Mahathir, the former prime minister of Malaysia, has hit the right button when he queried on the impingement upon the country by the Mainland Chinese. Mahathir sees the traditional Malays as a people too naïve. Throughout the history of the traditional Malay race, they have always been too accommodating that their country today is swamped with too many foreigners – the poor, the rich, the refugees and also the bad hats out to create disharmony and discords. The Malay race by nature is too complacent that many of them do not care much for their country’s fate.
Their vision in life is often blurred by religious sentiments – many giving more focus on the world hereafter. In the process many have become pseudo-Arabs – so confused with their identity as Malay. They hitherto have an inferiority complex and deep in their psyche they tend to look up at others who are not of their own kind, though envy them tacitly. Their culture is a blend of so many cultures – mainly Indian and Arabic spiced with some animistic values in it. They have not changed much emotionally and perceptually after decades of Independence. They just cannot think big. They offer blind support to their leaders who go round telling them that they are there for the race, religion and country.
The minority of them – the New Malays – have indeed changed, at least superficially. They have a more progressive outlook in life, more affluent and live a more comfortable life with modern soupçon to their everyday chores.
Alas, another group among them have become brownnosers. This group has been nurtured by the dominant Malay party – the present Umno. Money and social status matter most to them and they care less about the future of the country. They are the pretentious type devoid of any principles in life.
The Mainland Chinese Blitzkrieg
The reality is that many Malays cannot compete and shield themselves from the local Chinese waves who are adept in business, what more with the Chinese from the Mainland. But then, the local Chinese are Malaysians and whatever they gain economically will generally be put back into this country to benefit other Malaysians. This may not be the case with the Chinese from the Mainland.
Today the country sees foreigners controlling businesses in many major towns. The Malays and other locals are pushed out of these spaces as they just cannot or refuse to compete with them. Some Malays with political connections are given business licences but these are sold or rented out to foreigners for a pittance. Umno warlords have no choice but to close an eye, as those given the licences to do business are well-connected with those in the corridor of power. When these foreigners flourish, the genuine Malays and other locals who want to do business have to bite their fingers.
Bribery is rampant and we hear drugs being pushed into the country easily through our porous borders and ports, plus when our law enforcement is quite undependable. The free-flowing drugs into the country are going to affect the Malay youth most. But no one seems to care.
The Malays in general are too feudal-minded to think out of the box. After almost 60 years of Independence Malay politicians – especially Umno – have failed to change the feudal mindset of this ethnic group. As long as this feudal thinking symptom dominates the Malays, they will be drained out by the other dominant races, foreigners and also by the shrewd politicians and the patricians who are there to siphon as much wealth as they can while in power. These politicians and those other noble ones do not have to worry much, as they have their wealth stocked in foreign countries. They can still lead a well-heeled life even when this beloved country of the proletariat fails.
Malays and their parochialistic outlook
When Mahathir spoke on behalf of the Malays and Malaysians in general that the country will be “sold” to foreigners through the latter’s economic conquests, the Malays in Umno are still in a denial mode. Mahathir lamented that many assets are already, and will soon be, in the hands of foreigners and these foreigners are not that unwise to give us “free lunch”. Regrettably the Malays are still blinded by their parochialistic outlook of the real situation facing the country and of what is going to happen to them. Why? They are supporting their warped leaders blindly come what may, perhaps out of their blind loyalty to their political and noble frontrunners who will keep on diverting the minds by doling them with “grains”.
A huge Chinese population of all social strata – from professionals to menial workers – coming from Mainland China to the country can distort the existing racial status quo of this country causing the gap between the rich and the poor to widen. In reality, the Malays will be affected most, as Mahathir said: they will have to move out of many designated areas and go deeper into the rural zones. A case in point, the Malays and most locals generally have no means to buy and stay in posh multi-million ringgit apartments built in all the designated areas. These buildings and lands will finally be owned by foreigners. The country’s precious assets have been sold and it seems like more will get into the hands of foreigners. What the locals can do perhaps, is to just blink their eyes.
The country will be seeing foreign cultures dominating the big towns and cities. Culturally alien to the local Malays, who are generally conscientiously religious, they will see more vices and crimes of all sorts happening, as bribery involving the pathetic enforcement forces will sustain all the foreigners’ greed and needs in life. This sybaritic disease is already happening in the present midst of our society.
This should not be repeated
The country has been trampled many times before by foreign powers – the Dutch, Portuguese, Siam, British and Japanese. Today we see thousands of foreigners, illegals and refugees flooding the country. The latest, of late, is when China has been making inroads into this small country of ours. China has made inroads into many other countries in Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Tibet, etc. These countries have seen their fair shares of problems with the Chinese. China has since been militarily encroaching the many islands found in the South China Seas. When will the Malays and Malaysians in general open their eyes and be more observant and vigilant of the geo-political and economic expansion of China?
Mahathir deserves the praise for his audacity to raise this matter of importance for the benefit of our nation. A nonagenarian, he’s still alert and cognizant of the fact that the Malays are still weak and that Malaysians and the country, if in slumber will end up being subservient to foreign powers. He loves this country and he has done a lot to change the mindset of the Malays especially, though he admitted that one of his greatest regrets as a political leader was that “he could not change the mindset of his race”.
Hope with Mahathir’s latest quest for awareness the Malays will move towards changing their feudal mindset. This quest of his has since been applauded by millions of Malaysians of all races. He now expects that there will be a change to the ways politicians run this country. The threats posed by foreign powers cannot be taken lightly. History has proven that the country was colonised, lands and islands had been sold to foreigners and what belonged to the states had been given away to foreigners for some monetary gains by leaders of the past. This should not be repeated.
WRITER: Moaz Nair