Since the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew I have tried to put into words my esteem for the manner he had lived his life - whether publicly or privately - but words failed me because nothing I write could convey the depth of my respect for this man. My thoughts kept going back to December 2011 when I was last in Singapore and I realized that what I wrote then and posted in my blog, in a small way, defined what Lee has done to Singapore and the effect it had on people who came to Singapore and saw for themselves that Singapore that Lee inspired and help built.
So here again is that article - in effect a tribute to Lee Kuan Yew for what Singapore has become because of him.
For me personally that trip to Singapore made me aware what the Malays have become when Malay leaders fail in their responsibility to lead even their own kind...what more the non-Malays! And all it took to open my eyes to what Malaysia could have been was to spend two days in Singapore to look at the Singapore that Lee Kuan Yew helped built.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Takkan Melayu Hilang Di Dunia? ...dream on!
I was in Singapore the last few days for work. Have not been to Singapore for over 20 years. The driver of the taxi that drove me from the airport to my hotel was Malay. On the ride to the hotel he pointed out that all the land along the coast that was now fully developed was reclaimed land. He said that Singapore could no longer buy sand from Indonesia or Malaysia – so Singapore now buys its sand from Vietnam. He suggested that maybe the Malaysian government should consider letting Singapore mine all the sand it needed from the Pahang and Perak river so that floods would not occur as frequently as they do now – this way Singapore would have their sand and Malaysia gets two strikes against Singapore: Payment for the sand and flood prevention! I quietly smiled at his logic. If only our politicians could think that clearly!
At night I would watch TV as I ate dinner and what I saw on Singapore TV gave me some explanation as to why Malaysia is so far behind Singapore. No I am not just talking about the physical aspect of development where a comparison between the two countries would be an exercise in futility: Where would you begin? From Changi airport, the taxis I took, the buses and trains that I used to the presence of a city confident in its growth and secure of its place globally, Singapore is everything that Malaysia is not!
Singapore TV is filled with programs that provides you with information of world events, knowledge about anything that you would care to know and learn about and many programs that tells Singaporeans that life out there is to be lived and enjoyed responsibly. No politicians in sight on their TV. Nothing that would allow any sensible, intelligent Singapore TV viewer to be upset at any attempt by the Singapore government to try and influence them on matters political.
Malaysian TV is pathetic and an embarrassment to watch. Talk show hosts that are so condescending to their guests that it makes me cringe! We have crowds of people being told about the latest government projects that will benefit them and the nation. What passes for Television programs is in reality government propaganda - pure and simply drivel and unmitigated spew of useless information that benefits no one – not even the government because all it does is to turn the thinking viewer against such blatant propaganda of a BN government desperate to win a coming general election. I remember one episode where this Malay politician was opening a show or seminar of some sort by unfurling a banner with a giant size portrait of himself! It makes me want to spew!
What was more disturbing to me is thinking how all this rubbish on Malaysian Television will affect those Malaysian watching Malaysian TV. If that is the only TV they watch then what chance do these people have of developing into a better human being? We have been told that we are what we eat…well I think what our government allow our people to watch on TV and read in the media is what we will be: a people blinkered and oblivious to the world outside.
But as a Malay what saddens me is that the politics within UMNO defines us Malays as we have never been defined before. Before this the Malays saw themselves as a people who went about their life with a quiet dignity secure in the knowledge that as a people, they had the respect of the other races and felt themselves worthy of being Malays – son of the soils. More important we had a sense of self worth.
Today the ugliness of the Malay persona is now no longer a matter than can be kept within the confines of family and the Malay community. How can it be kept from the public domain when Malays are ridicule and laughed at as they try to walk along the path where others have walked – and in trying to do so they have failed miserably. Failed because they are ill equipped to compete on a level playing field with the other races.
This is not something that UMNO can sweep under the carpet anymore.
Today it is the Malays themselves who have realized the dire situation that they are in. This is what the Malays now know of themselves.
There are no great Malay leaders in this country of ours any more. All our leaders, without exception, has in one-way or another, failed us – and yet having failed they still insists that their right to remain a Malay leader is unaffected. The Malay leaders of today are a joke!
The education of our young has not prepared or equipped them to compete on a level playing field against non-Malays in Malaysia and against others when they go overseas. They have failed miserably from their ability to master the English Language to their ability to interact and handle the intricacies of living amongst non-Malays.
I have been shamed countless times when in conversation with Malay students in Australia – not only by their woefully inadequate ability to speak decent English but more worrying in the blinkered approach to education with the ‘them’ and ‘us’ approach to everything – from social interactions to having no understanding that we must celebrate diversity – not treat it as a threat to our Malay ethnicity, to our religion and to our way of life. That they have failed to do so is painfully obvious to me as a Malay – what more to the people they meet. But ignorance is bliss and these students are unable to comprehend that they are looked upon as an object to be pitied rather then laughed at. And so these students go about their education oblivious to their failings. Katak di bawah tempurong!
The Malays can no longer ignored the reality that the non-Malays are way ahead by leaps and bounds in all things Malaysians: Business, Education, civil society and even respect and dignity of their own race.
How is this possible when the Malays have complete control of government since Merdeka and should and did have control over all aspects of life in Malaysia?
How is this possible when the Malays have 9 Sultans and numerous Governors as the constitutional head of state?
How is this possible when the Malays have 9 Sultans and numerous Governors as the constitutional head of state?
How is this possible when the Malays numerically overwhelmed all the other races put together?
And yet all this advantages have made the Malays into a people that can no longer hold their head nobly whatever their circumstances simply because the Malay dominated Barisan Nasional government has failed in their much stated purpose of Ketuanan Melayu.
Failed not in the getting of the Ketuanan Melayu but failed in the manner in which Ketuanan Melayu is used to further NOT The Malay interest but to further UMNO’s interest.
And therein lies the tragedy of the Malays! AN UMNO that takes for themselves what should really be for the Malays.
And it is in the leaders of UMNO that we see the worst of the Malays acting out what the Malays have now become! These UMNO leaders are the epitome of greed, corruption and thievery of the nations wealth for their own pockets.
That the Malays have now lost their sense of pride and dignity because of the misdeeds and abuse by UMNOI politicians of the public office they hold is of no concern to these UMNO Malays. The behavior of these UMNO leaders now mirrors that of the Sultans who have long ago surrendered any dignity they might still have and any claims to being Malay leaders by their decadent lifestyle that they lead on the money they get from the Rakyat.
Are they Malays powerless to stop their leaders from taking them further down the road of lost respect and lost dignity. How not to lose respect for a Malay leader like Najib? In fact look at the families of all the Prime Ministers of Malaysia bar Tunku : Malays all of them: And all of them in one way or the other have profited hideously from the office of Prime Minister.
And with Najib he goes a step further. The emergence of a wife that thinks that being the wife of the Prime Minister entitles her to be styled First Lady of Malaysia!
What these Malays leaders are doing are being aped by other Malays in position of trust and power – where the getting of wealth by any means possible have brought into existence of at least two generations of Malays that have been brought to believe that Malaysia owes them a living: ask not what you can do for your country but ask what your country can do for you!
Two generations of Malays totally spoiled and weaken to expect something for nothing by a UMNO totally devoid of any interest in furthering the interest of any Malay what more other Malaysian, other then of themselves!
I am ashamed of being Malay. Ashamed because of the deeds and actions taken by UMNO in the name of the Malays. How can I not be ashamed that a Malay Minister of Defense have seen it fit to allow a good friend of his to profit RM$500 million merely by arranging for the Malaysian government to buy French Submarines?
How can I not be ashamed of these Malay leaders when a Malay Prime Minister – well almost a Malay Prime Minister! – saw it fit to use the people’s money - to the tune of RM$1 billion - to bail out the shipping company of his son!
How can I not be ashamed when a Minister, no less, is sent as our Ambassador in Washington after being caught out for outraging the modesty of a waitress serving him!
These Malays do more damage to the Malays at large then to themselves.
The Malays had Dato Onn, Tunku, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Dr Ismail Ali, Ghazali Shafie …all great Malay leaders whose duty was to the Malays and to Malaysia and all Malaysians!
Who do we have now? Malay leaders whose idea of being great is having the latest model Mercedes and living in mansions paid for by their thieving of the people's money and taking actresses or singers for their wives and mistresses! And the Malay singers and actresses who thinks that these ageing lotharios is a good catch probably defines the materialistic mind frame that permeates too many Malays everywhere.
It pains me to see the Malays like this. It pains me even more when the most concerned of people are not the Malay leaders but the other races who are witness to the Malay fall from grace. The non Malays worry for the Malays more then the Malay leaders because they know that until the Malays are energized to do something for themselves by getting rid of these useless Malay leaders, then they too would have to bear the brunt of the corruption and the rape and pillage of their country by these UMNO leaders.
Let us all realize that we are all in this together. What the Malays are now enduring the other races are also enduring and we can only get out of this impasse by working together.
The irony that I as a Malay is mocking and putting down my own race is not lost on me. Cutting off my nose to spite my face! For me UMNO has cut of the Malay nose a long time ago. PKR is not far behind because here again is a Malay dominated political entity that is run by Malays who presumes it is their right to do as they please in PKR because they are the leaders of PKR. If UMNO has cut of the nose of the Malay face then PKR is working on the ear!
I say all this because it needs to be said. It cannot be ignored that the Malays have now lost their way in a country they call their own. If they cannot see themselves being so then I will point that out to them. If you want to assail me for being a turncoat to my own race by living in Australia – let me tell you this. A Malay is still a Malay wherever he or she is.
Open your eyes, engage your brains. Think and ask yourself if you are proud to be a Malay in Malaysia today. I am not. I no longer wish to refer to myself as a Bumiputra because being a Bumiputra does not make me any more a Malay as a Chinese would be more a Chinese if he lives in China or an Indian in India!
Being a bumiputra is an embarrassment to anyone today because it denotes an unfairness within a society that tells you that birth, race and religion entitles you to being someone else other then what you are not – a first amongst equal. Today privileges of birth no longer hold any sway over civilized societies - be you a Sultan or the son of a Prime Minister. Everything that you want to be must be earned through hard work and decent labor. And this is why the position of the Malays in Malaysia have long ago been compromised by an UMNO government that sees the Malays only as a tool to further their hold on power in this country.
But having had power for the last 53 years UMNO has not discarded the Malays - no they still have need of the Malays to win the next general elections and the next and the next! The question now is whether we Malays will let them use us anymore!
My fellow Malays look around you and ask yourself why we now like this? We allow our leaders to engage in gutter politics! They no longer talk about extra marital sex as being against Islam – today it is sodomy! Today it is Malay leaders who take second wives without the knowledge of their first wives. Today it is about using religion to threaten and cowered the other races into threading softly in their own country on pain of being branded anti Islam and anti Malays.
Takkan Melayu hilang di dunia!
Let me tell you Malays this. We Malays were never on the world stage! The Chinese were. The Indians were. Not the Malays. So please wake up from the UMNO induced slumber that our people have been in for so long. Fifty-three years to be exact! Our Malay Prime Minister today does not have half the respect the Malay Penghulu used to have in the days when the Penghulus in the kampongs were leaders of the Malays in the rural areas.
But this I know. As a human being we are responsible for who we are and who we want to become. Against all odds the Chinese and other races have survived in Malaysia. Survived better then the Malays. It is time we Malays cast aside these useless Malay leaders that lives off our ethnicity to only further their own vested interests not the Malays.
They are Malay leaders amongst us now that can provide us with an enlighten leadership to take not only the Malays but also all Malaysians towards a better Malaysia. Nurrul for one. But only because she has not had the time to be what her father and so many Malay leaders have now become : UMNO in their thinking, UMNO in their actions and UMNO in the promotion of no other interest but their own. The worry is that given time Nurrul would be what her father is today – a man who held so much promise for the future of our race and our country and yet delivered so little. Let us make sure that Nurrul will not fail. The Malays will not survive another Najib or another Anwar!