Malaysian Governance: It is a Najib-led ”Malaise System”, not the Malays

January 26, 2018

Malaysian Governance: It is a Najib-led ”Malaise System”, not the Malays

by S Thayaparan@www,

“Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves.”

― Bertrand Russell

COMMENT | Malaysiakini columnist Thor Kah Hoong’s ‘It’s a malaise of the system, not Malays’, is a snapshot of what is wrong with the discourse in this country. Thor is a friend and this piece is not a rebuttal or anything like that, but I just feel I have to say a few words.

Image result for The Myth of the Lazy Native

Saying not all Malays are lazy is just as meaningless as saying all Malays are lazy. Why? Because whether Malays are lazy or not is not the issue when it comes to discussing the system.

Let us say that the system of privileges actually benefited the majority of the Malay community. Let us say that Islam was applied “fairly” to all and we were all under the shadow of syariah law. Would this be an acceptable system? Would race relations in this country be better? Would it still matter if a Malay was lazy or not?

Okay, let us say that not all Malays are lazy. Would it make a difference if those not lazy Malays also supported Malay rights and believed that Islam should be imposed on all Malaysians because they believed that Malaysia was an Islamic state?

Image result for Mahathir the malays are lazyReally? It is time to revisit Dr Syed Hussein Alatas’ The Myth of Lazy Native, which is a serious rebuttal of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s The Malay Dilemma.


Is there really a difference between a “lazy” Malay who supports this system and a “not lazy” Malay who believes that the system serves a purpose? People love to talk about corruption as if, if there was no corruption, the system that enables a whole community to believe that they were the “masters” of this land and Islam defines their identity, would be okay. Get rid of MO1 (Malaysian Official 1), and that is the first step.

The first step to what? I made my case for voting and a two-party system, but the reality is that unless we change the system, unless a majority of Malays truly believes that the system is detrimental to all Malaysians, we will never be able to change anything in a meaningful way.

People blame the indoctrination programmes of the Umno establishment for destroying the Malay mind but seem oblivious that the opposition, in its current incarnation, is doing the same thing.

Image result for Rice farming in KedahRice Farming in Kedah–It is back beaking work–Is she lazy?

Some people like to use the lazy Malay/not lazy Malay argument as a means to introduce “class” into the discourse. In other words, the system disenfranchises a large section of the Malay community.

However, what it boils down to is the efficacy of the system and perhaps even utilitarian arguments, instead of the morality of the system. I am sorry it took so long to get here, but the system and the Malay community are not mutually exclusive.

Partisan politics in this country has reached ridiculous levels. There is a right-wing Malay website, which idolises Donald Trump, believes that Najib Razak should not give in to the “left” and quotes Western news sources about the evils of the left, which it equates with the DAP and Malay activists and politicians who do not subscribe to mainstream Malay dogma.

A cursory reading (and fact checking) of some of these sources the website quotes will reveal anti-Islamic writers who would most definitely laugh themselves into a right-wing hysterical fit, if they knew that a so-called right-wing Malay/Muslim site was agreeing with them.

Demonised as ‘liberals’

Never mind that there has always been agitation in the Malay community. However, mainstream Malay power structures post-1969 have done everything in their power to define the narratives in the Malay community. This is why when Malays who want to radically change the system stick their heads out, they are demonised as “liberals” and anti-Muslim.

They are not supported by mainstream Malay power brokers (establishment and opposition) or the mainstream of the Malay community. They are penalised because they are a constant reminder that the system and the Malay community could be mutually exclusive. They understand that beyond corruption and the Arabisation process, the Malay community is the system and this is deleterious for the country and the community.

I have attempted to make this point before. I get that most people are not interested but it is worth repeating – “I do not think that the problems of the Malays are that they are not unified; I think the problem of the Malays is that they have no real choices when it comes to ‘Malay’ leadership. Race and religion are the basis for all ‘Malay’ political parties and Malay politicians are hampered by these two imperatives – or so they say – which makes it impossible to have a greater Malay polity that is progressive and egalitarian.”

Now I know that I am going to get a lot of flak for this but it is true. The ideological and constitutional foundation of mainstream Malay/Malaysian politics is that the system and the Malay community are not mutually exclusive. If you support the opposition or you support the Umno establishment, then you support this narrative. Whether it is true is not the point. The point is that you are voting for political parties that define the system.

This is why a close friend of mine who is a Malay – which is important – told me that despite my exuberance for Harapan – a gross mischaracterisation I would argue – the idea of voting for Harapan is one of diminishing returns. In fact, he always sends me this YouTube video, whenever Harapan plays to script instead of deviating from it.

Now I am not saying that the non-Malays had no part in making this system but as recent events have demonstrated, most of us have very little intention of destroying the current system. Replacing Najib, in case you did not get the memo, is not destroying the system. It merely means we are setting the system back to its default setting.

Maybe this is why so many young people can’t be bothered to vote and many others who do not buy into the apocalyptic fantasies of the opposition can’t wait for this election to be over.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

18 thoughts on “Malaysian Governance: It is a Najib-led ”Malaise System”, not the Malays

  1. Malays in general are not lazy but they have been pampered and spoon fed by all parties be it ruling or opposition. It made them become complacent and too dependent. Being the largest race in the country, every political party knows that only the Malays could make or break a government so these political parties will do whatever they can to please the Malays even if it means making them lazy.

  2. Malays are not lazy. In the past they have worked hard as farmers, fishermen, padi planters, rubber tappers etc. however with NEP and the ketuanan propaganda the Malays have this attitude of entitlement and no longer wants to work hard or work in menial labor or service industry. The Malay youth would rather be unemployed than work in theservice sector.
    I arrived in KLIA and my wife wanted coffee. We went to Gloria Jean coffee and the barista was an Indonesian lady. We checked into the hotel in KL and the front desk agent was a foreigner, the housekeeper was a Bangladeshi. We had dinner and the waiter was a Vietnamese and the server was an Egyptian.
    Where are the Malays?

  3. Necessity is the mother of inventions and necessity can induce people to work hard be they of any race. It reminds me of the time when I was on a fishing boat watching the fishermen at work and they lamented that they would have avoided all the back breaking work if you smart alacks will iinvent a device which will make the fish just jump into the boat.

  4. “Where are the Malays?”
    Busy gossiping and climbing on each others back..? Biting each other? Primping up their ‘celebrity’ status in social media? Surrendering to their libidness impulses and promoting conspicuous consumerism? Superficial superstitious devotion to religious dogma and ritual? Insisting on heaven is on earth? Beating up Israel/Jews, PRC Chinese, Great Satan USofA, while cursing Iranian Syia and other Islamic ‘deviants’? Gleefully clapping their hands due to ‘disappearance’ of so-called deviant proselytizers? Focused attention and fervent ‘defense’ of the literal reading of Art 153 of the Constitution?

    The problem is not physical laziness, but indolence of the mind and literal inability to come to terms with a much larger worldview. The monolingual ‘kampong’ remains entrenched in the psyche. Feudalism and economic dependency due to the ‘The Crutch’ syndrome.

    Any ‘race’ or ethnic group will feel entitled, rent-seek and ‘special’ – when official policies insist on supremacy, apartheid and codified privileges.

    While the good Cdr is opining that there is no difference in the narratives of UMNOb and the Oppo, i’d like to point out that Octo doesn’t mince words. The ‘Lazy Native’ is not his creation. The Ali-Baba’ism of his time is entrenched, whether we like it or not. There is no other alternate narrative, as change means extinction of the a noncompetitive species.

    The middle class ‘Sons-of-Soil’ are there by the virtue of a humongous civil service and monopolistic GLCs. Lots of Deadwood. The average Elites are there, by virtue of being middle-men and being proxies for the polticos and ketua jabatan/bahagian – and punters who represent the ‘Other’.

    Malusian politics is driven by corrupted version of Darwinism, hijacked by Francis Galton’s Eugenics. Darwinian evolution proven to be inadequate and the latter false.

    So where do we go from here? The Abyss. Like the undirosak blokes who are brain damaged..
    Wow, CLF. That is heavy stuff. Damaged goods of their own making and yet the British entrusted Malay aristocratic leaders to administer their colony in 1957. I wonder why they were quick to grant independence to Malaya. They could have placated the Malay leadersip into servitude with money and fancy titles. There was only ersatz nationalism at that time.

    It is opiate politics that kept UMNO in power for six decades and counting. Today, as you say CLF,”Malusian politics is driven by corrupted version of Darwinism, hijacked by Francis Galton’s Eugenics. Darwinian evolution proven to be inadequate and the latter false.” Thanks to the man Pakatan Harapan has chosen to lead them in the fight to overthrow Najib Razak who is the embodiment of all that is wrong with the Melayu. –Din Merican

    • Please read Franz Fanon’s “The wretch of the Earth” and “Black Face White mask”, Fidel Castro’s “Viceramos” and the works of Mao Tse Tung.

  5. Exactly,

    it is the system(delivery) that is supposed to be the solution, but has become the problem. The problem had accumulated over the past 60 years of Umno dominated rule reflective of the its leaderships’ character, behaviour, mind-set and quality, all of which had become the Deeply Embbed culture of Umnob—- the culture of Money politics, Abuse of power, Corruption, Cronyism and Puppetry (MACCP).

    The country is in a dire situation, so are the people,
    who are always on the losing end.

    It (the culture of MACCP )is the EMNITY of the people of Malaysia, not Najib or Mahathir as per se, though both are largely responsible for it (culture). It (system = culture) needs to be eradicated or brought to near zero level.

    This is where social and mass media need to educate and give wider coverage to the pligh of the people or this country will be back to square one.

    It is because every scandalous loss,wrong doing, injustice, transgression, misdeed and grievance, problem, even # UdiRosak ,can be traced back to at least One or More elements of MACCP.

    Ultimately, choosing candidates or parties of integrity and quality, accountability and competenc, regardless of race,religion or affiliation, who are trustworthy of good-governance actions, rather than hallow words, is utmost important .

    • Haha, Jakim? The Ranga (Stage)?
      Can’t woh.. His datukship (PMW) is by DYMM Agung in 2013. Besides he’s got too many international accolades.
      Very humble, polite yet erudite.

    • May be the bigoted narrow minded Jakim should watch and learn something from the dance and the movements in treating religions (Christianity, Islam , Buddhism, ….)as metaphors similar to the dance/movements that always seek balance and harmony in life and environment we live.

      …..and come away with a broader mindset.

  6. Quote:- “Malays in general are not lazy….”

    That, pardon me, is itself a lazy way to answer the question.

    Why do the Chinese people, (who in general are not lazy), axiomatically declare that the wealth of any family unit will not last beyond the 3rd generation?


    1st, you have the great grandfather who worked himself to the bone to provide the basic business venture to kickstart something.

    2nd, you have the grandfather who work alongside and helped his father.

    3rd, you have the father who saw, even as a small boy, all the hard work and struggles, sacrifices of his father and grandfather and so appreciate the wealth that he has and try his best to augment or at least maintain the family fortune.

    Then comes the 4th generation, the great grandson who saw nothing of the above and thought money grew on trees, (literally if he is left with 20,000 acres of rubber estate), and felt it is his birthright to spend and lived life to the max; all play and no work.

    So can we surmise that the present generation of Malays, in general, are suffering a kind of “4th generation syndrome”?, meaning that if the wealth is already there to be spent why work so hard, in fact why work at all? Good question, isn’t it?

  7. Yes, venting we are. But look at us. Who are we who read and participate in this blog?. How are we collectively and individually similar and different from the rest of Malaysian voters? In venting we also preach but to the choir here. The end result? Is it similar to a discourse at kampong’s kedai kopi? The issue remains how to transform the majority of the mindsets/cultural mileau of a large group of voters/masses/rakyats? Mao Ze Thong or Pol Pot style??

    From where I stand, I am more concerned with increasing fixation and embrace of everything Arabs and Islamization of the Malays, Malaysian governmental Institutions, civil service and mainstream cultural milieau.

    My two cents worth on Friday morning! Cheers!

  8. methinks ; jealousy is the biggest trait , collectively & individually passed down for generations , and……..still persisting …….it doesn’t matter : up-down , or down-up….. – regretfully ….

    Q : is it in the culture , or pure human traits ?

  9. The real problem is the Malay/Muslim self serving politicians. To maintain power at all costs, they screwed their ‘ own ‘ – psychologically, emotionally and spiritually – with narrow, divisive and damaging politics of race and religion in order to screw others.

    This is most damaging to the powerless, voiceless and vulnerable victims, with permanent and long term consequences.

    These self serving politicians grossly lack confidence, insecure, incompetent, divisive and inward looking.

    If you are going to govern badly, it is better to not govern at all because it comes with huge responsibility to the ordinary people and country.

  10. supposed i put in an extra 10mw into the grid to power up and start a new industrial era, will that make us more productive on the streets ?

    • 10MW? Sikit nya..
      If you mean 100MW or 1GW, then we are talking..
      Invite the PRC SOE’s to smelt their aluminium/steel and produce cheap washing machines-solar panels-automobiles. Not for the US though.

      Productivity falls further among the indigenous.. Collect rent. Microcredit always a problem for the Bumis’. Why?

      No worries, the Myanmarese and Bangladeshis itinerant workers will take up the slack.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.