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Friday, May 20, 2016

The Malay Ideals: Simple Nature of the Malays

Simple Nature of the Malays

Traditional Malays usually worked in the paddy fields or were forest product gatherers, boatmen and fishermen. The Malays were used to a relaxed atmosphere as a way of life. The environment and the easy life of the equatorial nations over thousands of years may have produced this mentality and contributed to the ”malaise” of the Malays. This problem does not only beset the Malays but almost all Polynesians. Possibly this is a genetic trait of the Malays that has been imparted from times gone by. It could also be due to the inclination of the Malays to make marriage ties with close relatives that amplifies recessive genes...

When the emigrant community arrived in Tanah Melayu in the 19th and 20th centuries, this value and nature of the Malays have made them less prepared to meet the highly competitive spirit and industriousness of the emigrant communities, who had come from far away places and had faced extreme vicissitudes in their lives and had escaped the dire situations and conditions in their homeland. More importantly, those who ventured out were also highly entrepreneurial who bore extreme will power and had been educated under extreme adversity. Those who were less ready and less able to make great sacrifices were left behind. The former became known as the overseas Chinese and the overseas Indians...

Most of the indentured labourers who had made their way way to this "newfound land" were coaxed and lured into believing that the trail of riches lied in their path. They came to Malaya and were found instead to be abused and treated as forced labourers... all of these experiences hardened the Chinese and Indians and better prepared them for their eventual success. They had to do their best in the new country because because their bridge had been burnt behind them and had to struggle with all their might to survive.

The Malays conversely had not faced such hardships, as had the immigrant communities. Life had been fair and comfortable because they had decided, paraphrased, "not to participate in the capitalistic schemes of the Westerners”, and spurned participation on being mere labourers, and stuck to doing what previous generations had been good at; that being occupied with traditional occupations. Thus life was tolerable to most until however, the emigrant community arrived and especially after the surrender of the British. At this juncture, they were ill prepared in the face of serious competition; the competition for commerce and in other economic activities. Most Malays were unable to cope and they retreated further into the remotest part to escape the natural consequences that would have been unavoidable had they remained where they were.

Inability to Meet Challenges

This phenomenon is still occurring within the Malay community, the lack of inability or unwillingness to meet daily challenges that are thrown in their path. Those who stand firm in facing uncertainties or challenges that come their way, have been successful, but a great deal of the Malays prefer to veer away from the conflict altogether and scorn at making changes. They would rather remain the way they have been for generations. If a small town for example, underwent development and consequently had grown big with increasing population and with that crept increasing competition for survival, some Malays would then pack up and move to a more remote area that resembled their previous existence... some Malays would still cling on to the old fashioned way of living handed down from one generation to another i.e. the art of living with little effort and work.

--- The Malay Ideals / Asrul Zamani

Publisher's Note:

In line with the aspirations of our beloved Prime Minister Y.A.B. Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, this book THE MALAY IDEALS appears to be a 'wake-up call' to all the Malays who are still not completely independent, even after 45 years of gaining independence (Malaysia's Merdeka). The author, who is a medical practitioner by profession, reveals in his book the actual and current situation of the Malays, the 'new Malay Dilemma' as expressed with concern by our Prime Minister..

The author has conducted a detailed research on all the matters discussed in this book and substantiated the sources with facts and figures. Definitely this book will be an 'eye opener’ for all concerned Malaysians.

Hj. Dr. Syed Ibrahim.
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