Malays seem to have a fixation with the esoteric myth behind RAHMAN. They confer upon it mystical significance such that, one only needs to look for people whose name fits the alphabet to become the leader for this country.
What then is the cultural difference between choosing a leader, someone who is anointed by a white elephant, or someone who emerges from bovine vomit or one who was born inside the Betong bamboo?
It just means, Malays haven't freed themselves from the tyranny of cultural imprisonment and by extension, cultural subjugation. This must be the first cultural agenda of the new PM and his team.
Those who subscribed to this form of mental and cultural bondage fail to understand that the act of choosing a leader is a deliberate and active process. Never mind that Najib's name fits into the alphabet N. We cannot undo what has become history, but we can determine the outcome of future events. Choosing a leader must be a deliberate act on our part.
One particular expect I hope Malays would adopt is to free themselves from being bonded to a broader fixation with all things short cut. That would mean for instance freeing themselves from relying on fortuitous outcome of certain events which imply an extreme form of passivity on the part of Malays. It can also mean freeing themselves from being dependant on gratuitous succour instead of actively mastering their external environment.
Unfree from these forms of cultural and mental bondage, Malays resort to the esoteric and mystical, relying on happenstance and chance. We have given an example of this kind of mentality, in the way Malays choose their leader- by looking out for people whose names jive with some alphabet. I shall be lost to explain how for instance do we choose the first enabling name?
Would it be, after Najib, it is MUhyiddin? Then every child who is born with their calling names conforming to each of the alphabet in Muhyiddin's name is a potential PM later? We shall have a situation, where every aspiring Malay wants to be named by an alphabet in the name of a current PM.
Malays are always looking to cut corners kah? We boost our intelligence by consuming copious amounts of raisins (kismis). We become intelligent without doing the skunk work? We drink holy water hoping our deficiency in hard work will be miraculously compensated? Malays are relying on miracles to sort out their problems.
A lizard with two tails is kept for good luck. Freaks of nature in the form of oddly shaped bananas are preserved to be turned into a cure all panacea.
The short cut answer to everything can often lead to laughable propositions. Hence to sort out Malay economic backwardness somebody says all the GLC heads must be UMNO loyalists. Does that mean UMNO members? He is chosen, even if he is mentally challenged? Do we ignore talent in favour of the short cut solution as long as he is UMNO?
Is being Malay and UMNO the solution to Malay economic woes? Let me put it bluntly to you so that you may be aware of this reality. In Malaysia you don't have to be Malay to be rich. Look around you- who are the ones richer and economically stronger? In the list of the super rich in Malaysia, how many are Malays?
So, being Malay is not a guarantee you can be rich. If that is so, then putting an UMNOnik at the helm of a GLC guarantees what? It only gives effect to the fact that we hold the levers of power. We come back again then to the easy solution of legislate everything to make Malays better off. Hello people, you can't legislate intelligence. You can't legislate a want to work. You can't legislate eminence.
Is the Malay fixation to the converted acronym RAHMAN symptomatic of a more basic instinct of Malays falling back on happenstance and mystical signs to choosing leadership?
Often, this fixation spills over to liberal interpretations of mundane things. Hence, the off chance remarks by Najib that UMNO members must dare to change was read as a sign that Najib wants MM. That must be a desperate stretch of logic or hopes.
The choice of a leader and leadership must be a deliberate process. It is a purposeful search for leaders who have qualities when applied, bring most benefits to society. Intelligence is a must. We don't want a leader to whom everything must be explained repeatedly to him. He must have the imagination to think of possibilities and if the possibilities imagined are farfetched, he must have a sense of realism to serve as a check on his exuberance.
We must begin by freeing ourselves from cultural bondage