Blaming other races is not the way
Published on: Sunday, October 13, 2019
By: Datuk John Lo
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I want to quote a saying on leadership in the context of the recently held Malay Dignity Congress [MDC]: “Leaders born with quality leadership is 1st class, leaders who learn quality leadership is 1st class, leaders who learn from overcoming difficulties to become quality leader is also 1st class. Leaders who never learn but pass the blame on others, is no class”.

The speeches and resolutions of MDC are neither refreshing or original. Zainal Kling’s [ZK] saying Malaysia belongs to Malays is shamelessly inappropriate. Likewise, other MDC’s, including those from Malay academics, threats and blames, especially about cancellation of citizenship of other races. Would a father whose son is doing badly in life blame his neighbour? No, he would not unless he is an abnormal father. He should be ashamed of himself, having failed as a father to teach the right values to his son. If this father continues to heap blame on his neighbour, he is inflicting permanent damage to his son’s future.

I hasten to rebuke ZK for saying Malaysia belongs to the Malays and for threatening to tear up the so-called “social contract”. Such a contract does not exist in writing. Moreover, even such a contract exists verbally, it does not apply to Sabahans. We have not signed or agreed to such a contract, written or otherwise at the formation of Malaysia. After Malaysia has been formed, Malaya ceased to exist as a country. It is only part of Malaysia. Sabah is multi-racial/religious.

All Sabah CMs, thank God, have not lowered themselves to ZK’s level. I praise Darell Leiking’s forthright statement of rebuke for ZK. ZK deserves it for he has spoken as if Sabahans, including non-Malay Sabahan bumiputras, don’t exist. If he insists on what he has threatened, let it be a problem to be contained in W Malaysia. ZK is not a street urchin. He is a senior academician with considerable repute. He should be telling us that the Malaysian Constitution is the supreme law of the country. His social contract is a figment of his imagination as it does not exist in the constitution or any law.

My respect to Tun M for saying that dignity, like respect, can only be earned. Dignity cannot be conferred by preferment or demand from races. MDC participants are highly educated, should know that most Malays are as hard working as any other race. Look around in KL. Many Malays work double or triple times to make ends meet. Also, there are probably more Malay millionaires than other races. Many Malays are highly respectable professionals, respected in their own rights and well off through their hard work, without dependence on government handout. To these hardworking Malays who have made it on their volition, MDC speeches and resolutions must be an affront to their dignity. 

If MDC participants think that Malays’ economic dignity has somehow been hurt, they should conduct a deep introspection on last 40 years during which time, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan have attained high income, poverty eliminated. China for the same time period, has uplifted 800 million Chinese from poverty, has caught up to become No. 2 in the world and will likely overtake USA as the largest economy soon. What has Malaysia been left so far behind in the last 40 years? Who is truly responsible? 

Why MDC participants are talking about lack of economic dignity that have been around in the last 40 years? Instead of pushing blames around, they should ask some fundamental questions like what has happened to the hundreds of billions from oil, billions worth of shares allocated bumiputra, all the APs and other numerous sweetheart deals given out by government? What is the real cause of poverty, less than satisfactory economic performance by bumiputras and other Malaysians in comparison with other progressive countries? Who has been in charge of the federal government for the last 60 years? How to justify the income/wealth gap between the rich and poor Malays? Time to be truthful—-the leaders must own up to mismanagement, corruption which have resulted for the microscopic trickle-down to the ordinary/poor Malays and other races. The problems will not disappear by blaming others. Tun M must have felt lonely for only he was talking reality. His gist was simply, it is the inherent values that are missing.

The MDC Participants do not seem to realise that Malaysia’s ultimate economic survival as a small country, is highly dependent on trading with other countries, that all Malaysians must unite to master all the competitive energy against the rest of the world. Singapore has become the most competitive country in the world, having overtaken USA in 2019. No Singaporean feels the lack of dignity. In fact, they feel a sense of satisfaction, pride and accomplishment. Singapore scored highly for its public sector, labor force, diversity and infrastructure. These are the MDC’s answers if It wants dignity. MDC is wasting time on inconsequential stuff. It has side tracked from real issues that can make Malaysia great.

Judging from MDC rhetoric, MDC participants want to divide and rule, aiming to wedge animosity between the races. The outcome of their collective strategy, if not stopped in time, will be economic disaster for Malaysia. They should know that there is no successful country in this world which has the majority race in control of all the leverages of government machinery, policies [including financial ones], their implementation and important industry can keep blaming the minority for its unsatisfactory performance. Simple logic.

As more educated Malays woken up to who is responsible for their unsatisfactory economic position, the MDC narrative of blame will be unsustainable. Then, which “bogeyman” the MDC participants will choose to hammer? 

There are only 30 million plus Malaysians, very small number. Do the MDC participants want to create two economies in Malaysia – one for Malays and one for other races? They must open up their mind, think Malaysian, unite so that we can take on the world.

Don’t delude that economic dignity can be attained by blaming other races. It must be earned. Listen to Tun M. Those dependent on “bantuan economy” to get rich will never beget dignity for themselves. The political leaders, like responsible fathers, should show honest/good leadership foremost, by behaving themselves, do away with corruption, imparting the right values of hard work, saving money for next generation and provide world class good education. You don’t have to blame others for indignity. Do these, dignity will look for you.

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