Who is really guilty of insulting the Malays?

Mariam Mokhtar
Free Malaysia Today
December 1, 2014

Umno Baru sees the Malay mind as fertile ground for sowing the seeds of self-doubt.


Year in and year out, we have the predictably tense run-up to the Umno Baru General Assembly. And then, when they are gathered at PWTC, the various warlords wave their fists, insult the non-Malays, shout themselves hoarse and behave very much like little boys showing off their assets, telling one another, “Mine is bigger than yours.” After that, it is back to the status quo.

This year shows one small variation. Najib Abdul Razak is aware that his political career is nearing the end. He is attempting to prolong it by appeasing the extremists. His method is to use the Sedition Act.
The sedition clampdown has been sweeping the nation like the haze. It blankets the country and is toxic. It chokes us, reduces visibility and makes the vulnerable seriously ill. People are unable to go to work or enjoy themselves. It incapacitates us.

Since the 70s, the Malay mind has been a fertile ground for Umno Baru to sow the seeds of self-doubt. The ideas have been put into his head that he is weak, that his religion is ineffective, and that the Umno Baru brand of Islam is better. Umno Baru takes a departure from the message that the Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman, left us. The Tunku wanted Malaysia to be multiracial and secular, free from feudal bondage. Umno Baru is undoing all of his legacy.

The Malay mind is inundated, daily, with the emotional baggage of race, religion and royalty. With this continual pummelling, his confidence will eventually be eroded.

At the just-concluded assembly, Najib insulted the Malays and told them that without Umno Baru, they would be doomed. Where are the voices of the ordinary Malays to challenge him?

Najib is suggesting that Malays are weak and indolent. He knows that if Umno Baru were to cease to exist, the Malays would blossom. Umno Baru is aware that the only Malays who need protecting are themselves – the Umno-Baruputra Malays.

A few months ago, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad called the Malays “stupid and lazy”. There was hardly a word of protest from the Malays, but the few Malays who dared to criticise Mahathir for his politics of divide and rule were branded ungrateful. Mahathir always gets away with insulting the Malays. Why? There are many Malays who are intelligent, hard-working and amiable. Again, they failed to force Mahathir to apologise.

Decades of affirmative action policies led to the problems afflicting our society, although at the same time they created the enormous Malay middle class. These middle-class Malays are silent about the various injustices and abuse of power because they think that to speak out may show disrespect.

No! It is not disrespectful, but keeping quiet may harm more Malays and other Malaysians. Our social fabric is disentangling. Our treasury is running low on funds. We do not need to wait till things get to the point of no return.

Economic pie

The archangel Gabriel brought important messages from God, but Najib’s semi-divine message is that Islam must be protected by Umno Baru. Hundreds of years of the crusades and ethnic conflicts have not wiped Islam off the world map. If Islam in Malaysia needs to protected, it needs to be protected from Umno Baru.

One of the issues which Umno Baru uses to whip up racial distrust is to claim that Malays own a small part of the economic pie, unlike the Chinese. If Najib cared to look around him, he’d find that the top positions in the ministries, civil service, universities and GLCs are held by Malays.

Houses that are worth a million ringgit are subject to discount but low-cost housing is not and the ordinary Malay is no better off than his non-Malay counterpart. Most pieces of agricultural land held by Malays are lying idle because the government has not tried to resolve the issue of inheritance and land ownership. Syariah laws mean that a piece of land may have hundreds of owners, each at loggerheads with one another about the use of the land.

How can a farmer make a profitable and meaningful profession if he faces ruin from relatives demanding a share of the profits without contributing or putting any effort into farming?

Umno Baru killed off the aspirations of many generations of Malaysians. It pushed through affirmative action policies, not to help Malays, but to benefit the Umno-Baruputras. The leaders handsomely reward selected Malays and non-Malays whom they deem worthy of their favours.

The BN coalition might as well be disbanded. The MCA, MIC and Gerakan hardly protect the interests of the minority groups. Their role is insignificant and their presence in the coalition is mere window dressing.

If the ordinary Malay finds life in Malaysia stifling, he should realise that it will get worse. One can’t read certain books, watch certain films, eat off plates which belong to a non-Muslim, consume food prepared by a non-Muslim or drink water which has come from a bottle bearing the image of a Hindu deity.

The problem with Malaysia may be the political class, but the good news is that we are the solution.

Every five years, voters have a chance to bite back. Some of us do, and yet, after every general election, we stare in disbelief when Umno Baru gets voted again to form the government. After 13 general elections, the same racist and bigoted party remains in power.

Don’t just blame the government for the mess we are in; it is also our fault. We did not protest loud enough, we did not badger our MPs more, we did not write letters to newspapers to voice our dissatisfaction. We are happy in our comfort zone and do not consider other people’s problems an issue, until they become our own. Basically, we are selfish. Perhaps our New Year’s resolutions should reflect Malaysia’s needs.

  1. #1 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 2 December 2014 - 8:26 am

    Mariam, isn’t the REAL Objective is so obvious? Create the fear of even one own’s shadow among the Malays so that UMNO can continue to have a free hand to RAPE the nation??

  2. #2 by worldpress on Tuesday, 2 December 2014 - 10:58 am

    Somebody poison them with CORRUPT AND GREED, have reversed what is the fight for Merdeka?


    Ismail (Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman) was particularly known for his non-ethnic approach to political issues. Expressing concern over racial polarisation in the country, he once asked:
    “ Why did we fight for Merdeka? So that the different races can be divided? That can’t be the way, right? That can’t be why all these great Malay and Umno leaders fought for this … Something is wrong…

  3. #3 by worldpress on Tuesday, 2 December 2014 - 11:02 am


    Original party Giant

    Ismail (Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman) was particularly known for his non-ethnic approach to political issues. Expressing concern over racial polarisation in the country, he once asked:
    “ Why did we fight for Merdeka? So that the different races can be divided? That can’t be the way, right? That can’t be why all these great Malay and Umno leaders fought for this … Something is wrong…

    I hope the new discussions will start. Why are we building Malaysia? What Malaysia are we building? What kind of symbol is Malaysia supposed to be?[12]

    Tycoon Robert Kuok, a friend of Ismail’s, would later remark that:
    “ In my opinion, he was probably the most non-racial, non-racist Malay I have met in my life. And I have met a very wide range of Malays from all parts of Malaysia. Doc was a stickler for total fair play, for correctness; total anathema to him to be anything else. Every Malay colleague feared him because of this, including Mahathir.[14]

You must be logged in to post a comment.