FRAUDULENT and vacuous! Or in Malay, “bohong dan kosong”. That describes the recent (March 19) Proklamasi Melayu (Malay Proclamation) 2023,” Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s latest cuckoo idea. He is egged on by his dwindling coterie of equally clueless fellow Malay leaders. Is Malay culture incapable of producing enlightened leaders? What have we done to be so cursed?
Likewise with the so-called “Agenda Pinggir Kaum Melayu” (Agenda to Marginalise Malays), the racist rhetoric propagated by those opposed to Anwar Ibrahim’s more inclusive agenda. In truth the real culprits responsible for marginalising Malays are our own leaders, secular and religious. Our intellectuals meanwhile equate the studying of English as but a manifestation of hatred for our “Bahasa dan Bangsa” (language and race), and burden the national curriculum with sterile religious content at the expense of science, technology, engineering, Mathematics and English. That is quite apart from the egregious corruption of Malay leaders that siphon precious funds meant for schools.
Dr Mahathir deludes himself that he “still has it”. That’s the “kosong” part, if not also “bohong”. With Anwar now prime minister, Dr Mahathir’s vacuity as well as his many frauds would soon be exposed! Raja Ali Haji’s Gurindam 12 (Part IV) “Tiada orang yang amat celaka / aib dirinya yang tiada ia” (Cursed are those blind to their own flaws) is apt here. Nature however is kind to the elderly, sparing the likes of Dr Mahathir his “aib”. Instead, that heavy and tragic burden falls on his followers and the nation.
Remember the earlier grandiose Malay Dignity Congress of October 2019 officiated by Dr Mahathir? That was glittered (or more correctly, littered) by many Malay intellectuals. Same fraud, same vacuity but different time.
Following the 2018 general election, leaders of the victorious Pakatan Harapan in their misplaced sense of gratitude asked Dr Mahathir to lead the new government, thinking the old man still had his mojo. The result? An unnecessary political crisis.
Today it is the losing Perikatan Nasional’s turn to be Dr Mahathir’s latest prey. Their leaders have all signed on to his Proklamasi Melayu, again feeding the old man’s delusion. I am not surprised with PAS’ Abdul Hadi Awang; he has had his turban on too tight for so long. As for Muhyiddin Yassin and Hamzah Zainudin, well, they were never too bright.
It is Terengganu’s Menteri Besar Ahmad Samsuri Mokthar who baffles me. Even those simple Langkawi voters have one up over this engineering PhD. They long ago realised that Dr Mahathir is well past his political shelf life, and like an overripe durian, stinks if not also toxic. In his latest antic, Dr Mahathir again abandoned his newest party because “it is no longer received by the voters.” He missed that voters had rejected him too! Again, Raja Ali Haji’s “aib dirinya yang tiada ia”.
Those proclamation co-signees should heed its message, in particular the fourth point, “Puncanya kecuaian pemimpin Melayu” (The key reason being the dereliction of Malay leaders); fifth, “Parti Melayu ... sudah diselewing menjadi parti untuk memewakhkan diri” (Malay parties have been corrupted to enrich their leaders); and sixth, “Rebutan jawatan dan wang telah menjehanamkan perpaduan bangsa Melayu” (The grab for positions and money is what destroys Malays). They should have all looked into the mirror as they recited the proclamation.
As for the other nine points (Malays lacking economic clout, not having control of our future, and having to sell Malay reserve land), if Dr Mahathir could not solve them as prime minister from 1981 to 2003 and when he was much younger, what hope is there now that he is in his 90s and ailing? A gratifying note is that this Proklamasi Melayu is not gaining traction in the social or mainstream media, especially Malay ones. That is not because these commentators are now more enlightened rather that they, like their predecessors, see little benefit in backing losers.
Malaysia is fortunate today in having Anwar. No pushover, he has called on Dr Mahathir and his cronies to account for their wealth. There is no statute of limitation when it comes to plundering the nation!
My plea to my fellow Malays, whether a PhD holder, housewife Mak Minah, or rebellious mat rempit is to emulate Langkawi voters. Reject this charlatan and his coterie of “has-beens” masquerading as our national saviours, and do so now. Remember, an idiot, even an old one, could still burn down the town with a match. It is our collective responsibility to snatch that match from him and at the same time clean up the rubbish. Arresting Dr Mahathir and his cronies would be the equivalent of snatching away the match as well as cleaning up the mess. – May 25, 2023.
* M. Bakri Musa reads The Malaysian Insight.
* 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.