The Malay Sybarites

This is a bit overdue. With all the “bangang” accusations being thrown to and fro between pro-UMNO bloggers (I was made there are several camps with different paymasters) and the independent pro-BN bloggers, I decided to hold the issue for a while until things have quieten down.  I am not exactly a pro-BN blogger, nor do I have any love for the opposition and their loose coalition, nor that I am a paid blogger as I have never had to use political connections to feed my family in any way whatsoever.  I am the simple nine-to-five, salary-earning employee who watches what goes on around him and voices out once in a while when things are not right.  The “bangangs” then would be those who are chosen by the rakyat to govern on the rakyat’s behalf yet think they can do no wrong and are above criticisms.

The reason for the title above is because people don’t find it bordering on racism if I bash the Malays.  Malay-bashing, in Malaysia, is not racist at all and outsiders (non-Malaysians) are often invited to bash the Malays as well.  Furthermore, being a Malay, it would make me a racist to bash those from my own race.  However, be advised that while what I will write will orbit around the title above, with a broader mental horizon you would be able to see that what follows may also apply to other races.  Of course, to maintain a non-racist post, I shall name my victims collectively as the Malays.

Like it or not, the UMNO of today is a far cry compared to the UMNO people of my age or older were.  I touched on how the late Tun Razak was when it came to shouldering the responsibilities the post of Prime Minister burdened him with.   In my opinion, UMNO was and is still regarded by those who join it as a platform to make money on the pretext of helping the Malays.  Mind you, the same phenomena also exists in other political parties on both sides of the fence.  You would not have seen this in the initial phase of the Barisan Alternatif; you’re seeing this now in the Pakatan-ruled states.  The saying “power corrupts” still holds true.

When one joins UMNO (or any other political party for that matter), it is almost always on the invitation by someone who already is a member.  The new member will first be introduced to the introducer’s circle of “friends” who will have a Padrone, who is either the Branch Head, or the Deputy Branch Head.  Then comes the need to champion whoever the Padrone is in order to put him in place, and make sure the Padrone’s people fill up as many committee posts as possible.  This is then replicated at the Division level.  Getting into the Division’s Padrone’s good books allows one Branch Padrone to solicit small contracts as a Bumiputera Class ‘F’ contractor, which job then gets sub-contracted to (almost always) a non-Bumi contractor.  This simply means that at times, a non-Bumi contractor will become a project-financier, or finance the bid for contracts that are meant for Bumiputera contractors simply because the Malay contractors are a lazy lot and all they want is big bucks for less or no work done.  So, for those who whine about inequality, please bear in mind that the Bumiputeras are only allocated 30 percent while the non-Bumiputeras have 70 percent to grab.  Demographically, 61.4 percent of the population are allocated 30 percent of the opportunities to make wealth while the other 38.6 percent (of which the Chinese make up 24.6 percent) have the 70 percent opportunities to make wealth.

You see the above also happening in the Pakatan-run states albeit with different mechanisms.  Same goal, nevertheless.

Money begets power, and with every party election, more money has to be made in order to retain the power and position to make money – and this is true on both sides of the political fence. Hence, you see absolute nepotism in parties like PKR and DAP, while cronyism remains rife in other political parties.  You have cronies becoming CEOs of important companies; young brats who cannot even make proper presentations.  Then you have the opposition condemning such arrangements as being non-ethical when they themselves do it in government machineries in the states that they control.  What makes it worse are those who continuously condemn the government in public and on social media, yet thrive on servicing government contracts.

Political parties and members no longer lead the monastic way of life as how the political parties and members were back in the 1950s, 1960s and the 1970s.  The uplines, if you must, live lavishly, while their downlines slog to maintain this while trying to earn some crumbs for themselves as religious acolytes would.  I don’t know how UMNO, or any other political party went down the drain this way, but this greed must have predicated on a system that was created perhaps in the late 1980s.  I have not made any mention of PAS because PAS is in a league of its own, abusing religion for its own survival as if it exists to represent God on Earth.

How do we change all this?  In my opinion it would take a miracle for this to change.  As long as the young idolise their sybarite leaders, this country will continue to slide into the cesspool of failed nations.  Perhaps, changing the system would help arrest the rot, but it would take political will to effect change.  And that is where we need miracles!


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