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Malaysia 101: Slaying the Real Bogeyman

Bogeyman Malaysia Non Malay

(Who is the real bogeyman in Malaysia? Some people determined to prove that it is none other than fellow Malaysians. Photo by Chavdar Lungov from Pexels)

The 53rd anniversary of our independence is just around the corner, and yet we continue to read this nonsense that causes us to go after the wrong bogeyman – we should be ashamed of ourselves.

More Malay Than A Malay Nonsense

Read this first:-

In response, Tee said that the country does not want Ang’s children, whether legal or illegitimate, a favourite line he continually implies about the Chinese.

“She does not need to send her ‘children’ (if any were legitimate) to national school, if she is not confident with the national school or she is scared that her ‘children’ will become Malays. Her ‘children’ are not needed here.

“Just send her ‘children’ to schools in her homeland or overseas. The presence of ‘children’ are not needed here,” he said in a personal attack on Ang, who has also had two police reports lodged against her over her article.


This was the comment from Mohd Ridhuan Tee bin Abdullah (known as Ridhuan Tee) who is a Chinese Muslim who spend a good deal of his time criticising the Non-Malays and Non-Muslims trying to be a righteous preacher.  He has created a bogeyman out of nothing and spends a good deal of time and energy going after this wrong bogeyman. One has to say that he is trying to be a Malay more than a real Malay. Well, he is not alone as there are a few Indians doing the same nonsense.

When A Malay Whacks Ridhuan Tee

In response to that article, Aizuddin Danian (a well-known blogger and IT strategist) said this:-

People like Helen Ang have proven themselves capable of critical thought. She’s taken an issue, examined the facts, and presented her argument in favour of her case.

Instead of engaging her in discussion (Heaven forbid, she might have a valid point, who knows?), she becomes the subject of ad hominem attacks, and rudely invited to leave the country.

The worse thing for Malaysia is for her, and people like her (people capable of analyzing a problem and presenting a rational case), to take up the Lambs’ offer and leave. Just like any one of the 3 million Malaysians or ex-Malaysians who make their living away from the Motherland.

These are people who are able to compete at a global scale, world class human beings so to speak. Isn’t it a shame that many prefer not to ply their trade in our shores? Can we blame them for choosing greener pastures, or do we blame Lamb’s like Dr Mohd Ridhuan for driving them away by denying them the greens of our own garden and forcing them to make do with a diet of rocks and stones?

Somewhere else, we read this:-

Malay rights group Perkasa has urged the government to review the proposal to carry out open tender for the sale of strategic land, saying the move could erode “the little remaining assets owned the Malays and Bumiputera.”


That call was objected with this:-

Open tenders by the government for the sale of strategic land would not erode Malay interests, says Kedah Gerakan Youth


In every “race” in Malaysia for many years now, we have been fed with an invisible bogeyman from time to time by greedy, twisted politicians and agenda filled race-based NGOs.

Identifying The Real Bogeyman

The Malays for example have always been told that the non-Malays in particular the Chinese are the bogeyman, out to get them, out to strip them of their “rightful” rights and powers (even more so after the opposition had a major win in the last general election).

The non-Malays on the other hand have been told that the implementation of the Islamic way of life, is the bogeyman that will erode their beliefs and cultural values. So, that is what we been told explicitly and impliedly, over many forms of media.

And for those who had never ventured out from the country, the only “foreigners” they see on daily basis are Malaysians from different cultural and racial backgrounds and with the constant lies by the politicians and NGOs; fear for fellow Malaysians is created.

The Wrong Perception of Pendatang

To create further uneasiness, fellow Malaysians are also been labelled as “pendatang” (immigrants or squatters) by, ironically, the very people whom ancestors were immigrants themselves.

Khir Toyo’s father for example was from Indonesia, Ahmad Sabri’s grandparents were from India and the Mohd Ridhuan who rudely asked Helen Ang to send her “illegitimate” kids to her “homeland” – ironically his own ancestors were from China. At end of the day, we are all “pendatang” but you make yourself looking like an idiot when you start calling others “pendatang” but failed to recognize that you are a “pendatang” too.

They don’t realize how small we are when we are against the global community and only by being strongly united we can bring up this country at par with the developed countries. It is not the time to create fear and uneasiness among fellow Malaysians and foreign investors as a whole – not when we are seeing the Foreign Direct Investments figures plunging down in recent months.

Instead of “conveniently” putting the blame on fellow Malaysians for all the shortcomings, self weaknesses and as a means of unity in the community against the oppositions, let’s focus on slaying the REAL bogeyman, shall we?

Implementation of NEP, NEM, Affirmative Policies

Some NGOs says that Malay rights will be eroded with the removal of NEP but everyone knows that whilst the spirit of NEP is highly commendable, the implementation of the NEP has not been one. The PM’s banker brother even goes on to say that the NEP has been “bastardised”:-

The New Economic Policy (NEP) is “bastardised” as it deviated from its goal of poverty eradication, CIMB group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said.

He said the NEP, formulated by second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, had come a longway from a social engineering experience, which was aimed at uplifting the livelihood of the people, especially Bumiputeras.

“But now, it (NEP) is so embedded in everything we do, in every part of government and businesses that it has become a problem. And every time I mention the NEP, I get blasted.”


Many in the Government do realise the weaknesses in the implementation of policies such as NEP (now re-coated as NEM) but when it is raised, it is faced with objections. Often the question on the weaknesses of the implementation (and not the policy itself) is often met with claims that it is questioning the Malay rights. At the end of the day, the weakness in implementation remains unresolved and is left to be abused further.

Tony Pua of PR recently suggested the removal of Bumiputera discounts for properties more than RM500,000 and rechannel that money for Malays who did not have enough money to buy properties. His suggestion – instead of reviewed positively (to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor), was taken as questioning the Malay rights. Tony Pua in the end got a death threat and bullets in his mail.

Mismanagement of public funds

Wastage of taxpayers money by expensive and wasteful projects is nothing new in Malaysia. The Malays form about 60% of Malaysians on whole. So, if the Government can be more prudent with its spending, curtail unnecessary wastages and channel the available funds for development where the people will benefit to the maximum, who benefit the most? Mismanagement of public funds is one bogeyman that these racial politicians and NGOs should focus on.

And with mismanagement of funds, we all know, corruption usually tags along.

MACC has started to work its way to nab the bigger fish but it is has a long way to go before it can gain the public trust and respect. Sarawak Report has been uncovering pretty interesting revelation on a certain Chief Minister and his family’s wealth. Based on the allegations (backed with documents and facts), there seems to be a clear case of mismanagement of funds, abuse of powers and no proper distribution of wealth from the state to the people. But then again, this could be just the tip of the iceberg. Corruption is another bogeyman that has been let on loose for a very long time now.

What is Quality of Life?

Malaysia is not far off in terms of quality of education but how far we are off from creating quality graduates? Students are not allowed to participate in politics and those who go against the establishment are often punished. How many of the graduates are allowed to think rationally and out of the box? How many of them is well equipped to meet the challenges of today and excel in any fields they are in?

We already dismissed the English language in favour of the national language but for the wrong reasons. Can we maintain the quality? So, instead of creating fear among Malaysians, why can’t these politicians and NGOs fight for better schools and quality graduates?

There has been a call to review and revise the minimum salary for Malaysians and whilst the cost of living has gone up (what more with the removal of government subsidies on key consumer items), it has been unfortunate that the general level of disposable income of Malaysians has not gone up accordingly. At the end of the day, Malaysians find that it is getting more difficult to bridge the expense–income gap. So, instead of creating fear among Malaysians, why can’t these politicians and NGOs fight for better wages? Do better wages mean a better business environment – are we in the right position for that? Fear against fellow Malaysians is not the right factor to create an ideal business environment.

Final Say

The above are just a handful of issues that the politicians and NGOs can spend time on for the betterment of the community instead of wasting time hunting for a bogeyman that is not – fellow Malaysians. It is better for Malaysia and for the community. Let’s slay the real bogeyman instead of wasting time creating disunity among fellow Malaysians. Not when we are turning 53 years old.

I once watched a movie where a man is seen heading the shouting at a political rally. He looked so emotional and nothing seemed to stop him from making a point. When a friend asked him why he is participating in this rally, he said he did not know. He heard people shouting and decided to join in.

Similarly, let do the fighting where it is needed the most – real issues that affect all Malaysians. Let’s not make a fool of ourselves by creating an issue that distracts the rest from the real issues and get overworked with it.  Let’s not shout for the sake of shouting. After 53 years, we certainly can do better than this.

6 thoughts on “Malaysia 101: Slaying the Real Bogeyman”

    1. Good points there – it is political, I know but why should we stand aside see the country get into a bigger mess just because someone’s illegal side income is being threatened

  1. My comments below, taken from my Singapore experience, has some relevance to Dr. Tee’s article.

    One country, one united people, regardless of race, language or religion.

    I am a Malay, raised in Singapore until I was 19 years old and still keeps returning to Singapore regularly and I saw many important events during that 19 year period; the merger with Malaysia, the confrontation, the separation, and the direct telecast on TV showing Mr Lee Kuan Yew crying after Tunku Abdul Rahman announced the separation, the racial riots that went on for almost a week that erupted on 21 July 1964 on the occasion of the celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birthday; the last big flood in Singapore in the late 60’s and the many non-stop campaigns by the PAP government since they took over in 1959, broadcast in Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English and participated in many of Singapore’s youth building, education and development programmes and the national service, amongst others. I moved to Malaysia in 1971 and became a citizen of this country, by choice, due to events and circumstances that happened to me and in what I believe, where my future lies, in 1979. I am just like Malaysians who move to Australia and become an Australian citizen, Malaysians who move to the US and become a US citizen, Malaysians who move to Singapore and become a Singapore citizen, Singaporeans who move to Malaysia and become a Malaysian citizen, etc. We all have our own special reasons and circumstances that led us to do so.

    As the Berita Harian editor Guntor Sadali said, “For Malays in Singapore,power is not about wielding the keris. For us, knowledge is … THE real power … We do not believe in getting any special treatment, because itwould only reduce the value of our achievements and lower our dignity …Dr Mahathir [Mohamad] and some Malay leaders across the Causeway do not like the way we do things here and have therefore warned Malaysian Malays not to be like us. On our part, there is certainly no turning back. Meritocracy has proven to be a good and fair system. It pushes us to work hard and makes us proud of our achievements”. These and all the rest that he said are all very true.

    My mother, brothers and sisters who are still in Singapore are all very successful, so are many of my relatives who are still there. We work hard and we are Malays!They do not complain unnecessarily about the PAP government, then and now. Those who do not make it, including some of my Malay relatives (I also do have non-Malay relatives there) who are there, know that they deserve it and they cannot complain. Even if they do, no one would listen to them. In Singapore, there’s no NGOs or political parties to help people fight or lobby for lost causes, they are just a waste of time and nobody is interested.

    Malays in Singapore have since a long time ago assimilated into the general Singapore society very well and we do not care what race people are or what religion they belong to, even amongst Malays there who are not Muslims anymore or Malays who claim to be Muslims but do not practise the religion.There’s never been a case like ‘Lina Joy’ in Singapore. This, to them, is a private matter between the individual and God. The ‘Natrah’ case, if some insist, was an ancient one, so to speak. As long as they are not troublemakers, they will be accepted by the society, regardless of race, language or religion.

    The Muslims in Singapore are all very well, thank you and they do not need to be told what to do and what not to do by anyone, any organisation or any institution or even the government, and as a matter of fact, the government of Singapore listens to them. Muslims in Singapore comprise a multitude of races, not just Malays. Many, if not most, of the mosques and madrasahs in Singapore are self-financing though they do receive some grants from the government and they do receive a very good support from the government on education including studying Islam up to the highest level. Their relationship with people from other communities and people from other religions is excellent and they do mix and exchange ideas regularly. Mind you, being a very small country, Singapore has more religions than most country in the world, including some ancient religions. There are still the Parsis there who practise Zoroastrianism and there are also the Ba’hais, the Orthodox Jews, etc., etc.

    Of course, there will always be some oddballs around like Mas Selamat, who wants to carry out their so-called ‘Jihad’ in Singapore. I and many of them in Singapore, the Muslims especially, believe that these people are misinformed and confused.

    So, I believe, Singapore is doing the right things and they have set their priorities right. They do not waste their time on things that are non-productive or things that are non-relevant any more. And the big thing is, there’s no corruption there. Singapore is, in many ways, more Islamic than Malaysia.

    There’s a lot that Malaysia can learn from Singapore.

    I also saw and was privy to the transformation of many Malay kampungs in Singapore to satellite townships and that includes Geylang, Kg. Kembangan, Kaki Bukit Teluk Kurau, Kg. Amber, Kg Ambo Solo, Kg. Wak Tanjung, Paya Lebar, Tongkang Pechah, Jalan Kayu, Lor Buangkok, Bedok, Changi, Pasir Ris, Tempenis (Tampines), Kg. Tai Seng, Kg Jawa, Kg Pachitan, Kg. Tengah, Pasir Panjang, Kg. Ubi, Kg. Pisang, Kg. Kelapa, and many others.

    The transformation of some Chinese kampungs needed more work and at times, the government resorted to arsonists to move the people. That was very sad. Nevertheless, the government made sure all facilities were ready and operable before carrying out such drastic actions. So, things progressed quite smoothly. After everybody moved to their individual well equipped SIT flats, later taken over by HDB, no one complained.The government also made sure that complete infrastructure were thoroughly planned, designed, constructed and completed before the displaced people moved in.

    Can our country Malaysia emulate that?

    I remember, Bt Ho Swee was the first Chinese settlement to be developed after Singapore’s biggest fire (organised arson?) and after that there were many campaigns about fire prevention broadcast on TV, radio, schools, public places, homes, etc. I was then still in primary school. There were many fires that followed in rapid succession but though property and belongings were damaged or lost, no life was ever lost. Lee Kuan Yew did what he had to do. I thought that was classic Singapore.

    In the early 60’s , just before and soon after the separation, Singapore’s Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew, had several debates that were telecast live and his opponents included fellow PAP stalwarts, opposition political party leaders, local and foreign journalists, writers, political analysts, heads of the various communities, student leaders, etc. One of the debates that I remember very well was the one he had with the late Sheikh Abdullah Basmeh, Islamic scholar, journalist, author, teacher, state elder, politician and Malay/Islam community leader. He was a very strong and staunch supporter of Tunku’s UMNO and the Federation of Malaysia with Singapore in it. I watched the telecast together with my Malay, Chinese and Indian neighbours as well as their school going children. LKY was practically running rings around the Sheikh and we could sense that the Sheikh was uncomfortable and jittery and was ‘hot around the collar’ throughout the whole 1 hr debate and we also knew that LKY was not convinced with most, if not all, of the answers the Sheikh gave him. We were all very happy with the PM’s skill and ability to play with words. Mind you, my Chinese, Indian and Malay relatives (cousins) and friends and me were only about 9 or 10 years old then!

    One of the questions LKY asked the Sheikh that I still can remember word for word until today was, “Apa itu Sheikh?” Again, his (the Sheikh’s) answer to the question was not good enough and we all were laughing throughout the debate and the loudest laughter was when that question was asked. The next day at school, everyone were talking about that debate held the night before and the question if you wish to ask someone a red-herring question was, “Apa itu Sheikh?” followed by a roar of laughter by the person who asked and the person being asked accompanied by laughters of all the people nearby.

    I wonder what it would be like if that were to happen here in this country?

    Another landmark incident was when the government, in the early 80’s, decided to change the name of the new township Bt. Panjang (it lies somewhere between Woodlands and Bt. Timah) to Zheng Dong, during the peak of the first of many speak Mandarin campaigns held there without consulting the people and Bt. Panjang has always been a predominantly Chinese area. There was a huge hue and cry about the decision and people from all communities, in particular the Chinese, were complaining daily about it to the PM, ministers, MPs, town councils, TV, radio, newspapers including the vernacular newspapers, schools, colleges, universities, etc. The government quickly backtracked and retained the original name to everyone’s relief and satisfaction.

    Here, in our country, every community wants to have names of roads, among others, changed and to be named after their own leaders, regardless of the sentiments. What lah my fellow Malaysians!


  2. Pingback: Unity 101: Fearful Race Relations Act Revisited

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