In his maiden speech, the PM said:-
I remain committed to the goals of tackling poverty; of restructuring our society; of expanding access to quality education for all; and of inspiring a new generation of young Malaysians to work on behalf of this great country.
All these things he mentioned affect the Malays most. They formed the largest group with higher incidence of poverty. They are locked structurally in economic pursuits which offer relatively lower added returns. Their mobility across economic structures is hampered by lack of skills and deficiencies in training.
My attention is particularly drawn to the last part of the PM's message, that of inspiring a new generation of young Malaysians.
Inspiring the young Malay is an even trickier endeavour and objective. You inspire with self propelling values and setting achievable objectives.
I am loath to bring up this subject; lately I have been reading quite a bit about Singapore's history, in particular refreshing my reading on Lee Kuan Yew. Many find the mere mention of Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew revolting. Personally I find this attitude very self defeating as we can learn or at least look at our own set of problems from a different perspective.
Consider the formation of Malaysia as illustration. Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore supported the idea of a Malaysia. His premise of a Malaysia was quire in contrast to the premise of a Malaysia held by Tunku Abdul Rahman.
TAR was sold to the concept of a Malaysia built on the idea that Malays would always be the senior partner in a unified Malaysia and being a senior partner, was entitled to a few privileges. Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore viewed Malaysia as a modern state which must aim at delivering economic prosperity to all while moving to the ideal of equality of status and opportunity for all, regardless of race.
My question: how could descendants of displaced people (Chinese and Indians) persistently and doggedly pursue this concept of Malaysia for all? It was a powerful motivation fuelled by what?
I can only see two dominant and powerful factors here; (a) absolute faith in the rule of law which accorded everyone equal legal rights and (b) absolute confidence in one's own ability and capabilities. Most important is the belief that with one's ability and capability, the appropriate and just rewards will accrue.
Now, when our PM speaks of inspiring the young who are malleable and impressionable, the foundations that make a Malaysian nation need to be spelt out clearly.
The foundations must include an ideology of struggle. This will involve accelerating the process of history and even re-writing history. I am talking about history being a sum total of our collective experience.
Question: since 1970 what has been our collective experience? It has been sadly, a history of 'give me welfare' or 'give me crutches' way of moving the Malays that's even elevated to an all consuming ideology. We can justify the application of this give me welfare policy on the infirmed, the truly dispossessed, the hard core poor. It would be unpropitious however, to apply the policy wholesale as to include the Malays en masse under this policy.
Hence, perhaps the objective of inspiring a new generation of young Malaysians to work on behalf of this great country
must involve the re-writing of recent Malay history? Because to my mind, the re-writing of recent Malay history is crucial to acquire:-
- Absolute confidence in one's own ability and capabilities.
- The belief that with one's ability and capability, the appropriate and just rewards will accrue.