Friday, 29 May 2009

The Malay Dilemma.

"The Malays are among the few people whose race is legally defined. Thus, the Malaysian Constitution states that a Malay is one who habitually speaks Malay, professes the religion of Islam and practises Malay customs. There is nothing said about the definitive culture of the Malays."

"It follows that changes in culture do not make a Malay person a
non-Malay."

"Why has this thing happened? The answer lies in the culture of the Malays.
They are laid-back and prone to take the easy way out. And the easy way out
is to sell off whatever they get and ask for more. This is their culture.
Working hard, taking risks and being patient is not a part of their culture.
It should be remembered that in the past the Malays were not prepared to
take up the jobs created by the colonial powers in their effort to exploit
the country."

Excerpts from a speech given by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed at the Harvard Club of Malaysia dinner on 29 July 2002


Please don't fooled by this subject.

I am not talking about the Malay Dilemma, the subject known best by my idol Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
His Malay Dilemma touches on several subject including the tolerance and non-confrontational nature of the Malays has made them to be subjugated in their own land by the other races besides making it known that no one should questions the Malays privilleges in the country.

Although he was labeled as Malay ultra due to his undying effort and assistance in combating the 'tidak apa attitude' or lackdaisical attitudes amongst the Malays, he was trying to bring up the race to a better ground especially when it comes to the financial and business aspect. His first book on this subject was written somewhere in 1970, eleven years before he became Malaysia's 4th Prime Minister with intentions to awaken the Malays from their slumber.

While Mahathir book analyses Malaysian history and politics in terms of race, political aspects and their positions among the other race in the country, my malay dilemma touches more on the individual behavioural and character, which of course derives from my young modest nescience perspective and experiences. Nevertheless, i feel the need to pen this thought down, also as a reminder to my own self.

Anyone knows that the most apparent character of the Malays are their shyness or reserved character.
This character is more evident among the outskirt people as compared to the suburban dwellers.
They are mostly very reserved when it comes to asking for questions when they aren't sure of the answers, shy in letting their opinion known when they are eager to say something out, shy to express their dissatisfaction when inside they are bursting with anger and resentment.
Shy in being seen as the outspoken person because they are scared to be labeled, and shy to 'hurt' someone's feeling because they 'want' and 'have' to be nice, and tons of other emotional bewilderment.

They'd rather not solve matters face to face but would be complaining and gossiping among themselves. Nevertheless, i am not belittling the race because this attributes however was instill in every child from one generation to the other.
The Malays will hold strongly to the teaching of 'adat resam' and individual or people who break away from that unwritten regulations are deemed to be 'kurang ajar' or lack of respect.

Another evident personage of the majority Malays is being overly sensitive when it come criticism.
The acceptance of criticism did not exist at all in 'some' of the Malay community.
It is not allowed.
It is taboo to some chauvinistic character.

See, the problem with being criticised was, there must be the reason in why people are doing so.
They will chose not to find the answers but will feel very belittled, and angry and that, of course, will lead to hatred and isolation.
The problem with the majority Malays is, they do not posses the skill to counter criticism.
They lack of self confident to ask the person who criticised them the reason behind those criticism.
The only weapon that they will use against the criticiser is hatred, and labelling the person to be 'kurang ajar'.
They will then continue on with their life blabbering about nothing new but the same old thing.

My question is why aren't they dare not face the criticiser?
How do one expect to know what others thought when one never asked for the reasons?
How can one improves themselves when one dare not take and face criticism or oppression?
One of the way to self improvements is to know what people think about us and to allow ourselves being criticised.
It is applicable in our daily lives.
There are food critics, film critics and you just name it.
This is how people improves themselves.
For example in the western and european gourmet world, their restaurants depend on food critics, the people that will be analysing food or restaurants and then publishes the results of their findings.

So why are we so afraid of being criticised?

I would like to assume that due to lack of reading and understanding, some people especially the Malays would easily 'terasa' (easily cornered emotionally). They failed to understand the actual matter but just conclude the subject at the surface. Reading between the lines would give us human balance in life.

Like Mahathir said, the Malays are "laid back and prefer the easy way out".
So, easy way out is continue what they do best without wanting to know more, talking and complaining about almost any subject that they found offensive towards them.

I am a Malay.
I cannot say that i am that proud to be one.
I just want to be an individual and hopefully people will accept me as an individual.
I had been the subject of ridicule by my own race.
I have been the subject of conversation good and bad because my being different, and my being quite not the typical type and that includes my preferences and my outlook in life.
I believe, to be successful in managing life as a human, we mustn't be too judgemental and too critical about things surrounding us.

We have to learn to respect other people opinion and take criticism steadfastly.

Stop judging people by how they lead their life.
Stop judging people by what they wear.
Stop judging people by their 'worldly' possession.
And don't become overly judgemental when someone is different from the rest of your herd just because you have never seen the other, in other words; don't call a bull -- a cow.

In conclusion, when it come to giving estimation and judgement about other people i would give a thumbs up to my beloved race. Yayy!!

And, hey, don't 'terasa' with my writings will ya.
It's just my modest opinion.....

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