Minister, Youth and Sports
One dispirited Malaysian
The Youth and Sports deputy minister, Razali Ibrahim, said that Malaysians who belittled the country lacked a national spirit and prevented the country from becoming a developed nation.
How very patronising of him to have such a low opinion of us.
He is wrong or in denial.
Malaysians have a strong sense of national spirit and identity.
He compared us unfavourably with our neighbours, whom he considered more nationalistic, even with their anti-government protests.
He even claimed that kiasu was the “national spirit” of Singapore and the “secret to Singapore's success”. I was under the impression that Singapore's success was because of its strong leadership and long-term vision.
Razali firmly believes that Malaysia's key to being a developed nation is by being kiasu. If only it were that easy – to be successful by riding rough-shod over people.
The only kiasu I see are our political masters and institutions like the police, who completely disregard the wishes of the people they should serve.
A 'victim' of kiasu despairs at the intolerable arrogance and pushy behaviour. It is neither an appealing trait nor a good example to emulate. In my eyes, success only comes through hard work and perseverance. Not through being kiasu.Excelling with minimum effort
Take for instance the Malays. The previous National Economic Policy allowed Malays to excel in their studies or work performance with the minimum of effort.
Work was never valued. Responsibility was always someone else's. Sensitive topics were taken personally. And no serious attempt to integrate into the modern world, one where the woman was an equal, was made.
With this diet of false support and false hope, Malays were rendered weak and became intolerant of others. They did not know their own weaknesses and strengths. They became hostile to others who did not share their views. With little stimulation, they became mentally challenged.
They demanded rather than earned respect. They expected rather than encouraged people to behave. They dictated rather than engaged in discussions which displayed mental astuteness.
By contrast, non-Malays had to perform with what little they had. Success, when it came to them, tasted even sweeter.
Both the Malay and non-Malay started off from an unequal platform. The non-Malays persevered for success, would demand life-changing decisions which would also affect their immediate families. We are familiar with tales of houses being mortgaged or parents holding several jobs to pay off education loans.
For the Malays, whatever they did was a walkover. They were content with coasting along.
The devil is in the details
So, if Razali is serious about Malaysia becoming a developed nation, he must appreciate that the devil is in the details.
NONEMost Malaysians are loyal, tolerant, hospitable, genteel and diplomatic. The genuine interaction of Malaysians can be acutely observed in overseas Malaysians, more so than in the false window-dressing found at the local '1Malaysia' rallies.
How does Razali expect the Chinese and Indians who make-up 40% of the population, the so-called pendatangs (immigrants), to feel patriotic?
If we are to become a developed nation, we will have to stamp out all corruption in the government and civil services.
Should we feign ignorance when things go disastrously wrong and no one is held accountable?
Should we ignore the cronyism, racism, religious intolerance, scandals, political conspiracies, kangaroo trials, a politicised police force, a tainted judiciary…?
Is Razali content with Malaysia's poor human rights record and that we have draconian laws to detain people without trial?
Malaysians are neither blind nor stupid. The country is bankrupt and we have been told to tighten our belts. Prices of many commodities are increasing. Rice, flour, oil and sugar are in short supply. Employers cannot find suitable workers. The unemployed cannot find suitable work.
Razali said that the '1Malaysia' concept to make the people and nation developed was under attack by some ungrateful Malaysians, saying “Will running down your own country make others respect us more?” He claimed that such an attitude would make other nations lose confidence in Malaysia.Time for complacency over
Razali is wrong.
Malaysians have only lost faith in their leaders. For 53 years, the masses have subsidised those at the top and believed their false rhetoric. The time for complacency is over.
He referred to the strong nationalism of the South Koreans, Japanese and Singaporeans, saying “This is what we are lacking,”
and claimed that “….people in developed countries rarely talked bad about their own countries but would defend them.”
People in developed countries do talk bad about their own countries and especially their leaders.
Criticism leads to change, and the chance to progress. That these citizens can comment without censure is known as democracy. The countries he praised have despatched with all speed corrupt or incompetent officials and politicians, including prime ministers. Some did the honorable thing.
However, these countries have a good system of governance guided by their constitution. Their needs are addressed and their rights defended.The same can't be said for Malaysia.