Date: Monday, April 12, 2010, 4:44 PM
By: Wan Hamidi
Umno, the Malay Chamber of Commerce, Perkasa, Ibrahim Ali, and whatnot are shouting, ranting, raving, screaming and hollering about ‘nasib Melayu’ or the plight of the Malays, in particular the Malays of Penang.
I don’t know what Ibrahim Ali was doing back in the mid-1970s but judging from the age of many of those others in the crowd I think many of them tak sunat lagi back in the mid-1970s. Tak sunat lagi means you are so young that you are not circumcised yet and your little dick still has its foreskin.
Yes, back in the mid-1970s -- 35 years or so ago when I was still in my 20s and not even 30 yet -- I was already fighting to improve the lot of the Malays. And 35 years ago those shouting, ranting, raving, screaming and hollering today were either too damn young or were not even born yet.
We realised even back then that if something were not done the Malays would be left out. We realised that unless something were done now, 35 years ago, the Malays would be left behind. So we sat down with various Malay leaders and those who walk in the corridors of power -- the Prime Minister included -- to plan and chart the future of the Malays. And we did this for more than twenty years from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s before I decided it was a lost cause and that I had better move on to other things.
The problem we faced was as what the then Minister of Trade and Industry Rafidah Aziz said: Melayu mampu daya maju tapi tak mampu daya tahan. This came from the Minister herself and means the Malays can be viable but can’t be sustainable. Malays can achieve success but can’t sustain the success.
The Minister then revealed details and lamented about all the wealth the government gave the Malays in the form of land, concessions, permits, ‘pink slips’ on new stock exchange listings, and whatnot, which, if the Malays had kept, would mean the Malays would have far exceeded the 30% target of the New Economic Policy.
But the Malays did not keep this wealth. The Malays sold it. The land, concessions, permits, ‘pink slips’ on new stock exchange listings, and whatnot, were all sold. So the Malay holding reduced and ended up in the hand of the non-Malays. This was what troubled the government, the Malay leaders, those who walk in the corridors of power, and us in the Malay Chamber of Commerce.
So they now lament about how left behind the Malays in Penang are. They should chart the progression of the Malays in Penang from 224 years ago until today and analyse at what point it went up and went down again. Were the Malays driven out? Were the Malays pushed out? Or did the Malays sell out? And why and how did the Malays sell out?
There is such a thing called the law of supply and demand. There is such a thing called market forces. There is such a thing called willing buyer, willing seller. When there is a demand there will be a seller. And since there was a demand for land in Penang then for sure the landowners would sell. It is all about making a profit.
So Penang developed. It became known as the Pearl of the Orient. So the capitalists moved in, as capitalists always do anywhere in the world where there is money to be made. And the Malays saw the route to easy and quick cash available to them. So they sold their land for a lot of money and moved on to another place where the land was cheaper. Now they could have their cake and could eat it too. They sold their small piece of land in Penang for a lot of money and bought an even bigger piece of land, say in Kedah, for a small amount of money and still had a lot of money left to go to Mekah, send their kids to university, and whatnot.
Today, many of those old folks and landowners of the 1960s and 1970s are dead. They are no longer alive. Their land in Penang had been sold off long before they died. And their children and grandchildren no longer own land in Penang . This is because the old folks had sold it off when they were still young or before they were born.
Today, the Malays are angry because the land in Penang is owned mainly by the non-Malays. But this is so not because the non-Malays stole the land but because the Malays sold it for a lot of money. It is what any property owner would do when the property they bought for RM100 two world wars ago can now fetch RM500,000 on the open market. Only a fool would turn down RM500,000 in profit.
The more the Malays scream about being left behind in Penang the more the Malays would look stupid and would be revealing their weaknesses. Back in the 1970s the government already sighed and lamented that come the year 2000, the Malays would still be left with nothing.
We can help the Malays, the government said. We can do, what you want us to do. But if the Malays just sell off whatever we give them, then come 2000 the Malays would still end up with nothing. And then the Malays would turn round and blame the government. The Malays would say the government does not care about them. They will never admit that the government did so much for the Malays but the Malays chose quick cash instead of sustaining and maintaining for the long term what the government gave them.
Say what you like about Rafidah Aziz and those many of the 1970s and 1980s era. They did try and they tried very hard. I should know because I was part of it. But we all knew that it was a futile effort. We can try to help the Malays to get rich. But they will not stay rich. They will sell all for quick cash and then will become poor again. And then they will blame the government because they are poor.
This was anticipated 35 years ago back in the 1970s. And the government told us this would happen. But we still tried. And now it is proven that the government was right, 35 years ago.
Today, Pakatan Rakyat is ruling Penang . But Penang was founded 224 years ago back in 1786.
Tomorrow, Pakatan Rakyat would have ruled Penang for exactly two years. For 222 years before that it was not Pakatan Rakyat that was ruling Penang . But Pakatan Rakyat is being blamed for 224 years of Penang history.
Yes, Perkasa, the new ‘Malay rights’ movement headed by Ibrahim Ali. Ask Ibrahim Ali how much the government gave him since the 1980s. In the 1970s when I was already fighting for the Malays he was still a student. Ask Ibrahim Ali to total up everything the government gave him the last 30 years or so. That figure should come to at least RM200 million-RM300 million.
How much does Ibrahim Ali still have left? Can he even find RM1 million in his bank account? Where did all that hundreds of millions go? Yes, ask Ibrahim Ali to ask himself all these questions. Then he will understand what happened to the Malays. What happened to the Malays is exactly what happened to him. He sold off everything and spent all the money just like those other Malays. And now he blames the Chinese because he is broke.
Denganihsan razak patikan60