Malays can be greatest people in the world, says Dr M

September 03, 2012

Dr Mahathir was conferred an honorary doctorate by Universiti Sebelas Maret Indonesia.—File picDr Mahathir was conferred an honorary doctorate by Universiti Sebelas Maret Indonesia.—File picSURAKARTA, Sept 3 — Malays, who acquired knowledge and technology, are not only capable of restoring the greatness of their past civilisation, but also able to surpass other civilisations, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The former prime minister said by acquiring knowledge, the Malays would be able to capitalise on it to improve their livelihood and elevate their civilisation and power to greater heights.

“Like Europeans, who once acquired the knowledge explored by Muslims, it is time for the Malays to seek the knowledge acquired and explored by Europeans and other races.

“However, it’s not sufficient to focus on existing knowledge alone. To be a successful Malay ethnic, research needed to be done on existing knowledge and enriched with new knowledge,” he said in a public lecture entitled “Empowering the Malay Nationhood” at Universiti Sebelas Maret Indonesia (UNS-Solo) in Central Java here.

The lecture was held in honour of his being conferred an honorary doctorate in Social and Humanities on the Malay Leadership and Empowerment by the university for his contributions in raising the Malay dignity in the global arena.

On the role of institutions of higher learning in providing knowledge to Malays, he said it had helped elevated the Malay civilisation as the Malays became more literate and knowledgeable to contribute to it.

“We are now living in the era of information and knowledge. This era will continue to progress as Internet and information technology allow anyone to seek and acquire unlimited knowledge.

“Nations who want to become powerful must master technology and innovation, and produce instruments needed to spread knowledge,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said the acquisition of technology and manufacturing techniques, for example, could enhance the ability to create, develop and produce whatever was required by the Malay community in the modern era.

Hence, apart from institutions of higher learning, he said the Malays should also make optimum use of laboratories for research and exploration of knowledge, and sophisticated sciences and technologies.

“Today’s main laboratory is in the electronic sector, especially to design microchips which are getting more and more powerful.

“Moores Law claimed that the power of microchips would double every one-and-a-half year. With the increasing power, the use of microchips will multiply and become faster and finer,” he said.

Dr Mahathir believed that if the Malays were willing to make huge investments in such a laboratory, they might be able to match or even surpass the European and other civilisations.

He also stressed on the importance of the Malays to improve their efficiency in administration and nation building, as well as to expand their culture and values in their quest to build a great civilisation.

“In building great civilisation, the most important thing is that the culture and values must be upheld by the community. No tribe or ethnic group can ever build a great civilisation if their values are inappropriate,” he added. — Bernama