Those of you who forgets history will be condemned to live through it again...and none are so burdened by this affliction than the Malays....more so the Malays in Umno!
So far the Malays have led a charmed life. I should know for I am a Malay.
We have been blessed for having had leaders like Dato Onn, Tunku, Razak, Hussein and Mahatir. Leaders who are mindful, that as leaders, they should lead by example. That they should set a precedent for future leaders of this nation by their deeds and leave a lasting legacy to the future by their commitment to honor their pledge to serve in public office with grace and honor. All of them are Malays of exemplary character with respect and reverence beating in their hearts for the people and the nation they served and in return they were served by many,many exemplary Malaysians.
The memories of these Malay leaders are still fresh in my mind for I have lived through all of them. Also clear in my mind are the Malaysians who served in government and public office. For all of them, doing so was a responsibility each undertook with pride and a sense of duty which transcends all other considerations.
There are too many of us around today who are past 50 who will remember these times with clarity. And for those of you who are not of that age, there are too many of us around who will not allow you to forget that those times of goodwill and honor did exist not too long ago. Two, or three decades ago, is not too long a time ago to forget.
In those times no Malay was my enemy.
No Malay could be my enemy for we were all then under Malay leaders whose duty was to bring the Malays into the post-Merdeka era mindful of the fact that with Merdeka, the Chinese and Indians were made our equals.
No Malay could stray too far from Umno for the Malay leaders were also leaders of Umno first ....and only then were they leaders for the Malays. ...but if truth be told then, what Umno wanted for itself then was also what the Malays wanted for themselves. If you were a Malay then, you were in Umno or with Umno....one without the other was unthinkable!
We Malays from the urban area looked upon the Malays in the rural areas as those in most need of assistance from the government....there was RIDA, MARA and other authorities established by our government...all focussed on helping the Malays in these rural areas. No one belittled these rural Malays the help they got from the government...no one thought to question the government intent then.
How things have changed today for the Malays.
There are Umno Malays, Pas Malays, Malays in PKR, in DAP...Malays activists, Malays in ISIS, Malays who are beholden to no political party....and there are many many Malays who no longer live in Malaysia. There are the pendatnags who can become Malays, there are Mamaks who are already Malays and there are so many Malay "wannabes" that would make a Malay asks himself if he is not from the "chosen few" who have been blessed from birth by being born a Malay.
Then there are Malays for the government, Malays against the government. Malays in the Urban areas and Malays from the rural hinterlands......Malays from Johor, Malays from up North, Malays from the East Coast....Royal Malays, Malay who are Bugis Warriors and of course there are those Malays for whom Cash is King and politics is merely a means to an end....and the ends are invariably their own vested interest.
The Malays today are spoilt for choice. Not one entity, not one individual...not any organization can lay claim to being the definitive Malay voice that can articulate what every Malay wants. Only Islam unites all Malays and yet within Islam there are already divisions.... man-made divisions to serve not ALLAH's, but man's vested interests - and in Malaysia that interest is mainly political.
And so today, a Malay will have much to think about.
What is true today is that Umno no longer holds sway over the Malays in numbers large enough to make it politically relevant. A thinking, rational Malay (of which there are many!) no longer thinks of politics as a zero sum game : there is an alternative to political dominance, an alternative to Malay political dominance....and that is to have a responsible, accountable and open government made up of those who have the interest of all Malaysians at heart....and if there are Malays in that government...so much the better! But that is not the be all and end all of what they want.
Many in Umno understands this too, but Umno does not have the political will to change....and so many have to abandon Umno to join PPBM to live and fight another day for the Malays....and that, I believe......is why PPBM has started the way they have .....for without a dedicated Malay political entity (for now!) it will be hard for those who want to leave Umno to do so and remain true to their desire to do what is right for their own race.
And so I am a little bit forgiving of what Tun Mahathir, Anwar and Mahyuddin and their peers are now doing within PPBM....and so should you for we all live in trying times....trying but interesting times. My last six decades of living through Tunku, Razak, Hussein, Mahathir and Abang Lah's time will not be able to hold a candle for what is to come before, during and after the next general election.......and you can be rest assured that the Malays will be in the thick of it all.