THE “lazy Malay” narrative was raised a long time ago and recently has spiked up. Among the weaknesses of the Malays often talked about are laziness, dependent way of life and lack of knowledge that led to the split of Malays to different groups of thought.
The willingness to pursue higher goals and continue to rise to the highest level is the most important element in determining the future of a nation.
Although the Malays are given special protection and rights under the Federal Constitution, the situation of the Malays has not change much. Many are still considered as B40, poor financially and devoid of property ownership.
We should acknowledge that a democratic system emphasises the power of voting and the human voice. The constitution can only be altered according to the influence and power of the majority. Privileges, on the other hand, can turn into disaster if not taken care properly.
Based on successful people stories, many actually started from the bottom. Still, they have succeeded because they turned the experience of adversity into a motivator to rise and create success.
We, the Malay community, should learn to accept more changes to prove that we are able to compete and contribute to the development of the country.
Armed with a new way of thinking, it is not impossible for the Malays to move forward despite the various challenges ahead.
The idea to allow development is the need for recovery of our Malay race through a revolution.
The revolution in question is a sudden change in which changes are made to correct existing weaknesses.
In addition, progress in the education system will also help the Malays free themselves from the shackles of the political, economic and social systems.
As seen, there are many Malay entrepreneurs among young people born to run businesses in different sectors and even some have become millionaires, but the number is not comprehensive. In fact, the success of a few cannot be considered as the success of the Malays as a whole.
While millions of “unlucky Malays” are still experiencing declining living standards due to either unemployment or lack of source of income, some groups of “lucky Malays” are comfortably enjoying an increase in the value of personal wealth.
Injustice in this flawed economic system has long been manipulated by the “chosen Malays”. Their wealth increased even during a pandemic era stemmed from systemic failure, both policy and legal.
In my opinion, the “lucky Malays” with a good standard of living should help the “unlucky Malays” who are less fortunate.
In addition, the Malays themselves should not be picky. Seize all the opportunities and jobs available to gain knowledge and experience and close the gap that has been filled by immigrants or foreign workers.
No other nation across the globe is ever seen to discourage its people. If we study the successes of other nations, we will find that they are actually advanced based on their culture and values.
If this situation is not given attention, then the goal of restructuring the Malay community will not be achieved.
A Malay proverb has it that the round does not come rolling, the flat does not come floating. We need to instil a commitment in our grandchildren to continue to achieve excellence. Such spirit was nurtured and accepted by the early generations of Malays in their efforts to form the Malay nation.
The success in uplifting our nation depends on ourselves through a willingness to accept change. Both good and bad lessons can be learnt from the history of the Malay race. Moreover, awareness of such history is important to avoid destruction.
* Mahathir Mohd Rais is Segambut Bersatu division chief.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.