People of Malaysia: 3 Cultures

The people of Malaysia comprise of three distinctive cultures.

Not the Malays, Chinese and Indians.

A. Those who want change and will fight for it.
B. Those who want change but prefer to watch rather than get involved.
C. Those who are predominantly content and prefer not to change.

Nothing wrong with belonging to any of these cultures.

I personally find myself in group B, and so are quite a lot of others.

We’re all about wanting to see an end to corruption, racism, inequality, flawed justice and greed. But we’re not so immensely affected by it that we feel a need to do too much about it. Except keep abreast on latest developments and perhaps write the occasional note or post a status update on Facebook.

Fair enough, I say.

However, there is a problem with some members of group B that runs slightly contrary to their belief. What I’ve come to notice is that there are some in group B who, despite having the same ideology (wanting change) seem to be annoyed with group A for doing something about it. It would be understandable for group C to be annoyed with group A – after all they have conflicting opinions, but why group B?

Case in point was the recent anti-ISA demonstrations over the weekend. Significant efforts and sacrifices were put in by members of group A – risking police beating, incarceration and tear gas in order to make a simple statement: that there are many people who are not happy with the ISA and it should be abolished (not tweaked, not revised, not changed, just abolished).

Lo and behold, it was group B that first started voicing an opinion. Some that I picked up:

Damn you rioters – I was stuck in the longest traffic jam of my life.

Anwar, I admire your efforts but why should everyone suffer the inconvenience.

You people are inconsiderate – my family could have gotten hurt if they was out there shopping.

I’m sorry, I don’t mean to judge. And maybe I speak for only myself when I say that if you fall in group B like me, and you are not making any major sacrifices to elicit change, then the least you could do is make one little sacrifice to sit quietly and not criticise those who are doing something about it.

It’s not asking much. Just put up with this small inconvenience and don’t complain about it. Because the complaining is not helping anyone. It doesn’t help group A, it doesn’t help group C. It’s not providing a solution, it’s just creating another problem.

There’s no denying that all of the criticisms are true – yes, people could have gotten hurt, the situation was frustrating and most didn’t like it. Go ahead and have those feelings, we are all entitled to. But to go out and curse those who lead and participate in the demonstrations and paint them as villains is not doing any good. Because it is these people you will end up thanking when things finally do change.

No battle is won without sacrifice. If we want change, it isn’t going to come easy.

So my message to my fellow group B kinspersons – let those who want to fight go ahead and fight. But for those who prefer to just watch, go ahead and just watch, but please leave your criticisms on silent.

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Posts by Leon Dorai

Posted on 6 August 2009. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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23 Responses to People of Malaysia: 3 Cultures

  1. tsunami unleashed

    correction.typo error.

    3 types

    1. those who make thing happened

    2. those who see thing happened

    3. those who do not know what's happening

  2. tsunami unleashed

    Damned Malaysian (myself included). In as far as i knew, there are three types of people/s /group/s.

    1. Those who make thing happened

    2. Those who see happened

    3. Those who do not what's happening.

    Serious joke. UMNO "don't" seem to know what's happening. So engrossed with wealth, looking to cheat on the national coffers (people's maoney), to enriched themselves. You are dommed. Bye, bye. Sayonara…

  3. LN


    Thanks for writing this. It is sad to hear that it takes a bunch of people to fight for the rights and defend the way of life of a larger group who don't want to be inconvenienced but yet want their rights and way of life defended.

    Malaysia is fast becoming a country where if you want to live "business as usual", then you have to fight for it yourself. That's because it ain't business as usual in Malaysia. The day the "Malaysian way of life" explodes – and that day doesn't seem THAT far off given the circus that's occurring everyday – everyone will be affected whether you're Group A, B or C. And everyone will be forced to decide their own course of action, whether they're group A, B or C. The purpose of speaking out according to the rights afforded us by the Constitution is to prevent the country from degenerating to the point of no return.

    It's always the preventive measure that's most ideal but largely speaking, in any group dynamics, however large or small the group, people usually only act when something seriously bad happens. Otherwise it's "please don't rock the boat" and a whole bunch of reasons why we can't do this now. I'm sure all reasons are valid. That's how fear works.

    It helps us justify everything. Including the cow-head incident.

  4. Bobo

    Citizens are the master. Government is the servant. Government should shup up and lister and do what Malaysian want.

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  6. Poesy

    I am from Group B and stayed quietly out of traffic's way. It is lousy that Malaysia (Group A) has to resort to public protests in order to be heard (or not).. Thank you for the enlightening note. The economy is bad and all this is not helping, and I am ashamed that we have such jokers in government who cannot make decisions based on the collective goodness for the country, the economy, the rakyat, they are way selfish in their rule. Malaysia is a joke in the international news. I dislike politics immensely but wish I knew how to help the Group A install some checks and balance, without having political stuff encroach into my life. It annoys me to hear people speak of political issues when they don't understand the subject matter, and they are many of those around, pounding their narrow views at dinner tables – Group B types. Next to them, I look like I belong to Group C just because I don't respond to 'out of arena political discussions'.. but I do want to respond, none of the choices available are desirable.

  7. partytrooper

    has it ever occur to the writer that maybe the guy you thought was group B was rely group C all along

  8. Nik Gnoek

    I am also a group B person but I have great admiration for those who fight at the forefront. I was stucked in the jam too; a 10min drive to my workplace took nearly 2 hours that day. Strangely, it was the happiest traffic jam I have ever got into! Honestly speaking, I am willing to get caught in a jam for 24 hours if it could help abolish ISA! Why not!?

  9. Oneofthesedays


    I pity you for being a father and such a negative person. Telling people to leave Malaysia is rich coming from a pendatang like you.

    In case you missed it the beer band is a stupid UNCONSTITUTIONAL move by some ignorant taliban wannbes who have no clue how to really solve real major problems in their community. For example incest. Hardly a day passes without allegations of incest in Harian Metro. Check if you don't believe me. Is incest less important than alcohol to you?

    Why are you anti-constitution?

    Do you think you are smarter than the founding fathers of Malaysia?

    You probably think you are being holy.

    What a pathetic joke you are.

    Wait till the taliban wannbes come after your daughters.

  10. InjusticeSistem

    Agree!You want change but not willing to make any effort and do not want to be inconvenience by ppl who are putting in effort,these fence sitter whiner bitcher should just please shut up!

  11. Leon, timely post and largely true what you observe. I know a lot of Group B types. Their problem is being too comfortable for far too long. They have all become self-centered egotists and narcissists and rarely spare a thought for other people and social issues – except when it advantages them, e.g., being seen as a philantrophist or politically correct person.

    Cari Makan will be the death of Malaysia.

  12. jerry

    its either every malaysian can eat pork and drink liquor or no malaysian can eat pork or drink liquor;i think the time has come for some soul searching;one malaysia can only only come out from one diversified culture;not a monotonous one but a kaleidoscope;LOL

  13. feeza


    U anak Mrs Dorai, Headmistress Convent Aulong?

  14. rajamudamusa


    Just wanted to do some control on alcohol, already says Pas double faced. Sumtimes I wonder, ppl like you are fighting for rights to eat pig,consume alcohol and keep stinking dogs only ka? I'd prefer my teenage kids be kept away from alcohol and thats the reason I choose to stay in muslim majority area. I dont go to alcohol and i dowan alcohol to cum to me. If u wanto to drink alcohol, eat swine and keep stinking noisy dogs to your heart's dsire, pl move to where your f orefathers come from.

  15. davidtclee

    ….that will be dua puluh dua puluh (2020) mari kita cari kerja and lubang in indon…haha..haha

  16. davidtclee

    observe our(neighbour) indon another 15-20 yrs maybe, they will do better than us haha……anyway what goes around comes around…..tell them that is human nature…why…..why…God Have Mercy on Malaysia.

  17. davidtclee

    ……….semua ini sandiwara la…lama lama like our neighbour yang kaya tambah kaya yang miskin tambah miskin akhirnya makan ubi kayu….God Save Malaysia.

  18. ruyom

    Some real news update:

    Foreign investment has also seen a big dip this year, with foreign direct investment for the first five months stood at RM4.2 billion compared to RM46 billion in 2008.

    Yet here are the responses:

    (1) BN vows to keep the ISA but not our constitutional rights to compulsory fair trial and individual freedom to assembly and speak out

    (2) DPM supports Utusan articles on race stirring and uprising

    (3) Flip flop on education policy

    (4) IGP Musa uncertain about future, but Malaysians are feeling safe in Malaysia?

    (5) 21st century global challenges but 19th century government = a laughing stock, brain drain, backwardness……….

  19. San

    I was right all along:

    PAS is double faced! It wants a Taliban styled Islamic state, in a dynamically multicultural Malaysia! Pathetic!

    PAS extremists want to be primitive Taliban power maniacs enforcer; go ahead. But move to Taliban land or Saudi Arabia!

    Tony Pha and Ronnie Liu is right on – DAP and PKR better not betray liberal or non-Muslims!

    Thank God; I am saved from this Taliban evilness!

  20. vesewe

    This is nonsense la. Malaysia is doing nonsense as usual. It is a nonsense country now.

  21. electra

    I think what the author is trying to say is that it is okay to sit back and observe while others are out there making this change for you and i… it is your right to choose. But don't impede the becoming of a bigger, better painting by complaining about the petty little immaterial things like traffic jams. There has got to be more than life than riding on a smooth highway for a day.

  22. You don't have to be in a group to make a difference. Just be willing to make a difference. Go to the public events, sign petitions, make your voice heard. Now, more than ever, we have the opportunity to act for ourselves.

  23. mei1

    If we really want to see change, we must have more people moving from group C to group B and more from group B to group A. I'm in between group B & A, I support good causes like abolish ISA but with limited influence given that I'm neither a member of any political parties nor NGOs.

    What is more important is that you partake it, claim the ownership of the issue and learn to discard the selfish & apathy attitude.