Before the opposition can hope to win over Malay voters, both rural and urban, the Malays have to work on themselves. How? Just reboot the Malay mind.
After 60 years of Umno and Umno Baru, the Malay mind has been hijacked and rendered helpless. PAS plays a supporting role in further incapacitating the Malay mind, and drive home its brand of religious indoctrination.
Najib Abdul Razak and his seeming ‘running mate’, Abdul Hadi Awang the PAS president, claim that their parties are the only ones capable of “defending Islam and protecting the Malays”.
The irony of this statement eludes many Malays. Umno Baru has been in power for several decades, but has failed to make major improvements for Malays. Obviously the country also needs a reboot.
The Malay who drives a Porsche is afraid to handle a paint brush with pig bristles because it may corrupt his soul. On the other hand, an organ transplant from a non-Muslim donor is rendered halal in the Malay body. Has the Malay mind considered this amazing anomaly?
The Malays benefit most from the affirmative action policies of this government, and yet many Malays are poor.
Many scholarships are given to Malays, and yet Malay graduates are mostly unemployed.
Planning permission is readily granted for mosques and Malays have no problems with housing applications or business approvals, yet they still moan about being ignored.
This is why the Malay mind needs a reboot. When you have a problem with your computer, a geek will probably tell you to reboot it. It may sound trivial, but rebooting can solve many computer problems and make it perform better.
The Malays are not dumb. Social media is probably their preferred medium of communication and instruction. Various incentives are available for Malays to purchase smartphones, so the government is easily able to gather statistics about their social preferences and target them with propaganda.
Malays realise that corruption is damaging, but the brainwashing by Umno Baru has dulled their senses.
The Malay knows it is wrong to steal, and if he were the victim of theft, he would demand that the thief be punished and his possessions returned.
Sometimes one wonders why many Malays have wasted a good education and exposure to western democracies.
A thirty-something Malay professional, a graduate from an American university, who earns around RM10,000 per month in a multinational firm in Kuala Lumpur, was asked if she was ready to vote in GE14.
She claimed she wanted change, that she was fed-up with the government and was worried about rising prices, violent crime and corruption.
I pressed her further, “Have you registered to vote?”
She said, “No. What’s the point of voting? Will the opposition look after the interests of the Malays?”
I replied, “So, you have no issues with 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion donation scandal? No issues about the leader’s role?”
She was silent.
Shedding unfounded fear
Can the hijacked Malay mind shed its unfounded fear of non-Malays? Or its deeply entrenched views on feudalism and subservience?
When the Sultan of Johor warned Malays not to ape the Arabs, many Malays agreed with him. When I said more or less the same thing, Malay readers claimed I was insulting Islam.
When I wrote about the tudung being used as a tool to control Malay women, I was told that I was ignorant about Islam and that the Quran says it is a prerequisite for Muslim women. It is not, despite the erroneous beliefs of many Malays. This is just propaganda promulgated by the bigots.
When I mentioned that my grandmother and her generation merely wore the selendang (scarf) and yet were faithful Muslims who observed the five pillars of Islam, my critics insulted the older generation and claimed that these old people were ignorant and stupid.
Perhaps, the younger Muslim generation had not heard of the Golden Age of Islam, when artists and scholars from various disciplines exchanged ideas with people of other cultures in the universal pursuit of knowledge.
They considered my views abhorrent and that I had denigrated the Malays and Islam.
Are they really open-minded? What is their definition of being open minded?
Are they sufficiently open minded to allow Malays the freedom of religion, something which is enshrined in the constitution and the Quran?
Are they so open-minded that they can treat non-Malay as equals?
Does their open-mindedness extend to making religion a personal issue and not a national obsession?
The Malays who work and live in the west have been removed from the Umno Baru tempurung and transplanted into an environment with healthy competition, where they must interact with people of other cultures and faiths.
Are Malays ready to reboot and embrace this freedom and achieve greater heights?
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO).
Source : @ Malaysiakini