Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: 50 years later, we’re still talking about ‘Malay Dilemma’

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | ‘I will bet that 61 years down the road, we will still be talking about this problem.’

Bumis failed to seize NEM opportunities, says Dr M

David Dass: It is the same rhetoric all over again. It is not by speeches like this that Malays are helped.

PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad may not realise it. But these speeches have the effect of suggesting that non-Malays benefit from Malay programmes because the Malays do not know how to use them.

Most non-Malays are not businessmen. About 70 percent of Chinese are fixed income earners. And probably 95 percent of Indians. So it is never a non-Malay versus a Malay thing.

It is about being good as a professional and about being successful in business. Do not make the successful non-Malays look bad because they work hard and succeed.

Eliminate corruption. Have open tenders for all contracts with government. Make business and finance part of the school curriculum. It is in the interest of all Malaysians that Malays succeed in business.

We cannot be singing the same song forever. There was a time when some Malay politicians felt that the way to advance the Malays was to slow down the non-Malays.

Does that really make sense? Slow the whole nation down so that the Malays can advance? Does the rest of the world also slow down?

And does it make sense to collect less taxes during the period of slow down? Think of new solutions. Involve the non-Malays in the process.

Anonymouse: The 'usual suspects' would be condemning Dr M even if he'd been offering free money and jobs for all, having solved all our economic woes. They will twist his words in their attempts to sow discord.

As they well know, this highly sensitive problem is going to be a really tough one to solve, having been created decades ago and consolidated in more recent times for all the wrong reasons by BN especially.

The most important thing though is to put systems and education in place that encourage a change in the future mentality amongst Malays who can then see for themselves the root of these problems.

Part of the problem was pointed out to me here yesterday. The poorer rural folk are encouraged to have big families who are economically unsustainable to them. They then borrow, get in debt and 'government help' then becomes a necessity.

It's a vicious cycle which is encouraged through the thinking of PAS and the like. Even more patience is required and some amongst us need to stop looking down our noses at the Malays.

We need to plan and be realistic for a better future rather than dwelling on this situation. As that person also said to me yesterday, realistically Malaysia is always likely to be run by the Malays, at least in our lifetimes.

However, what we can do is aim to guide and encourage them towards the creation of a fairer Malaysian society for all, the needy especially.

Some will say this is a defeatist suggestion but we do need to be realists. 'Change' cannot take place through us just moaning.

There is only one place change can start: Now. That includes our own perceptions and expectations, much as we may disagree with how the world is.

Allowing for the depth of sensitivities, Dr M's statement seemed like a pretty good 'reality check' to me. There's no overnight fix.

Anonymous_1529132749: Bumiputera households make up the majority of the country's top 20 percent income earners (T20), but the community also sees the widest intra-group income disparity.

According to data from a parliamentary written reply, the bumiputera make up 53.81 percent of the T20 category, followed by Chinese at 37.05 percent, Indians at 8.80 percent and others at 0.34 percent.

However, when the comparison is made within the bumiputera group itself, T20 earners only comprise 16.34 percent. The remaining comprises the middle 40 percent income earners (M40) at 38.96 percent and the bottom 40 percent income earners (B40) making up the majority at 44.7 percent.

This is in contrast with the Chinese and Indian communities, where the M40 group makes up the majority.

Within the Chinese community, the T20 group makes up 29.66 percent, followed by the M40 group at 42.32 percent and B40 at 28.02 percent. As for the Indian community, the T40 group stands at 19.98 percent, followed by the M40 income earners at 41.31 percent and the B40 at 38.71 percent.

The T20 group is defined as having a median income of RM11,610 or a mean income of RM14,305. The M40 group has median income of RM5,465 or mean income of RM5,662, while the B40 have a median income of RM2,629 and mean income of RM2,537.

Compared across ethnicity, the bumiputera also make up the majority of the M40 group at 64.17 percent. Chinese make up the remaining 26.43 percent followed by Indians at 9.10 percent and others at 0.30 percent.

However, the bumiputera disproportionately make up the majority of the B40 group. They make up 73.61 percent, followed by Chinese at 17.50 percent, Indians at 8.52 percent and others at 0.36 percent.

Headhunter: As long as past practices of one race given special treatment over others, the equality will never be attained. Those who benefitted will continue to expect handouts while the others will feel resentment that they have to work hard and share the benefit of their hard labour.

No one would resent if the hardcore poor are given help and indeed they should but the fact is that in the past, those who benefitted most are privileged Malays and not the poor ones.

And they get rich not by doing business but by given handouts like approved permits (APs) and government contracts which they then sold it to the non-Malays.

In the end, the non-Malays get blamed for monopolising government contracts and businesses. Things will not change for the better until every Malaysian is treated equally.

VIM: After having voted Pakatan Harapan, the non-Malays should trust them and give them their full support. Let them complete their term first before judging them. Since we normally do not judge an artist on his work until it’s finish, can't we accord the government the same basic courtesy?

If the non-Malays do not like Harapan, what other choice do they have? In reality, the non-Malays will always be at the mercy of the predominant Malays. Tell me, apart from emigrating and complaining, what else can the non-Malays do?

The reality is the non-Malays can either choose a Malay-centric government that is corrupt and does not care for its people or a Malay-centric government that is less corrupt (it will be foolish to believe corruption will be completely eliminated in just one term or two term of the Harapan government) and care more for its people.

The non-Malays just don't have the luxury of any better choices. Let's put it this way, any party that is not Malay-centric will not be voted into government, and even if it is, it will not last another term.

Therefore, give the Harapan government the space and time to work the Malay ground. The Malays has taken many years to evolve to their present laid-back attitude, so please give them time to ‘unevolve’.

Across the Straits: You know the problem, but I don't think you can ever solve this cultural block. I will bet my all that 61 years down the road, we will still be talking about this problem.

Just a Malaysian: When I heard Mahathir using words like "they" for Chinese Malaysians and "kita" for Malays, I felt that once again I’m treated like a ‘pendatang’ (immigrant).

Is this the ‘New Malaysia’ we all celebrated recently?

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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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