The Story of The Malays.
An awareness of history and the knowledge of what had happened in Singapore caused the Malays to be anxious about their position in a world when others exerted economic- and ultimately political control-over them. Some argued they were too pessimistic about their future in a British-ruled Malayan Union, but anyone who looks at Singapore today must see that they were not being overly cautious. Although the Malays make up 15 per cent of the population of Singapore, they are hardly visible and form the poorest segment of population, working mainly in blue-collar jobs there.
By contrast, Malaysia is far more open. The Chinese do hold senior posts in both the federal and state governments. Despite affirmative action in favour of the Malays, it is the Chinese community that takes the lead in business. They make up 90 per cent of Malaysia’s millionaires, and more than a handful are billionaires. Even though the Malays are supposedly privileged, the Chinese in Malaysia are nowhere near as deprived as the Malays of Singapore.
It was not simply the Malay demand but an imperative of national social cohesion and survival that a serious plan of government action had to be devised and implemented to remedy the disadvantaged position of the nation’s Malay population. This was necessary to undo the close identification of race or ethnicity with economic function and status, a legacy of the racially organized division of labour created by British colonial rule. It was important to do so in the overall context of the reduction and ultimate elimination of poverty in Malaysian society as a whole. Hence the New Economic Policy or NEP, an affirmative action programmme to redress the disadvantaged position of the Malays and secure their socioeconomic future.
The case for positive discrimination is reasonable. It is now universally accepted that in taxation, the rich must be taxed at a higher rate than the poor. Yet if the revenue of a country is spent only on people who pay high taxes, lower income group in villages and slums would become forgotten people. There would be no sanitation, fewer schools-if any-and no medical facilities for them. Because of their high financial contribution to the administration, the rich would enjoy safe, clean environments, whereas the poor would be consigned to disorder and squalor. To prevent the rich from exploiting the poor, trade unions and labour laws have been established. Without discriminatory laws and taxes on wealth to protect workers, the wealth generated by industry and business would accrue only to the rich capitalists and entrepreneurs. Malaysia would not be the stable and prosperous country that it is today but for this discriminatory policy.
Malays must take the next phase of history and their future into their own hands. The must master the knowledge, wisdom and understanding that can enable them to do so effectively. They must acquire important skills that will empower them. But these alone will not be enough. The Malays must revisit their past and learn from history’s tough lesson in order to secure their place in the world.
Tamatlah sudah hikayat cerita melayu dari mata seorang pemimpin melayu yang telah memacu bangsanya kearah satu dimensi pemikiran yang baru.
Ref: A doctor in the house
Memoirs of Tun dr Mahathir bin Mohamad
From Infatuation to Disillusionment.
Tun dr Mahathir mohamad