A Conversation with Young Malays

By Yin,

Yin: “Why am I having this conversation with you and not the others?

Because you are the majority and will be even more so in the future. To put it bluntly, because you call the shots.

One day one of you will be the prime minister. Others will be leaders in business or academia or run the civil service or police.

See how powerful you are? But with power and position comes responsibility.

Will you be prepared?

Consider the following:

1. How do you relate to the other races; how do you understand them, if you are put in exclusively Malay schools – Mara colleges etc.

Worse, if you are in a ‘tahfiz school’. If our ex-Deputy Prime Minister is anything to go by; Tahfiz schools just don’t cut it in the real world. Yet our current Minister of Education wants more religious schools.

My point is, guys how will you govern a multi-racial, multi religious, secular nation when you do not understand a large segment of the population? Would you have acquired the open mindedness, the tolerance and acceptance required of a plural society if you are in an All-Malay school or a Tahfiz School? Surely not.

Have you ever wondered why your parents and grandparents have a different perspective of the other communities than your generation? It’s not just mushy nostalgia when they reminisce about the good old days when they would sit with their non-Malay friends  to have a banter in the coffeeshop. They are trying to tell you something: That they have a different perspective of other communities because they mix with them. Because they mix they have a better understanding of the other’s culture, religion etc.

 2. If you are shielded from competition with the other races (as you have been for a long time in every facet of life) how will you know if you are really good enough to govern?  Or head a GLC or be IGP or Vice Chancellor of a university?

Learn from the spectacular failures of corporate leaders who have been given everything on a silver platter. They did not have to compete in an ‘open market’ with other races.

Ask yourself this; can you ever be a real champion badminton player if you are always playing people of your standard. We only improve by playing with better players. The same goes for studies or work.

If you learn nothing,  learn this: The world does not owe you a living. Bumiputraism and Ketuanan Melayu means nothing to the outside world where meritocacy is what counts. In America many of the Fortune 500 companies are run by ethnic Indians and they make money. The market place does not discriminate on race or religion. They only look at performance.

In our case we look at the skin colour and our GLCs  lose money. Proton only started making money when forced to use hard nose business practices and not allow racial politics to interfere with business decisions.

Yes we all need help; I have never been against affirmative action. But a good government does it with tough love for the good of her people. A bad government just bribe them.

You only have to look at your parents . . . they punish you if you misbehave. They don’t give you sweets every time you cry; they make you eat your greens even when you protest because they know it’s good for you. They make you do your share of household chores. They teach you about fairness and right from wrong. They prepare you for the real world out there. They are good parents.

Unlike your parents, the politicians are not really interested in your future. They prefer to take the easy route – it’s easier to give sweets than find long term solutions. They are like bad parents who spoil their children and then wonder why they become ‘mat rempits’ or drug addicts or worse – corrupt officials and ministers.

Sixty two years on, where are you? You are still not competitive. The easy answer to this according to the short sighted Malay leaders is to create special schools for you, reserve government jobs for you, award you contracts and businesses without open tender. They blame others for their own failings. When they do that, you become even less competitive and so they wrap you up in even more cotton wool and you get even more “lembek”. It’s a downward spiral. Malay leaders know that it’s bad for you; they have talked about a “crutch mentality” yet they keep doing it. Wise up guys, they are doing it for themselves, to stay in power.

Believe in yourself. You are as good as anyone else. Get out and compete. By all means ask for a hand up but don’t depend on handouts.

Your leaders bang on about ‘maruah’; it’s just emotive words to stir you up against the others. What dignity is there if you need crutches to walk?

Let me tell you this;  you are your own worse enemy.

The people the Malays need to protect themselves from are the racist extremists who use race as a political weapon because they are bankrupt of ideas (62 years and they have not solved Malay poverty. They blame the Chinese and everyone else but themselves).  They use you to further their political agenda without considering the long term effects on you. They only have selfish short term goals – the next election.

You cannot keep postponing the day of reckoning – you can’t operate on deficit indefinitely. One day someone has to pay. I am afraid it will be YOU. . . and your children.

You had better start getting wise to the unscrupolous politicians.

Where will you take our country? Will we be a united, progressive and prosperous nation or will we be a backward, racist country. Or, dare I imagine it; a Caliphate – a theocracy run on syriah law?

Get away from the race and religion poison          certain politicians and muftis are dishing out. They are not doing it to help you but to get your votes.

In the next fifteen or twenty years you will be in charge of this country. How will you cope if you continue carrying a narrow religion and race perspective.

Get out and get to know your Chinese and Indian friends. They are not your enemies; they are your fellow countrymen. They have the same aspirations as you –  to make a better life for themselves and their children. To live in peace with everyone, to stand proudly as equal citizens of a progressive and prosperous Malaysia. We share a common destiny.

If our sampan sinks you will drown first because you have not been taught to swim. Think about that. 

There’s so much more I want to talk  with you about, but you get my drift . . . our country cannot continue along this racist and religious trajectory. Every one will lose; but most of all YOU.

Our country is in your hands. Give our conversation some thought.

Come round to Ward 5 to have a longer chat if you like. I will put the kettle on for a cuppa.


The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

By Yin, 

Letters from Ward 5, Tanjong Rambutan


Rebuilding Malaysia


  • Majeed Shariff says:

    What’s the response of young Malays? The writer does not say. What the writer suggest is a meritrocasy system. I agree then all the students and staff will be 90% Chinese. All the doctors will be Indian and Malays. What a wonderful Malaysia.

  • Chino Hills, California says:

    Yes, seconded. Translate into Bahasa Melayu.

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