Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak and the UMNO propagandists are still beating the old drum about the DAP taking political power if it should win 60 parliamentary seats at the next General Election.

How 60 seats can control the Dewan Rakyat, which has 222 seats, baffles even the weakest mind. How on earth can any rational person believe the narrative that a group comprising 25 per cent of the population can exert political control over the majority of 65 per cent in a democratic country such as Malaysia?

No rational explanation can be offered by Salleh and Co, so there has to be another reason why he and UMNO still continue harping on the dangers of the DAP. This is also why DAP leaders have to continue stating the obvious—namely, that it is impossible for the party to gain this kind of control.

The answer lies in the psychological composition of the present crop of UMNO leaders. When they were young and either in school or in their political cadre briefings, these leaders were brainwashed into believing that the real threat to their power and general well-being were Chinese who were not with the MCA.

They were told that MCA Chinese were no threat because they just followed whatever UMNO wanted, without question. DAP Chinese, on the other hand, were the real enemy.

It’s time for Malays who are still afraid of the DAP (and friends of the DAP) to realise that the real enemy is having too much power: just as too much food and the wrong kind of food can kill people in today’s world more than starvation, too much power and the wrong kind of power can adversely affect Malays more than anyone else.

Look at our educational system: Malays have so much power that they can enrol as many Malays as they want in tertiary education and even compel university professors to be subservient and servile to UMNO, thus making a mockery of academia. They have the power to rewrite or revise history and even remove all traces of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s contribution to this country.

However, the graduates we produce do not make Malays better off. Many of them are jobless and have lots of debts early in their lives. Furthermore, some of those with jobs don’t have the right attitude and skills to go far. Relatively speaking, there are fewer Malays who excel in things like technology, science, mathematics and physics—and fewer still who excel in the private sector—compared to the Chinese.

Malays have so much power, so why then is our share of the economic pie getting progressively smaller compared to the days when Tun Dr Mahathir was Prime Minister? Why are we not producing successful Malay entrepreneurs, vendors and manufacturers at the rate we were before?

This shows us that raw political power is useless in the hands of leaders who do not know how to empower the community.

Malays have so much power that they can define what constitutes Islam, and no one can question them—it’s a crime to do so. They have the luxury of making religious laws and rituals the subjects of learning and deeper learning, so much so that Islam has become the most complex religion to practise. They make big business out of religion, and religious authorities decide everything, including what constitutes the “perfect” way to live.

Malays talk a lot about religious matters but talk is easy. Making judgements about others or speculating about what happens in the Afterlife is easy. Making it a crime to have a different opinion is easy. But what good does any of this do for Malays?

On the other hand, improving the lives of the people is not easy. Giving Malays a proper education isn’t easy. It isn’t easy to change their habits and attitudes towards work or to make them honest and trustworthy. Even having clean public toilets isn’t easy.

In other words, building a self-reliant and prosperous community takes hard work. More political power is useless if that power is used instead to help the community self-destruct.

So I make this plea to Salleh and Company: stop talking about gaining more political power. You already have more than enough to do good, so why take the easy route and keep bashing my party when it will do nothing to improve the lot of Malays? Why not use the coming General Election as a platform to discuss the real threats Malays are facing?

Let’s discuss the real issues: education, employment, wages and career advancement. Let’s discuss how to make Malays relevant in this country of ours. You can decide the details such as venue and I will be there.