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Sakmongkol ak 47

Sunday, 22 November 2009

From Siege Mentality to 1Malaysia.


As paradoxical as it sounds and appear, the concept of 1Malaysia would require the Malays especially, to get out from being trapped in a siege mentality. The use of the term 'siege mentality' has stirred up a hornet's nest. Unjustifiably so.

It was said in the context of a necessity to adopt a positive attitude to cope with the many challenges faced by the Malay. The attitude required is one that minimizes the feeling of being besieged and hemmed all around, bullied and brutalized. Without that countervailing attitude, the instinctive response of the besieged person is to strike out in rage at everyone including people who want to help out.

Such an attitude is counterproductive. As I understand it, it's not the kind of siege mentality when one person or group feels it's encircled all around by threats of which some are real but many more just imagined, such that the only recourse is to be overly defensive and withdraw into their own comfort zones. That comfort zone can be formed on whatever premises- calls for ethnic preservation, hegemonic assertions, etc.

Getting out of the siege mentality simply means adopting a fresh attitude to be a conscious and active actor on life's stage. It's stepping out of the mental rut. It's adopting the attitude that we are responsible for our own fate and weaning off ourselves from excessive dependence on the government. Government assist or the command elements in securing life advances must increasingly be supplemented by intrinsic efforts. That is the core idea of getting out of the siege mentality.

If this is the call that KJ meant when he made his speech about getting out of the siege mentality, it should be supported. It's stirring up a storm because of the person saying it. Because they were made in response to the person saying it and not the idea, the storm raised is not significant especially if it was raised by the usual suspects of anti KJ forces.

Lest face it- the idea and concept is bombed because it's KJ who said it. Tun Dr Mahathir has been reminding of the same idea during his tenure as UMNO president. That was the concept which became the main theme in his speeches during the final years of his presidency. To reinforce his cajoling, Tun Dr Mahathir used all sorts of visual and audio effects- giving stern warning, shedding tears and so forth. He did to encourage the Malays to get out of a mental stupor. He didn't use the term siege mentality but the idea is similar.

Our PM now knows that's the only way Malays can take centre stage i.e. by jettisoning ideas and attitude that are holding the Malays back.

But to my mind, there is a more basic and fundamental reason behind the vocal objections. It is a defense against the dismantling of command elements in our society. What do I mean by the command elements?

1970 was like the US's 1930's for us. Racial animosity arising from economic differences was seen as a product of a failure of the market system. Up to 1969/1970, the market system has produced more evils than good. The chief evil being economic disparity among the Malaysian races. The evils were also the result of a limited government.

How to overcome these evils? People became attracted by the good that an overbearing government could achieve provided the government powers were in the right hands. People were attracted to the idea of an expanded government role.

Along with these changing ideas, came also a view about the relative responsibilities of individuals and government. Emphasis on the responsibility of the individual for his own fate was replaced by the emphasis of the individual being an outcome of government design. The government's role was seen as serving as a parent charged with the duty of designing life for individuals. These views came to dominate the thinking of many people until the present day and perhaps found their latest expression in the condemnation on the author of the phrase 'siege mentality'.

In a very telling passage in their book "Free to Choose' Milton and Rose Friedman wrote:-

They have led to a growth in government at all levels, as well as to a transfer of power from local government and local control to central government and central control. The government has increasingly undertaken the task of taking from some to give to others in the name of security and equality. One government policy after another has been set up to regulate our pursuits of industry and improvement.

These ideas suited the cloistered mentality of the Malays who have lived under centuries of feudal subjugation. Asking for a radical change in outlook requires a longer time. Dr Mahathir discovered this and admitted as failure his inability to shove the Malays out from their captive mentality.


Anonymous,  22 November 2009 at 16:58  

How can it be possible to achieve
1Malaysia when we can't even agree to a 1Malay?

Anonymous,  22 November 2009 at 17:51  

With this post you have redeemed yourself after trying to justify ISA. I am Chinese am we are in no position to harm the Malays but we want changes.

Unknown 22 November 2009 at 18:54  


The Siege Mentality is not only practised by Malays between Races but also Between Malays...
JAKIM/JAIS felt they were under siege by the Likes of Dr Asri and Other Modern Preachers..
Old Malay Guards Felt They were under Siege by The Younger Malays who expected better Management and Leadership Qualities..This Led to Victimisation of Young Technocrats in Government Linked Companies...
The Higher Authorities Felt they were under Siege when Younger Malays expected better from them....

These are but just a few...

Anak Omak Mmg Manja,  22 November 2009 at 19:11  

The term seige mentality used by KJ that made many felt offended means that Malay must accept without question the so-called openness he whispered into the ears of Dogollah.

Those with seige mentality are those Chinese like Dong Zong who would put up a wall of defense whenever any policy for unifying Malaysia would even be different from their insisted ways to preserve their foreign language, culture, and presence.

That is what Malays are not. Again and again, KJ failed to understand his own race.

What kind of a leader is KJ when he needs older politicians like you to defend him. The only one defending him in the open is Che Alwi from Keterah. You won't want to be cerebrally associated with the like of Alwi Ketereh, would you? To quote him, Pak Lah tak boleh berenti pasal Pak Lah perlu jaga kami.

Leave KJ to defend himself. He's got lots of bloggers on his payroll. Unless he pays you something, it is not worthy. He has stand to stand on his own two feet. Dahlah naik dalam UMNO dua kali pakai Pak Mertua

walla 23 November 2009 at 10:44  

X: 'So what you think about this blogger's brilliant post?'

Z: 'Wait a second, why you think it's brilliant?'

X: 'Well, he argued that what KJ had said MM had also alluded. That is saying focus on the message not the messenger. Something we tend to all forget given a chance to get away with it, don't we?

What about you, Y?'

Y: 'I have been busy. You know dear walla's washing machine has consumed me. I repaired the no spin. Now it's making noise like a focke wulf propeller.'

X: (sigh) 'The poor lovely girl. Besieged but not besotted.'

Z: 'I remember the old Tun giving a speech at one of the international Islamic conventions. He said the problem was the mindset of Muslims. I also remember when he said that, a hush fell and the entire audience who comprised eminent men of learning frowned. It's like their comfort zone was suddenly dislocated and they just had to show they didn't like it. It was on global tv. So that also shows they were only focused on one thing - the ruffling of their own emotions and not the importance of the message.

You see, X, the problem is in the mind. If the problem is not couched correctly in the mind, the heart will spew forth the wrong emotion.

Now, emotions twirl around in the environment. And they will draw reactions from others. Which will cause another set of actions in turn. So negative actions and reactions play out the pantomime. Ending in a parabellum paradigm perceived as the inevitable recourse for self-preservation. What for one, so too for others. Result? tensions and zero cooperative productivity.

You see, the problem is they forget to ask: is the 'self' here the right one to preserve and aren't there any other "selves" that are better whose preservation will in fact be in the common interest of all leading to light and not darkness?'

Y: 'Hey, that's just so falsafishy. All i want to know is can that repair walla's washing machine ke?'

X: 'Y, this discussion is serius. You can help hand-wash her clothes. In exchange for her rendang.'

Y: (eyes light up): 'You think so? How is she today?'

Z: 'Harum dan manis, i think.'

X: 'Stay focused, gentlemen. Look, what do you associate when someone says siege mentality?'

Y: 'For me? Sallehuddin aka the saracens hammering down the fortress with boulder slingshots.'

Z: 'So you see, there's historical allegory about the need to break siege mentalities.

Let me categorically say this. If what is to be defended is strong and helps to survive and prosper, then building a fortress to defend it makes sense. But if what is to be defended is weak and also ultimately causes more problems from the solutions it supplies, then building a fortress will only keep it inside and that's disastrous for the future. The question then is whether the things being defended are actually helping in survival and propagation. Note that i am saying it's not preservation because if i say preservation, then the wrong things being preserved will only worsen the situation.'

X: 'But what you mean by "wrong"?'

Y: 'I think Z means anything which justifies the need to break the siege mentality, X.

What is the siege mentality that we are facing today and why is there a need to break it?

Let me suggest that the mentality is to try and preserve a way of life and the ability of the race to maintain its independence as a separate entity in today's complex world.

Now why is there a need to break it since it sounds reasonable?

Because it cannot integrate successfully into the world.'

Z: 'Wait a second. Why should it integrate into the world? Others have theirs. Why not us?'

Y: 'That's because they seem to have succeeded where it counts. Confidence, communication and complete.'

X: 'Complete? Yes, maybe that's the angst that's the rub of things. The sense of completeness is not here. How does one then make the race feel more complete, and be more complete?'

walla 23 November 2009 at 10:45  

Z: 'It must first dismantle the walls in the mind. That's what is meant by breaking the siege mentality, i guess.'

Y: 'And the process will have to incorporate the very things that have been avoided. Which is why the matter has come up. And in coming up we can see where the problems remain. All in the minds of the detractors.'

X: 'Hmmm. Let me guess. One thing is to open the mind that life is about choices. What we really are is reflected by the choices we make. If we decide on one course of action over another, then that defines us at the moment of making the decision.'

Z: 'So it's all about making decisions? Yes i think so too. Making decisions at individual and community level. Making decisions at corporate and governmental level. It all hinges on perception. If it is seen the people are willing to change the way they decide on what's important to them, then programs such as 1Malaysia can be made more inclusive and effective.'

Y: 'You know, all the things that need to be done to break the siege mentality are already known. The others have said as much. Now if we think the others are adversaries which is the reason why the siege mentality has been an automatic reaction, then we should stop and ask ourselves the important question.'

X: 'Which is?'

Z: 'Let me try. The important question is if they are adversaries, why are they saying things which if we follow will help us break the siege? All they need to do is keep quiet and we will starve in our own fortress. Yet like our own hero Sallehuddin, they keep pounding away, even at risk of us hurling back fireballs at them.'

Y: 'Perhaps it's also for their self-preservation?'

Z: 'If that be the case, add all the self-preservings and what will we get as the final result? 0Malaysia. And that's why 1Malaysia is needed today.'

X: 'Good point.'

Z: 'We have been having a tragedy for a long time. We want to come up and yet we seem not able to find the right way of doing so without having to defend ourselves by ways that we ourselves don't like.'

Y: 'Maybe it's because we know there are facts out there prejudicial against our very foundation.'

Z: 'You mean Kota Gelanggi and Parameswara?'

X: 'People know, Z, but out of a deeper appreciation of our plight than we have given them credit, they have stayed silent so that we can get a chance to iron out things ourselves.'

Y: 'But we must also be fair. There are more Sreetha's out there. And certainly there are many in the other communities who are in the same plight. Poverty and dislocation are not the sole province of our race, my friends.

If we want to break our siege mentality and replace it with 1Malaysia, the first thing is to look at problems without our race lens. Just look at the problems on their own and figure out how to solve them for the good of everyone, not just us.'

walla 23 November 2009 at 10:45  

X: 'I agree. We have some things inherently good in us. We are actually very cultured and gentle people. It's the pressure of trying to come up that has gnawed away all the fine qualities we had. Now is to find them back and nurture them up with the help of all. That's 1Malaysia.'

Z: 'And i think we can do it. The other day i saw an ad by one Kolej UEM. Our students have scored first class honours in oxbridge colleges. So the ability is there. The reason why more has not been shown is because the training methods and the focus have not been the right ones used on all. And the reason why they are not the correct ones is because the mindset has not been right-aligned to fit what the world needs. It just falls back on what a few of us think we must have in order to preserve what they think we should be. Get out of all this stigmatizing and self-imposed limitations and i believe more of us will soar. Then there will be no need for any fortress. It's a whole new world out there.'

Y: 'And Z, the process of getting back our tempo and carving our new destinies have to be done in collaboration. Mistrust must dissolve, goodwill must rise, harmony must be built again. I believe all have the same objectives and want to see a healthier and more prosperous country where no one is neglected because of some silly assumptions. Compared to the rest of the world and what we were before, we have fallen so badly. And we are losing our brains and our resources are depleting fast while we are snared by our own neglect to focus correctly in our own middle-income trap. I am basically saying we are in deep trouble as a nation so why waste energy doing stupid things when we should devote all energies together to dig all of us out of this self-dug pit.'

X: 'On which matter, we can all start by reminding ourselves not to do funny things like greeting the minister by bowing and trying to kiss his hand.'

Y: 'Also those funny longish salutations as if the merit of a man is measured by the length of his name.'

Z: 'Yes, we may have some work cut out for us. A lot of inane things make up our baggage of thirty years. Time to let go. Time to open minds, liberate spirits, renew the heart, make friends, help one another, face up to facts, think creatively, put the best foot forward, roll up the sleeves.'

X: 'Let's go see walla and cheer her up. She's damn cun, that girl.'

Y, Z: 'You can say that again, X.'

Anonymous,  24 November 2009 at 14:25  

dt sak

sedih fikirkan bangsa kite ni, macam2 sifat kita ade,bercelaru jati diri,beriaya2 nak tunjuk diri beragama,semua nak jadi tok guru,mudah dipujuk rayu,lurus bendul tak bertempat,ambil mudah,malas nak berusaha,puas dengan apa yang ada.pening.

yag paling sedih apabila orang harapan kita misalnya pegawai2 kerajaan mementingkan duit daripada maruah bangsa.orang beri sedikit habuan sudah lupa etika.menjual rahsia jabatan.contohnye macam mardi,,macam2 kajian diorang buat pasal tanaman,makanan,tetapi hasil kajian tu dia bawa pi mana.jangan2 jual kat taukeh cina apa.sebab tu ladang cina terdahulu dalam teknologi dan benih pokok dia pakai.tak ke pelik.mana boleh bawa masuk pokok luar.

pemimpin politik melayu sekarang mana ade masa nak masuk kampung,ambek tahu hal orang kampung melayu yang memang terpingir dari arus kemajuan.buat ceramah puji diri dan umno aje ada lah.buat la program bina diri untuk anak2 kampung,orang tua2,cukup untuk mereka sedar bahawa diluar sana keadaan terlalu kompetitif untuk anak2 kita.maka kita bersedia dari segi minda dan lah saya faham kalau buat sedikit je yang turn up.tapi itu bukan alasan.kita pu tahu repetitif reminder tu penting.ini kalau boleh anak semua nak kerja kerajaan,stabil la dan macam2 alasan.tapi bagi saya itu cuma jalan mudah kita ambil.dapat 1ribu dah puas hati.lepas tu kalau orang berniaga senang sedikit mula dengki.mula nak minta habuan.macam2.pening.

Yang dah kaya lagi la,yang kat GLC tu,ade ke pernah buat program apa2.kalau buat pun,kalau menteri tak datang hantar budak suruhan je.takut nak bergaul dengan orang kampung.kalau mereka hadir kan molek.boleh beri semangat kepada yang anak2 utk menjadi macam mereka.boleh jadi idola.tak pernahnampak pun.yang nampak jelas idola mereka hanyalah artis.tu pun sebab media beri liputan meluas.sebab tu ramai sangat nak jadi penyanyi.dengan ibu bapa lagi sama naik.bukan tak bagus jadi artis tapi kita memerlukan artis yang educated.pening menenguknye.

sedih saya orang kampung saya masih begitu.sejak saya balik kampung 10 tahun,memang tak ade apa2 yang saya boleh banggakan dengan kampung saya.wakil rakyat bila kalah lagi la tak nampak batang hidung.agaknye sibuk cari tempay untuk pRU13 kot.

Anonymous,  24 November 2009 at 14:37  

dt sak

harapan saya semoga 1malaysia tidak mengetepikan hak2 kaum najib tidak perlu apologetic terhadap hak2 bangsa melayu.telah termaktub..

cuba fikir kalau perkara in reverse.maknanye kita nak minta harta pusaka kaum cina dan india.agaknye mereka akan bagi tak.hak2 bangsa melayu dalam perlembagaan adalah harta pusaka nenek moyang kita yang tak ternilai.jangan sekali2 menyerahkan hak tersebut.kaum cina dan india tidak akan memberi kelongggaran apa pun pada kita.mereka adalah materialistik dan tamak.kerat jari saya.

A Mohd,  25 November 2009 at 16:19  

Anak Omak, u you shld be ashamed of yourself. We all know its Big Dog behind the veil. You are all paid bloggers yourself, huddling with Rocky. Not everyone is collecting coin like yourself Anak Omak.

I must agree with KJ simply because we we alwyas told there is an invisible enemy out there. Sure there is, and that is what UMNO has been doing for the longest time by saying all the other races plus the western powers are trying to do one over the Malays. Inculcating fear is easy, but at the end of the day it breeds negative values.

Malays can do a lot more than where there are today, but it is not sustainable by keep telling them that they are lazy, useless and corrupt. Malays has developed over the years, fragemented but not excelling as well as the Chinese, but by empowering and buliding their capacity is a lot better than the self defeatist fear factor that has been propogate for so long by UMNO. Even Dato Najib has moved away from the old UMNO dogmas.

Good analysis Dato Sak.

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