Special privileges is the fervent that shrouds everything good that could happen in our country. Its stay within our society has severely affected the psyche and conduct of our Malay brethren, hatched through the protectionist policies of their own race as enshrined inside the constitution, mooted in cahoot with our colonial masters whom by the way, was instrumental in the setting up of the MCA. This was so because Britain has spelt out to Onn Jaafar and Tunku in their negotiations towards independence that the Chineses’ must be included in the equation, no two ways about it.
After the racial riots of ‘69, these special privileges enshrined under Article 153 bloated under the chair of the National Operations Council headed by Abdul Razak. The outcome, a twenty years effort of spurious socio-economic restructuring guised as the ‘New Economic Policy’ to close the gap of competitiveness through fairer distribution of opportunities ‘irrespective of race’. (Not in its exact words). Economic disparity between the rich and poor and so they concluded was the spark that leads to the animosity, because it prevented unity and harmony amongst the people, therefore the need for the NEP. About the same time, they launch yet another initiative known as the National Culture Policy (NCP) designed to assimilate the non-Malays into the Malay culture. This was eventually dismissed by Dr. Mahathir’s Bangsa Malaysia initiative in the 90s, which was to create an inclusive national identity for all inhabitants of Malaysia, not only the Malay ethnicity alone. As usual, it was met with heavy resistance but that is another story altogether. Anyway, by just observing the enterprising spirit and philanthropic habits of the Chinese pre and post independence, it was easy to determine who were the more prosperous party, and thus began the mass assault towards the Chinese enterprises.
Abdul Razak was a brilliant man. He was careful not to curtail the economic activities of the Chinese because he knew they were the country’s engines of growth. Instead, he imposed a 30% bumiputra equity on all Initial Public offerings (IPO). Abdul Razak knew exactly where and when to cut in. On the ground, many sore Malay ultras and extremists took it upon themselves to retaliate and rebut the Chinese whom they blamed for the unrest. Their weapon, the clandestine restrictions on Chinese rights. As time passes by, more and more brilliant Chinese students were denied placements in public universities. This was also felt in the civil sectors where jobs and promotions went to the underdogs. And so are lucrative government contracts. But despite the multi-prong abuse of the NEP usurping their rights, the Chineses’ somehow managed to gallop through the quicksand piggybacking the Malays as our pillion. But to the talented and capable Chinese who can’t see a promising future arising through these initiatives, exodus became an option. And with that comes the talent and brain drain.
Not long after Abdul Razak revamped the education system by intermarrying the best he gathers from the Baines Report with the Fern Wu, and after establishing diplomatic ties with mainland China, he passed on, apparently from leukaemia. His brother in law Hussein Onn, the deputy, then took over the reins but subsequently resigned because of ill health. The premiership eventually fell onto the lap of his successor Dr. Mahathir, handpicked by Abdul Razak. And as it was written, his style of leadership must have left Hussein Onn flabbergasted that not long after, Hussein Onn needed to realign himself with the Tunku to rally the downfall of this maverick of a character.
Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, as Prime Minister no. 4, have no high regards for Abdul Razak’s cross-cultural programs nor anything the rulers had to say. Clutching in his hands Malay supremacy as his weapon which wasn’t his birthright to begin with, he cleverly wears them as his sword and armour, and accumulated a large following, occasionally shielding himself under the pinions of the Langkawi eagle, his fortress, whenever he feels ostracised. Mahathir first naturalises himself by marrying into the race, apparently setting the trend for Bangladeshi workers, then twitches the constitution from the inside so he could wear a new skin and with that, he created many an Aryan clone of himself the likes of Ridhuan Tee who woke up one day to the glorious realisation that they were indeed shapeshifters, one capable of abandoning their origin for another which carries more prospects.
From the day he took over the reins of our government, Dr. Mahathir made sure the Malays remained docile on government aid, so that they won’t lean on their sultans for assistance in times of crisis. Thus he kept the tap flowing, nevertheless reducing the rulers significance, which he eventually strips them off their immunity at an opportune time capitalising on the outcry from the public towards royal transgression of the law. He was also implicated to be the curtain drawer towards the downfall of every prime minister that came before and after him.
To enrich himself, he helped some of his cronies to become millionaires, then billionaires and then exploited them fully, to grease his war chest. As for the rest, he planted them onto every regulatory government agency he privatises so he could, in his alibi, sack those who underperformed, not possible if the agency is still government owned. Before long, all his henchmen including those from the coalition were quick to emulate him. His own party became a breeding ground for many power-crazy and money-hungry leeches. The outcome, the mass sprouting of elite families and aristocrats who wasted no time enriching themselves and their immediate families. To safeguard their own position and wealth, each insinuated his own followers into warring factions spawned by infighting. The so-called ‘divide and rule policy’. And when the members were kept busy fighting amongst themselves, they gather the nations prosperity into their own pockets, which wasn’t possible if not aided by Malay Supremacy and it’s special position in the constitution. These careless usurping gradually forces many larger corporations to relocate their bases out of the country so that their phone lines doesn’t keep on ringing. But it kept Dr Mahathir in power, as strings of members latched onto him for solace from these predators.
If protecting one’s own race and community is humane and natural, then, robbing one’s own kind is pathetically gangland piracy. But in this case, it is not his own kind. And even if it is his own kind, is he to blame when he was bred and fed on the fields of red and white etched onto his party flag, as if in paying homage to the Red & White Flag Society once infamous for its notoriety and control of the tin mines of yesteryear, again guised as Sang Saka? And why doesn’t it bother the members how Mahathir a/l Iskandar Kutty could have his membership approved into their party, climbing up in rank to become their president when the strict definition of Malay was bent only after he amended them? Whose IC was he using or did he fake his membership? Who approves it? Because if his membership since day one is invalid, so is his entire premiership.
Which means to say that Mahathir’s most memorable legacy is to fight for a race not his, to benefit himself. Other than that, the shit he created for genuinely poor Malays being deprived of opportunities is devastating. The ones who benefitted from these special privileges was indeed his cronies.
By the time he left office as PM no. 4, Dr Mahathir has wasted a stream of fine talented deputies. Musa Hitam, Ghafar Baba, Anwar Ibrahim, Abdullah Badawi. One by one, he edged them to rest except for Ghafar Baba, the schoolteacher who lost to Anwar in the wrestle for party post no. 2. Nicknamed ‘IBM’ by the locals which stands for International Big Mouth and a ‘recalcitrant’ by a hedge fund manager, he weakened the ringgit down two notches with his amateurish stance, nearly forcing the country to receivership. He then pegs our ringgit to the US dollar to prevent further assaults. And wrestle off many Chinese banks giving them datelines to merge. When Razaleigh Hamzah posed a challenge to his leadership, he got UMNO deregistered, formed a new one, then deny Razaleigh and his supporters entry into UMNO baru.
Mahathir’s mission to wipe out Umno is again personal. Its dissolution would have benefited his rebuttal. For one, it is a redundant party that could not guarantee his son’s ascension, and two, he could once and for all, safely ensure all the scars, stains and scale of his corrupt practices be completely wiped off before his time is over, dangerous when traces of paper concerning his misdeeds are still lying around. Thirdly, sixty years of Umno’s funds, vested assets, inherited IPOs and investments would be better redistributed and an added windfall to his fortune. Fourth, the party is of no use to him anymore considering his age. Lastly, he could foresee the harm it could do to the country. In his own words, it has become a corrupt party synonymously led by kleptocrats where everyone thinks of himself and not the country. Besides this, beneficiaries who have won government contracts without open tender sold their stakes for quick profits. It is a wonder he didn’t realise that was the unfortunate outcome of his own administration.
Eventually it was through his orchestration that Umno and it’s coalition parties were crippled by the people during GE14. He plotted its overthrow, by being voted back as prime minister number seven promising reforms but subsequently, he surrendered in favour of Malay Supremacy. Dr Mahathir’s most glaring folly which gradually betrays his character was his hasty resignation as comeback PM, and chairman of both Pakatan Harapan and his own party on the same day the ‘Sheraton Move’ was announced. As a chessboard master, it seems he opined it’s happening when he could have salvaged his position by calling for ‘‘Operation Lallang II” something he did as prime minister number four and crushed his opponents in one fell swoop. But he did not. Rumours has it that he was blackmailed to desert Pakatan Harapan and cripple DAP for being a threat to their special privileges, but since he did not want to get his own hands stained, he sent his henchmen Azmin and Mahiaddin to hijack the country on his behalf, and then passes them back to the kleptocrats so they could undo the threats whilst at the same time, sending both Azmin Ali and Mahiaddin Yassin to the chopping block for being contenders to his son’s ascension. But can Mukhriz deliver his father’s wishes with his lacklustre performance as Menteri Besar of Kedah, most likely the effects again of having received more than he could imagine, his fair share of entitlement, therefore his indolence?
Without a sprinkle of some ‘Malay Magic’, it would be an uphill task to guide the Malays out of the bondage of entitlement, not that they still depended on it, which is also the root cause of their inferiority, misery and unhappiness, no thanks to the Mamak whom they looked upon highly and trusted, but did them a disservice. The aftermath, a bewildered race whom are mostly pampered, lawless and indolent. Pampered because of special privileges- the classic “What Jack wants, Jack gets” case. Lawless because rules can bend in their favour beit crime, offences or verdict. And indolent because even the most stupid in their bloodline gets to walk the priority lane ahead of the most intelligent of other races effortlessly, which essentially explains the overstaffed civil service filled with half baked personnels in every department and sector, including our all familiar ministerial cabinet. Besides this, they have missed a point completely. Receiving handouts is basically communism, a practice shunned in Islam.
Our country has shown to the world what special privileges could do to anyone if it went uncontrolled. It can destroy anyone the same way it did our convicted ex-6th prime minister Najib who oozes out these deplorable traits of being pampered which resulted in him displaying traits of lawlessness and indolence . That is the reason why Najib chose to rob. And that is why he is now on the receiving end of the after effects of special privileges.