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Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Malay Ideals: Attitudes to Success

"The Chinese for example had had to grapple with difficulty through their historical experience that their customary ideals were very much directed towards industriousness, efficiency, persistence, determination and strenuous efforts. Even their schools recognise the importance of this that their pupils are grounded with schoolwork so much so that a normal pupil of ordinary school would cringe in fear at the thought of it. But this is a necessity in their educational system and it is for the benefit of the pupils in the longer term, it disciplines them to become tough, to possess a resilient work ethic and to be enterprising in life generally.

The Chinese too always expect success. In contrast, to the Malays, success is a luxury. Mediocrity is expected. Therefore when a Malay achieves a certain feat, it shall be; surprise. To the Chinese, this is usual and failure would be a surprise. This expectation of success to the Chinese places positive pressure on their fellow people to strive harder because it is a communal expectation. The Japanese on the other hand place themselves the top of the hierarchy of Asian people. This places positive pressure on the Japanese to surpass others.

Every human being is born with a feeling of self-importance and self-pride. Pride can be productive in stimulating a people with a feeling of superiority that places positive pressure on them to excel. To the Malays however, the feelings of pride and superiority are usually taken to be negative, pride should be abhorred. This is because the Malays have placed humility to be the characteristic nature of their people. Therefore, they have not fully utilised the immense strength of pride which could impel them to greater heights...

Certain Malay values that may be suitable during the times prior to colonialism may have fallen out with the advent of the immigrant communities who were more entrepreneurial and competitive. The values of the Malays ought to also change to accommodate these changes and an adaptation has to take place to achieve a new equilibrium. If this were left to their own devices, the fittest and the most able would extinguish the weak. Peoples and races replace one after another. Languages become extinct as an everyday spoken language such as happened with Latin and Hebrew, only to be artificially revived later in the 19th century in the case of Hebrew. Animals and plants also meet the same fate. Human beings are not free from such dangers either. Bones of extinct ‘human’ races have been dug out by anthropologists. If the Malays are continuously left trailing behind in progress and subjugated, and refuse change, then, they too might become ‘extinct’, even if not literally but metaphorically...

Success is Seldom Valued

Another major reason for the Malays’ lack of academic achievements is the nature of the Malay people themselves and their attitude towards success. The Malay attitude does not contribute favourably towards being a successful student. For instance, the Malays do not usually view the successes of others as something to look up to. Success, to a Malay breeds contempt and jealousy. If a Malay person is successful, other Malays would frequently feel uneasy. They would then focus upon the less positive side of that person's character, in order to find fault.

If there are any Malay students who diligently go to their classes and sit in the front rows of lecture theatres, they are often accused of aspiring lecturers’ attention, seeking favouritism or trying to impress him or her, but not their real intention of wanting to listen clearly and or not to get easily distracted from the noisier back rows. If the diligent Malay students constantly frequent the library and are always found to be at work, he or she would be characterized as being "unfriendly", ”antisocial", trying to emulate the Chinese, being a book worm and taking leave of the Malays. In which case, they would customarily be isolated. To be intelligent, resourceful and hardworking is thought to be "un-Malay"."

--- The Malay Ideals / Asrul Zamani

Bonus: From the back cover:

THE MALAY IDEALS, basically revolves around the Malays, their religion, lifestyle, thoughts and their attitude and it focuses on, what the Malays have been, what they ought to be and what their influence would do to Malaysia, in directing its future development and progress. The actual and current situation of the Malays are seriously reviewed in this book. Some of the topics discussed in the book are on Islam, Judicial system, Malay Value, Education & etc. which could be a ‘food for thought’ for the readers.

The author Dr. Asrul Zamani bin Mohd Ismail, who is a medical practitioner by profession, had conducted an extensive research before expressing his views and opinions in this book.

The Malay Ideals will definitely be an ‘eye-opener’ and would inspire the readers to fulfill the aspirations of our Prime Minister..

Every Malaysian patriot should read this book, irrespective of their standings or political alignment.
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