Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

The People Are As Much to Blame As the Government

Written by johnleemk on 10:58:21 am May 14, 2005.

Note: The following originally came from a comment on a posting at

Does anyone really expect Pak Lah to full frontally outright challenge the special Malay rights? Even if he wants to, he can't; UMNO will disown him. I like to think that when he mentioned subsidies he was thinking of the special ones the Malays receive as well.

Malaysia's problem is that we rely on the government to help us solve anything and everything. This is not a problem limited to merely the Malays, but everyone.

For example, in the wake of the fuel price hike, instead of asking what we could do for our country, everyone was demanding our country do something for us. In spite of our individualistic materialism, when it all comes down to the hard hitting issues of today, we all expect the government to lend us a hand.

This sentiment is expressed here again in these comments — "Ya la, one NEP candu also cannot resolve, now want to settle three candu in one go ... Is he mengarut?" Implicitly, the author seems to be stating he expects Abdullah to solve this NEP crap with a snap of his fingers.

Everywhere I go, it's the same. The Malays expecting the government to enforce this or that special privilege. The Chinese expecting the government to pull back those special privileges. Nobody ever bothers to look at themselves; nobody points the finger at us. The buck never stops being passed around.

I would say many of Malaysia's problems stem as much from the people as the politicians. I cannot afford to go into detail here, but an example or two - the NEP and the NDP would not exist if there was no support (or apathetic allowance) from the rakyat for such programs. The problem we don't like to face is that if we are to remove subsidies, we have to wean ourselves off them first instead of expecting the government to outright remove them and promptly set itself up for a defeat in the next election.

Another example would be corruption — this problem is not being tackled because in spite of all the hooha, your Average Joe does not care about corruption. All he asks is, "What's in it for me?" In all likelihood, he bribes the police officer as often as UMNO politicians buy votes. It is our mentality that we have to fix.

The politicians can try, but as long as the people remain stubborn and unwilling to change, it is hardly the politicians' fault for not trying.

The problem now is, the politicians are talking the talk but not walking walk. Unfortunately, so are the rakyat. We all say we want a fairer, more just, less corrupt society. But how many of us put this into practice? How many don't rely on the government subsidies? How many refuse to bribe the police officer who just caught them speeding? It's like the old saying goes — charity begins at home. Likewise, fixing the nation's problems begins with you — the rakyat.

If you'd like to keep informed about updates to the site, consider subscribing to our web feed:

Infernal Ramblings is a Malaysian website focusing on current events and sociopolitical issues. Its articles run the gamut from economics to society to education.

Infernal Ramblings is run by John Lee. For more, see the About section. If you have any questions or comments, do drop him a line.

Najib's Orwellian 1Malaysia

Most Recently Read

  1. Sorting out the Election Courts
  2. Mediocrity, Dumbing Down Malaysian Students
  3. The Injustice of a Minimum Wage
  4. Live Free or Die
  5. Effective Privatisation
  6. Nine Years, Five Schools, One Broken Education System
  7. What is the Definition of a Malaysian?
  8. Central Banking and Interest Rates for the Layperson
  9. Let the Schools Decide
  10. Freedom to Our Schools: Decentralisation and Autonomy
Quoth the webserver...
Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.
— Bertrand Russell