APRIL 27 — In 1927, some 85 years ago, a Malay intellectual named Zainal Abidin Ahmad wrote: “Mereka telah di perabdikan dan kena picit dan perah dan ramas di tangan pemerintah2 yang pada zaman dahulu itu- iaitu pemerintah2 dari bangsa mereka sendiri…”
It’s true. The biggest oppressors turned out to be the Malays who have power among them. The Malays are dehumanised under Umno hegemony. How would you feel, to wake up every day to tell your sons and daughters that you can’t be as good as the Indians and Chinese because you were born Malay? You are less a person because you are Malay? That you are not able to compete because you are genetically and inherently deficient and lacking in so many things? What kind of Malay do your children grow up to become?
What do the Malays look for salvation? In an absolutist Umno very much similar to the absolute monarchy of old — that ruling system to which Zaaba came to ruefully write about.
And what will the Malays turn out to be? They will become underdeveloped beings, imprisoned by false characterisation, dwarfed and stunted because each day your Umno parents tell you, you are not good enough. Your Umno parents will tell you that you are what you are today because the non-Malay forces are conspiring to decimate all things Malay.
What does Umno offer as solution? Absolute dependence on Umno. Therefore, in order to level the playing field, give us Umno absolute and unbridled power. Power to do what? To pillage and plunder this country and keep Malays forever enslaved?
This is the biggest lie and fallacy that Umno has infused into the pliant minds of the Malays. Malays are pliant putty, shaped and formed in any way Umno deems suitable for the times.
When wishing that Umno be given absolute carte blanche to pillage and plunder, Malays are intimidated and terrorised with the idea that they will simply be overwhelmed by the non-Malays. That all things Malay — race, religion and emblematic institutions — will be eliminated when the non-Malays take over.
The non-Malays combined do not make the bigger portion of the population. This fact alone is sufficient to demolish the Umno web of deceit and lies.
By the way, just so the linguist nationalist must know, Zainal Abidin, whom the Malays know as Pendita Zaaba, wrote the original lines in English. He was writing about the Malays and the above passage loosely translates as follows:
“They( the Malays) have been enslaved, suppressed, oppressed and abused at the hands of their own rulers who were then the ruling classes from within their own kind …”
Zaaba was then 32 years old. He was the first Malay to sit for the Senior Cambridge examinations, then went on to become a teacher and later lecturer at the Sultan Idris Training College.
What is my point? My point is if the Malays are to now look for the real people who are holding them back, they don’t have to look beyond themselves. It’s almost universally true all over the world, that the worse oppressors of any race are their own race. That old-school feudalism looked disdainfully at Malays is infamously captured through the eyes of a representative of that social class remarking that:
“.... I do not like the idea of the children of rajas and chiefs sitting side by side with the children of people who were once our slaves.”
The old-school feudalism has been replaced by new-school feudalism. None practises it more expertly than Umno. Umno has never rid itself of this inherent belief in ascriptive leadership. By that we mean, leaders are chosen on account of who they are naturally.
To Umno and this is what the Umno leadership drums into the mind of the Umno heartland — Umno leaders are born and only the select few, with the right denominations such as by having the correct surnames and who operate within the right social milieu, can lead Umno and the Malays.
New-school feudalism may no longer have the social Berlin Wall but the underlying characteristics of the old feudalism remain. By the underlying characteristic we mean the continued enslavement of the Malay mind perpetrated by the present-day rulers of the Malays — Umno.
Umno has not only debased the rakyat, it has also debased our society. It is encouraging the thug mindset of our 21st century while others have raced ahead to be more cultivated and critical in their thinking, more rational and moderate in their behaviour, and more just and honest in their decisions.
Let us candidly ask ourselves. If such a situation continues, what will be the final result? Kleptocracy at one corner, hypocrisy at another, followed by a thuggish police state at another corner, and lastly an income-widening gap in a mythical high-income economy in the last corner. We’ll be surrounded on all four corners by mediocrity and lunacy.
Is this how we want our Malaysia to become? Spins and lies, threats and blows, debasement and injustice, low standards and obsolescence, yawning debt and weakening performance propped by big spin?
Then it won’t just be the end of the history of Umno Baru. It’ll be the end of the short-lived history of Negara Ku.
Bangkitlah bangsa Malaysia! — sakmongkol.blogspot.com
* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.