Making oneself useful/valuable and looking out for the family and eventually society/country constitute the encoding of specific habits and values that prove useful for many eastern societies. Eastern societies most notably of the East Asiatic types, have a whole people immersed in these beliefs. The Family tradition is to instruct their progeny to cultivate themselves and look after their family. It is the basic concept of eastern civilization.
The Malay led government is making a big mistake by excessively parenting its charges- the Malays. It will create generations of dependent supplicants. Governments will come, governments will go, but the cultural legacy will endure. The nature and character of the cultural legacy then becomes important. The cultural legacy of imbibing their progeny with a habit of self-reliance will make that generation a robust one. On the other hand, a cultural legacy that creates dependant petitioners, will make such a generation, wilted. Its happening in the west. The government says give me a popular mandate and I will solve all society's problems.
Suppose social catastrophes occur, how will such societies turn out? We look at history. In the far east for example or even among societies influenced by Indian values, through all that turbulence, the family, the extended family, the clan, has provided a kind of survival raft for the individual. Civilizations have collapsed, dynasties have been swept away by conquering hordes, but this life raft enables the civilization to carry on and get to its next phase.
What single most important cultural trait has enabled such societies to endure? The answer perhaps is because of the cultural value of self reliant, of having a social network where family values are cultivated. Because in such societies, nobody absolutely believes that the government can provide in all circumstances. That the starting point of continued survival is to always rely on oneself first and the family.
It follows therefore a society, in which the majority has stripped itself from such cultural values, is a society that is most vulnerable. And at the same time, a government which countenanced such dependency culture, spurred by their own myopic interest of retaining power, such a government becomes an accomplice for that society’s self destruction.
Let me put it clearer. Malay society that believes that the government will solve everything for them and therefore volunteer to become dependents will become weakened. The government (Malay led) which corroborate in fortifying such dependency culture will together self destruct.
In the ultimate crisis, even in earthquakes and typhoons, it is your human relationships that will see you through. The calamity that befell the inhabitants of Bukit Antarabangsa recently, was an object lesson to all of us. Residents coming to the aid of each other, NGO’s coming to assist point to the validity of this underlying cultural value- that in times of crises, it is the family, friends that provide the more effective emotional and social safety net. The government on the other hand, despite their organised efforts drew much ire from the victims and society for various reasons. The family and the way human relationships are structured, contribute to the increase in survival chances of its members. That has been tested over thousands of years in many different situations.
The most important lesson for the Malay? Cultivate oneself first. Then the family. Then society. Government can never be the perfect substitute for fulfilling these duties.