Syed Saddiq’s ‘hidden hand of the corporate market’ - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | Di manakah
"ketuanan" pada hari ini? Adakah Melayu betul-betul tuan di tanah air
tercinta ini, atau adakah kita hanya sekadar "tuan" pada tanda nama,
tetapi hakikatnya, semakin terpinggir dan diperhambakan tanpa sedar?
– Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman on Twitter
[What is the state of this “Malay supremacy” today? Are Malays truly
lords in their beloved homeland or are we just “lords” in name but in
reality, getting more marginalised and enslaved without realising it?] Here are some other things that the Youth and Sports minister has said on Twitter – “Namun, sebagai seorang anak muda yang tidak ingin melihat masa
depan anak bangsa dibuai mimpi yang palsu, saya bertanggungjawab untuk
berkongsi rasa sebelum maruah nasib bangsa saya terhakis
[However, as a young man who doesn’t wish to see Malay youths buoyed
by false dreams, I take the responsibility of speaking up because the
pride of my race is being slowly eroded.]
Mana perginya "Ketuanan" apabila 7 daripada 10 orang penagih dadah di Malaysia merupakan anak muda Melayu?
[Where is the “supremacy” when seven out of 10 drug addicts in Malaysia are Malay youths?]
Mana perginya "Ketuanan" apabila kontraktor-kontraktor Melayu sanggup berkiblatkan modal ali-baba untuk makan untung atas angin?
[Where is the “supremacy” if Malay contractors are guided by Ali
Baba-style practices of making a profit without putting in any effort or
Mana perginya "Ketuanan" apabila individu Melayu hanya memiliki kurang dari 4% kekayaan di pasaran saham negara
[Where is the “supremacy” when Malay individuals own less than four percent of the stocks on the country’s bourse.]
Mana perginya "Ketuanan" jika 9.8 juta orang Melayu mempunyai
pelaburan ASB kurang dari RM5 ribu sedangkan 500 ribu orang Melayu lain
mengumpul 63% jumlah pelaburan ASB.
[Where is the “supremacy” if 9.8 million Malays have Amanah Saham
Bumiputera investments worth less than RM5,000 whereas 500,000 other
Malays are reaping 63 percent of ASB investments.]
Mana perginya "Ketuanan" apabila ramai anak muda Melayu memilih
utk merempit sampai ke lewat malam sambil rakan-rakan bangsa lain gigih
mengejar ilmu utk melakar masa depan yang lebih cerah? Tidak
dinafikan,ada segilintir anak Melayu yg cemerlang,namun masih ramai yang
[Where is the “supremacy” where so many Malay youths choose to go
drag racing late into the night while those of other races are
diligently studying to carve out a brighter future for themselves?
There’s no denying that there are a handful of bright Malay youths but
many more are lost.]
Mana perginya "Ketuanan" apabila pemimpin Melayu yang dahulu
disegani dan dihormati, kini dilihat terpalit dengan rasuah dan salah
[Where is the “supremacy” when Malay leaders who were previously
feared and respected, are now seen to be embroiled in corruption and
abuse of power.]
Dari pekerja di kilang sampailah ke chef di restoran mewah,
pekerja asing juga yang dicari, sambil bangsa kita masih menunggu dan
mengharapkan tawaran kerja yang selesa berhawa dingin yang belum kunjung
[From factory workers to chefs in high-end restaurants, foreign
workers are still sought to fill these roles while those of our race are
still waiting and hoping for job offers in comfortable, air-conditioned
Memang indah untuk kita dibuai mimpi "Ketuanan", tetapi
realitinya ternyata berbeza. Memang popular apabila kita laungkan "Hidup
Melayu", tetapi laungan itu kosong apabila berpijak di bumi yang nyata
[Clearly we are being buoyed by “supremacy” dreams but the reality is
clearly different. Slogans like “Long Live the Malays” are popular but
it is empty on the ground.
And my favourite: Sambil kita menjulang keris dengan bangganya, perlahan-lahan kita sedang menghunusnya ke hati kita sendiri tanpa kita sedari.
[While we raise the keris with pride, slowly we are raising it to our own hearts without realising it.]
Hasn’t the old maverick said some of these things before, while he
was in Umno? Yes, he has. I give kudos to Syed for articulating these
things because at least (even with the backtracking), this is what a
youth leader should be doing. And if these are the kinds of ideas
transmitted during the revamped national service and Biro Tata Negara
courses, then perhaps there is some value to these programmes.
What the youth and sports minister has done is merely articulate what
has been brewing beneath the surface of right-wing types for decades,
which is that the failed policies of mainstream Malay politics have
damned the community in more ways than one.
Do you think that only leftist/liberal Malay types think this way?
Nearly every Umno political operative I have spoken to, has at one time
or another, acknowledged that this “Ketuanan” policy is a failing
policy. It may be a winning strategy but the economic and social data
speak for themselves. Of course, there is a concerted effort to hide
those facts but really, any rational political operative will tell you
that these race-based policies are failing the country.
Of course, even saying what he said, Syed Saddiq has to make it clear
that the bumiputera policy will not end. That these so-called Malay
rights as “enshrined in the Constitution” will be looked after by the
potentates of Bersatu, the mandarins of the DAP and by the reformers of
PKR. There really is no need for the Bersatu big guns to say that Syed
Saddiq’s words were misinterpreted because anyone reading it understands
that he left no room for misinterpretation.
While there is no room for misinterpretation, this is mainstream
politics, so there is always room for backpedaling, which young Syed
Saddiq has demonstrated that he is more than capable of doing. The more
interesting question posed by Syed Saddiq and which has not gained much
traction in the national discourse is Syed's contention of the hidden
hands of the corporate market:
“If you look at studies by UM and UKM, Malay applicants who graduated
in engineering are three times less likely to land a job when compared
to his or her peers. So this must be a comprehensive [agenda] allowing
equal and equitable access in opportunities. “It is easy to say that people are hired on merit but what underlies a
merit is a system of discrimination. This doesn’t just happen here, but
also in other countries. It is a subconscious discrimination and a hidden hand of the corporate market.”
This, of course, is the counter-narrative of the “ketuanan” ideology.
The narrative that the Chinese-dominated corporate market is
discriminatory against the Malay polity. Or if you prefer, the
sub-narrative that the discrimination is a reaction against the
“ketuanan” ideology. Some could argue that the very reason there is this
so-called discrimination is because of the issues raised in Syed
Saddiq’s tweets but, as usual, any discussion on this blows away the
façade of this bangsa Malaysia Kool-Aid. Which is a good thing.
You have to ask yourself: why is the majority discriminated against
in the corporate sector – if this is really the case. Of course, there
is discrimination in the corporate sector. Why wouldn't there be – in a
country which does not address questions of race and gender but instead
hides behind racial and religious politics, or the bangsa Malaysia
Kool-aid, which is a form of racial and religious politics.
Remember that study about hiring practices that caused a storm a couple of years ago by Lee Hwok Aun and Muhammad Abdul Khalid (photo)? Well, imagine if Harapan was really interested in exploring this
question instead of hiding behind these stupid ideas of race and
religion? By the way, Muhamad Abdul Khalid is now an economic adviser to
the prime minister. So, anytime he wants to contribute to what Syed
Saddiq said and inform the rakyat of how the current regime intends to
tackle such issues, now is a good a time as any.
However, as usual, nothing will come out of this. I doubt there will
be any serious movement to enact anti-discrimination laws in Malaysia
and if the current regime will address any form of discrimination beyond
the uttering of pablums that would satisfy the base. Nobody is
interested in taking these issues on even though with the changing
demographic, this country will have a reckoning when it comes to its
But as long as Najib and Umno continue to provide the bread, the Harapan regime will carry on with the circus.