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Saturday, February 12, 2005

Melayukan diri

this past week, there's been talk going around about some blogger expressing his views on the Malays. this, i pressume was a sort of follow-up to the Prime Minister and his deputy's call to the Malay society to change their mindset and not to depend much on the Government.
firstly, i do not wish to engage in this matter by linking to the sites involved in this discussion. it'll be waste of my time because whether i agree or disagree with them is irrelevant here. and anyways, it's my blog and i can do whatever i want, thank you. what i would like to talk about here is the real situation itself, which is the Malays. even though i don't look like one, rest assured i'm a through and through Malay myself.
firstly, let me just say that i don't like the idea of criticising other races. we all have our problems and i'm sure that there are no such things as a perfect race. if u honestly believe so, i think the KKK are looking for new members. it just isn't right, no matter how often u laugh off racsist jokes as being plain silly. so u bash your own race, everybody does that...but that doesn't give anyone the right to bash others. the truth is hard to swallow, yada, yada, yada....spare me all that crap. because other than if your intentions are good, u have no bloody right to say what's wrong with other people. i'll be straight honest here and u can accuse me of anything, but if a certain race is so-called 'superior', countries such as China, India or Indonesia won't be in the state that they are now.
however, that doesn't distract me from the truth. yes, i know that Malays are a troubled lot. we have a lot of problems and almost all the streotype jokes and slurs u hear are sadly true. i dunno...it's like a curse or something. even the name Melayu is disturbing. in the Malay language itself, melayu comes from the root word 'layu', which is like a lame or lifeless thing. so melayu means 'to be lame or lifeless', i guess. and that doesn't confine to Bahasa Melayu itself. in English, Malays sounds like 'malaise' and to quote Dictionary.com, 'A general sense of depression or unease'. i think u get the general idea, don't you?
whatever it is, it's been bugging the Malays since forever. then came Mahathir along to rectify things, but he too was unsucessful. but it made us realise and take notice of the inner rot that's been eating away in the Malay mind.
i've been lucky (or unlucky depending on which side u see it) to have a father who's so passionate about the Malay race. ever since i could remember, from the days i was in school, he would yak and yak and yak on about how melayu pemalas la, melayu nak cepat kaya la, melayu this, melayu that. and what did he get for all this? he got me. the perfect example of the Malay streotype. well, most of it lahh.
let's see...i'm lazy, i wanna get rich the easiest way possible, i'm an underachiever and i feel so comfortable with what i have. best part about all of this is that i know all the things said about the malays, yet i too, am a follower. the sad part really, is that most malays acknowledge this, and like me...they do nothing about it. but it's unfair really, to not mention the countless malays working their asses off somewhere and being successful, only to be associated with the malay stereotype.
it's like everything we do is wrong. if a malay is successful, someone will say he knows someone or that he payed someone to be there. if a malay is unsuccessful, people will say 'what else is new??' even though i have the characteristics of the malay mind, i dispise most of what malay people think about. the constant back-stabbing with your own race, the stupid get rich schemes, the overeaction to mediocre achievements, the obsession with titles, u know...the usual.
i won't try to be some sort of messiah or something to save the Malay race. i'm a nobody. if Mahathir was unable to do it in 20+ years, what the hell are my chances?? but i guess, the answer to the so-called 'Malay dilemma' is the Malay mind itself. over and over again, whether it's the UMNO General Assembly or anytime the PM feels like it, there will be calls to change our mindset, to change our attitudes for the advancement of our race. and yet...it all comes back to square one.
Malays now are way better off than 20-30 years ago. in some ways, we've progressed, but not in the manner that it should be. and even a portion (i repeat...a portion) of the Malays who made the grade aren't exactly the sort of people you could be proud with. it's like they forgot their roots as Muslims. in a way, it gives off the notion that Malays have to screw up their religion in order to be successful. what the hell is that?? i ain't no moral authority, but it's sad really to see these so-called 'Malays' proud to be drinking and doing 'God-knows-what'.
with all the Government assistance and funding given to us, we should be miles ahead in the race. but we aren't. yup...we sure aren't.
why is that? there's dozens of theories and u could go on and on and on about it. maybe it's the 'alaaaaa...ok lah tu' attitude instilled in us since childhood, the assuring thought of Government help in the back of our minds should anything happen, the budaya 'tak sedar diri', or even maybe the belief in the ultimate lie that is the 'Ketuanan Melayu'. respect is earned and not something u are born with, people.
the best that i think i can do and maybe any malay for that matter is to improve myself first. it all starts here inside. so politicians talk about changing mindsets and attitudes. well, they could start by leading us by example. one thing i'd really love to see is the abolishment of all those crappy 'Majlis Keramaian', because honestly...i don't think every building and event in this country needs to be 'officially opened'. i don't need no politician to cut ribbons for my toilet or something. just get the job done and get it over with. and i haven't even started on how many screwed-up Datuks and Tan Sris we have.
we should be thankful for what we have. Government assistance should not be thought of as 'bailing out', but rather a platform to assist us to become better people. once our attitude is right, i think no one can question our capability. because for one, i believe anything anyone can do, a Malay could do the same, or possibly even better.
if only things are easier done than said. here's to a better, much-improved Melayu baru. Amin.

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