We Malays have been comfortable for far too long. All that we need – education, jobs, business opportunities – have been given to us sometime gratis, most times without much effort on our part and at minimum costs.
Our religion Islam is the religion of the land. The government, the armed forces, the police, the civil service and every conceivable authority within the country are, in the main, staffed, managed and controlled by Malays.
The government is Malay and the symbol of authority in this land, the Agong and the Sultans – all nine of them are all Malays.
And over all this presides Umno with its president who is the authority where all executive power in Malaysia resides – an authority he uses to maintain the status quo of all of the above if it is in the interest of Umno to do so.
The economy has developed by leaps and bounds. We consider ourselves a developed nation but the nation’s wealth is in the hands of a few.
Most of the ills that we now face are because of the need of these few to increase their wealth.
The pursuit of wealth corrupts us all and politics is the tool of choice used by these few to get what they want.
Look at the many Umno politicians who have profited from their time in office and you will know why the Malays have a problem.
For each of these Malay politicians to be able to have amassed such insane wealth they would have to deprive many Malays of their share of our nation’s wealth because these politicians took for themselves what should be given to many thousands, if not millions, of other Malays.
For the mansion that Khir Toyo built, for every Mercedes or Porsche that Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s children owned and for every “working” trip that Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor take in the government jet, a Malay somewhere is deprived of a house, a business opportunity and the ability to build a decent future for their children.
The money spent on KLCC, KLIA and Putrajaya could have given sustenance and decent shelter to many Malays that now live in poverty.
How much have the Malays working in Felda settlements contributed to what has been used by the National Feedlot Corporation to buy those horrendously expensive condominiums?
What portion of the income that should have gone to the rice farmers have gone instead towards building KLIA and paying for the debacle of PKFZ (Port Klang Free Zone)?
How much of Petronas income have been used to build Putrajaya when it could have been used to alleviate the hunger and need for decent shelter of the many Malays who still live in rural backwaters and urban squalor?
If all that is taken from the Felda settlers, the rice farmers and the harvest of our natural resources by Petronas and then used for what Umno claims to be nation-building, what then is left for the farmers and our people after their labour?
How have these poor Malays and our people profited from the buying of those condominiums by NFC, the building of KLIA and of Putrajaya? PKFZ and NFC are s simply money down the drain.
My emphasis has been on the Malays because it is the Malays that have suffered the most.
They have not suffered at the hands of the Chinese or any non-Malays but at the hands of their own kind. Malays have suffered abuse at the hands of other Malays from Umno.
The swagger and boastfulness of Najib, Muhyiddin Yassin, Nazri Aziz, Hishammuddin Hussein, even Mahathir and the other Umno ministers are not much in evidence these days.
Humility, a hard act to put on even for Pak Lah (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), is the public persona Umno now tries to put on offer for us to reflect on.
We are not amused. Arrogance and greed are not something easily forgotten nor will their condescending attitude towards us in the recent past be dismissed without censure.
The Malays and Umno are not one anymore and Umno knows this.
So whither goes Ketuanan Melayu? The chief and only architect of Ketuanan Melayu is Umno.
The premise of Ketuanan Melayu is simply this – be it in education, jobs and business opportunities and in all things Malaysians, the Malays have right of way over the non-Malays.
There have been significant gains for the Malays in education. Significant in quantity, not in quality.
In job opportunity, there is no denying that being a Bumiputera puts you ahead of the non-Malays even before you get into the front door for the job interview.
But this has the tendency to have the Malays in occupations that tend to define the race – in the civil service, police, the army and agriculture.
All occupations shunned by the non-Malays for the mediocre challenges it places upon them but it will do for the Malays.
But where Ketuanan Melayu failed the Malay is in business opportunities.
The lucrative aspect of this genre is an area exclusive to those of the Umno ilk and this is why I have said earlier that the wealth of the nation is in the hands of a few.
We can see this in the abuses by Umno of the business opportunities they take for themselves and squandered for quick profit without any regard for the adverse economic and social repercussions of their actions to the Malays and to the future of our country.
Putrajaya cost our nation over RM20 billion when the actual costs would have been a quarter of that if the reason for building Putrajaya was really to have an administrative capital for our nation.
Just one thought on Putrajaya – look at the lamp posts in Putrajaya. How many types of lamp posts do you see?
Can you imagine the costs of manufacturing so many different types of lamp posts? How much could have been saved if you had used one standard type lamp-post all over Putrajaya?
Then there is the cost of stockpiling these lamp posts for use later when any of them need replacing because of accidents or wear and tear.
The mind boggles at the stupidity of those who built Putrajaya – but then again the profits to be made with so many different lamp posts far outweigh the need for thrift or common sense.
Putrajaya was conceived to enable the few to take massive profits with the collusion of the Barisan Nasional government – the same with KLIA, the Petronas Twin Towers and other business opportunities that come the way of this Umno-led BN government.
Somehow these idiots think that robbing the government is a victimless crime. The Malays now know of these abuses committed by Umno in their name!
CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.