Malaysiakini Opinion

What Umno and all need to know about the Malays

Azly Rahman  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | I think political parties wishing to understand the Malays need to know the following, through an essay I wrote a while ago, I hope relevant now.

Analysing the events that happened the years preceding the 14th general election - the humiliation of peaceful protesters, the harassment, the intimidation, the threats - leading to the 60,000 strong yellow shirt Bersih rally that ended peacefully in Kuala Lumpur, I have this to say about those who are out to misrepresent the Malays:

Aren’t Malaysians tired of seeing the Malays being represented as buffoons, stupid, amok-prone, close-minded, Rempits, keris-kissing fools, Ali Baba forty-thieves, rejects, religious fanatics, red-shirts, whatever shirts?

It is a clever production and reproduction of the Malay ruling class, both feudal and wannabe-feudal so that the Jebat aspect of the Malay – the amok, the wannabe-sultan, the misogynistic, the sex-maniac royal-groper and rapist of ancient Malacca, the hedonistic, the grotesque epicure, the gangster, the absurd – is pushed forward and propagated to strengthen the Tuah aspect.

The fool that followed the foolish orders of the Malacca sultan – the bad hombre of Malay culture – these are the twin representation of the Malays. A laughing stock – the Malays are made to become.

This is what the then ruling class wanted to use as ‘Hitlerian Youth’. This image must be forever destroyed. For way too long the image of the Malay as wise, learned, philosophical, tassauwuf/Sufistic being, the communicatively competent, the old school pre-Merdeka Johor type, the prudent, the proverb-loving, the artistic, the high-cultured, of high intellect and Jawi-literate Malay, the deeply perceptive and reflective, the viewer of materialism both as “rezeki/god’s bounty” to be careful with and to not let it be a corrupter of the soul, the raja haji-type of Malay (warrior who fought against the Dutch with bravery and with philosophy has been ignored. Where are you now, these Malays?...

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