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Sakmongkol ak 47

Thursday 18 December 2008

Melayu: Cultural Blueprint for prosperity(3)

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.


BoxxTomoi 18 December 2008 at 20:59  

Dato' Sir,
Sorry,maaf .. saya tak dapat cari email tuan, ada petolongan yang saya perlukan .

Jika Dato' free write to me at
Thank you sir.

Anonymous,  18 December 2008 at 21:46  

Great stuff. A clincher argument indeed.

Will the paternalistic mode of governance ever be dismantled? Should successive Malay leaders keep assuaging the charges, that it is alright to be poor and the hardworking classes be apologetic for their feats? Are the Malays not afflicted by a self-righteous streak, a sense of entitlement and at a loss over the the kind of leadership they need? Is brain trust properly appreciated? My apologies for these rhetorical posers.

1)The Malays need to win the political arguments that simply refuse to go away post-March 8. Dr Malik Munip once said the Malay leadership under Tunku was exasperated by the strident arguments being put forth by Lee Kuan Yew. Rather than be tenacious about it all, he invited LKY and co to leave the Federation to douse the noise and irritants. Pleased to see the likes of Sakmongkol easing their way into national debate with aplomb.

The Malays lack pronounced racial impulses but they do worry needlessly. They quibble over JPA scholarships, places in MRSM, and shudder at the prospect of 10 per cent or so UiTM-enrollment going to non-Malays. This does not constitute excessive concession. Kit Siang and Karpal (and his son)will have to hear from the thousands of closeted Malay thinkers who are erudite that the Malays are benign. This is a nation that practices the most democratic form of nationality and governance. Assimilation? If you choose to embrace Islam, the Malay status could follow. Malay-ness is a standout concept, most suited for globalisation. This is a nation that readily acknowledges Chinese entrepreneurial instincts, the scholarly pursuits of the Indians and their language skills, etc.

2) Define cultural heritage, one which non-Malays could claim to be theirs too. May be we need Hollywood brains to help conceive movies showcasing our historical personalities.

3) A sense of ownership in Bahasa Melayu. Bring in some Chinese, Indian and Kadazan words.Plan for a few more Malay words to be inducted into the English lexicon to put the national language on "the world map" (pardon the cliche). How? Study the methods employed by Oxford Dictionary to scan world of letters for new words, and we globalise a few of our own words so that they would be picked up. How exactly? Bring more Malay words into our English texts - terima kasih, perpaduan, wakil rakyat, wang, rajin, as a marketing strategy. Celebrate polished Bahasa Melayu thus, I am afraid we will have to force Johan Jaafar to read Buletin Utama, with Wan Zaleha of course. All Sasterawan Negara should be at the very least bilingual to reach out to a global audience, termasuk the non-Malays.

Never translate names like Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya. EC? Please!! Teach French and Spanish at the (national) primary school
to attract more Chinese and Indian kids.

4) Malay grassroots leaders are at the behest of the segment of the constituents who readily declare their wakil rakyat to be incompetent and selfish. As these "leaders" rather than "wakil" are liable to be punished at the Umno elections (branches, divisions), all card carrying Umno members should be empowered to elect their leaders. A massive party-census will be necessary.

5) Be happy and expansive.

Terima Kasih.

Unknown 18 December 2008 at 22:12  

Dear Sir

I thought the Malays are known for their kampong spirit.

Globalisation and modernisation has its own pitfalls.

For all we know, the future trend may even be back to the kampong lifestyle due in part to the global warming negative consequences.

If the govt is highly depended on, perhaps they should dispense skills and knowledge to facilitate self-sustenance or even wealth creation among the rural folks.

There's a saying, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day but teach a man how to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

Ariff Sabri 18 December 2008 at 22:27  


my e mail.

Anonymous,  18 December 2008 at 23:59  

Wake up, people ....before Tsunami and Bukit Antarabangsa come to our doorstep !!!

Anonymous,  19 December 2008 at 00:27

satD 19 December 2008 at 03:54  

Thank you Dato' Sak...a good post indeed....

ketam 19 December 2008 at 10:16  

Dato komen sikit isu IJN yg tengah hangat sekarang ni

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