Sunday 12 August 2018

A DIGRESSION - Version 2

We do believe  " History repeats itself ".

Usman Awang, one of our most brilliant poets of the 20th century wrote this many years ago.  I often wonder if some or any of our Millennials and Generation X have read his works - especially this one -

"Berbuahlah pisang tiga kali.    Masih berdagang di rumah sendiri"

Read :

Perhaps the Malay is still caught in  "terlalu banyak mimpi"  (too many dreams).  Worse than that he/she  seems to have "no shame" .

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad lamented that he failed in his 22 years in power as the Malays did not feel ashamed when they failed, whether in examinations or in life.

" I spent 22 years trying to change the Malays, trying to alter the perception that they were lazy, I failed," Malaysia's serving Prime  Minister said today.

 ............... Another failing among the Malays, he said, was the lack of honesty and integrity, and their failure to handle money properly.

Lazy Malay circa 1960s.
Malay rubber smallholder, Johor - more lazy Malays.

Two tired Malay children and their stall of products from their kampung - does this reflect a "failure to handle money" ??

Two lovely smiles after the photographer had a little chat with them.  This was taken on the road to Seremban in 1966/67.
Fast forward to 2015 - still a lazy Malay. Arwah Aisha, a very diligent road sweeper in Kuala Lumpur.

Still 2015 - the lazy Malay under a tree fiddling with his mobile.  He had been sweeping  bags and bags  of rubbish and leaves as well as pushing his heavy rickety trolley since 7 am.  Compare this tidy scene with the mess in above image.

But all is not lost.  There are the middle class urban Malays - well educated, both secular and religious,  the movers and shakers of the professional bureaucracy, and the corporate and political system .   Aisha and Osman often complained about these well-heeled residents, chucking their rubbish anywhere they like.  One of them gave Aisha 2 obviously costly pillows - which were ridden with bed bugs.  Aisha did not notice them until she took them home. 

This is how they live  in gated communities with security guards and security barriers, and blocked-up roads.  

Long live the bourgeoisie!!!

He spoke of his experience running a bakery after his retirement from politics.

"I am operating a bakery and have given many opportunities to Malays to hold management positions.

"Unfortunately, time and time again, honesty and integrity appear to be lacking as there have been staff who keep stealing."

(From The Malaysian Insider - September 11, 2014)


As for cheating and stealing - there are cheats and cheats and thieves and thieves ....

Posted by grkumar - "Malaysian cheats at Foreign Universities", April 23 2016

Right: -  so the Malays are shameless, lazy, dishonest and lack integrity.


Let's look at another view written by a Singapore poet, Mohd Latiff Mohd, one of my favourite poets from my mother's tanah air, my ex-country.  Although in 1969, the then Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew regarded poetry as "a luxury we cannot afford" (Hyland, 1984, p 137), Mohd Latiff's contribution in 2004 is still priceless - the hopes and principles and determination; the woes and frailties of the Malays, the obstacles in their path, the legacy heaped upon them of a truncated economy, society and demography - it makes no difference if this exists in Singapore or the Semenanjung because their tapestry was sewn and painted by the same external forces.  The Malays are serumpun, from the same root and same origin, no matter what some of our WOGs and Arabists wish to deny.

I'm copying in full Mohd Latiff's MELAYU BARU published by MAJALAH SEKATA, April 2004.

Melayu baru ini mengkeramatkan maruah sejarah
tahu takrif iman dan mencintai sulaman akidah
menentang khurafat menjunjung syuhada                                                                                          meremukkan tahyul dan menentang tengkarah.                                                                                 

Melayu baru itu bukan hanya segak bertali leher                                                                                tapi akan gagap berbahasa ibunda                                                                                                        pelat Inggerisnya amat mempesona                                                                                                  pandai berdansa dan pandai bermukah                                                                                                pandai bermuka-muka dan penjilat maruah.

Melayu baru itu sebenarnya intelektual bangsa                                                                              berkeris  bertanjak tapi berijazah sempurna                                                                                      lembut budinya tapi tegas membela                                                                                                  apabila ibunda dicela atau ditindas takdirnya.

Melayu baru itu kenal derita bangsa
tidak sombong dan tidak serakah
rela berkorban darah dan airmata
demi bangsa dan anak manusia.

Melayu baru itu bukan hanya pada lagak dan rupa
rumah istana dan berkereta dari tujuh benua
tapi membuang jauh budaya bangsanya 
dan malu mengaku asal usulnya.

Melayu baru itu sebenarnya seorang peguam yang berani
seorang jurutera yang berbudi
seorang doktoryang tinggi pekerti
seorang wakil rakyat yang bistari.

Melayu baru itu seorang ulama penentang hipokrasi
seorang wira pejuang tulen nafas demokrasi
seorang mukmin yang bersih hati dan murani
mengenali erti wanginya takdir keramatnya mimpi
menggauli sosok sejarah dengan bertatihkan budi.

Melayu baru itu bukanlah hanya pada lagak dan gaya
sombong dan bangsat pada wajah leluhurnya
menghina mimpi dan duka para bonda
tidak berakar umbi, tidak bertiang seri 
tidak kenal airmata duka dan sejarah sendiri.

Melayu baru itu sebenarnya pendobrak budaya tua
merentangkan sutera silatul rahim buat anak manusia
menolak wangi cendana istana, darjat dan harta
menentang pemadat dan budaya durjana
menolak menyerah  pada takdir semata.

Melayu baru itu sebenarnya bukan pada nama
berlagak sombong penghina linangan airmata bangsa
Melayu baru itu wujud atas bulan purnama
atas ketangkasan roh dan kejantanan manusia
atas sinar keimanan syahadat di pelangi senja
atas hakikat hakikat kebenaran di sembilan purnama.

                                                                      Majalah Sekata
                                                                       April, 2004

Mohd Latiff Mohd


In Paragraph 2, he wrote "Melayu Baru ...... pandai bermuka-muka dan penjilat maruah."

In Paragraph 5, Mohd Latiff  added, "Melayu baru bukan hanya pada lagak dan rupa ..........tapi membuang jauh budaya dan malu mengaku asal usulnya." 

I have met face to face a Malay Muslim academic who preferred to be regarded as a Muslim - not a Malay.

Then there are the self-important Millennials and Generation X who proudly proclaim their liberal credentials and claim : "I am a Malaysian first and Malay next."  Their defensiveness is in fact, a form of inverted bigotry.

By courtesy of The Malaysian Insider : Si Melayu yang "tidak berakar umbi, tidak bertiang seri, tidak kenal airmata duka dan sejarah sendiri" paragraph 8).  


Perhaps if this ( as in Singapore) demolition of  house and home and kampung and community and way of life had been the fate of their parents and grandparents and great grandparents they might sing a different tune.  Only photographs and memories survive - and both are few and far between.

Kaki Bukit extension of Jalan Eunos.

Finally, a bit of humour and skulduggery.

Alas poor Yorick/Malay, I knew him ..........    do I or anybody????



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