KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has reminded the Malays that they cannot consider themselves the master in their own country if they are poor and continue to depend on the sympathy of other people.
The prime minister stressed that they should grab the job opportunities which are now mostly filled by foreigners.
“There are some who claim that Malays are the master. What master? Poor people, people who lack capability, people who depend on the sympathy of other people. Is that master?” he said in a posting entitled ‘’Not Working’’ on his blog Chedet.
“By right the Malays should realise what is happening to them. Unfortunately, they have not realised. Even until now Malays are not aware. They still refuse to work. The Malays are still willing to surrender all work to foreigners.
“And foreigners have flooded our country. Seven million foreigners are still here. They work. What will happen to the Malays?” he said.
Dr Mahathir emphasised that the fate of the Malays will be determined only by the Malays themselves.
“Our fate is in our own hands. Getting angry with other people will not solve our problems. Our number is said to have increased but a big number of poor people cannot compete with a small number of rich people,” the prime minister said.
Dr Mahathir said in his younger days in Alor Star during the British era, there was a desire to see Malays doing business and thus Pekan Rabu was built to enable villagers to sell some bananas, other fruits and baskets made by them.
“Their business did not become big. They traded part time. They did not have the desire to expand their business, just to eke out a living, that’s it,“ he said.
At that time, he said, the Malays felt comfortable because heavy, dirty and dangerous jobs and businesses were undertaken by foreigners, and they were not bothered at all by the wealth and progress made by these foreigners.
“Their belief was that their state remains under their ownership. That was what I saw ... but their thinking was wrong. Because they were not willing to work hard, to do business seriously, they remained poor.
“The gap between them and other races who worked hard and did business became wider. What happened was the rich became richer and the poor Malays became poorer,” he added. — Bernama