Agenda Daily


  Survival progress and prosperity of a community depends on its attitudes and intentions. Communication and other skills come later. What is of utmost importance is how a race perceives its future. This is with regards to its strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities that exist within the environment. Also the intentions of the community are decisive for its survival. On these matters I would like to share some thoughts.


My father always taught us, this Mandailing song of which he only remembers the following verse:

ulang marjolo-jolo

ulang marpudi-pudi

rap-rap sudina

I cannot speak and write Mandailing(it seems they have their own alpabets) but according to my father its meaning goes something like this:

don’t go too far ahead (of the group)

don’t allow anyone to be left behind

together we all move forward in a row (towards progress and prosperity)

I have yet to check whether the verse is proper Mandailing . But the point is it showed an attitude of this sub-tribe of Batak peoples in term of togetherness, comradeship and sense of being in a clan.

This has been indoctrinated into my life since early childhood. We are together. We belong to a group. Nobody should be left behind. Everybody must move forward together. This has been mantra so to say.

As for intentions they are what we think unconsciously and subsequently reflected in our actions. A simple example is that we have to be at an important meeting or conference scheduled for example at 10.00 in the morning at Putrajaya.

If our intention is to be at the meeting venue on time we have to go early depending on the distance between Putrajaya and our office or house.. If it is a two hours drive away from our office or house then we have to leave at the latest by
8.00am in order to be there at 10.00am. But if we leave our office or house at say 8.30 or 9.00am then definitely we intent to arrive late for the meeting. Thus everything depends on our intentions. If we are early we intend to be early and if we are late we also intend it to be so.

Thus if we apply this two ideas to the Malay community we need to understand their attitude and intentions.

In term of attitudes of the Malays , Pak Lah, our beloved and sincere Prime Minister brought up the issue recently in a special interview with the Malay weekly “ Mingguan Malaysia” .

To my perception the Malays are positive with regard to their attitudes on education. All Malays from the farmers, fishermen from the rural areas, teachers, clerks to the elites in the urban areas, realise that education is very important to the well being and social mobility of their children’s future.

Thus we can see now that it is very competitive among Malay students every year to enter both the prestigious boarding schools, the Sekolah Berasrama Penuh (SBPs) and also the Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSMs) . The number of students who are eligible outnumbers the places available at these schools. This scenario is very heartening and augurs well for future growth of Malay professionals and educated groups.

Likewise the number of Malay students scoring good results at the SPM levels is something to be proud of also. The number of students with good results outnumbers the places available at the public universities. My eldest three children went to boarding schools.

Two went to Sekolah Tuanku Jaafar, Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan while the third one went to MRSM Air Tawar, Perlis. Two are now qualified accountants, one specializing in auditing while the other one in taxation. The third one (the MRSM product) qualified as a doctor at the young age of 23 years old.

The attitude of the Malays that worries Pak Lah is with regards to their involvement in the nation’s trade and industry. How come after about thirty five years of New Economic Policy ( NEP) and post NEP affirmative action policies, we have yet to see the existence of a reasonable and credible sized Bumiputra Commercial and Industrial Community (BCIC)?
A reasonably strong and powerful Malay Business Community that we Malays can be proud of.

To me the issue has to do with the intentions of these Bumi businessmen. Do the Malay entrepreneurs who were given contracts, permits, and land over the years and subsequently subcontract or sell them to others, really intend to become real contractors or entrepreneurs , or in their mind, they just wanted to make fast moneys the easy way without any real efforts just because they are bumiputras and have special privileges.

Likewise the Malays who hold seventy percent shareholders of car companies that were given half of the total APs last year as publishised in the papers recently, do they really owned the shares or are they just fronting for others just because the government rules stipulate that in order to be recognised as a Bumiputra owned company the Bumiputra shareholders must hold seventy shares of these companies?

In both the instances above the Malays involved must asked themselves what are their real intentions. This is because we can clearly see from the net result that the Malays businessmen have no intentions of becoming genuine businessmen. Their real intentions are really to make fast and easy moneys with the least efforts just because they know or are close to certain ministers or certain top civil servants.

The same with the politicians who are involved in money politics we can easily see their intentions, namely throwing moneys around to buy votes in order to maintain their political positions. Thus they will do whatever it takes to hold on to power. Once they achieved this they will not hesitate to be involved in corrupt practices.

Thus the firmness of our Prime Minister and the President of UMNO in eradicating money politics in the party is laudable and praiseworthy. It should be fully supported by all Malaysians especially the Malays who are politically dominant in this country. They have much to lose if this scourge is not eradicated.

The Malay businessmen and politicians have to do their own soul searching on the matter and correct their attitudes and intentions and all the time, utmost in their minds should be the question of the survival and future prosperity of their community.

With regards to the Malay businessmen their Business NGOs should also play a role. They cannot all the time just rely and sometimes put all the blame on the Government only. They must contribute by monitoring their members and putting pressures on those errant businessmen. They should avoid the easy way of putting these monitoring responsibilities solely to government agencies. By playing these key roles effectively, these Malay Business NGOs will also gain credibility vis-à-vis the Government.

This will definitely assist in ensuring that the strategic long term interest of the present and future prosperity of the Malay community is not jeopardised but on the other hand is well guarded and protected.

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