Little do the Malays realise this: that the New Economic Policy (NEP) has benefited the non-Malays more than the Malays. (If you do not believe me, then read this.)
Last week, the country needed to hear the words of both Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah and former finance minister Daim Zainuddin. Both have managed to burst the Ketuanan Malay hypocrisy and NEP bubbles.
Theirs was an honest and courageous admission from the political class. More politicians, especially Malay politicians, must denounce the hardline racists who have corrupted our government and nation. Bitterness and division have destroyed our society. Race and religion have robbed us of unity.
Our neighbours are overtaking us in the economic stakes, but Malaysians act like adolescent teenagers who are spoiling for a fight. This is the fault of both the political class and the clerics.
If you can control the Malay mind, you have discovered a gold mine
If you are able to control the Malay mind, you have discovered a gold mine. That is how politics has been structured in Malaysia, to lead the Malay by his emotion, rather than his intellect.
The Malay population has been raised and force-fed, on an infant formula of race and religion, by the nannies, Umno-Baru and PAS. The Malays are easily manipulated by the Malay politicians and clerics. It is all about control.
Control means that the Malay politician can influence voting patterns and thus, his periuk nasi (plate of rice).
Control means that the clerics can ensure their own survival. A scientist can use facts, formulae and experiments to explain or disprove things; the cleric just plucks an idea from thin air, utters some incomprehensible phrase in a foreign dialect, or uses his own interpretation of a historical text, to strike fear into simple minds.
Control means that the Malay who is ahead of the pack, socially and financially, and can manipulate others in a lower pecking order. Why should he allow others to improve themselves and overtake him?
The greedy Malays want it all
The reprimands of Raja Kamarul Bahrin and Daim could, and should, have been made decades ago. But better late than never!
Critics like me, who have been expounding the same anti-Ketuanan and anti-NEP message for years, have little traction with the public. The Malaysian psyche is such that the Malays, especially, will only listen to members of royalty or eminent persons.
The NEP has successfully created many middle-class Malays; but success also has its downside. During their pursuit of wealth, success corrupted their morals.
The greedy Malays want it all. Money. Power. Property. Recognition. Pretty women. An adoring public. Social standing.
The meaning of true success
Success is not just about money stashed in the bank or the designer clothes one wears. True success is about strength of character, a determination to succeed, a will to survive, a sharing nature, and more importantly, the preservation of one’s humanity and compassion.
The NEP dumbed down at least two generations of Malays, but it has toughened up at least two generations of non-Malays who were denied the same opportunities. The non-Malays had little choice but to work harder, become smarter and go global. These factors do not apply to the well-connected non-Malays.
For instance, the children of politically connected, wealthy non-Malays go overseas to study, but they return home to Malaysia, unlike their poorer cousins (who would prefer to remain overseas), to plum positions in industry, the family business or politics. They are equals with the politically well connected and wealthy Malays.
The NEP is of no consequence to them. They will prosper and be spoilt anyway, but the bulk of the Malays are spoilt in another way. They have been conditioned to live with crutches.
Umno-Baru/PAS politicians push Malays to attain rock-bottom standards.
The Umno-Baru/PAS politicians who claim to protect the Malays are doing them a great disservice. They merely push Malays to attain rock-bottom standards.
In schools and universities, it is alleged that the pass marks for Malay students are lowered, so they can easily enter the next level. The Malay mind is not allowed to be stretched, or challenged, and fails to realise its true potential. Language is politicised, so the Malay prefers to speak only Malay, to be seen as patriotic.
Malay children attend religious classes, both in school and after school. They are excluded from attending moral classes and despite the religious exposure, large numbers of Malays are involved in drug-taking, petty theft, teenage pregnancies and many become Mat Rempits.
You may recall how former Umno-Baru minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob (L in photo), once wanted Malay-owned businesses to be excluded from the strict requirements for obtaining a halal certificate.
According to Ismail, Malay companies have limited capital and have difficulty complying with the strict requirements set by Jakim. Was he suggesting that the strict regulations set are a deterrent for Malay firms?
Contrast the performance of the non-Malay businessman who applies for halal certification. He goes through hoops and hurdles. He learns to stretch himself. He educates himself about the methods demanded during manufacture and prepares for the future by investing time and money in new technology and equipment.
He learns from his mistakes and perfects his technique. He is focused. He achieves his goal – the halal certificate – so that he can provide halal goods and services to better serve the Muslim community.
In higher education, Malays are the main beneficiaries of scholarships and study loans. In the aftermath of the dodgy degree scandal, it would be interesting to see the percentage of Malay scholarship holders who failed to complete their studies. The money should have gone to deserving non-Malays. Meritocracy should have been the deciding factor, not race.
After decades of the NEP and billions of ringgits pumped into affirmative action schemes, very few Malays have succeeded, because many still consider good management and good business practices to be too tedious.
The reputations of the genuinely successful Malay is sullied by silent whispers that suggest he had the right cable to the top.
The NEP is a method to control Malays
The NEP is a form of control, and more politicians need to emulate Raja Kamarul Bahrin and Daim to denounce the NEP, Ketuanan Melayu and affirmative action policies.
The nation needs to heal and focus on the issues that really matter – bread-and-butter issues.