Article 153 and all the provisions contained therein were intended to help out the underprivileged. As Sakmongkol was writing this, his formidable thoughts stimulator, Walla described the underprivileged, the policy meant to help. He said thus: The people the policy was originally conceived to help were the millions who congregated in the RM1 sector, not the dozens who congregate in the RM1 Billion sector. Sakmongkol could not have described the group more graphically than Walla..
The really need help group. Little education, training, skills, social networking capital and so forth. In the 1960’s Tun Razak and his friend Taib Andak developed FELDA. 100 thousand of the lumpen-proletariat were given 10 acres each to cultivate with palm oil or rubbe. (see the comments of my intellectual soulmate, de minimis on this.
Sakmongkol remembers reading a Far Eastern Economic Review on Tun Razak in 1974 where Tun said, he wanted to give the Malays a fishing rod each so that they learn to fish. His intention was to create an independent minded malay man.
By creating these feldaniks( felda settlers) Tun Razak created what? To Sakmongkol, the intention was to create an independent minded Malayman who depended on his efforts and wits battling with the elements. Toughened him and making him more rugged. Imbued with the pioneer spirit. The early FELDA settler’s homes were nothing more than hovels. Very basic and rudimentary.
Two, and an aspect which Sakmongkol thinks more important, was the purposeful decoupling of the Malay lumpen-proletariat from his previous cultural milieu. A cultural setting hitherto steeped in mythologies, ancient customs, excessively conservative and so on.
Unfortunately, a permanent revolution was never carried out. Left to their own devices, the Malays easily regressed to their indolent ways- you know the salad days of whiling away time at warungs and cock fightings, bull fights, playing Malay chess and so on.
By the way, to sakmomngkol’s mind, the Malays with their cultural conditioning require a decisive and, for want of a better term, authoritative leadership. No flip flops, tweedle dee-tweedle dum kind of leadership.
Because of the absence of continuous permanent revolution in the form of cultural conditioning and firm leadership, Malays are sucked back into a cesspool of dignity robbing dependence.
One of the manifestation of this affliction is the training wheel syndrome. Sakmongkol is borrowing this term from the comments of an astute observer looking from outside the box. The rapier mind of a Mek Yam. The malady is further compounded by the fact, that even among Malays who have managed to liberate themselves or even they who had not depended on the training wheels continue to support an unquestioning application of article 153. Sakmongkol is not certain whether unquestioning support is a reflection of a filial duty or the only form of mengenang budi.
Training wheels (also known as stabilizers) are an additional wheel or wheels mounted parallel to the rear wheel of a bicycle that assist learners until they have developed a usable sense of balance on the bicycle. Typically they are used in teaching very young children to ride a bike. The term "training wheels" is commonly used in the
The spirit of article 153 is to help the under privileged. The reality is, its being exploited by a powerful elite for their own benefits. With article 153, the Malays are still behind in many ways. Without article 153, the non Malays are still able to hold out on their own.
Therefore, the Malay is not defined by article 153 nor are the Chinese constrained by it.
But while we debate on article 153, it is also worth noting of the bad side effects of the training wheel syndrome.
According to the motorcycle safety article, training wheels can be counterproductive. Once removed, a bicycle without training wheels will require counter steering ("steer left to turn right") to operate, whereas training wheels develop reflexes that are opposite of what is required or counter steering. So perhaps, it is worth looking at one alternative to using training wheels- the use of a balance bicycle. That’s for another time.