Only the Malays can help themselves

Alcoholics Anonymous will only work with those who approach the organisation of their own volition. It will not help those who are referred by family members or friends.

The same is probably true of other addictions. If the affected person wants to seek treatment, he can only do so if he wants to cure his problem. Others cannot do it for him, and it would be a waste of time to encourage him to seek a cure. That person must do it himself.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been vocal in his criticism of the Malays. He has called them lazy and accused them of seeking the easy way out.

When Mahathir, or any member of royalty, chides the Malays for being lazy or forsaking their cultural heritage in their goal to be “more Arab”, most Malays might nod in agreement.

But when ordinary Malays admonish others in more or less the same manner as the titled or privileged, many get worked up. Words like “traitor” and “heathen” are hurled around, along with claims that the person has “forgotten his roots”.

Why is this so? Why won’t the Malay community accept criticism from fellow Malaysians when they will nod, bow, scrape and agree with those who are “somebodies” in society? Is the feudal streak in Malays so deeply entrenched?

When a non-Malay comments on vile practices which have no place in modern Malaysia, such as child marriage, the Malays are quick to threaten non-Malays with execration or violence.

Perhaps Mahathir should have added that there are many Malays who are intelligent, hardworking and amiable, but the only ones who get in the news are those who shout the loudest about maintaining affirmative action policies and their special rights.

Has Mahathir finally realised that decades of affirmative action politics have caused many of the problems which affect our society, especially within the Malay community? Why won’t he end these policies?

A parent who spoils his children will find that they never become independent. When they do not get what they want, they blame others. This has happened to many Malays.

While it is true that affirmative action policies have created an enormous Malay middle class, it is a pity that many of the middle-class Malays are also silent about the many injustices and incidents of abuse of power.

A Malay lady who runs a successful business overseas says: “The people who are betraying the Malays are the Malays themselves.”

Hers is the most frank admission I have heard from another Malay.

The week before, three successful, professional Malays staying in Malaysia told me that non-Malays should not demand too much if they want to live in the country. It appears that Pakatan Harapan has a lot of rehabilitation to do.

The Malay social fabric is at risk of tearing. Religion has not managed to reduce the rate of drug use, incestuous relationships, teenage pregnancies or large-scale corruption and theft of public money.

The majority of Malay women are afraid to speak out against child marriage or polygamy. Many Malays scream about Malay rights but stay silent over the great Tabung Haji Heist.

Since the 1970s, Malay minds have been fertile ground for Umno to sow the seeds of self-doubt. The Malays have been brainwashed into believing that they are weak, that their religion is ineffective, and that the Umno brand of Islam is better. These tactics keep them ignorant and feeling inferior.

Malays are inundated on a daily basis with the emotional baggage of race, religion and royalty. Is it any wonder that their confidence is eroded?

The only way Malays can challenge those who call them lazy, indolent and prone to blaming others is to prove by their actions that this criticism does not apply to them. They can look to their fellow Malays who left for greener pastures overseas and have thrived without the crutches of the NEP and other affirmative action policies.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.