The Malay Psyche

“Kj should understand the Malay psyche better than to make that mistake of wanting to take them to the blue ocean although a drastic change could be the answer.
Most Malays doesn’t mind being followers so long as they have a leader to look up to. But they can’t imagine a leader serving them and amalgamating with them like buddies and calling each other ‘bro’. What more, dirtying their hands at ground level. To these traditionalist, when a person earns or is bestowed a pangkat(position; title), that to them is as good as being a conferred leader and a leader is someone that they should serve, not being served, and patut di hormati (deserve to be respected). That’s their adat (custom) like it or not. To them, hormat is again tied to taat and taat again is tied to setia. And that is the reason why these members hung on. Leaders are to be respected. And they should be served like kings as in the olden days. Respect to them is tied to obedience is also tied to loyalty. And that’s how it works with them.
Thus, for as long as they are comfortable with their current leaders and their policy, that automatically will translate into votes. And if not for the lost, they wouldn’t want to be alerted that they should change at all. But kj went all out to say that he will work for the goodness of all races, not only his, and that’s where to them, he got it all wrong. Even though he is a better debater.
And by wanting to lead them to the blue ocean is like paving the way into the unknown, grappling with uncertainty and fear at the same time. What more, kj is promoting policies that is closely tied if not similar to the policy of the party that just won. And that again is something these loyalists could not accept and kj being a Malay himself should understand.
To the Malays, muka and maruah is important. Trailing the winner with policies not originally their own is as good as “jatuh muka dan maruah” (losing face as well as pride).
On the other hand , the protectionist policy expounded by zahid sounded more palatable and works better for these loyal members. Throughout the debate, zahid offers a policy of pride and protection from harm. He understands their psyche not to jatuh muka or maruah and safeguarded their dignity by never confessing that his party’s policy and strategy is wrong. Instead he pointed fingers at his opposition. He insisted on the rights of the Malays in all the decision making if he wins. And what a better way than to be a leader and father figure at a time of fear and change. Yet remain exclusive to them. Zahid won.And true to his promise, he offered kj the Secretary Generals post which kj declined.
Kj did not stick to his promise of remaining loyal and working for the goodness of umno even though he loses. That’s what he said in his closing speech.”

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