|Datuk A. Kadir Jasin|
Veteran editor Datuk A. Kadir Jasin (pic) has come to the defence of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had received flak for saying Malays are lazy, adding that some Malays did live in misery due to their own attitudes.
While noting that not all Malays were like that, the former editor-in-chief of English daily New Straits Times also cited examples of those who took the easy way out.
He mentioned those who were given subisidised fertiliser for their own farms, but they sold it in order to fund gambling and other activities.
He said they racked up debts by buying Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki vehicles and then became Mat Rempits to participate in illegal races “until they die”.
"I want to ask again, what kind of Malays we want to strenghten the economy?" he wrote in his popular blog today.
Last week, Dr Mahathir had lamented that Malays no longer felt ashamed of failure.
Malaysia's longest serving prime minister said he had failed to change the mentality of the Malays in his 22 years of helming the nation.
"I spent 22 years trying to change the Malays, but I admit I failed. However, there are a few success stories," he said in his remarks after launching a book by Anas Zubedy on Thursday.
"If anyone asks me today, I would have to say Malays are lazy," he had said.
Yesterday, Dr Mahathir defended his criticism of Malays, admitting that he was ashamed that they had been left behind by the forward-thinking Chinese community.
The statesman had said the Malays were still lazy, citing the gender imbalance at institutions of higher learning where the majority was women.
"The Malays are lazy. They are not interested in studying and revising. If we go to the universities, 70% of the students are women. Where are the men?"
"They prefer to become Mat Rempit, that is why I said they are lazy," Dr Mahathir told Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia in an exclusive interview published on Sunday.
Dr Mahathir's comments raised a storm although the Selangor chapter of Malay rights group Perkasa had termed it as "fatherly advice".
Kadir Jasin said today people should not be upset or sulk over Dr Mahathir's remarks as not all Malays are lazy. Some are hardworking and excel in what they do.
"Give them a crutch and they will turn it into a paddle and a pillar," he said.
He noted that there are those from the community who had made a name for themselves and live well all over the world.
Citing legendary Malaccan warrior Hang Tuah’s famous rallying cry that Malays will not vanish from the world, Kadir Jasin said the Malays are rulers and made up the bulk of the civil service, such as the police force, Customs and Immigration department, as well as the teaching profession.
However, he said the majority of those arrested for corruption and cheating are also from the Malay community.
"The Malays who take bribes are jailed. Nothing happened to the Chinese and Indians who give bribes. If there are any, it is only one or two," he said.
– The Malaysian Insider – Mon, Sep 15, 2014