YOURSAY | Why would one strive harder if they can get by being mediocre?

Yoursay: Even non-Malays wouldn’t work hard if spoon-fed


Dr M says ‘Malay culture’ reason for lack of progress

Hang Babeuf: Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s intended cultural revolution to transform the Malays failed. And it failed for reasons that he himself analysed and explained in advance, in his early book “Malay Dilemma”.

Malays, he said, had become lazy by long adaptation into a culture of fatalistic, passive, happy non/under-achievement. No need to strive hard where things are so easy, when durians fall from the trees for you.

Malays, he said, became easy-going/malas as an adaptation to a friendly, permissive natural environment. So what did he then do?

Through the New Economic Police (NEP) he created and kept expanding a new, favourable, no-effort-required social/policy environment to which Malays, with their talent/genius for adaptation, might further adapt.

And so many Malays adapted so well to that situation. It’s the only environment in which they can now operate and survive.

Take it away, or sound as if you might want to do so, and you are finished. Killed off by Malay panic. Umno now relies politically on this scare tactic to survive.

Existential Turd: No one, not even the Chinese or Japanese, would work hard if they are spoon-fed.

While there is some truth in Malays tend to attribute success or failure to “takdir”, hence absolving themselves of control and responsibility, please don’t blame Malay culture or genes in general.

Culture is malleable. The government actively promotes such behaviour by implementing policies that selective benefiting the Malays.

Malays can get plum jobs and contracts without the requisite qualifications. Why would one strive harder if they can get by being mediocre? No accountability, no transparency. When civil servants slack off, what actions were taken?

If the entire government continues to operate like it is, how is mere tweaking of a single school subject going to reverse the trend? And this comes from the so-called brilliant ex-PM whom Pakatan Harapan pins all their hopes on? God help us.

You can bet your top ringgit, things will continue as they were when civil servants revolt and threaten to boycott any accountability policy coming from either BN or Harapan. No leaders in Malaysia have the cojones to implement that, not even Dr M.

Anonymous 2475091498015598: This is quintessential Mahathir who has been clamouring for years and years that the Malays have to work hard instead of expecting the government ATM (automatic teller machine) cards.

The younger generation is spoilt as they think it’s their birth right to get everything without work.

Actually, it’s paradoxical as Mahathir wants the Malays to work hard and at the same time want to be a Santa providing everything for their progress. He was instrumental for their dilemma.

He wants to end the dilemma and at the same time creating the dilemma. It’s a Catch-22 situation.

Perhaps, when he takes over as PM again he might turn the situation by uplifting the hardworking and intelligent Malays. Mahathir started the decay and he has to end it. He’s the only leader who says the truth about his race.

Ranjit Singh Malhi: I share a different view. The problem is not Malay culture per se. No race is born lazy.

The root causes of the lack of achievement orientation among many Malays are low self-esteem and a complacency attitude due to the belief that as “sons of the soil”, they don’t have to work hard as other Malaysians.

This problem is further aggravated by the lack of meritocracy in our public institutions, a fact acknowledged by the World Bank.

May Allah bestow us political leaders with credibility (competent and persons of integrity) who will create a truly united and progressive Bangsa Malaysia with meritocracy tempered with some necessary social re-engineering as the framework.

Proarte: The ‘Malays’ of Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu states, prior to 1909, were ruled by the King of Siam and would have regarded themselves as Thai, practising ‘Siamese culture’. After 1909 however, each state has its own sultan and the subjects are told they practised ‘Malay culture’.

In the 1970s onwards we see the Malays changing their cultural identity again to becoming increasingly Arabised. This was in large part politically engineered by political rivals Umno and PAS trying to out-Islamise each other. Now, Arab and Islamic culture has colonised and replaced traditional Malay culture.

In summary, the negative aspects of ‘Malay culture’ which Mahathir laments can be corrected if the Malay elites allow the Malays to be themselves without defining them to be a handicapped people requiring “protection” from imaginary foes.

Ravinder: Culture is not in-born in people. It is acquired. The main reason Malays (not all, as I have seen some very hard-working ones), take things easy or “sambil lewa” is because they are not made to pay for that.

Dr M’s staff used to leave office at 3.30pm. What did he do to stop it? As there was no disciplinary action, it became their “culture”.

In the 50s when an expatriate was chief education officer of Penang, he had a similar problem – staff coming late for work. So one morning, he stood at the door.

Those who were late were told by him that they were considered on unpaid leave for the day and not allowed into the office. Problem solved. No one dared to be late after that. That became the culture of the Penang Education Office at that time.

So there are reasons behind good or bad culture. With maybe 90% of the civil servants are “orang kita”, so no disciplinary action is taken to build good work culture. Bad culture can be changed to good. How does Dr M plan to do this?

Just A Malaysian: Umno has created a seize mentality among the Malays, especially in rural areas. It is like an abuse child or wife fearing the outside world and depending solely on the abuser for emotional and physical support.

After 60 years, the feeling of being a victim is so ingrained into the Malay psyche that it impedes their ability to move forward. As long as the Malay cannot stand up, any progress made by the Chinese will be view with disdain. This is what is happening in this country today.

Joe Lee: “If Harapan wins (in the next general election), I will hold the education minister by the neck and tell them to insert into the curriculum cultural lessons which can lead to success,” said Mahathir.

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