A Malay elite’s response

Hussin Mutalib, an Associate Professor, responded to Muigai’s recommendation to consider a ‘stimulus package’ for the Malays in a letter to the ST forum. He said that there was some merit in not dismissing Muigai’s report altogether and a little tweaking might be good. While saying this, he acknowledged that there were some govt policies that were needed from the pragmatic point of view, ie barring Malays from sensitive appoints in the SAF and the adoption of GRCs to prevent qualified Malays from defeat in an election. There are good and bad in such policies which are obvious. Hussin also dispelled the beliefs that the Malays were being discriminated against, and non Malays were simply smarter than Malays. The former is generally true except for the appointment to sensitive positions but there is a pragmatic angle to it. The second belief has been proven wrong in many instances when Malay students have excelled and better themselves over the other races on their own merits. Every 500 years a genius could be thrown up from any race or class while every group will have their talents and duds. The disparity in the progress between Malays and the other races has been there since independence. Historically, during colonial days and post independence, the progress of the various races, particularly in schools, were left primarily to their own individual effort. All started from the same footing with no special assistance or affirmative action. Why then is there a need to have some form of affirmative action to help the Malays now? In this line of thought, there is an assumption that the Malays will do better than what they are today if given some assistance. Also, the disparity is seen as something abnormal and unacceptable. What if the disparity is in favour of the minorities and not the majority, would affirmative actions be deemed necessary? There are some questions to be asked. After more than a century of coexistence, the present status quo could be the natural balance of things. If this situation has come about naturally after so many years, would a window period of a few years of affirmative actions make any difference? What if, after affirmative action, and the Indians or Chinese become the least progressive, does it mean that there will be a need for affirmative action as well? Where will all these lead to? Would it be satisfactory only if the majority is the group that is lacking behind the minorities? Or is the expectation that an acceptable status is that all three groups are progressing at the same rate? Is this natural or possible, or a should be situation? Given the rate of progress that is being made by all groups, would it be a better objective to raise the level of every group, to improve their well beings, rather than to harp on the fact that one group is two steps behind another? It is never the natural order of things that everything is the same or can be the same. Can all countries in the world progress at the same pace and be at the same stage of economic development? Seriously, is affirmative action the answer? If the community is not honest enough to face the problems and address them squarely, no affirmative action can bring about positive changes.


Wally Buffet said...

May I be bold enough to suggest that the reason why the Malays are not doing as great as the other races in Singapore is basically because they are not as GREEDY as the Chinese or Indians. Yes, greed is a BIG driving force. They are basically very simple folks more at home in their quaint attap huts and palm fringed beach homes, fishing, hunting etc. than in the concrete jungle. In Malaysia it's no different. Only the greedy ones meaning the elites live in palatial homes, strut around like tyrants with their ill gotten gains.

See, it's all a matter of culture.

Given a choice, I would rather like their simple lifestyle and the so called successful crooks can take their riches and shaft it.


Anonymous said...

Many, including me are likely to share the Views of Wally.

Me would like to venture and say that some of the Singaporean Malays are departing away from their traditional and cultural traits.

The more educated and those holding high positions appear to behave and live in less traditional manners such as to give the impression that there is a 'class divide' amongst the Malays. However these 'modernized Malays are better able to mix with the other Races.

So, the Malays are also evolving culturally though the Local Chinese and Indians have 'westernized' sometimes back. English has become the 'home' language for most, saris and turban have almost become museum pieces. And of course hardly any Chinese can be identified or recognized by their clothings alone anymore for ethnicity.

Wally likes the simple lifestyle of the traditional Malays and me likes the true authentic cookings of the different Races of the past.
Sad to say Lt. Col; they are going, going and gone.


Anonymous said...

Those who find contentment in what little they have, they have found happiness.

Jetreroy said...

Kind of reminds me of Singapore's cab system of surcharges.

They think that by adding a surcharge here and there, it will entice more cabs to fill the shortfall.

In actual fact, it creates even more voids at other areas and in the end, they add more surcharges. It is a stupid and complex system that does not solve any problems...

Anonymous said...

There is this huge elephant in the class room but no one wants to see it. But everyone says there is a problem. Then they set up committees and also look for help.

The committees quarrel among themselves and created more problems for themselves and other people.

Those looking for help blame others for not helping and stir up more new problems.

In the meantime the elephant remains in the class room.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Ah you deluded ones.

Except for Wally -- who is the first to mention CULTURE.

There is no such thing as 'race' as a classification of human species.


Just a reminder -- here is the AAA's statement on race. Remeber, these folks are hard-core scientists.


No cultural group has any special rights in law or in fact. People can help each other based on whatever criteria they individually and voluntarily agree to.

However, I will be my un-sunat-ted kotek that Malaysia will be a race-based i.e. racsist country for a long time to come.

Fuck UmNO!