Do you know any Malay leader who has put his nation first? I don’t. They only care about the 3 ‘Rs’. They ignore the only ‘R’ that matters – ‘rakyat’. Do you agree?

Unmasking the moderate Malay mind, and putting Malaysia first.

The difference between an oyster and a moderate Malay is that it is easier to prise open an oyster than to open the Malay mind.

If you converse with some Malays, be prepared to spend hours going around in circles.

Try not to blame him, because he is the product of 50 years of brain-washing, the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) and our education system.

Most of the time, your questions will be met with blank stares. Summon your inner reserves, when he replies with “They will not approve…” or “They will say…”

When you remind him, that you are asking him, and not the invisible “them”, he keeps quiet.

My conversation with one ‘moderate’ Malay started when he urged me to give Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin a chance.

I responded with, “He stole our votes from GE14. Neither you, nor I, voted for him. Why let him get away with it?”

After a long silence, he said, “Let Muhyiddin prove himself.”

Has my friend dismissed the trip-ups by key ministers in Muhyiddin’s cabinet, from the health minister’s remedy for coronavirus, which is to drink warm water, to the environment minister, who wants to initiate an investigation of our sewage system to halt the spread of the coronavirus?

I asked, “Will you accept a non-Malay PM?”

He said, “They will not approve.”

I said, “Who are ‘they’? I am asking ‘you’, not ‘them’.”

More silence.

I reminded him of our previous corrupt Malay leaders and said, “The nation comes first. A clean, principled and capable non-Malay, who speaks fluent Malay and is an upright Malaysian has every right to be PM.”


I asked, “What are your fears?”

He said, “We don’t want to end up like the Palestinians. Malays will have nowhere to go. This is our land. That is why this country is called ‘Malay-sia’.”

When I mentioned our apartheid policies, he went quiet, then said, “The Chinese already control the economy, so the Malays should be allowed to control politics.”

I said, “Wouldn’t you want the Malays to do better economically? The NEP has done nothing to uplift the Malays. Don’t you want improvements and a change for the better?”

He said, “Blame the British for divide and rule,” forgetting that the nation was united, until Umno-Baru used the three Rs to seal their grip on power.

I said, “Let’s deal with the current situation, and heal the nation.”


I repeated, “Why not give a competent principled non-Malay the chance to lead Malaysia?”

He said, “There are none.”

I said, “A few non-Malays in the previous Harapan cabinet have proven themselves.”

He mentioned one familiar household name, but omitted the other non-Malays who had performed exceptionally well. Unsurprisingly, no female made his shortlist.

Then, he stipulated that a non-Malay PM had to “guarantee” that they would not become corrupt. I asked if he had made similar demands of Malay PMs, such as disgraced Najib Abdul Razak or Muhyiddin Yassin.

After four hours of talking, he finally admitted, “I don’ want a non-Malay PM.”

Many Malaysians think that the problems of racism, Ketuanan Melayu and religious extremism stem from the rural Malays, whom they consider “uneducated” and ignorant.

The rural Malays are not the problem. The biggest threat is posed by the urban Malays who fear the loss of their unearned privileges, from contracts to housing allocations and to scholarships.

Many people will think that the Malay to whom I spoke is from a kampung. He is not.

He is Western-educated, middle-class and lives in Kuala Lumpur. He is not a conservative Malay/Muslim, but a run-of-the-mill moderate Malay. Our conversation was in English.

He strongly supports Pakatan Harapan and rejects Umno-Baru. He does not wear religion on his sleeve, but like most Malays, is a practising Muslim, and like many Malays, has a patriarchal streak within him.

My opinions, though not scientifically proven, were based on my observations.

At the time of Merdeka, 70 percent of Malays lived in the rural areas, but with migration to the cities, and modernisation, only 30 percent of the Malay population remains in the kampung.

Today, the Malays who demand syariah law and want Malay women to take a back-seat role are not the rural folk.

The villagers are too busy trying to survive, to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. They have no time to deliberate the finer points of governance, rule of law or human rights. They have no access to the internet, whereas the urban Malays do – but the websites they visit are questionable.

Contrary to popular belief, the Malays who demand a more Islamic society in a multicultural Malaysia are the ones who are comfortable in Western attire, who converse in English, are Western-educated, well-travelled, professional and articulate.

The Malays have been conditioned since childhood, through a mixture of family upbringing, agama classes, peer pressure, Friday sermons, extra agama classes in the mosque and various community groups, to believe that they cannot criticise their own brethren.

Instead, they believe imported fugitives like Dr Zakir Naik (photo, above), who speaks in English and tells them that a corrupt Muslim leader is preferable to an honest non-Muslim.

If we are not to repeat the mistakes of the past 63 years, Harapan politicians need to change the narrative and work harder to convince the Malays that their and their family’s well-being is not at the mercy of a non-Malay PM.

If my car breaks down, I must first pinpoint the problem, before repairing it. It does not matter if I have a locally made Proton, or an imported model. The same with Malaysia.

Before the nation can overcome its many issues, the moderate Malays must acknowledge that they have a problem.

Rebuilding Malaysia


  • Humairah says:

    In order to move forward we must think of ourselves as Malaysians first. Then we need to just get rid of corrupt leaders – they can be from any race, religion, or party.
    We need answers to problems, not merely dwell on the problems.
    We need to think ahead – Fast fwd to GE15.
    This year has been a sordid one.

  • Venezue Lan says:

    These gentlemen and their children will have lots of time to ponder where they have gone wrong once they board the dinghies taking them to Manila and Dakka, to begin their new career as foreign helpers to the novou rich countries in 50 years time.

  • Md. leon says:

    Malays?? Bumiputras?? …Those so called malays LEADERS
    are leaving in the shadow of ORIGINAL NATIVE ” PRIBUMIS ”
    …so proving that malays aren’t the origins !!! They are
    Just as an outsider foreigner that left indonesia ..centuries ago , then claiming the present land are belong to them with the pribumis..++ origin sabahan sarawakian ..!!

  • Alex says:

    There are like minded malays who thinks a non malay PM is an option now

  • Lau Yew Huang says:

    I know Malays who cares and then some…Mariam Mokhtar, Azly Dahlan, etc!

  • Damaq says:

    I am prepared to have a non-malay as PM provided he has the followings criteria.
    1. Truly malaysian
    2. Speak Bahasa Malaysia better than a Malay
    3. Up hold the constitution
    4. Believe in rukun negara
    5. Come from a multi racial party

    • Nabil says:

      Wow, such a demand. So basically you want the highest standard for a ruler, I respect that. The why dont you ask these same criteria for a Malay too.

      1. Truly Malaysian (No Ketuanan Melayu) Respect all Malaysian

      2. Speak Bahasa Malaysia, what the hell is SOP? Must say Prosedur Kendalian Standard or Prosedur Operasi Standard (POS)

      3. Uphold the Constitution; Everyone is equal except the Monarch. Special privilege doesn’t mean you are above anyone. Just like a handicap, just because he has a special chair, doesnt make him better or higher than all. Yes, handicap people are the ones who needs special privileges , just FYI.

      4. Believe and uphold Rukun Negara looking closely into weaknesses like kedaulatan undang2 and kesopanan dan kesusilaan.

      5.Finally we agree, all leaders should come from a multi racial party.

      Can? Or double standards?

  • Azman Mohd Radzi says:

    Present ustazs calls for loyalty to them only, if not we go to hell and they quote from Al-Quran.

  • Nabil says:

    Well, If PAS is in the government, no one will race the racial issue as much as before. The racial issue was raised during PH time, because they (PAS UMNO) didn’t have anything else to raise. Dont you realize many things have quieten down, Like the Adib’s issue, etc.

  • Steven says:

    Wait till PAS gets a better foothold of the cabinet..the problems of racial divisivness will be more pronounced.

    The nons should actually be prepared to migrate or be treated as 3rd class citizens (already 2nd class now)

  • Thayaparank says:

    IS SMALL ISSUE God save Malaysia

  • Farida Reiss says:

    That is what people say. The Chinese corrupt the Malays. Ate the Malays weak-minded. So easily corruptible?

    • Katie says:

      That’s why we need a good education system to educated everyone especially the Malay to think for themselves and not control by the government or the China man!

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