The Malay denial

By Mariam Mokhtar

COMMENT Hadi Awang, the PAS president, refers to some Muslims as “lost sheep”; ironically. this is a Christian metaphor. Hadi could be known as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

Religious men have ‘corrupted’ the Malay mind, so that he is unable to accept any hard truths.

When you tell Malay parents to practice family planning, they will say, “Children are a gift from God”. When you tell the Malay that driving recklessly may cause an accident, he will say, “If it is God’s will, then so be it”.

What a pity that the hadith, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim”, which when combined with the opportunity to correct one’s sins and mistakes to improve oneself, is lost on the Malay. Why are so many Malays recalcitrant?

Many Malays have difficulty in ‘opening up’ and acknowledging their shortcomings. The majority cannot distinguish between religion and culture. They confuse right with might. The more arrogant Malays think that the ‘special position’ mentioned in the constitution is synonymous with ‘special rights’. This is wrong!

If only the Malay would exercise his grey matter, he would have saved his community a lot of soul-searching, and the nation would possibly be more united, and have more racial tolerance.

If children are a gift from God, why does the child, or parent, treat his life as a cheap, worthless commodity?

The bicycling tragedy in Johor Baru was an accident waiting to happen. The police have unsuccessfully tried on numerous occasions to disperse the cyclists. The boys on their modified bikes quickly disappear at the first sign of a police car.

The cyclists should not be on the highway in the first place. Should not be bunched in the middle of the road, or congregate on the central divider. The boys should be in bed well before 3am, as they have school the next day. Instead, these boys, and some of their parents, expect public understanding.

These cyclists are mere Mat Rempits-in-training. In Kuala Lumpur, the Federal Territories Minister, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who probably claims to have the best brains in the Umno Baru think-tank, wants Mat Rempits to be allowed to race along certain residential roads. He should start the race on his street, or the street where the PM and other ministers live.

A lot of betting accompanies these races. Perhaps, like some Muslims, Tengku Adnan feels that exceptions for gambling should be allowed on race nights.

Here are two responses from parents of some of the injured cyclists.

One father, whose son sustained injuries to the hip, admitted that he had been reluctant to “excessively control” his son. He feared that his son would be “stressed out” whenever the teenager was admonished by his parents.

His son, had, on several occasions, disobeyed him and sneaked out of the house at night. Today, he sits at his son’s hospital bedside, waiting to see if the teenager will be able to get up.

One mother begged the public to stop blaming the parents and the victims. She felt that it was unfair of the public to blame the parents for neglecting their children.

‘Not neglected, but over-indulged’

She is right. The children were not neglected. They were over-indulged.

There are many instances in daily life in which the Malay parent stubbornly refuses to discipline their children. March them to bed, from an early age, if they are naughty. Make them adhere to simple house rules. Gate them for a few days, and stop them from meeting their friends, if need be. Stop their pocket money if necessary.

What is the usual Malay parent’s response when someone points out that the Malay child is doing something dangerous, like playing on the streets?

If the boy meets with an accident, the parent says that it is his takdir (destiny). There is no mention of taking preventative measures, about playing safely within the confines of the garden, or in the house.

Some Malays fail to distinguish between quality and quantity, and large families are the bane of the Malays. The Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) payment is only a quick fix. The affirmative action policies do not appear to address the rising poverty in the Malay community.

In the olden days, high child mortality rates and poor provision of healthcare meant that children who survived beyond five years of age were rare. Large families addressed the shortage of labour in the fields, and the care of elderly parents.

Having a large family is not sustainable in today’s world. Whether they live in a town, or the village, children need a good education, good nutrition, a stable family life and love.

When Malays say that they want large families, it is just an excuse not to practise family planning.

When a Malay man demands a virgin bride, it is because he fears being told that his technique is rubbish.

When a Malay excuses his wrongdoings with “takdir tuhan” (Divine intervention) he is absolving himself of all responsibility.

It is time the Malays had a rethink, and learnt to be in control of their own destiny.


MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO). Blog, Twitter.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Race relations. Bookmark the permalink.