Archive for category Malays

A paradox, but two by-election victories make UMNO/BN leaders more desperate for general election victory and there will be greater demonization campaign against the opposition – such as painting me as anti-Malay, anti-Islam or even anti-Chinese

This is a paradox – but the two by-election victories in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar have made UMNO/BN leaders more desperate for victory in the 14th General Election and I expect a greater demonization campaign against the Opposition – such as painting me as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and even as anti-Chinese.

I will give three examples post twin by-elections:

Firstly, I would place in such a category the statement by the former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad who alleged that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s support of opposition parties DAP and Amanah in the recent by-elections were “detrimental to Malays”.

He said that the former prime minister could try and oust Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from within Umno, but should steer clear of lobbying for support within the Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance as the chances of Malays retaining power once they have lost it is “very slim”.

Could the former Chief Justice answer the two questions which had been posed by the National Laureate Pak Samad:

“How are Malays under threat? How can religion (Islam) and Malays be threatened when those in power have been Malay for over five decades?

“What have they (Malay leaders) been doing for five decades (if Malays can be under threat)?”

Whatever happens in the 14th General Election, whether Najib is toppled as Prime Minister or UMNO loses the Federal Government, the Malays in Malaysia will continue to exercise political power in Malaysia as there is no way they will lose their political power. Read the rest of this entry »


The Trap of Our Mindset

M. Bakri Musa

Related to the concept of a free mind is that of mindset, defined as one’s attitude to or philosophy of life. With all the established neural networks and stored memories in the brain, it forms a working hypothesis of what reality is. How the brain perceives new information is influenced by its existing working hypothesis, its pre-set narrative of reality.

If the brain were to receive new information that would not conform to or diametrically contradict the brain’s preexisting narrative, then it (the brain) would use various ingenuous interpretations to make the new data conform to that pre-set pattern.

A dramatic demonstration of this is the rare clinical condition called Cabgras delusion. Here the sufferer, through injury or stroke, has lost the capacity to recognize hitherto familiar faces including those of close family members. The patient would readily admit that the person facing him looks, speaks and even smells like his mother for example, but would adamantly refuse to admit that is who she is. Instead he is convinced that she is nothing more than a look-alike imposter, intent on swindling him for some nefarious ends, as with claiming insurance benefits. Imagine the mother’s heartbreak! Read the rest of this entry »

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The Meaning of A Free Mind

Bakri Musa
29th March 2016

The meaning of a free mind can best be illustrated by this story of Mullah Nasaruddin, a fictitious alim known for his effective use of simple and often self-deprecating stories to drive home a point, illuminate a concept, or challenge conventional wisdom.

He had a neighbor who was fond of borrowing items from him and then conveniently forgetting to return them. One day this neighbor came to the mullah to borrow his donkey. Anticipating this, the mullah had locked his animal away in the barn and out of sight. Upon hearing the request, the mullah confidently replied that his donkey had been taken away earlier by his brother. Just as the disappointed neighbor turned away, the donkey brayed. He turned around and remarked, “You said your donkey was gone!”

To which the mullah replied, “Do you believe the braying of a donkey or the words of a mullah?”

If you can accept that at times a donkey can be the bearer of the truth, and a mullah the purveyor of untruth, then you have exhibited a free mind, minda merdeka. There are many reasons why we continue believing the mullah despite the donkey braying in our face, and I will explore some of these subsequently. Read the rest of this entry »

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GLCs The Problem, Not The Solution

Bakri Musa

Last of Six Parts

Malaysia is today paralyzed – and polarized – by the scandal of One Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a government-linked company (GLC). Rest assured that this debacle will not be the last. The other certainty is that future ones will carry even far greater costs.

The only sure way to prevent this is to get rid of GLCs. Sell them, and use the proceeds to enhance the quality of our human capital. In the final analysis that is the only matrix that matters.

GLCs are now very much part of if not the problem, as exemplified by 1MDB. They are not the solution, not even part of it.

As massive as the price tag of the 1MDB fiasco is (and it’s still growing), far more consequential is the accompanying erosion of our institutions and degradation of our values. You cannot quantify those damages. Read the rest of this entry »


The imprisoned Malay mind

– M. Bakri Musa
The Malaysian Insider
9 March 2016

In my first three essays I pointed out that the Malay problem is real and not a mere myth. It is also solvable and not unique unto our community. Thus there is much that we can learn from others.

I posited that the four critical foundations of society – leadership, citizenry, culture, and geography – interact with one another in a feed-back loop mechanism. Where the interaction is positive, that society would advance fast; where negative, it would be in a quick downhill slide.

Of the four, only geography is immutable. Of the remaining three, leadership is the easiest to change; culture, most difficult. Read the rest of this entry »


4 factors that determine a society’s fate

– M. Bakri Musa
The Malaysian Insider
1 March 2016

In my earlier two essays, I highlighted the issues surrounding the “Malay problem”.

I suggested that it is not unique unto our community. As such, there is much that we could learn from others, from successful societies on what to do, and the unsuccessful ones on what not to do.

There are four critical factors that determine the fate of a society: leadership, people, culture (this includes institutions, governmental as well as non-governmental, religious as well as non-religious), and geography.

In an earlier book, Towards A Competitive Malaysia, I put forth the concept of the “Diamond of Development”, with each factor interacting with and influencing the other three.

For example, wise leaders would invest in their citizens, ensuring that they would receive good education so they could make better and more informed decisions, as well as be more productive.

Good leaders also foster good institutions, and protect the country’s natural resources and the environment. Educated and wise citizens would in turn elect prudent leaders, and the positive-loop feedback would rapidly lead to a quantum leap in the advancement of that society.

The reverse is also true. Meaning, a corrupt leader would bribe his way to power by literally buying citizens’ votes. Read the rest of this entry »

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The ‘Malay problem’ is not unique unto us

– M. Bakri Musa
The Malaysian Insider
23 February 2016

In the first part, I argued that the “Malay Problem” is real and not simply a myth. As such we could study, analyse and research it systematically so as to enable us to craft sensible solutions and develop pilot programs to overcome it.

In short, a problem is potentially solvable, in contrast to a mere myth where we would have to employ dukuns to exorcise our demons.

In this essay I argue that our problem is not unique unto our community. A just and compassionate Allah would not single out Malays to be thus burdened. Read the rest of this entry »


How to get rid of monkeys of Putrajaya?

– Bakri Musa
The Malaysian Insider
10 February 2016

I was visiting my old village near Sri Menanti, Negri Sembilan, recently and was struck by an unexpected but common sight. That is, the absence of any fruit trees or vegetable plots around what few remaining houses there which were still occupied.

Such a scene would have been unthinkable during my youth. Then there were always nearly-ripe papayas or bananas ready to be picked for breakfast, and enough long beans in the garden or chickens scurrying around to fill a cooking pot should unexpected guests arrive for lunch.

On querying my few elderly relatives still there and loving the serene kampung lifestyle, they replied that the monyet and kera (monkeys) have descended from the jungle to destroy everything, including the chickens.

Those monkeys have become so brazen and aggressive that my relatives now fear for their safety.

That is one of the many consequences of our having destroyed the primates’ natural habitat through illegal logging and replacing it with the hostile monoculture plantations of rubber and palm oil. Read the rest of this entry »


Was Hadi an agent, stooge or puppet of DAP in most of the seven years of Pakatan Rakyat from 2008 to 2015?

The demonisation of DAP as anti-Malay and anti-Islam, and the tactics of fear and hate to scare Malays into believing that they will lose political power if UMNO and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak are toppled from Federal power in the 14th General Election have been intensified recently.

I expect such politics of fear and hate to escalate in the coming weeks and months.

The reason is very simple and obvious – Najib and his UMNO propagandists believe and fear that UMNO and Barisan Nasional would be defeated in the next national general election.

A recent opinion poll had found that the popularity rating of Najib’s UMNO-led Barisan Nasional government had for the first time in UMNO history fallen below the 50% mark among Malay voters, plunging to as low as 30%.

What better way to save Najib and UMNO by the classic tactics of creating an imaginary enemy for the Malay community!

Hence the continued intensification and escalation of the campaign of fear and hate to scare Malay voters into believing that Malays will lose political power and Islam will come under grave threat if UMNO and Prime Minister Najib are defeated in the 14th General Election – never mind that rational Malays will find this proposition a most preposterous and outrageous one, as such a scenario will never come to pass in Malaysia.

There is no way that the Malays can lose political power in Malaysia and that the DAP or the Chinese will rule the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Ibrahim Ali did not find me objectionable as anti-Malay and anti-Islam when he sought my help in the seventies to escape detention under ISA as a student leader?

It is amusing and comical that Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali claims that he suffered sleepless nights after the DAP declared that it is not anti-Malay or anti-Islam.

He claimed to be shocked by the statement and said he could not sleep for 50 hours.

Clearly, Ibrahim Ali was still talking when sleep-walking.

Can Ibrahim explain why he did not find me objectionable as being allegedly anti-Malay and anti-Islam when he frantically sought my help as Parliamentary Opposition Leader when he was trying to escape detention under the Internal Security Act for his activities as a student leader in the seventies?

I had raised this issue once publicly some five years ago, and Ibrahim Ali did not dare to challenge the veracity of my statement.

This show the quality of leadership of the Perkasa chief. Read the rest of this entry »


The truth hurts

by Mariam Mokhtar
11th January 2016

Just because a Malay talks and writes about the injustice meted out to non-Muslims, it does not mean that the Malay is bashing his own race, nor is he denigrating Islam. Malays, in particular, refuse to acknowledge that most critiques are not about the religion, but are in fact criticisms of the Malays who have misinterpreted a particular phrase, or religious edict.

If PAS, Umno Baru and the respective religious institutions are critical in stopping alleged conversions of Malays to Christianity, why were there no mass conversions of Malays during the colonial era, when none of these political parties nor institutions existed?

Many Malays appear to see the conversion issue as a numbers game. Many Malays are also religious hypocrites. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib and UMNO propagandists are giving the Malays the supreme insult doubting their intelligence and capability when they spread the canard that the Malays will lose political power to the DAP and Chinese if Najib and UMNO lose in next general election

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and UMNO propagandists are giving the Malays the supreme insult doubting their intelligence and capability when they spread the canard that the Malays will lose political power to the DAP and Chinese if Najib and UMNO lose in the next general election.

There is no doubt that Najib and UMNO are facing the greatest crisis of survival in their lives, for a recent poll has shown that the popularity rating of the Najib UMNO-led government is at an all-time low – below the 50 per cent mark for the first time, down to some 30 per cent.

Even UMNO leaders accept the real prospect that Najib can lose not only the popular vote (which UMNO/Barisan lost in the 2013 general election securing only 47% of the total votes cast) but also the majority of the parliamentary seats (which through an undemocratic electoral system, enabled Najib to secure 60 per cent of the parliamentary seats in the 13GE although with 43% of the votes, and therefore entering Malaysian history as the first minority Prime Minister in the country).

If the 2013 General Election had been fair and democratic, where the principle of “one man, one vote, one value” is the abiding feature of the electoral system, the Prime Minister after the general election in May 2013 would have been Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and not Najib Razak, and Anwar would not be in Sungai Buloh prison today.

It is a national tragedy that instead of redeeming his position as the first minority Prime Minister of the country, by heading a government which really cares for the people and nation, which is clean, incorruptible, consultative, democratic, fully guided by the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance, Najib had done the reverse, which is why there are Najib’s RM2.6 billion and RM55 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals giving Malaysia a bad name not only locally but in the international arena as well. Read the rest of this entry »


DAP will not forsake our original commitment and vision to be a party by and for all Malaysians regardless of race or religion at all levels of leadership and elected representatives, bound by the common goal of an united, just, democratic and progressive Malaysia

Bukit Bintang is the 60th parliamentary constituency I am visiting since my six-month suspension from Parliament on Oct. 22 for wanting the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to give full accountability for his RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM55 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals.

Najib had been most ill-advised to claim in his 2016 New Year Message nine days ago that these twin mega scandals had been resolved and are no more issues in the country, when both these Najib scandals continue to be major concerns and conversational topics of Malaysians throughout the country every day since the New Year – an alarmin g indication of how divorced from the ground and reality the Prime Minister has become.

As everyone can testify, Najib’s twin mega scandals had been in the news every day since New Year’s Day , with greater intensity than last year, and there are no signs any time soon that Najib’s twin mega scandals will disappear from the radar of national consciousness and concern. Read the rest of this entry »


The IDE study that UMNO-PAS attacks have been successful in fuelling anti-DAP sentiments among Malays a wake-up call to all DAP leaders and members to take these misperceptions seriously

The Darul Ehsan Institute (IDE) study that UMNO-PAS attacks and demonization campaigns have been successful in fuelling anti-DAP sentiments among Malays, especially in rural areas, must be a wake-up call to all DAP leaders and members to take these misperceptions seriously.

The study found that after the break-up of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition in June, the campaign to demonise the DAP as anti-Malay has become more effective with UMNO and PAS working together in the anti-DAP campaign.

In a survey by IDE between November 13 and 15 last year, involving 1,716 Malay respondents throughout Selangor, almost two-thirds of respondents (72%) agreed that DAP was a racial party and that it was only looking after the interest of the Chinese community.

Only 12% disagreed, while 16% said they were “unsure”.

More than half (64%) also agreed with the statement that “DAP was an anti-Malay and anti-Islam party”. Some 18% disagreed while 19% were unsure.
I wonder what would be the results if a survey had been conducted among Chinese respondents to the questions whether UMNO was a racial party that only looked after the interest of the Malay community and whether UMNO was anti-Chinese and anti non-Islamic religions in the country.

Be that as it may, DAP leaders, members and even supporters should be concerned about the IDE survey, for DAP was never formed to be a party for the
Chinese or any particular community but for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region – and it was totally anathema in DAP for anyone to be anti-Islam or any other religion. Read the rest of this entry »


Munshi Abdullah – Exemplar of a Free Mind

M. Bakri Musa

Malay society has no shortage of formal leaders. First we have the hereditary leaders, from the sultan down to his various lowly chieftains including the local datuk lembaga (lord admiral). This pattern of leadership has a long history in our society.

Then came the religious leaders, of more recent vantage, introduced in the 15th Century with the coming of Islam to the Malay world. More recently and fast gaining a pivotal role, are political leaders.

With modern political institutions, especially democratic ones, we should expect a more frequent emergence of fresh leaders. This is not necessarily so. China is far from being a democratic society yet its People Congress gets more infusion of fresh talents with each party’s election. Compare that to the United States Congress, the self-declared exemplar of representative government. You are more likely to get a new member of the old Soviet Politburo than you are to get a new member of US Congress.

UMNO, the premier Malay political organization, is on par with the old Soviet Politburo in nurturing new talent.

Despite modernity, both hereditary and religious leaders still have a strong hold on Malays. Read the rest of this entry »

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The UMNO Rednecks and their Cohorts

Sakmongkol AK47
December 30, 2015

Who is the typical UMNO redneck? The answer is- he or she is someone who blames the Chinese forever as the source of their unhappiness.

The other favourite bete noire is Dr Mahathir. On this I am really surprised. If the UMNO people can turn on their own while he is still UMNO, this speaks volumes on the morality of UMNO people. Suddenly he is also the cause of all the problems. Najib has merely inherited the problems. The lopsided contracts with IPPs, the ERL, KLIA , Proton etc.etc.

Where is the cut-off point? Najib was preceded by Pak Lah. Pak Lah’s tenure ought to have extinguished all links to Mahathir. Najib should take responsibility over his tenure because the people gave him the mandate. They did not give to Dr Mahathir.

In any case, people are asking about 1MDB, the RM2.6 billion into his private account while in his public capacity as UMNO president and PM, the money from SRC. These issues are the makings of Najib. So how is the link to Mahathir established? Read the rest of this entry »

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Why it is good for the soul of UMNO to be defeated in 14GE – the only way for UMNO to get rid of corrupt leaders and to reform to be politically relevant again as experienced by Indian National Congress, Taiwan Kuomintang and Japanese Liberal Democratic parties

Some 10 days before the recent UMNO General Assembly, the Deputy UMNO President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in his speech to 1,000 Barisan Nasional leaders in Pagoh that Malay support for UMNO had dwindled to 30 per cent when Malay support for UMNO over the years had always been above 50 per cent.

He warned that unless this warning signal to UMNO, in particular the unhappiness of the people over Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s twin mega scandals of the RM2.6 billion “donation” in his personal banking accounts before the 13th General Election and the RM55 billion 1MDB debts, is faced by the UMNO leadership, UMNO may be defeated in the 14th General Election in two years’ time.

This theme was taken up by the Perak Mufti, Harussani Zakarai who warned at the Regional Conference (Multaqa Serantau) for al-Azhar University alumni in Kuala Lumpur that Malays will lose their political power in about two years’ time if their leaders continue to fight against one another.

In an apparent reference to the 14th general election, Harussani called for the defence of Malay power in the country, saying the maintenance of that power would protect the position of Islam.

He said: “Malay leadership in this country must be defended because that’s where the strength of Islam lies.

“If the Malays are defeated, then Islam will too.”

There are two dangerous fallacies here. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why is UMNO afraid of DAP? Not because the Chinese will control the Malays but because UMNO-putras will not be able to exploit the Malays

The UMNO Wanita leader, Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil is the typical example of UMNO leaders who have to resort to the politics of fear, hate and lies to try to perpetuate their political careers and political position in the party.

Malaysiakini reported that at the winding-up speech of the UMNO Wanita General Assembly, Shahrizat urged former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir, former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apbdal to return to the fold as she does not want Malays to be “controlled” by DAP because of Umno leaders opposing UMNO president Najib Abdul Razak.

She urged Mahathir, Muhyiddin and Shafie to be with UMNO, “right or wrong”.
She said: “There is no other party. Do you want to surrender the Malays and bumiputera to DAP? I am not prepared (to do so).”

She lost control of herself when she continued in a most irresponsible and seditious manner, declaring: “Let blood flow, we won’t allow DAP to take over. Umno is weak, god forbid, our country is taken over by DAP.”

If any DAP or Pakatan Harapan leader had made a similar “blood-curdling” speech, the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar would have tweeted a directive to his subordinates to commence immediate police investigations and action.

Let us see whether there will be any action from the Inspector-General of Police against Shahrizat or she belongs to a special breed of Malaysians who enjoy immunity and impunity under the law! Read the rest of this entry »


The Rapid Rejection of Post-UMNO Datuk Onn

M. Bakri Musa
30th November 2015

Datuk Onn was a brilliant strategist and farsighted leader. Indeed he was so far ahead that he left his simple village followers behind.

In 1951, just five years after he established and led UMNO, he quit the presidency of his young struggling party and left in a huff. The issue was over admitting non-Malays into UMNO. On the surface this would seem to be a liberal move to engage non-Malays in the political process and to make the party race-blind. Indeed many contemporary commentators are effusive in their praise of the man for his supposed foresight in thinking beyond communal lines and racial identity.

I have a different take; I see his move as the earliest expression of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Hegemony). Onn saw his move as a means to establish Malay control on the political process by co-opting non-Malays, in particular the Chinese, into his Malay party. The reason was obvious. A year or two earlier the Chinese community under the leadership of the staunchly anti-communist Tan Cheng Lock had formed the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA). To Onn, it would be much easier to “control” the Chinese politically if they were to be co-opted within UMNO than if they were to have their own separate party. Onn feared that the newly-formed MCA would not only be a formidable power but also be on par with UMNO in the anticipated negotiations for independence. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Halus (Subtle) Way Datuk Onn Aborted the Malayan Union

M. Bakri Musa
18th Nov 2015

In an earlier commentary I gave high marks to our leaders for their enlightened ways and sophisticated strategies in the pursuit of our independence. Malaysia could have easily gone in a very different direction following the Japanese defeat. It could have just as quickly been turned into a permanent British Dominion.

The man responsible for sparing the country that terrible fate was Datuk Onn Jaafar. He was a former senior civil servant, a significant and rare achievement for a native. Had he been a Hang Tuah, ever loyal to his sultan and the British, there would be no limit to the height of his personal achievement within the colonial civil service. He could have been the first native Governor-General of the Dominion of Malaya. Read the rest of this entry »

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