The PH administration is foolish when it tries to outdo Umno-Baru/PAS, in racial and religious bigotry.
Today, some PH leaders have fallen for the racial trap, to focus on the bumi agenda, and continuation of affirmative action policies. Have we not been doing this for the past 61 years? Don’t the Malays enjoy the best positions in the civil service, the ministries, scholarship holders, business opportunities, financial help, housing applications and more? Malays “sudah jadi lemak”.
You cannot help Malays by giving them bigger crutches
A politician is the last person from whom one should solicit business advice. When Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the former Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, was criticised for giving an unfair advantage to a group of Malay traders in “Low Yat 2”, he feigned surprise. This was in 2015.
At the time, Ismail Sabri said that 36 Malays had been offered six-months free rent, and free renovations to start their businesses on the second and third floor of the MARA-owned Atrium Busana Mall, at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
This is odd. The rakyat had been told that MARA was running out of money, so how are they able to afford this largesse?
No-one begrudges any help that is given to worthy people, but Ismail Sabri forgets that he was not elected as a minister only for the Malays. It would have been more fair to have helped a band of vendors, who represent the racial composition of the nation.
Perhaps, Ismail Sabri is going through another of his funny turns, during which he forgets many things, such as eating turtle eggs, and not realising that consuming them is a crime. Can you imagine the former agriculture Minister not being aware that consuming turtle eggs is against the law?
The former minister claimed that the traders would be “at an advantage”, but if one is to succeed in the telecommunications business, it is more important to be knowledgeable about the product, than to have free rent. Does he not appreciate the value of hard work and commitment?
Ismail Sabri ignored the harsh lessons from the NEP, that despite four decades of affirmative action policies, the Malays have not learnt much. In fact they have regressed. It is like running on the spot, and not covering any distance at all.
Others wonder why the former agriculture minister was officiating at the opening of an electronics related industry? This was outside Ismail Sabri’s remit of agriculture.
Track record or “kabel ke atas”?
Vendors had apparently been chosen for their “track record”, but critics scoffed at this suggestion and said, “Track record? Or strength of the “kabel ke atas” (connections to the top)”.
The bottom line is that the minister was not helping the Malays. Nothing beats competition, capitalising on one’s strengths and correcting one’s weaknesses.
Around the nation, “Malay-only” malls and shop-lots, started by various government initiatives, are half-dead, and lacking in character. Some of the shops, are staffed by disinterested customer service representatives who struggle to speak English (forget about Mandarin or other languages) and are not knowledgeable about their wares. The shelves are dusty and mostly empty.
A Chinese mechanic and retailer of car parts complained that the Malay wholesalers he buys Proton car-parts from, are slow and have low stock levels.
Even Malays are angry with the lackadaisical attitude of some Malay vendors, whom they claim, will close shop early on Friday afternoon, and not return for several hours. “How do you think Malays will progress, if they lack self-discipline? Is it any wonder, people, in general, mistrust Malay traders?”, said one angry customer.
An Indonesian permanent resident expressed similar sentiments and said, “The government thinks that a stall or shoplot is operated by a Malay. It is, but only on paper. The Malay leases his stall to a foreigner, for a set fee, around RM 2,000 to 3,000 a month.
“The Malay is happy to receive this rent, for no work. The Indonesian builds a customer base, works hard, makes a small fortune and learns from his business.”
Poor Ismail Sabri wonders why Malays are lagging behind in business. He is not helping them, by giving them a bigger crutch.
Ismail named Opposition leader
Yesterday, Ismail Sabri, the MP for Bera, was named the Opposition leader. He will increase the racial and religious rhetoric to divide Malaysians further. When will our politicians start to think in Malaysian terms, instead of just talking about Islam or Malays?
The weaker our politicians, and the more inferior they feel, Umno-Baru/PAS leaders who lack self-respect, will fall back on racist and religious bigotry. Why? It is because they are bankrupt of ideas and they have no clue how to become true leaders.