CAN ‘CRUTCH MENTALITY’ MALAYS EVER SURVIVE WITHOUT THEIR ‘TONGKAT’ – BE IT FROM UMNO, PERKASA OR DR MAHATHIR?
I must thank readers who commented and put forth their views on my previous article, Tongkat and the Malay race, which was published by Sin Chew Daily and MySinchew.com a week or so ago.
A Malaysian Malay gentleman sent this message via WhatsApp: “The mindset of Malays here (in Malaysia) is that of a master who is fond of the tongkat. If not given the tongkat everything will not move even though in reality things can actually move.”
Another Malay gentleman, also a Malaysian, posted this on Facebook: “I agree that it takes a healthy dose of competition to straighten out the malaise of the Malays, or else we will never progress.
“And what better example than to emulate our industrious and dynamic Chinese brethren?”
As a Malay myself, I can say rather I believe quite a substantial number of Malays share such a view. That can only bode well for the community. The so-called Malay mindset as projected by the gentleman quoted earlier in this article notwithstanding.
Which brings us to this poser posted also on Facebook by another reader: “And whom do we blame for the tongkat?”
Indeed, who’s “responsible” for the tongkat?
Agree or not, Umno has always taken credit for helping the Malays. Aid offered, assistance, help or whatever you want to call it, is described as “tongkat”, Bahasa Melayu for crutches.
The intention is noble although it is seen or labeled by some as “not fair”. The implementation of programs in presenting the tongkat continues to be debated.
Nevertheless, Umno leaders past and present have always “warned” Malays that the tongkat will have to go sooner or later. Hence the community is reminded time and time again to work hard to be able to stand on its own feet.
Yet at the same time, Umno has kept on “warning” and “reminding” Malays that the community will be “left behind” and become “slaves in their own country” if the party is to lose political power.
In other words, Umno is saying Malays cannot do without the party — thus need Umno to help them or remain “poor” and “unsuccessful” as only Umno can assist the “bangsa” and take care of Malay interest.
Umno has made that their struggle, or the core of the Umno struggle.
But what if Malays are no more poor and are successful, and they tell Umno “We are OK now. We don’t need the tongkat anymore and terima kasih for all the bantuan and pertolongan”?
What would Umno’s struggle be then? What would be the political strategy? And what would Umno leaders say and do to get Malay support?