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Failure is inevitable. Success is elusive

CC Pung’s dose of philosophical musings
( The writer is a Sabah Justice of Peace, Tokoh Wartawan Sabah and Labuan)

What constitutes ‘success’?

Is wealth the only yardstick?
Much has been said and devoted about it and examined from different vieqpoints  from religious to philosophical to practical.

Figures in a new set of statistics on rich Malaysians is quite revealing.

A Malaysia minister articulated on Tik Tok that and described the lack of rich Malays in the list as a reflection of ‘failure’ the community.

He concluded with a sweeping and simplicity statement that the situation is the lack of Malays’ involvement in entrepreneurship and preference to remain as wage earners.

I think he is far from honest.

And that in itself has been the main reason for the pathetic economic progress of the Malays/bumiputera.

It’s a giant paradox.

Some Malays are fond of subtly telling off people of other ethnicities that Malaysia is ‘tanah Melayu’ (land of the Malays).

The British colonised much of it till independence in 1957.

The British were blamed for dividing the main races by economic functions, putting, for example, the Malays in farming and fishing, the Indians in estates and plantation, the Chinese in trades.

I have read articles blaming the British practice for ‘boxing in’ the Malays in less lucrative sectors.

My question is: but weren’t the Malays in control of the own destiny before the British came? And what about the fact that within 13 years of independence, the Malay-controlled govt of Malaysia introduced the affirmative New Economic Policy (1970- )?

The Malays have been in control of every single institutions of government since forever!

So, what happened?

What needs to happen so that the Malays will grow into entrepreneurship and somehow make the list of the Top 50 richest Malaysians?

I read that the list contains only a single Malay who is of Yemeni ethnicity, and that of 90+ companies listed the last 3 (?) Years on the Malaysian bourse, only one was Malay-owned.

This is despite the controversial rule that requires all companies seeking listing to set aside 30 per cent of their shares to Malays/bumi.

When a non Malay like me talks about the NEP and the many ironic ‘failures’ in addressing economic imbalances and eradication of ide toying ethnicities with economic functions (the two main NEP thrists), I’m at risk of being branded unsavoury names.

This country is 75% Malay/Muslims,  it everyday we hear twisted discourses of the majority being marginalised or hina (I sulted).

By whom? By the powerless minorities who are threatened and tole off by eloquently nonsensical Tiktokets to remain in their lane and be thankful for being granted Malaysian citizenship?

If you care to find out why, after decades of being a nation, we still have such supremacist tendency the majority, you may conclude that among them the dominant conversation is about race, dominance, intolerance, etc rather than about moulding a confident, inclusive, accepting Malay/bumi community who flourishes in an environment of advantages.

Are the Malays/bumis brave enough to look within themselves and identify what is supposed to have worked but have not worked?

Can they have a serious conversation without blaming ‘orang cina’ or ‘the government’?

Do you realise that you are in the driving sear of a supercharged vehicle that can take you forward only if you hold on to the steering ?

Editor: The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Talantang.

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