We should be grateful and proud to be Malays.....
By Syed Akbar Ali OutSyed The Box
Dia ni jer yang malu jadi Melayu.....
By Syed Akbar Ali OutSyed The Box
Well thank you everyone for sending your comments to my Blog about 'The One & Only Problem In Malaysia'. I have received over 154 comments (and still coming).
Here is my favorite short story. There was a monkey sitting in a tree by a stream. The monkey spied a fish caught in the reeds in the stream (or so the monkey thought). Being a good natured creature and wanting to help the distressed fish, the monkey went down the tree, picked up the fish, climbed back up the tree and put the fish down right beside him on a branch. Of course the fish died. The monkey thought he was doing the fish a favour.
If it happens just once, maybe its ok (one fish less). But if all monkeys behaved like this, fish will be wiped out. To all Malays, Chinese, Indians and others out there - do not give monkey solutions to help fish. It wont work.
Coming back to what I wrote, it is quite obvious that we can all clearly see the problems easily. Banyak complain. It is easy to complain. But we are all in this boat together. We need solutions. Recognising the root of the problem is the first step. Unfortunately I dont think we have recognised the root of the problem. Reading some of the comments, many people are in plain denial mode.
Even if we are not in this boat together (some of you are commenting from outside the country) we still need to help our fellow human beings. This is our own species we are talking about. We can join up "Save The Whales". But on the way, lets stop to "Save Human Beings First". Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazan, Iban are all human beings. Who is going to save us the human beings? It has to be us.
What is the point of watching the news on TV about some disaster affecting human beings in some far away country and then being moved to organise money, aid, help etc for the affected human beings in far away lands when there are our own human beings in our own country who also need our help? Let us make our own backyards and frontyards better first before we go off to "Save the Planet".
If we had all stopped to help each other from the beginning, then our country will not be in this type of predicament. Lets start helping those who need help. And there is no such thing as one size fits all. We must help people to suit their different needs and circumstances.
Then some of you "pejuang Melayu" have staunchly defended that ALL Malays are just as good in IT, car repair, house renovation etc. While we pray for this statement to come true, we must also take the right steps to make sure that this hope will come true as soon as possible. Some of you have accused me of being racist pula. I think one commenter got it right when he said 'Dr Mahathir has been saying this for 40 years'. He is certainly referring to "The Malay Dilemma". Yes bro. And I am saying the same thing too.
I got a call telling me that someone had posted a reply to me in another Blog ! !
Kita perlu dewasa dalam menangani isu masa depan kita. Jangan kita membuang masa menang sorak saja. Dan jangan pula kita bodoh sombong. Bodoh, tapi tak tahu bodoh, lepas itu sombong pula. What a terrible fate.
No matter what is our race or religion in this country, our objective must be this : it is better to have richer neighbours than poorer neighbours. Logically, richer neighbours may be less envious of you, may not complain as much about your wealth, may not plot to steal from you, may not riot in the streets, may not complain to Queen Elizabeth etc. So let us help to make our neighbours richer. Dr Mahathir called it "Prosper Thy Neighbour".
Another objective : it is better to have better educated neighbours than less educated neighbours. Better education of course must mean a quality education. I think there is a consensus that better educated people make for better friends, husbands, wives, citizens, human beings, workers, managers etc. Education is the most valuable commodity on the surface of the earth. So lets educate our neighbours to a level better than us. (If to a level lesser than us, then there will be no progress lah - obvious isnt it).
And that is why we still need Affirmative Action. That is why we still need the NEP. Most of you non Malays agree that the Malays are still not there yet when it comes to competing freely. Most of you agree to this, all across the board. Not just the Malays, all the bumiputras too cannot yet fully compete in an open and free economy.
I have a wider view. In my view nearly all Muslims in all Muslim countries cannot compete either - I blame it on the religious interpretations too. Do read my book "Malaysia & The Club of Doom, the collapse of the Islamic countries". To back this up, I would like to reproduce a short comment that came in from KSA? (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?) Here is the comment:
"its the same problem here in KSA. ur article could be about KSA." Kingdom man
Non competitive behaviour can most definitely be identified with race but it has nothing to do with racial DNA. It has to do with culture, traditions and religion (and language to some extent) which can really dent a people's attitude and their competitiveness. This problem can be changed.
Having agreed that the Malays and the bumiputras cannot yet compete in a free and open economy (this is what the Perkasa boys are saying hence the insistence that the NEP continue unabated, no "meritocracy" in university intakes etc) let me summarise what we SHOULD NOT DO. 'Equal treatment of people in unequal circumstances tantamounts to inequality'. This is a very true statement. We should not be doing that.
Allow me to cite another example. Despite being around from before the trees that grow on their land, the Orang Asli hide behind trees when they see you coming. They are a peaceful but very shy people. I have seen this many times. Once in Gambang in Pahang, we surprised an Orang Asli woman who was washing by a pond. She dropped everything she had with her and fled into the trees.
So we should not go to the Orang Asli and say 'Now we have the National Land Code. Under the National Land Code, you must pay Quit Rent for all these lands. If you dont pay Quit Rent, then we will confiscate your land and auction it off to other people.'
For certain the Orang Asli will not be able to pay Quit Rent. They would not even understand what it means. I am happy that now (after such a very very long time) the Malaysian Courts are giving more regard to the plight of the Orang Asli and their "traditional lands". In Sabah and Sarawak, the Native Land Enactments serve to protect the native lands better (or they should) but that too is being abused by clever people.
We cannot just apply the National Land Code, "meritocracy", or "Malaysian Malaysia" which will most certainly drive the Orang Asli off their land. That will be gross "trickery". If we apply the same rules to the Orang Asli, they will lose hands down. Please remember : "equal treatment of people in unequal circumstances tantamounts to inequality".
This is what the British did to the Malays in Province Wellesley (and other places) in the early days of British colonialism.
The British wanted to open land for their nutmeg plantations in Province Wellesley (Seberang Prai). They did not have enough manpower, plus they wanted to save money. So they first got Malays to clear vast acreages of land in Province Wellesley - by promising them land title rights and farming assistance. The kampong Malays were happy.
So the Malays cleared the jungle. Then the British said, we will now survey your land and give you a piece of paper, a title - to your land so that you may have ownership. Then no one can claim your land. The Malays were overjoyed too.
Then the British told the Malays, you must now pay Quit Rent for every land title that you have. This stumped the poor Malays. Then the British said 'you must pay the Quit Rent in Spanish Silver Dollars only' (which was the currency available in this part of the world at that time - but not in huge quantity). The Malays really had problems here. They were simple village folk who had little experience with Spanish Silver Dollars (masa itu tak ada mamak money changer).
Then finally the British said, you must pay the Quit Rent in Spanish Silver Dollars at the Land Office which is across the water on Prince of Wales Island (Penang Island). It was bureaucratic red tape. To cut the story short, the Malays did not pay the Quit Rent, the British confiscated their land titles and sold the nicely cleared land to the British plantation companies. (I read this in a book written by a slightly remorseful Mat Salleh colonial.) The province Wellesley Malays got taken for a ride and lost their lands too.
It was British trickery. They made the rules and so they knew the rules were to their advantage. The Malays would definitely lose the cleared lands. It was "equal treatment of people in unequal circumstances." The result was completely inequality.
So we cannot just harp on 'meritocracy', 'Malaysian Malaysia' and such because you, me and everyone else knows what that means : the Chinese, the Ceylon Tamils, the Malayalis, the Gujeratis and Sindhis will win hands down. They will own all the wealth in the land in no time. Why? Because the Malays and the bumiputras still cannot compete.
The Malays, the Sabah & Sarawak bumiputras and even the estate Tamils will all get totally left behind. (Like the situation in this country before 1970). "Equal treatment of people in unequal circumstances tantamounts to inequality."
So lets drop the subject. It will not work. But I can hear you asking : "So sampai tua kah, we implement the NEP, bend over backwards, take a step back and wait? Until when? 2020? 2050? 2100? I dont know how long this will take.
Someone asked for solutions. If I tell you some of my solutions, they may charge me under the Sedition Act again. Some of the solutions have got to do with religion. And religion is always 'sensitive, sensitive, sensitive'. So that part rugi lah, I cannot speak freely about religion. When anyone - not just me ok - cannot speak freely (about anything, not just about religion), we can also become poor. You can thank yourselves for that.
Do recall what I said, its not just the Malays in Malaysia - all Islamic countries suffer major problems. They are backward. They are in the Club of Doom. Bodoh sombong. If you are a Muslim in an Islamic country anywhere on the surface of this earth, chances are very high that you are either poor or living off easy (oil) money that you did not earn. Proof : look at the oil producing Arab countries, us, Somalia, Southern Thailand etc. (Someone mentioned negara Islam in Central Asia - what about them? Formerly poor Islamic countries, swallowed by communist Russia, now back to Islam / secular / communist / dictatorship whatever).
The only Muslims who are getting on quite well in life are Muslims living in kafir countries like US, UK, Australia or Germany. Even underwear yang kita pakai pun orang kafir yang buat (Crocodile, Polo, Pagoda, Hommes, Byford).
But lets deal with our own country Malaysia first. Everyone needs to chip in. We can certainly shorten the process if we all pull together to move the Malays and bumiputras as quickly up the learning curve as possible. (Why 'we all'? Because we all live here together lah. That is why.) And there are a million different ways to do this.
Here is just one idea : we must call upon the Chinese. Has any Chinese tycoon (hello Tan Sri Vincent Tan & friends) or Chinese conglomerate set up any kind of structured program to train bumiputra management executives? A well structured 'Management Training Program' or 'Mentorship Program' specially for bumiputra graduates? Why not?
Let me make a suggestion : why not just a few of the Chinese owned conglomerates from the likes of YTL, Berjaya, Kuok Group, Lion Group, Parkson, Tan Chong, Public Bank, IGB, Tan & Tan, Rimbunan Hijau, Boon Siew, Giant Hypermarkets, Silverstone, Genting, Bolton, Zhulian, Tek Seng, Poh Kong, White Horse, Nam Fatt, Goh Ban Huat, Ann Joo, Muda Holdings, etc initiate a 'Bumiputra Management Training Program'?
Say each year, they commit themselves to jointly take in for employment 2000 bumiputra graduates (2000 is a very very small number because the Berjaya Group alone employs over 60,000 people) to be put through a structured Five Year Apprenticeship program.
In the five years, put young graduates through every aspect of business management from front desk, marketing, finance, general management etc. At the end of five years you will have an experienced and capable bumiputra executive pool which hopefully also understands Chinese business very well.
This is one suggestion only. This is not social welfare. They must do proper work and be paid market salaries. If the Chinese business conglomerates can come together to do something like this for the Malays, it will do miracles towards building trust between all our races. This will indeed be "Malaysian Malaysia".
In five years we will have 10,000 "Chinese conglomerate" trained bumiputra executives adding to the pool of skilled bumiputra executives in our country. They will not be burning taxpayers money at the GLCs (kalau tak bagi kat Singapore, GLC belanja duit bagi kat Cina juga !! Bodoh sombong !! ) but they would learn to do business with the main business groups in Malaysia. Err..if you have not noticed, the main business groups in Malaysia are all Chinese ok.
This is "prosper thy neighbour" too. It will benefit everyone.
And when the Malay community sees the Chinese conglomerates running a specific program to give the Malays a leg up in life, surely there will be reciprocity. There will be many happy returns (on the investment). It is bound to happen.
If we pull together as a nation, sincerely willing to help each other for economic benefit (no need charity lah or social welfare) eventually there will even be less need for the NEP. And folks like Perkasa may not see threats behind every tree.
If we really want to help our people, we can think up a million ways to do it. My comments are targeted at every Malaysian. However I hope the Chinese people take note too. This is not a blame game. I am the last person on earth to blame my Chinese neighbours for all their sucesses. That would be stupid. I wish them more success. But they must realise that while they are very succesful, others are less so. Stopping to help your neighbours become more competitive will only create even more wealth.
When I was in Cambodia last week, I noticed that among the many poor people, there were huge mansions and houses which had Chinese writing over the front doors. The local guide, a Khmer, said with some envy that of 14 million people in Cambodia, about 5% or over 600,000 people were Chinese. And these 600,000 Chinese controlled all the big businesses in Cambodia. (The same applies for Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and the Phillipines. Lets just accept the fact that we live in the China Sea ok).
Maybe Cambodia too will need an NEP. Which will have its own series of pluses and minuses, just like our own NEP. The NEP has served us very well. The time has come for it to evolve seriously. Hopefully the Chinese in Cambodia will engage more closely with the Khmers (both have the Buddhist religion in common) which will result in linkages and trust that will pull up the native Khmer people quicker.
The correct word is to engage.