Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Lets get back to the 1850’s. we have the following scenario. The majority of the population( Malays) lived in kampongs/inland and coastal areas. The other, the minority, lived in trading enclaves. They were mostly of Chinese and Indian origins.
When the British increased their intervention( occupation), the Malay world became divided. The Malays -left in their own world of traditional rulers in the kampongs and fishing villages. The trading enclaves embraced British intervention, leveraged them and prospered. The trend continued and the divide between the traditional and modern economy, grew larger.
What do we have here? We have two mutually exclusive business cases. One traditional, is associated with less prosperity, backward in all kinds of measurables. The other, a modern dynamic economy, associated with prosperity. The traditional is coincidentally closely bound with Malays since it is they who dominated the kampong and villages. The other world, by non Malays.
To me, this comes closest to being a controlled test on social behaviour. It allows us to dissect factors that account for the difference.
The first obvious attribute is the two worlds are peopled by different ethic groups. Thus one would logically link the differences to racial origins. They were rich because they were Chinese. The Malay would say, the Chinese can do any business, but Malays are inhibited by many sanctions- religious, moral etc. the flaw in the argument? In businesses where the Malay is uninhibited, he fails too. So the knee jerk response, the Chinese has no inhibitions as a reason explaining their success is not solid. And most probably, in businesses where the Chinese can do which are not permitted for Malays- the Malays are least likely to venture anyway. Example: running a numbers game, opening a casino, vice dens, liquor stores, 4 nombor ekor etc etc. but I tell you- those Malays that do go into these ventures are likely to come from the rarefied Malay sub-group so elevated by Huzir Sulaiman. ( haha), and I say this without any malice ok- members of royalty.
Then, probably there is something in the Malay constitution that accounts for their backwardness? The genetic make up argument? Indeed, the genetic make up argument has attained academic respectability with the publication of The
The Bell Curve is a controversial, best-selling 1994 book by the late Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein and political scientist Charles Murray. Its central point is that intelligence is a better predictor of many factors including financial income, job performance, unwed pregnancy, and crime than parents' socioeconomic status or education level. Also, the book argues that those with high intelligence, which it called the "cognitive elite", are becoming separated from the general population of those with average and below-average intelligence and that this is a dangerous social trend.
The implications of a genetic link that accounts for enduring racial differences in intelligence are obvious. Indeed, there seems to be reluctance in accepting a more politically correct stance when the book cautiously states, "The debate about whether and how much genes and environment have to do with ethnic differences remains unresolved.
Luckily we didn’t believe that IQ is immutable, i.e. fixed. It can be overcome. The fact that Malays from the kampongs have succeeded in overcoming the intelligence divide should by now dispel any notions that they are inferior. So? lazy because of their genetic make up?