Thursday, June 16, 2011

Understanding The Malay Mind- by RPK

Back in the 1960s life was simpler and less complicated. That was of course in the days before May 13, the infamous Umno-engineered race riot of 1969. I was then in the Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur, a mixed-race school.

Honestly, I can’t remember whether there were more Malays or non-Malays in that school. It is not because my memory is bad but because we did not stop to think about it. We did not care a damn. That is why I can’t remember whether we had more Malays or non-Malays in that school.

Our jokes back then were very racial. But that did not bother anyone. Never mind whether we were Malay, Chinese or Indian. We would roar with laughter at the jokes even though the brunt of that joke was our own race.

I remember one joke about someone needing a brain transplant and he was asked what brain he wants -- Malay, Chinese or Indian. He was told that the Chinese brain is the cheapest because it was overused -- banyak guna otak memikir macam mana nak tipu orang. The Indian brain was a bit twisted so they would not recommend it. The Malay brain is the most expensive because Malays seldom use their brains.

Back then, in the 1960s, we thought that was very funny. Today, they would make a police report against you if you told that joke in public.

But don’t they say that many a true word is said in jest? Is it really a joke or for real? If you read and hear what Malays say you would imagine that it is not really a joke after all but very true.

I get pro-government Malays asking me how much Anwar Ibrahim is paying me to whack the government. Then I get anti-government Malays asking me how much Najib Razak is paying me to whack the opposition. Then a third group of Malays tell me that they are confused because I whack BOTH the government and the opposition. So which side am I taking money from?

You see, to most Malays, it is all about money. Whatever you are doing in life must be about money and cannot be for any other reason. So they want to know how much you are being paid and who is actually paying you.

Most Malays scream “Allah Akbar!” But that is only what is on their lips. In their hearts it is something else. Their hearts are not synchronised with their lips. In their hearts they scream “Ringgit Akhbar!” They sujud (prostrate) to money.

That is why they always look at things from the aspect of money. And that is why they ask you how much you are being paid. The Umno Malays will ask you how much Anwar is paying you. The opposition Malays will ask how much Najib is paying you.

Most Malays are not capable of looking beyond money. To look beyond money is too complicating and sakit otak nak memikir (it hurts the brain to think). So they simplify it. They conclude that it must be about money and that solves the problem. No need to sakit otak to think beyond that.

That is why the otak Melayu is more expensive than the otak Cina or otak India. The otak Melayu is very seldom used. So goes the joke from the 1960s.

What went wrong with the Malays? In the 1960s and earlier, if you study history and research the Malays of that era, many sacrificed and contributed to society without being motivated by money. They fought for the good of society and died poor. Many could not even afford a tombstone (batu nisan) when they died. That was how poor they were. And these were people who did so much for their race and country.

No one asked them how much they were being paid. The British never asked those Malays who fought for Merdeka how much Umno was paying them.

People like Tunku Abdul Rahman, Bapa Merdeka (the Father of Independence), could not even afford to pay his income tax when he retired. Being a member of the Kedah Royal Family, he was reasonably wealthy in the beginning. But he sold most of his property to finance Umno. So he died a poor man.

No one asked the Tunku how much he was being paid. No one asked him how much money Umno was giving him. In fact, not only was Umno not giving him any money, he was the one who gave Umno money. And he spent all his money in the struggle for independence for his country.

But that has since changed. Today, no Malay would do what Tunku Rahman did. They will only do something if they get paid. They would only act if they were rewarded with money.

And that is why most Malays just can’t believe that you are not motivated by money. If you do something it must be for money. If you whack the government then Anwar must be paying you. If you whack the opposition then Najib must be paying you. And if you whack both the government and the opposition then these Malays would get very confused because they are not sure who is paying you.

To be fair, however, it is not just the Malays who think this way. Even the Chinese and Indians (and ‘lain-lain’) have caught this very contagious Malay disease. I have friends (or those who used to be my friends) in England who also think like Malays. One-time friends of mine (Chinese, Indians and ‘lain-lain’ included) in Malaysia, Australia and many other places have also caught this Malay disease.

In the minds of these people, if you whack the government then you are taking money from Anwar and if you whack the opposition then you are taking money from Najib and if you whack both sides: WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TAKING MONEY FROM? I’M CONFUSED!

Taken from:

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