Observations of a Kenyan student in Malaysia on the country – a beautiful nation with beautiful people who live with a stinking political system, institutional rot, and the trouble with the Malay leadership.
This is the second and final installment.
The trouble is the Malay leadership. Having seen their people have become addicts, they lack the charisma to tell them that the nation must cross a new frontier and meet today’s challenges with new policies that are effective, economically sound and free of corruption. You can’t stick to a policy that failed. Four decades is what a nation needs to rise, not for a single policy to be implemented.
Of course there is Anwar Ibrahim, always the rabble rouser who called the policy obsolete and formulated a new policy. But rather than debating on the merits of his new policy, the ruling party, UMNO, and its apparatchiks dismissed Anwar as a traitor, an IMF funded rogue who wants to destroy the Malays.
To me, Anwar is a great leader and UMNO leaders are leaders. The difference between the two is that a great leader takes his people where they don’t want but aught to be and a leader takes his people where they want. And when you listen to what your people like PERKASA’s Ibrahim Ali and other Manglish speaking, Utusan consuming hordes want, you fail in your leadership role and that’s what’s happening in Malaysia.
In the four to five years that I have been in Malaysia, I have never heard a single Malay leader apart from Anwar Ibrahim and former Finance Minister and UMNO’s only conscientious member (apart from a blogger called Sakmongkol). Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah says the Malays CAN! I always hear, “The Malays are weak, the Malays can’t compete, the Malays don’t have the Chinese civilisation, the Malays are not tough enough to survive on their own, the Malays need help, the Malays are under threat” and etc.
Dr. Mahathir, the former PM and a notoriously racial leader continues to stoke the embers of racism and warned the Malays that that they were losing Malaysia to the non-Malays. He knows they aren’t losing, but his target is to scare villagers into supporting the ruling party and thus prevent his arch-rivals, Anwar and PAS leaders from coming into power. I have no problem with politics, but destructive politics that destroys the very fabric of your nation and mismanages the destiny of that nation is both immoral and evil.
When I hear UMNO Malay leaders humiliate their own people by saying they are weak, can’t compete and need perpetual crutches, I always ask myself: what is their intention? When you publicly and before the world camera repeat and repeat that your people are a bunch of hapless people, what do you want the world to do? To issue a Guinness World Records’ certificate of collective stupidity to your people?
Why not praise your people instead? Why not say my people can? Why not raise up their spirit? Why not show them the opportunities the world has rather than cocooning them here alone? Why not remind them Islam and Allah’s order to Muslims to seek His bounties on earth and toil? A believer doesn’t fail and worse, a believer doesn’t engage in defeatism. “Ta-Ha. We have not revealed the Quran to you that you may be unsuccessful.” (20-1-2. Holy Quran, Shakir)
There was a Tab’ie (follower of the Prophet’s Companions) who one day came a long two men fighting. One was being humiliated. So he wanted to raise the spirits of the defeated guy. He reminded him of his faith, of his people’s past glories, of his ability, of grandfathers, of his own, and instantly the man was charged. I can’t recollect the entire story but I remember the Tabi’e also said had the other man being the one humiliated, he would have reminded him of many good things and helped him rise.
The moral of the story? Always remind your people of what’s good! Of their past glories to draw lessons, always point to their future. Remind them about their name and dignity. Tell them of the teachings of their faith. Islam is basically about creating success stories, not a whining society that’s hopeless. You are in a fight, a perpetual fight and this fight can’t be won through simplistic ideas. It needs resilience, patience, innovation, faith, sobriety, thinking, good leadership, honest administrators, and just leaders (institutions).
This battle needs sacrifice, toil, and tears. Allah (sw) didn’t see it fit to send even His Prophets free food. There is nothing called “free” here. All our Prophets worked hard and were herdsmen. Why do you think they had to occupy the lowest of jobs to survive? It’s meant to remind us work is what’s important and earning halal income is our destiny. Rent-seeking, corruption, sleaze, cronyism, and opportunism destroy a nation.
Mukhtar al Bukhary is not a success story. Which part of meeting a minister in his private sitting room and cutting deals is a success? Can he stand tall and be proud? The world would laugh at him, but UMNO says that’s the success of NEP. Poorah! A successful story inspires generations or even nations. Bill Gates inspired nations. He invented something, promoted it and benefited billions. He continues to inspire billions. Can Bukhary do the same? He can’t.
When you give Naza 18,000 APs and they make some easy money – it that a success story that can inspire the future Malays? Which part of it is a success?
But we can have a successful Malay community by sticking to the book, rule of law, Godliness, and meritocracy. You deserve: you get, you don’t deserve: you won’t get it. Period!
We need to have some policy to help the Malays, but we need results as well. I want to remind the Malays one thing, if you are unjust, you will lose this nation. That’s how God’s creation order works. Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “God upholds the just state even if it is unbelieving, but does not uphold the unjust state even if it is Muslim.” In other words, God would help and sustain a non-Muslim person/state that’s just, rather than a Muslim person/state that is not. This is simple because the Prophets were sent to bring justice and God’s creation order stands on justice.
If you want to have NEP, include the Chinese and Indian orphans and widows and the needy among all races. That way, you will continue to rule and prosper. But if you think voting PERKASA and UMNO will make you safe and sustainable, then you are mistaken. You will drown sooner than you can imagine. It is justice that would maintain you and settle for good leadership.
There can no be 100% successful policy or state, but being righteous and godly, being fair and just, being honest and incorruptible helps. And please, for once, defeat PERKASA and like minded parties. If you don’t look inward, if you don’t ask critical questions and examine yourselves, if you believe the hyperbole of PERKASA and its financiers, there will come a time when it is too late to salvage this nation and regret comes later. May Allah (sw) bless yo u all and guide us! Amin!
And those who strive in Our (cause), We will certainly guide them to our Paths: For verily Allah is with those who do right. (Holy Quran 29: 69)
Update: There has been an anonymous comment posted in forum where some Malays are attacking me. Some are even calling me a “nigger.” I can assure you that I’m whiter than “Malay” Zambry Abdul Kadir. But even if I were a “nigger,” that’s not a problem. I appreciate God’s creation. I being black or white is of no consequence. My humanity is what matters.
Please dear Malay brethren, debate the merits of this post and if you believe I may be wrong in some cases, point out and advise by commenting on it. Engaging in an orgy of tribal bashing devoid of any intellectual input justifies what I have wrote here.
I love you and only God knows how much. My criticism is genuine and from a Muslim brother who feels your pain but believes things have to change because the world is not waiting for you. Wassalam!
LB: Comments are now open. This post was previously published here.