Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Singapore Malay speaks...

The Straits Times today quoted a statement made by ex-PM Mahathir: "The position of the Malays (in Malaysia) is in deep crisis and precarious. If they do not think deeply and act wisely, one day, we could become like Malay Singaporeans, a group without power who have to terbongkok-bongkok (kowtow) before others. We do not want others to kowtow before us, but we want a fair distribution of power and wealth."

The statement was made in his keynote address at a Malay rights rally "Melayu Bangkit" in Kuala Trengganu on 13 June.

The ex-PM has frequently used Singapore Malays as a warning to Malaysian Malays that if the latter were not careful, they too would become a 'weak minority" controlled by others.

He also said pure meritocracy would not work for the Malays in Malaysia, as many still do not have the same educational opportunities to catch up. "...if we use meritocracy to distribute wealth for our country, based on who has better ability, the Malays will be left behind. ...they will have no political power, they can't help others from their own race."


The Straits Times recently published an interview on June 4 with former Singapore Senior Minister of State, Mr Sidek Saniff. Here are some extracts.

On meritocracy

25 years ago when Mr Saniff and 9 other Malay MPs were asked whether there should be some special dispensation to admit Malay students to the faculties of medicine and law in university as their numbers were small, he said:

"Bad idea. Such a move would have lowered standards for Malays. I did not want our kids to go to university and be doctors and lawyers, but be stigmatised because they were Malay and got in through the back door. Worse, we would have condoned second-rate doctors or lawyers.

Fair competition on the basis of merit was the only way for a place or a post to be filled by the best candidate - Malay or otherwise. Anything else would be short-changing not just society, but also the community. It would chip away at the community's dignity and sense of self-worth, and do more harm than good...And meritocracy is a safeguard against corruption."

On Malay genes

"There is nothing inherent or genetic about Malays that makes them academically weak. While having to compete with others on an equal footing is an uphill struggle for the community, successive generations would be the better for it...Singapore Malays do not need a crutch on which to compete."

Mr Saniff's book "The Singapore Malay Paradigm" will be out later this year. It is a compilation of his speeches made during his 25-year political career, and covers a wide range of issues touching on the Malay community, the Malay language, religion, progress, and role in a developing Singapore.

Our ex-PM should get hold of a copy. Perhaps then he would refrain from making Singapore Malays a scapegoat whenever he wants to instil fear in Malaysia Malays.

7 comments:

Antares said...

Every Singapore Malay I have met has been admirably talented and befriendable. Look at outstanding individuals like M. Nasir, Ramli Sarip, Gene Sharudyn, Alfian Saat, Art Fadzil and Zai Kuning!

pinsysu said...

some malays in bolehland tak boleh endure the cold turkey treatment if their crutches are removed ... they think they might become instant cripples ...

Meng said...

Will this wake up the malaysian malays or they need more crutches.

Anonymous said...

excellent post and point well made... hope more people will read the upcoming book...

kkbboy said...

Now this is what I call a real TOWERING MALAY.

rlkris said...

希望能常常看到你的更新 .........................................

LC Teh said...

The old man just doesn't get it. His remedy failed miserably and he admitted it himself every so often, yet he doesn't get it. He's flipped I think....