Dr M nurtures the system he uses to insult the Malays with - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, September 07, 2019
Malaysiakini : “If a man is convinced that he is safe only as long as he
uses his power to give others a sense of insecurity, then the measure
of their security is in his hands. If security or insecurity is at the
mercy of a single individual or group, then control of behaviour becomes
routine. All imperialism functions in this way.” ― Howard Thurman
Sometimes I wonder about the far-right and the Islamists in this
country. It must be difficult throwing their support behind someone like
the Bersatu grand poobah, all in the hopes of dismantling the Pakatan
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s latest salvo against the Malay community with a blog post decrying their culture of "tak bekerja”
is the kind of post-colonial gobbledygook which was fashionable at one
time and passed off as hard truths that some thought the Malay community
needed to hear.
If a non-Malay had said something like
this, the far-right and their proxies would be up in arms. Maybe the
young boy minister who leads Bersatu Youth would have made a police
report and organisations like Isma (Malaysian Muslim Solidarity) and
their factotums would be calling for god-knows-what.
these defenders of race and religion have to keep quiet while the old
maverick continues to play from his greatest hits, which means blaming
the community which forms his base and at the same time furthering
narratives that there is something wrong with "Malay” culture instead of
the system which nurtures such characteristics that he claims to
I mean take this line from the blog post for instance –
“Yang tidak dapat dinafi ialah British membawa sistem Pemerintahan yang
lebih baik dan Negeri-Negeri mengalami sedikit sebanyak pembangunan.”
If Mahathir really believed this, then why didn’t he build on this
legacy instead of tearing it down? Why does he continue his anti-Western
narratives while supporting religious and racial narratives that enable
racist policies which are detrimental to the community he has no
problem lecturing when it comes to their economic viability as compared
to the non-Malay community?
The Malays are not the problem, but
rather the racial and religious system that he helped create. Calling
the Malays “lazy” and commending the ingenuity and work ethic of
“foreigners” is just the kind of reverse psychology which detracts from
the systemic failures of the "Malay” system - the system which enables
the Malay political structure to continue with their policies and which
at the same time makes scapegoats of the non-Malays.
ends his political diatribe with this – “Nasib kita di tangan kita.
Memarahi orang lain tak akan menyelesai masalah kita. Bilangan kita
dikatakan bertambah. Tetapi jumlah besar orang yang miskin tidak dapat
bersaing dengan jumlah kecil orang yang kaya.”
Now I want you to
think about this. The "jumlah kecil orang yang kaya" is most certainly
the non-Malays, most probably the Chinese. If this was really a
radical piece of work by a political operative, the “jumlah kecil orang
yang kaya” would be the Malay political elite and the plutocrat class -
which should be distinguished from the Malay gentry class - that
This kind of rage against the Malay plutocratic
machine is the dialectic that is coming from the PSM, specifically Malay
members whose work does not get the kind of attention that is needed in
this country for obvious reasons. Why? Because we can’t have
Malays questioning the economic system which purports to make them
“masters” of the land through racial and religious policies, but which
in reality maintains a system of serfdom.
We can’t have the Malays -
especially the much maligned “rural Malays” - questioning the economic
success of a specific class of Malay created by a system of patronage
which they are told they could be a part of if they are lucky enough to
have the right connections.
We can’t have the Malays questioning
the huge budgets of the religious bureaucracy which they are told is
needed to defend the sanctity of Islam and which hampers the
entrepreneurial culture of the Malay community through religious edicts
and political meddling for the benefit of whichever Malay political
structure is in power.
We can’t have the Malays questioning the
system which encourages them to reject ideas of smaller families but
instead encourages them to propagate for religious and racial reasons,
and then when their “bilangan bertambah banyak”, they are blamed for not
wanting to do jobs which would require a level of time and resource
management which they are not even educated on through the education
We can’t have the Malays questioning why, if their
community is under threat, things have not changed after decades of
Malay rule and perhaps the appointments of non-Malays into positions of
power could be the kind of change that benefits their community, like it
did when a colonial power established a system of governance which the
old maverick claims had some merit.
We can’t have the Malay
community separating itself from those public institutions which are
deemed “Malay” because to do so, to align with their fellow Malaysians
and pass judgement on ineptitude, corruption and declining standards –
in other words, to speak as a diverse community – would change the
discourse from that of race to that of policy.
The ‘ketuanan cudgel’
this blog post, Mahathir is playing victim and aggressor. The Malay
community are blamed for their predicament they find themselves in and
told not to blame others, while at the same time, the system enables
feelings of victimhood and suspicion of the economic motives of the
Some Harapan partisans have written to me, reassuring
me that things will change when Mahathir steps down. Does anyone really
believe this? Which Malay leader has the charisma and the political will
to dismantle the system which is used to “oppress” the Malays? This is a
system which political leaders like Mahathir conveniently use to
lecture the Malay community but at the same continues to enable because
it is an easy method to sustain power.
Mahathir has lamented that
the Malays are lazy, untrustworthy and that he failed to change the
culture of the Malays. He has claimed that he has tried to “teach,
scolded, cried and even prayed” to change this culture.
people may fall for these words. Some people – especially non-Malays who
are used to being on the receiving end of the ‘ketuanan’ cudgel – will
point to the Malays and think they are receiving some much-needed words
of the truth.
The truth is that Malay power structures have never
ever wanted to reform the system. Instead they have enabled it, nurtured
it and made use of it to bamboozle the Malay polity. And when they see
the failure of their endeavours, they blame the very community they
claim they want to protect.
As far as I am concerned, they are a
bunch of mendacious thugs, who cannot even accept responsibility for
their failures and are in no position to lecture anyone.