The Neo-Malays in Politics

January 5, 2016

The Neo-Malays in Politics

by Zaid Ibrahim


The Neo-Malays at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur

The neo-Malays are the “new Malays”. They are younger than me and the members of G25, and some are seriously wealthy, although we don’t know how they earned their money or whether it was inherited. They also have a serious mission in mind, which is to change the world and to do it as Muslim warriors. But to do that, they first have to take power.

This past New Year’s Eve some 50,000 of them gathered at Dataran Merdeka. Led by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and other well-known personalities including Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, they held what I believe was a prayer session and sang praises to God Almighty and the Prophet Muhammad.

My liberal (and religious) Malay friend sent me a photograph of the event. The men were dressed in robes, serban and skull caps, and they were all doing a salute with their clenched fists, not unlike how the Nazis used to salute their Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler.

Now that was something else, and it worries me.  Is this a new brand of Malay power?  It certainly is different from Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s brand.  Najib loves to celebrate New Year , just like you and me , except that he does it in his inimitable style ( he is after all seriously wealthy).


Neo-Malay Leaders–Tengku Adnan Mansor and DPM Zahid Hamidi (center)

I guess the Dataran celebration by Zahid marks a new path for the country. It shows that when he comes to power, most probably our politics and our New Year celebrations will drastically change as well. The very idea of it should send a chill through all our spines.

Why were the neo-Malays celebrating a Gregorian New Year in the first place? Why did they gather at Dataran Merdeka for an event that had no Islamic element or historical significance? My guess is that these Malays wanted to celebrate the New Year like everyone else, but because of their image and their brand of politics, they had to be different.

They probably wanted to enjoy the New Year but were worried they would be accused of mimicking the West. Enjoying themselves, they thought, would make them unislamic. They had to be different because that is the new world they wanted to create. They wanted to send a new message.

As “good Muslims”, they believed they could not allow themselves to enjoy or celebrate the New Year; even if in their hearts they would have much rather preferred watching Siti Nurhaliza, Zainal Abidin or the Blues Gang perform and let loose some fireworks – but politics had to come first.

I hope the Chinese, American, Russian, Japanese, European and other Ambassadors living comfortably in the Ampang precinct take a more serious view of our politics. Stop being naive. Enough of the nice brand of diplomacy.

Just because our leaders wear Brioni suits does not mean they are the usual types found in the world’s capitals. If you care enough about freedom and democracy, you must take the time to understand their thinking. The Chinese (and by that I mean those from Beijing and not the DAP Chinese) are taking a strong hold of the economy by making huge investments in our country.

They must therefore be careful that our burgeoning fascist ideas—does not destabilise the other communities or the country’s stability. The Americans and the Europeans must also stop taking things at face value. Many of the neo-Malays here are different from those in Indonesia and Iran.

They are closer to the Taliban and Isis in their values and outlook. Make some effort to understand this new Muslim mindset. Countering these dangerous ideas now will be less costly and better for world peace and stability.

20 thoughts on “The Neo-Malays in Politics

  1. Why does seeing our brethren dressed ala Abu Nawas instead of ala George Bush make us nervous?
    Because it is a reflection of zenophobia and Islamist obscurantism. That is dangerous.–Din Merican

  2. This is the local version of “clerico-fascism” i.e.
    combining extreme right politics with religious extremism/intolerance.

    European versions of clerico-fascism from the past included Spain under Francisco Franco, the fascist Iron Guard of Romania and the murderous
    Croatian Ustasha.

  3. The Saudi funding (or donation) seems to be paying rich dividends in the increasing Talibanisation of a dominant faction of ruling leadership bent in tightening its grip on power for a long haul. How to stem this tide? Call for American funding of the opposite side of many hues? If Americans smell danger in seeing Taliban Frankenstein lurking its head in this yet to be spoilt part of the world to convert it with firebrand Islamisation, they would, hopefully, intervene to slay the Frankenstein and its backers as well.

  4. Wow….so powderful show!

    Mamamia…here we go again
    How to resist you, in your sexy sexy pyjamas…
    My, my….

  5. I am sure that it won’t be long before one of these guys says that Malaysia should abolish the Christian calendar and use only the Islamic calendar. So this year will become the year 1437, the year will have only 354 days, and January 1 will no longer be January 1. And while they’re at it, they should propose abolishing December 25 and January 1 as public holidays. And don’t forget to change the names of the months, since five of them are named after Roman gods.

  6. just a bunch of hypocrites. the only time they think of god is when they are praying directly or indirectly. otherwise money is their god. the biggest hypocrites are found in malaysia. the guiness book of records must update on this one.

  7. You can complain about all the religo exploitation you want but in the end, its religo political narcotic and racketeering you are fighting against. The fact is the numbers are as follow: If UMNO takes only 20% of the votes, PAS takes 20% of the vote, Pakatan Harapan, the real opposition, has AT BEST, the BEST THEY CAN DO, 60% of the votes – EVEN THEN, it may not be enough to take Putrajaya.

    Addiction and dysfunctionality are very difficult social problems.. Democratic politicians, no matter how good or talented, don’t change them, people have to decide they want it.

    The only way it happens, like all great addiction and dysfunctionalities, they hit rock bottom – they lose everything first..

  8. With China starting to heavily invest in Malaysia, will they let this brand of Islam grow. Also, I curious if the donation of billion is actually from the Chinese. Why would the Chinese want to donate? The amount of investment involved and the south china sea territory dispute.


  9. Those are not Neo-Malays those are Neo-UMNOs distinct from the Mahathir-UMNOs that characterized Malay(sian) politics. The one thing about Mahathir was that he despised these Muslim fanatics but was ever ready to use them unlike Najib who desperately needs them.

  10. Just showing off. Can be use to threat others countrymen. That all. Don’t talk about how the world see it, just our two neighbour. Do u think they give two hood about that.

  11. Whoa..! That pic of the ‘neo-UMNOb’ lackey chiefs sitting like Jabba the Hutt takes the cake. Come to think of it they do look like a Turducken, especially with their unshod hooves attempting to play footsie. For the uninitiated gastronomes, turducken is a 3-meat dish of turkey, duck and chicken wrapped one into the other – roasted or broiled, but halal or haram is not specified.

    I guess a majority of middle of the road ethnic Austronesians would be aghast at the desertification of the minds/intellect and outlook of their ‘Melayu tulen’ brethren.

  12. Of the three, Zahid seemed most comfortable with the new taste in attire and furniture for upwardly-mobile UMNO politicians.

    What is lacking of course are some camels. Perhaps next year, imported from Australia? Zaid is just being alarmist. No Malay, old or new, (or for that matter any other race),wants to be voluntarily poor and serve God at the same time.

    Zaid is worried because he is an old Malay supporting an even older Malay.

  13. The motto is, make the best fight or influence for the desirable outcome.
    If unsuccessful, make the best choice and plan we can in all circumstances.
    The world is big and some countries are more welcoming to strangers and minorities than others. They respect fair play, equality and the rule of laws.
    The pragmatic and welcoming countries will be the ones blessed with progress and prosperity in future.
    Do you consider Malaysia in this category of countries?
    It would be a miracle if this question ever crosses the mind of current leadership in Malaysia.
    My sympathy is with the ones with no other choice but stuck with the current situation and having to put up with it with no end in sight.

  14. What happen to Baju Melayu, the Cekak Musang and Teluk Belanga with Sampin? Now the fashion trend is headed by Omar the Tent Maker. Islam is not judged by the dress code or fashion.

    Preyers are not for show i.e. praying en masse in the streets and open spaces. Prayer is individual as in “Inna salati wanusuki wamayahya wamamati lila hirabil alamin.”

  15. Totally agree with your sentiment and view, ‘Orang Malaya’ !
    Thank good our Sultans have better dress sense than some of them.

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