Someone suggested for me to read an anti-BN blog written by a supposedly intelligent woman named Mariam Mokhtar.
Honestly, I never read anything by her before this.
So, I gave it a try and read this latest post in the blog,
What has “bumiputeraism” done for the Malays? (SEE BELOW)
It actually made me felt like going back being a full-fledged pro-BN blogger again.
Really. I was that disgusted.
I found the post to be extremely arrogant, insulting and condescending.
If I’m a BN operative, I would like to translate the article to Bahasa Malaysia and distribute it among the Malays, telling them that this is the typical attitude of anti-BN people.
That should be able to secure several hundred thousands extra votes for BN.
It’s much better than whacking Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad which only have the opposite effect.
I tried checking the background of this Mariam Mokhtar but can’t really find it.
But I bet she’s one of those Malays who never care to learn how 70 per cent of the Bumiputera were living below the poverty line before the introduction of the New Economy Policy in the early 1970s.
Now it’s almost next to zero per cent, with many these days complaining about their perceived poverty in the social media via their expensive sophisticated smartphones.
This Mariam Mokhtar probably never experienced poverty herself and never feel anything when the Malays were being generalised as stupid or lazy by others.
Her line of reasoning is actually very similar to that of many DAP people that I know.
So, it’s not really off the mark to say that’s the typical attitude towards Malays of many who wanted BN out.
I think it’s also the very reason why many Malays would never accept the opposition, particularly DAP.
Malays as a whole would never accept arrogant, insulting or condescending people like that.
At least Najib, no matter what accusations they threw at him never treated them with such contempt.
A bit of search also revealed that I’m not alone in my opinion about the woman’s writings.
I’m putting in full here a posting from what appeared to be a dormant politically neutral blog about another arrogant, insulting and condescending article by Mariam Mokhtar,(SEE BELOW MARIAM’S ARTICLE)
What has “bumiputeraism” done for the Malays?
What has “bumiputeraism” done for the Malay, apart from giving him a sense of entitlement and make him lord it over the other Malaysians who are not Malay?
The so-called “bumiputeras” could make a real difference in Malaysia, but labelling people, “bumiputera”, is not the way forward. After 60 years of sleepwalking, of which 40 were spent living in denial, Malaysians need to wake up. The term “bumiputera” needs to be consigned to the history books, immediately.
If the people want another reason to reassure them that “bumiputeraism” is wrong, and misleading, they need only look at the Orang Asli, and think, “Why are they, the original settlers of the peninsula, not considered ‘bumiputera’?” The Malays are as pendatang as the non-Malays whom the nationalist Malays like to denigrate.
The word “bumiputera” is synonymous with privilege and division. It manifests itself in racism. It is divisive. It is unfair. It creates a lot of angst and builds resentment.
No parents would like to admit that any one of their children is their favourite. No teachers would like to admit that they have pupils whom they like best, and treat better than the rest of the class. Why should any Malaysian leader mark out a section of the population, to whom they give special treatment? Some of us complain about the west having a class system; we are no different.
For more than four decades, the Malays were told that as “bumiputeras”, they were special. In reality, the term was only used as a feel-good factor so that the majority of Malays could be manipulated by Malay politicians, to harness Malay votes.
Rich bumiputeras benefit the most
The GLCs and bumiputera corporations, which have a finger in every Malaysian economic pie, are helmed by Umno-Baru appointees. Rich bumiputeras benefit the most from “bumiputeraism”.
Rich Malay children benefit from scholarships, when their parents could easily afford school and university fees. Rich Malays get a hefty discount on the purchase of luxury houses when by right, the discount system should only help needy Malays. Rich Malays benefit from share allocations, when in real life poor Malays have no spare cash to indulge in the buying of shares.
Affirmative action policies mean that the Malays are regularly spoon-fed and given bigger crutches to make them dependent on the government.
Sadly, the daily diet of Biro Tatanegara (BTN), of being told false stories that the Malay race and Islam are under threat, that the DAP, Christians and Chinese are going to undermine Malaysia, means that few Malays want to leave their comfort zone, and ditch their reassuring “bumiputera” tag.
Many non-Malays, who enter the big bad world of education or commerce, must learn from their mistakes. The Malays are spared such agonies. Many non-Malays must also try harder and work twice as hard. Not so the Malays.
A non-Malay may get a string of As and be active in sports, charitable deeds and non-academic activities, but he may still not win the coveted scholarship to a public Malaysian university. It is alleged that in schools, the pass mark for Malays is lowered, so that more Malays are able to progress onto the next stage of their education. How fair is that?
Instead of making the Malay strive harder, we are rewarding mediocrity. We hear stories about some Malays failing to make the grade in their first year at overseas universities. It is not entirely their fault. Throughout their young lives, they were told they were the cream of the crop. Suddenly, overnight, they must enter the competitive world.
For a few Malays, studying overseas is a massive culture shock. The girls at least, have stepped out from a highly regulated “bumiputera” world, where many things are taboo, to a fascinating place where the sky’s the limit. Whereas in the past, they were continually told what to wear, how to behave and what to do, now they are free to do as they please.
The “bumiputeras” with a “kabel” to senior Umno-Baru politicians, thrive. Ordinary “bumiputeras” have to fight among themselves for a slice of the increasing smaller economic pie.
Last week, PM Najib Abdul Razak said he would investigate ways to enable Indian Muslims to be considered “bumiputera”. This election gimmick will backfire.
Any true Indian Muslim worth his salt will be proud of his Indian ethnicity and heritage. Indians are normally associated with the Hindu religion, so an Indian who professes to be Muslim is merely changing his faith. He is not changing his race. Changing one’s religion does not alter one’s genetic make-up.
If Indian Muslims are to be given “bumiputera” status, Chinese Muslims, Bangladesh Muslims, Bosnian Muslims or Indonesian Muslims should be accorded the same status.
Watching on the sidelines will be the Malay, who until now, saw himself as the privileged “bumiputera”.
With other races jumping onto the “bumiputera” bandwagon, the ultra Malay will discover that the special “bumiputera” club, is getting overcrowded, and its Malay genetic DNA much diluted. When everyone is special, no one person is special.
A Response to Mariam Mokhtar’s “A superior Malay … is an Arab”
So, The Heat Malaysia featured an article by (who I assume to be) guest writer Mariam Mokhtar. She’s pretty prolific, with her own website and articles/opinion pieces featured in a bunch of news portals. Go click on this link above and then come back.
Done? Cools. Okay, if you were too lazy to read the whole thing, Mariam basically is writing about the modern Malay fascination with Arab culture. I’m sure you’ve seen examples of it. Lots of people are emulating the clothes, rituals, habits and speech patterns (using the Arabic names for holidays like Hari Raya, for example). There’s also a pretty heavy focus on religion in many of these cases.
Mariam argues that the adoption of this culture is making Malay people intolerant and arrogant towards non-Malays and patronising towards Malays who choose not to adopt those ‘Arabic’ aspects. But here’s my problem.
She does it terribly. Ms Mokhtar, if you’re reading this, know that I have no hard feelings on you personally, but your opinion piece is honestly quite horrifying to read. She starts off with an anecdote that goes: “Until the 1990s, a Malay boy would usually reply that his ambition would be to become a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer. Today, a sea [of] change has occurred.
A child social worker said, “These days, many Malay boys aspire to become ustaz. They appear to have no other ambition, or interests.”” I don’t know who this child social worker is, but they’re a horrible child social worker. I thought people in that field were supposed to encourage kids to achieve their dream? I mean, who are you to say that taking up a religious profession means a lack of ambition? She goes on and gives a list of occupations that she thinks are more ‘beneficial’ (engineers and scientists, lecturers and trade workers) and compliments those people for wanting to help their communities, as if those in a religious profession are lazy and ignorant themselves. Come on, Ms Mokhtar, I’m sure you know better than to generalize an entire group? But wait. She then writes: “Many Malays today, are intolerant and arrogant. They claim superiority over other Malaysians, but when it comes to meritocracy, they suddenly cry foul, and blame the non-Malays of denying them of their rights. […] Today, the Malays have allowed the insidious Arabisation to creep into their everyday life, and dilute their own culture.
Their children are given Arabic sounding names, which are difficult to spell and are almost unpronounceable. […] Why does the Malay man not ride his camel to work, rather than terrorise other road users with his kapchai or Proton?” You have got to be kidding me, right? Calling an entire culture ‘insidious’? Making fun of their naming conventions? Using ridiculous stereotypes like ‘Arabs ride camels’? I’m sorry, which group of people are you calling out for being intolerant of other cultures again? And here is where the nail in the coffin lies, guys. She ends her piece with this stunning work of journalistic talent: “The Saudi Arabians depend on Pakistani and Bangladeshi menial labourers.
We, too, depend heavily on Bangladeshi workers. If he’s not careful, the ‘superior’ Malay will be an Arab… or perhaps a Bangladeshi.” Give this woman a Pulitzer Prize, folks! I’m going to ignore the incredibly obvious question of “How is that at all relevant to this discussion?” because that would be too easy. How on Earth could you be so condescending to foreign workers? If ‘superior Malays’ are not ‘careful’, they’ll end up like Bangladeshis? How do you mean, Ms Mokhtar? Do you mean to say that they will begin to work extremely hard? Do you mean to say that they’ll be willing to travel thousands of kilometres, going through isolation in a foreign country in hope of a better life for their family? Or perhaps you wanted to say that they’d face persecution, abuses of their rights, and offensive opinion pieces put out on The Heat Malaysia treating them like the butt of a bad joke? No, Ms Mokhtar, I don’t believe you meant to say any of those things.
You were just trying to make a cheap shot at the expense of one of the most marginalized communities in Malaysia, and while trying to prove how ‘intolerant and arrogant’ a certain group of people were because they adopted Arab culture, you proved that a person could be just as intolerant and arrogant and condescending without adopting it. I have friends from many different national backgrounds, I am happy to say. Some of them are from the Middle East, some of them are from Bangladesh. They vary in educational qualification and income levels, but the most important thing is that they vary at all.
They’re not some homogeneous, faceless, monolithic group that it’s okay to make fun of. Your opinion piece was basically the equivalent of saying “Don’t be intolerant… because everyone knows only Arabs are intolerant! And don’t even get me started on the Bangladeshis!” I hope you realize the problem with that statement. I’m sorry, but I’d very much prefer to live in a Malaysia where we celebrate a variety of different cultures, Arab, Malay, Bangladeshi, what have you. The day when a group of ‘Arabicised’ Malay people start giving me flak for being Malaysian-Chinese, then maybe I’ll write about that, but I sure as heck won’t be putting down entire cultures and groups of people while I do.