We may have achieved our second independence, at GE14, but we can only claim to have attained true Merdeka when the Malay mind is liberated from its mental cage. The Malay sees, but fails to observe. He hears, but does not listen.
It was hard work trying to persuade the rakyat to kick Umno-Baru from power, but we succeeded in removing the mental block that made many think change was impossible; but many of us have realised that it is even harder to convince some people to think and act as Malaysians.
After GE14, I have had many conversations with Malays, from all walks of life; the conversations have been most revealing and confirmed many of my suspicions. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the uneducated, or the rural folk who pose the greatest danger to our community.
The well-heeled, widely-travelled urbanites, and the so-called enlightened middle-class Malays, who have easy access to the internet, do not seem to be willing to empower themselves, or to seek the truth and improve themselves. Why is this?
Malays are comfortable and do not see the need for change
One young Malay law student in a local university said, “The Malay is comfortable, so why should he work hard, or change his behaviour? Remove his sources of comfort, and he might be forced to act. He will be reluctant at first, but in the end, he may realise what is good for him.”
A Malay mother said that it all boils down to choice. “The Malay has made a choice, even if you disagree with his decision. You may think that he has done nothing to improve his sorry plight, but that is still his choice. You may not think he has done enough, or done anything, but as far as he is concerned, he has already made his choice. You may think that he is in blissful ignorance, but again, that was his choice.”
A young single mother said that she was too busy trying to provide for her family to care. “In my case, I have no choice. The syariah court has chosen not to enforce the law, so I and my three young children are forced to suffer.
“My ex-husband does not pay maintenance for his children. He is comfortable, but we are not. He has enough money to take on a new bride, and when I complain to the syariah court, I am told that his choice to remarry is provided for in Islam.”
One former teacher, who is from Penang, described how some Malay parents in her circle did not value education and allowed their teenage children to stop schooling.
“It starts off with the child playing truant. After a certain number of days absence, the child’s teacher will visit the parents, and try to persuade them to send their child to school.
“In most cases, the parents will say that they uphold their child’s decision to leave school, because it is a waste of money and time. They may also claim there will always be a place in the warung (hawker stall), for the child to make drinks or take orders, and help in the family business.
“If we teach the parents the value of education, we see some positive results. More importantly, we will have helped the child to choose a better future,” the former teacher said.
Decades of brainwashing
Decades of brainwashing have created a powerless, and helpless, Malay. He is a victim of his circumstance. He finds it difficult to talk to other races. He finds it hard to forgive. He thinks it is impossible to love those who are not of his race, or religion.
At times he cannot differentiate between right and wrong. He is afraid to offer an opinion. He does not think he should apologise. His culture tells him that he cannot question his elders, or others, and so he bottles things up, until he can no longer stand it – and he then runs amok.
He spends his life keeping score, and covets the few privileges accorded to the non-Malays and then claims that these are not fair, because he has been deprived of his rights.
Our collective silence has created a nation in which the Malays and non-Malays have become strangers. Many Malays have been so molly-coddled that they have become de-sensitised to the needs of others. They are easily offended. Many non-Malays are fearful of being branded “interfering”, and keep quiet.
It is not all doom and gloom. There is hope. We need to show the enslaved Malay – not tell him, but show him with our deeds and actions, how he can be set free from his mental shackles.
One way is by talking to him. Next time, you attend a dialogue or forum, drag a Malay to the event. Engage him in conversation. Initiate simple discussions.
If you say you have no Malay friends, then find one. Anyone who claims he has no Malay friend is contributing to the problem!