In his blog, Bakri Musa lamented on the recent scandal docking the infamous Port Klang assemblyman, Zakaria Mat Deros. On the lack of public condemnation, he has this to say:
I can appreciate the reticence of non-Malays to this Zakaria scandal. For one, there is always the fear of being branded as anti-Malay, a particularly damaging accusation. For another, they could be just as guilty in tolerating as well as participating and thus encouraging such corrupt practices. One wonders how many of the contractors working on that mansion also have simultaneous government contracts and at what inflated prices.
On the lack of public interest from the Malay community and intellectuals:
For Malays however, the damage is considerable. We are sending precisely the wrong message to our people. That is, in order to succeed or afford a mansion and other trappings of the “good life,” we do not have to study diligently or work hard but merely ingratiate ourselves to the powerful in order to hog our own little spot at the public trough.
According to Bakri, the incident and the lack of subsequent public reaction to the scandal has created the wrong perception of the Malay community:
The message we send to non-Malays is equally destructive. That is, we Malays are a race of rogues. We tolerate such nonsense because we harbor our own secret ambition to be like them. This more than anything is what makes me mad and angry with these scoundrels.
He went on to assure the non-Malay communities that the personalities involved in the scandal are not representative of the Malay community, not yet:
Let me assure non-Malays that the Zakaria Mat Deroses and Khir Toyos are not representative of my race, at least not yet. These “ugly Malays,” to borrow Syed Hussein’s phrase, are fast becoming and will be the norm if we do nothing, by in effect tolerating them. We do have our share of the hard working, the honest, and the frugal. Yes, we are fast shrinking, that we sadly agree.
It is in the interest of all, Malays and non-Malays alike, not to tolerate such sinister and shady characters. Unchecked, they would soon spread to all Malaysians.
Bakri's advice may be timely but I am afraid to say that the disease has spread to a large segment of the society, not only amongst the Malays. Some non-Malay politicians are equally feudal and corrupted. Do a search in their closet and do not be surprised to find some skeletons in it.
We need to treat the symptom before it turns cancerous. The only way forward is to decontruct the current politicial system which promotes might and power over the rule of law.