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M. Bakri Musa

Seeing Malaysia My Way

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Location: Morgan Hill, California, United States

Malaysian-born Bakri Musa writes frequently on issues affecting his native land. His essays have appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asiaweek, International Herald Tribune, Education Quarterly, SIngapore's Straits Times, and The New Straits Times. His commentary has aired on National Public Radio's Marketplace. His regular column Seeing It My Way appears in Malaysiakini. Bakri is also a regular contributor to th eSun (Malaysia). He has previously written "The Malay Dilemma Revisited: Race Dynamics in Modern Malaysia" as well as "Malaysia in the Era of Globalization," "An Education System Worthy of Malaysia," "Seeing Malaysia My Way," and "With Love, From Malaysia." Bakri's day job (and frequently night time too!) is as a surgeon in private practice in Silicon Valley, California. He and his wife Karen live on a ranch in Morgan Hill. This website is updated twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays at 5 PM California time.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Fraudulent, Vacuous Proklamasi Melayu 43

 Fraudulent, Vacuous Proklamasi Melayu 2023

M. Bakri Musa



Fraudulent and vacuous! Or in Malay, bohong dan kosong. That describes the recent (March 19) “Proklamasi Melayu (Malay Declaration) 2023,” Mahathir’s latest cuckoo idea. He is egged on by his dwindling coterie of equally clueless fellow Malay leaders. Is Malay culture incapable of producing enlightened leaders? What have we done to be so cursed?


            Likewise with the so-called “Agenda Pinggir Kaum Melayu” (Agenda to Marginalize Malays), the racist rhetoric propagated by those opposed to Anwar Ibrahim’s more inclusive agenda. In truth the real culprits responsible for marginalizing Malays are our own leaders, secular and religious. Our intellectuals meanwhile equate the studying of English as but a manifestation of hatred for our Bahasa dan Bangsa (language and race), and burden the national curriculum with sterile religious content at the expense of STEM and English. That is quite apart from the egregious corruption of Malay leaders that siphon precious funds meant for schools.


            Mahathir deludes himself that he ‘still has it.’ That’s the kosong part, if not also bohong. With Anwar Ibrahim now Prime Minister, Mahathir’s vacuity as well as his many frauds would soon be exposed! Raja Ali Haji’s Gurindam 12 (Part IV) “Tiada orang yang amat celaka / aib dirinya yang tiada ia” (Cursed are those blind to their own flaws) is apt here. Nature however is kind to the elderly, sparing the likes of Mahathir his aib. Instead, that heavy and tragic burden falls on his followers and the nation.


            Remember the earlier grandiose Malay Dignity Congress of October 2019 officiated by Mahathir? That was glittered (or more correctly, littered) by many Malay intellectuals. Same fraud, same vacuity but different time.


            Following the 2018 national election, leaders of the victorious Pakatan Harapan in their misplaced sense of gratitude asked Mahathir to lead the new government, thinking that the old man still had his mojo. The result? An unneeded political crisis.


            Today it is the losing Perikatan Nasional’s turn to be Mahathir’s latest prey. Their leaders have all signed on to his Proklamasi Melayu 2023, again feeding the old man’s delusion. I am not surprised with PAS Hadi Awang; he has had his turban on too tight for so long. As for Muhyiddin Yassin and Hamzah Zainuddin, well, they were never too bright.


            It is Terengganu’s Chief Minister Ahmad Samsuri Mokthar who baffles me. Even those simple Langkawi voters have one up over this engineering PhD. They long ago realized that Mahathir is well past his political shelf-life, and like an overripe durian, stinks if not also toxic. In his latest antic, Mahathir again abandoned his newest party because “it is no longer received by the voters.” He missed that voters had rejected him too! Again, Raja Ali Haji’s aib dirinya yang tiada ia.


            Those Proklamasi cosigners should heed its message, in particular the fourth point, “Puncanya kecuaian pemimpin Melayu” (The key reason being the dereliction of Malay leaders); fifth, “Parti Melayu ... sudah diselewing menjadi parti untuk memewakhkan diri” (Malay parties have been corrupted to enrich their leaders); and sixth, “Rebutan jawatan dan wang telah menjehanamkan perpaduan bangsa Melayu (The grab for positions and money is what destroys Malays). They all should have looked into the mirror as they recited the Proklamasi.


            As for the other nine points (Malays lacking economic clout, not having control of our future, and having to sell Malay Reservations land, etc.), if Mahathir could not solve them as Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003 and when he was much younger, what hope is there now that he is in his nineties and ailing? A gratifying note is that this Proklamasi Melayu 2023 is not gaining traction in the social or mainstream media, especially Malay ones. That is not because these commentators are now more enlightened rather that they, like their predecessors, see little benefit in backing losers.


            Malaysia is fortunate today in having Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. No pushover, he has called on Mahathir and his cronies to account for their wealth. There is no statute of limitation when it comes to plundering the nation!


            My plea to my fellow Malays, whether a PhD-holder, housewife Mak Minah, or rebellious Mat Rempit is to emulate Langkawi voters. Reject this charlatan and his coterie of “has-beens” masquerading as our national saviors, and do so now. Remember, an idiot, even an old one, could still burn down the town with a match. It is our collective responsibility to snatch that match from him and at the same time clean up the rubbish. Arresting Mahathir and his cronies would be the equivalent of snatching away the match as well as cleaning up the mess.


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