia: Melayu dalam Persoalan National. My question to you is: Should we not just be talking about a National Narrative? Need we break down a national narrative along racial and religious lines?
But if your intention is to find answers to inequality, and to answer why the Malays are behind economically, then I really hope that this seminar will provide the answer.
When we talk about the Malays, we must talk about Islam. The Malays and Islam are indeed deeply entwined. They cannot be discussed separately. But what this has led to is the ignoring of our cultural and regional heritage, which has been abandoned in favour of foreign cultures (Arabisation especially) which feed into the insecurity of the Malays. It seems that everyone who does
not speak like us and everything that we do not agree with, is a threat to Malays and Islam.
We must ask ourselves – is this true? Why is this so? Since when have the Malays and Muslims become so insecure about our place in this country?
I am glad to note that this seminar is directed at the four sectors of politics, economy, budaya and agama. Let us get all of these right. To get all of these right, our education system must change. Don’t treat education as political football. The education system must be right.
Our future, Malaysia’s future, will depend on giving our children the right type of education that will allow them to be confident to face the best in the world. Get education right, then politics and economy will be right. Brains minus emotions will determine our future and the future of Malaysia.
Expose our children to the world, then they will want to excel, and they will protect the best of our budaya.
There is nothing wrong with Islam. It is not under threat. It is the fastest growing religion in the world.
I would like to advise you not to follow politicians blindly. As I said earlier, for Malaysia to succeed, the Malays must succeed. I keep repeating, Iqra’ (Aik Krok) – read to acquire knowledge and to think critically. Choose the right path that will lead to success.
Time is very important and we are excellent at wasting time. We will lose to time. Let us tell ourselves from now on we shall not repeat past mistakes. We will give the best education to our children so that they can compete and succeed. Let us leave all failure of confidence behind, and start our future now.
Leave this hall confident and ok with ourselves. Tell our children that we will compete and we will succeed.”
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