YOURSAY | Covid-19 exposes real crisis of racial, religious exclusivism

YOURSAY | ‘The Malay dilemma is here to stay, no matter what anyone says or writes.’Unmasking the moderate Malay mind, and putting Malaysia firstAnonymous #33227154: I believe if one is patient enough to understand as deep as it takes the logic and the thinking of the fictitious Malay gentleman mentioned in this article by Malaysiakini columnist Mariam Mokhtar, one will find a good man inside. Therefore, patience is needed to communicate with him and show him the other side of the coin.It is not hopeless but it takes a very long time; maybe many generations. We must not let this fact stop us from starting a conversation now.The viewpoint of this Malay gentleman does not fit the vision of Malaysia I have. I am sad to see that this thinking is having a hold on him.In my own limited personal observation and social interaction, I have met many Malay colleagues who are like him, but there are many also who have surpassed this old mindset. I wonder how many percent of the Malay community think like him.AnotherKomentar: How much louder must the doctor shout when advising a terminally-ill patient that he has been infected with coronavirus with no vaccine or cure in sight? The patient is the collective of the Malay political leadership, the middle class, intelligentsia, corporate and religious leaders. The ailments are the abandonment of our democratic constitutional system, our multicultural society, equality of all, the rule of law; these are what bind us as a nation. Without them, the country and this nation we called Malaysia will be destroyed for all. We see racism and Islamic exclusivism continues, the offending and racist politicians have become the offended. If the majority of the land refuses to acknowledge that racial and religious exclusivism cannot be the basis to rule the country; that corruption and abuse of power will destroy the whole nation, then what can the hapless minorities do? The minorities will choose to vote for change, and failing that, to either become passive passengers or vote with their feet. The world has changed, so has the minorities. Going by what is discussed here, the Malays haven’t.Guuunner: We don’t need a non-Malay PM to fix the country. Just govern with integrity, equality, passion, and sincerity to serve the rakyat.Quigonbond: Let’s not even have a conversation about a non-Malay PM when the same “they”, which could include luminaries like former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, cannot accept a moderate and inclusive leaning Malay candidate. Pakatan Harapan has to convince these guys that “Malayness” and “Muslimness” is just an excuse to gain and preserve power, maintain power structures that “they” have been working within for so long successfully, and have vested interest not to dismantle.Existential Turd: Malaysia is a failed state because we have many of these so-called “moderate” Malays. We have lost the present generation and very likely the next generation as well. Their children are indoctrinated by the parents. So Malaysia will continue on its downward spiral. Malaysia’s fate is already sealed. The effort by the minorities merely slow down the process and mask a deep problem. Outsiders only see a hollowed-out shell.Ask yourself honestly, what percentage of the Malays in the government and religious institutions is there because they are competent or there to just “makan gaji”? Foremost in their mind is, will they lose their jobs if the minorities call the shots? Or, will they lose the gravy train? If the answer is yes, you can bet who they will support.This is why the bureaucracy, religious or secular, is ever expanding. This is Umno’s vote bank. The voters and Umno are held hostage by each other.Even if we adopt meritocracy as a governing policy, those who are relatively less corrupt will have to be retained until they retire. It will take at least a generation to digest this drag on the economy. Otherwise, there will be chaos or the government will be short-lived.On a related note, if we really want to implement meritocracy, at least in the short run, it will have to be along racial lines. That is, Malays are graded and ranked among themselves. Not with the minorities. That will at least allay some of their fears.Pink Panther: I am not sure which is more dangerous – religious toxicity or Covid-19. The former corrupts the mind, while the latter kills. Frankly, I am not sure which one is worse. As an old-school Malaysian, I see the former is more harmful to the country, in particular to the Malay/Muslim society.I have said before, at least in the Malaysian context, this creeping Talibanisation is seriously damaging the country. It is a cancer in our society. ‘Assalamualaikum’ is now the default greeting, whether by ministers, officials or TV presenters when they are addressing the public. Or when friends meet. Whatever happened to ‘selamat pagi’ or ‘apa khabar’, or the more informal ‘apa macam’? My nieces are forced to wear tudung, lest they will be subject to taunt and jeer. Some of my peers spend so much time in mosques nowadays instead of being more productive in this real life, here and now. I don’t care how they spend their time – just please don’t usurp my time by sending me those vacuous religious SMS. But is it the people who are to blame? They are just recipients for the incessant drilling/brainwashing/inculcation by politicians, leaders, ulamas and self-made Zakir Naiks whose dictum cannot be questioned. The Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) as an untouchable body is the perfect instrument to dumb down the majority of the Malays into controllable herds. Just think that over RM1 billion (out of all taxpayers’ money) is allocated for Jakim. Shouldn’t this money be better used for every Malaysian affected by Covid-19, including ‘pasar ramadan’ folks? Sadly, today I learnt that RM21 million is allocated to prop 22,920 teachers in tahfiz schools. Even more shocking to me, I learnt that they have 2,119 tahfiz schools.Now we have the Doraemon phenomenon – this is the flip side of the coin. On the one side, you have the religious inculcation, and the other is its consequence: utter mediocrity. The dumbing of the mind permeates all levels and manifests itself from top-down.Just listen to the two from Women, Family and Community Development Ministry. One demands syariah-compliant uniform for stewardesses (now jobless) while her boss recommends housewives to giggle like Doraemon.I am ashamed. This Covid-19 has fully exposed the real crisis in our country.Redmann: When the west meets the east, and vice versa, a pestilence is begotten that has zero chances of destruction. It festers, pesters, musters, and like a contagion is passed on to succeeding generations of the modest moderate racist ilk. The Malay dilemma is here to stay, no matter what anyone says or writes. It is already legislated and carved in stone in Article 153 of the Constitution. Let’s not kid ourselves. We must find ways and means to overcome this malaise.Fair Play: Sixty-two years of mind control through the triple methods of hegemony by way of race, religion and language would likely take at least one generation (20 to 30 years) beginning at the childhood education and integration with the other communities through adulthood to see any tangible results.But sadly, their political leaders are very impatient for immediate results because their political life-span as top honcho politicians are very short at the top hierarchy.The big question is this – do the top leaders have the political will and the patience to see their efforts only bear fruits after such a long period and perhaps well after their time?Mariam, my hat off to you. Your article taking the form of a question-and-answer format on a one-on-one basis with a ‘moderate’ Malay is a classic in insightfulness in exposing the cloistered mind of the average educated Malay Malaysian.Now, perhaps I have to revise my estimate to at least two generations.Dizzer: The overwhelmingly depressing tone of everyone’s comments is probably down to cabin fever. Cheer up, people. We are not a failed state, most Malaysians are not unmitigated racists, the Malays are not a lost cause, and we will come through this coronavirus thing.Part 2 | Is there such a thing as a ‘moderate’ Malay?The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. In the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.Keep up with the latest information on the outbreak in the country with Malaysiakini’s free Covid-19 tracker.Malaysiakini is providing free access to the most important updates on the coronavirus pandemic. You can find them here.Help keep independent media alive – subscribe to Malaysiakini.

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