Mahathir, the Master of Fear!

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Posted by labisman   
Wednesday, 02 April 2008
The fear that without protection from government, Malay will loose their rights and share in the social economic development in Malaysia or anywhere in this world is a myth that Mahathir and his UMNO clan wish to believe.

By S. Ali MahmudWhile watching the seminar by Mahathir and listening to the audience and the replies, I could not help but thinking what is going on in this society, especially those Malays who attended Mahathir’s seminar? They sound pathetic and paranoid. It is as if they will not be a living race if there is no protection from the government. Ironically, they are Muslims who has so little faith of their God and has the mindset that only their government would be able to protect them. Perhaps to remind them didn’t Allah mention in Quran that it is He who gives you the rezeki and not others? So why are this group of Malays still holding on to this mindset? Clearly they have less faith in Allah than their government!

The country has been independent for more than 50 years and the New Economic Policy (perhaps need to be renamed as Old Economic Policy) has been implemented over more than 30 year. How do the Malays measure themselves in terms of their socio-economic development? Have they carried out post-mortem on themselves to review what went wrong if they are still not successful? Is the Policy itself faulty or has the society been taking this protection by the government for granted?

I am particularly concern when I still hear this group insisting for protection from the government. To my mind, what was projected is that this group is nothing but a parasite and will perish the moment that ‘support’ system is unplugged. Why do this group undermine itself so much? I think rather than feeling disgusted, I feel sorry for them as I think they are still living in the land of fairy tales when most of us including a vast majority of Malays in our country are living in this real world. If the entertainment industry has switched into producing reality shows to increase their viewers, this group is still sticking to the fictional series.

Wake up people! Live in the real world. The world is going global. Nobody is going to continue protecting anyone. It is simple, all men are equal. Whoever is stronger will lead and those who are weaker will have to be the followers. That is the rule of the universe. God knows this; He is after all our creator. If one does not want to be weak, then prepared yourself to face the challenge. Raise yourself against your opponent. If you have the merits and capabilities, you can lead.

It is due to this protection regime and mindset that our people are not as competitive as the citizens of our neighbouring countries. We have to put up with incapable leader such as a Prime Minister who constantly in his ‘slumber mind’. The gap between the rich and the poor is getting bigger and the country is now suffering! We lost our credibility as an economic power in Southeast Asia. Isn’t it ironic that Singapore, a city state that mostly relies on service industry is able to bail out one of European financial institutions but Malaysia, a country is blessed with ‘black gold’, is still unable to attain such economic stature? I am still perplexed!

For those who still insist on government’s protection, get real and ask yourself this question: ’Am I that useless and incapable?’ I do not deny that New Economic Policy did the Malays communities many goods and as a result Malays today enjoys their shares in the economic development of this country. However, more than 30 years have passed, with all these helps and assistance and protections, should you be able to stand and walk on your own now? Does the abolishment of NEP or applying equal opportunities to all Malaysians would in anyway incapacitate the Malays?  I trust many Malays today are self dependent and are doing well even without assistance and protection from government. Examples of those are people like Dr Bakri Musa, Dr Farish Noor and the list goes on. They work abroad and they hold high position by virtues of their merits, not based on NEP nor government protection. So why are this group of Malays so fearful of not being protected? Are you all so weak that you are still need to be hand held despite 30 years of this hand holding?

If one remembers an old saying, give the man a fish, it will feed his hunger then, teach the man to fish, it will feed him forever. In the mind of the NEP maker, they were hopeful that this Policy will be the tool to teach the Malays to fish rather than to feed them. Many Malays do know that except for this group who are still relying on the government. Thus, they are scare and fearful their rights will be forfeited.

Despite being dismissed by the government, I trust the study carried out by ASLI that revealed the increase of Bumiputra’s equity participation. Indeed NEP has helped to elevate the standard of living of Malay community. There are more Malays today who are able to pursue their tertiary education and participate in commercial sector of the country not to mention the 99% Malay dominated public sector. Is that still an uncomfortable level?

My question right now is hypothetically all Malaysians, irrespective of race and religion are given equal opportunities, is this group saying that the Malay community will not be able to compete with other races in this country? Why is fear still dominating the mindset of this group of Malays? Are they saying that Malays are ‘incapable’ to survive without any protection?

Mahathir mentioned about Malaysian living in fear. Yes he is right. Ironically he is the master of instilling fear in the mind of these people. Worst is the feeling of fear is currently only haunting those who are insecure especially the group who are crying for protection. Mahathir and UMNO have over years inculcated fear as their tactic to garner support and to remain in power. The Malay community must realise that the insistence on protecting the Malays literally means to protect Mahathir and his cronies, not the entire Malays communities. If it is true that all Malays are being protected, why are there still a huge number of Malays who are still living below the poverty limit? Mahathir created this ‘elite’ Malays group who are dependable and constantly in need of government protection in order to accumulate more wealth. The NEP and the government protection factually are for this group of people and no one else.

In so far as I am concern, I have seen Malays who made it without the NEP or the government protection. There are several outstanding personalities as I mentioned earlier who are successful in their own professional fields without the help of the government. They are equally as capable as any other races. These individuals excel based on their own merits and they braved themselves to take up all the necessary challenges to put themselves in the positions they are in today. Thus, why must thus fuss about protecting Malay be raised. There should be no perennial protection to any one since Malaysia is now a country owned by its people, the people who are born here. Thus, everyone should be treated equally as everyone has contributed equally. After all, equally is one of the fundamental principles in Islam. Islam never differentiates the application of this principle on Muslims or non Muslim.

In so far as the government is concern, the first step I s to lean up the education system in this country. Encourage the citizens to think. Instil self confident and prepare them to face the challenges in life. It is good education and self confident that will be the key to opportunities for everyone to undertake life challenges.

The fear that without protection from government, Malay will loose their rights and share in the social economic development in Malaysia or anywhere in this world is a myth that Mahathir and his UMNO clan wish to believe. If we are confident of ourselves and believe that we are equally as capable as anyone else, we should not be fearful of losing anything. The rule is simple, it is like two person playing a game. No one is accorded any protection. It is how much you are prepared for the game, physically and mentally. Best man wins. Fear is the mindset of the weak. If the Malays continue with such mindset, they will remain irrelevant in the history of mankind. Is this the kind of legacy the Malay wish to leave behind for their future generation?

Stop allowing personalities like Mahathir and most of these UMNO ‘clowns’ exploit any of you. Malaysia has been independent more than 50 years. Anyone who is born in this country deserves to be treated equally and given equal opportunities. It is time to stop harping on NEP or government protection. Trust me it is an insult to be employed merely because they are required to fulfil the Bumiputera quotas. I was horrified when someone insulted me by insinuating that I was employed based on my name which is rather ‘Malay’. However, it became a challenge for me then to take a step forward to secure an international position merely to prove her wrong.

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