7th Sept 2015
In the past, Umno Baru used the battle cry, “Umno Baru is the only party in Malaysia which defends the Malays”, to try and win their hearts and minds. Not wanting to be excluded, PAS would claim, “PAS is the only party that protects Islam”.
Ironically, a highly divided Umno Baru and fragmented PAS can no longer claim to be defenders of the Malays, nor the protectors of Islam, but then, they never were. There will be Malays when both Umno Baru and PAS have been wiped out.
Today, both Umno Baru and PAS are in disarray. The leaders’ greed for power, selfishness, underhand tactics and their manipulation of the Malay mind, have brought about their own downfall, and that of their parties.
These leaders failed to lead. They were only interested in feathering their own nests and prolonging their power.
These leaders used to say that Malays were victims in their own land. The truth is that Malays are the victims of Umno Baru’s policies and political manipulation. Today, the Malays in the heartlands of the country realise the enormity of the damage done by both Umno Baru and PAS. They know these parties lied to them, repeatedly.
The people of influence in both Umno Baru and PAS did not advise their leaders because they, too, were thinking about their own positions and how to jostle for the top position.
Previously, the majority of the educated Malays, who could have done something, were content to enjoy their privileged positions and were satisfied, to be mere observers.
The enlightened Malays knew that the Umno Baru leaders, past and present, surrounded themselves with sycophants. They were aware that Najib Abdul Razak appoints mediocre ministers so that he will appear to be capable and smart.
They realised that Umno Baru’s education policies kept the Malays dim. Very few of these Malays, unlike Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim of Parent Action Group for Education (Page, photo), had the courage to confront the authorities and fight for better education policies, not just for the Malays but for all Malaysians.
The Malays, in the construction industry, or any industry for that matter, were aware that to win contracts, some palms would have to be greased. They could have highlighted this abuse but many preferred to keep quiet. They probably thought, “If you can’t beat them, you might as well join them.”
Many of these Malays graduated from western universities, and were ready to serve their country but were stymied when in the course of their careers they faced corruption, cheating and abuse of power on a massive scale.
After all the rhetoric about Malays being the superior race, the realisation that their fellow Malays are amongst the most sly, devious, lazy, insensitive, corrupt, racist, intolerant and bigoted people in Malaysia must have hit them hard.
The Umno Baru Malays damaged race relations and caused non-Malays to feel contempt for the Malays, but the majority of Malays who were aware of Umno-Baru’s machinations did nothing. A few will have said, “It is God’s will”. Others will say, “Who are we to punish them?”
A few may have tried to report these practices, but themselves got into trouble. The leaders of the corporations were themselves tainted. Those who acted as whistleblowers were shunned, denied promotion, demoted or sacked. Today, many Malays have joined the brain drain.
Seemingly powerless to undo the damage
The institutions which were tasked to deal with such abuse of power and corruption were tainted, too. Former PM Mahathir Mohamad saw to that, and today, he is seemingly powerless to undo the damage he wreaked on the institutions, and ironically, on Umno Baru.
The enlightened Malays enjoy the trappings of a privileged middle-class existence, but many are in denial. They are aware that corruption is killing them. They can see that the Umno Baru politicians are inflicting serious damage to the nation.
Today, the Malays who were misled by Umno Baru and PAS, are slowly beginning to reflect on the future of their country.
Perhaps, for the first time, they are thinking, “With all the money thrown at the Malays, the perks, the business models and the pro-Malay government policies, how come we are still victims?”
Perhaps they are asking, “Why should Islam be under threat, when mosques are popping-up on every corner and religious study time is increased? Why do Malays have low morals, despite the enforcement of a religious dress code, attendance at Friday prayers, and a moral police which pries into their private lives?”
Perhaps, they are wondering, “If the Rohingyas are Muslims, why did Najib initially order the Malaysian navy to tow their boats back to sea? If Malaysia has a major say amongst Muslim nations, why has it not demanded that the Arab states accept the Syrian people, who are fleeing their war-torn nation?”
Islam, as practised in Malaysia, is not the Islam of our forefathers. Today’s ‘Made-in-Malaysia’ Islam has strong undercurrents of anti-Semitism and promotes misogyny. The majority of Malays, on the streets and in schools, are taught to be anti-Semitic, and anti-Christian, just to toe the government line.
Islam, as promulgated in Malaysia by Umno Baru, is no longer a religion; it is a tool to enslave the Malays.
Umno Baru knows that its days are numbered. So do not believe the government hype that there were few Malays at Bersih 4. They would say that, wouldn’t they?
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO).