As women continue to out-perform the guys academically by miles...we get the Mariam Mokhtars on one hand and the Ibrahim Alis on the other. No you are not alone Mariam. It is just that there are not enough people like you yet. This was in Malaysiakini:
Ketuanan Melayu: Am I alone?
Probably the more invectives that are hurled in retaliation, the happier they would be. No, we are not a hysterical lot.
They were Malays, Chinese, Indians, Eurasians, Orang Asli. Some made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of independence. Must we now forget their contributions and treat their children and grandchildren not as true Malaysians, but merely as immigrants? Are we not indebted to them?
My great-grandfather was a rubber-tapper and he encouraged his son (my grandfather) to study and lift them out of poverty. At night, he studied by the light of a kerosene lamp. During the day, he escaped being called out to play by the other boys, by hiding and reading in the middle of a patch of long grass.
The daily journey to secondary school in Ipoh was by train and on foot. He then entered the Malayan Civil Service (MCS), worked his way up and was sent to England for various courses and tests. He grabbed every opportunity and was a success.
He worked in the towns and villages, throughout Malaya, but complained that the Malay youth then were indisciplined, were bad at time-keeping and had an attitude problem. Many suffered from kais pagi, makan pagi (living from hand-to-mouth) and lacked motivation to work. The majority considered the bounties from the fruit trees or rivers sufficient for their daily needs.
This lack of incentive is deeply entrenched and will remain entrenched unless there is a brutal effort to exorcise it from the Malay psyche. We must give Malays a way out of poverty and halt their dependence on the NEP. The challenge is for them to break out of the spiral of underachievement and low expectation.
A crutch, not a panacea
The NEP, or its reincarnation, will not help the Malays or Malaysia. Instead of making Malays more competitive, it will make them more reliant on false hopes. It will make them idle and addicted to being the master, the supreme race, with little effort involved. It is a destructive ideology. It destroys their character and robs them of an identity. It is an admission of weakness. It relieves them of pride and dignity.
The Malays have had large amounts of money spent on them. No amount of money will elevate them unless it is put to good use to improve themselves. The desire to improve must come from within. They must understand that ambition and aspiration entails hard work and perseverance.
Malays have a strong cultural identity and family values but the NEP has helped institutionalise underachievement. So how can we offer security to our children if our adults lack ambition?
Education and a strong stable family life must be foremost in policy changes to make a difference. But politicians have messed up our education system. Government must create opportunities. We need investments, both locally and from abroad, but Malaysia's negative image precludes that.
Those who champion ketuanan Melayu should concentrate on the Malay community and seek answers for the following:- Malays lacking aspiration; Malay girls outperforming boys; Malay men abrogating responsibilities towards their family, spending money on successively younger wives, leaving families severely disadvantaged; high divorce rates in Malay marriages;