Archive for March 26th, 2009



MAKE due allowance for man’s nature, and enjoin the doing of what is right: and leave alone all those who choose to remain ignorant. And if it should happen that a prompting from Satan stirs thee up [to blind anger], seek refuge with God: behold, He is all-hearing, all-knowing.

Verily, they who are conscious of God bethinks themselves [of Him] whenever any dark suggestions from Satan touches them- whereupon, lo! they begin to see [things] clearly, even though their [godless] brethren would like to draw then into error: and then they cannot fail [to do what is right].

AL-A’RAF  (199-202)


Watching the UMNO general assembly, listening to the Negara Ku (see Shaik Rizal’s interesting analysis of our national anthem in  COWBOYMALAYSIA), the UMNO and BN songs sung by the delegates and hearing what Pak Lah had to say left me with a strange sadness!

For these people are my people, the lyrics of the tunes represent my aspirations for my people and my country, and Pak Lah’s words are meant for my ears as much as they are for the UMNO delegates!

That UMNO was established to represent the aspirations and interests of the Malays is undeniable. That it has championed the Malay cause and succeeded to a great extent in the last 50 years is hard to refute! That it has given the Malays so much development and modernisation goes without saying!

Then why the sadness you may ask?

Because ironically, development and modernisation has taken the NICENESS out of the Malays!

The Malay psyche is basically a rustic one – gentle, unassuming, kind and giving. We are historically kampung people, rural folk – friendly, welcoming and easy to please.

The budi bahasa and sopan santun and adab and adat of Malay culture that we are so proud of are not the myth or  legend that Puteri Gunung Ledang is, or at least not Tiara’s version of it!

They are very much the reality of our lives!

We are  intrinsically nice people!

HOWEVER –  WEALTH, the great wealth and affluence that modern development brings is a new thing to the Malays, especially the rural Malays whose lives revolved around their patch of sawah or the strip of rubber trees, whose  menial activities involved tending to their lembu and ayam and fishing.

FELDA changed their lives as did the incursions of modern farming and subsidies. Urban development brought them into the towns and cities and opened their eyes wide to the abundance of economic opportunities. The democratisation of education produced a whole new breed of Malays imbued with liberal Western knowledge and values while struggling to keep their traditions intact.

Conflicting demands of the religious versus the secular, of  tradition versus modernisation, of democracy and freedom versus feudalism and authority have had their toll on the fragile Malay psyche!

They have driven the NICENESS out! It is THIS that makes me sad!

To see the UMNO delegates, the veterans and the young Malays many of whom are my kampung compatriots being thrust into the PWTC to defend their  honour and dignity is heart rending.

To think that they are being lashed at right and left by more unscrupulous Malaysians is heart breaking!

To know they are being bribed right, left and centre and succumbing to this scourge of society is exasperating!

To see them swatted down like flies by the opposition politicians who are no less corrupted is damn infuriating!


March 2009