Friday, March 28, 2008

me-layu dilemma

My boss is a Russian who has been living here in Malaysia for almost 15 years. He married a local girl and they have a beautiful little girl. He loves it here. The food, the country, the people. It is indeed very interesting to hear his view and opinion on Malaysia and the people. He once told me that Malaysia is THE best country to do business because it is easier to negotiate with Malaysian people rather than the rest of the world, mainly the Europeans. He told me that in Russia, a small business like his would not survive at all because of the 'big bullies', meaning the big companies that will do anything to close down all these small businesses. His words, not mine.

However, there are certain comments he made that got me thinking and pondering most of the times. Mostly, the comments he made regarding us Malays, the majority race. I refuse to use the word dominant because simply, we Malays are not dominant even in our own country. Agreed? One of the comments he made was that Malay people are "professional lazers" (as in lazy). Now isn't that one of the many traits we Malay inherit? I could not say I disagree with him because he is simply voicing out what or who he has been dealing with for the past 15 years. That is one comment to be look upon and analyzed closely. Even his father-in-law, a Malay, agrees with him regarding this matter. Malay people are lazy and are very good at giving excuses. Insulted? Don't be. It's a fact.

Then, one fine day, the boss said that he like working with us (my sister and I) and he trust us. According to another boss (there are two of them), it is a rare compliment he was giving because he is not very generous in complimenting others. Believe me, I know. The boss said he never expected us to excel in our work and meet his expectation. He frankly said that he did not have high expectation for Malays but we actually exceed his expectation and proved to him that not all Malays are lazy and unproductive. He even sung praises to my lecturer who was visiting a month before. It kinda shocked me to realize that the boss actually was reluctant to put his faith in us because we are Malays. And no, I did not take any offend because I could identify the issue with him.

I remember once how a certain man in UiTM gave speech regarding Malay people and our mentality. The Melayu term itself suits us, he said. Me-Layu. We are the majority in this country, this golden land was once called Tanah Melayu but sadly, we are being left so far behind in every aspect. We are Me-Layu. The M could apply to everything that's negative that has become the identity of the Malay. M, malas. M, mundur. M, miskin. M, manja (semua nak kerajaan yang buat, nak kerajaan yang tanggung). M, meminta-minta. Embarassed? I am. But still, I am a Malay. There are so many other Malays who excels but they are being overshadowed by these Me-Layu Malays.

"Kita orang Melayu ni pandai cakap saja, sebab tu ramai jadi ahli politik. Dah tu, apa lagi, asyik cakap politik manjang la. Cakap pung pang sana, pung pang sini, kerja haram satu pun tak jadi. Melayu ada tanah pi jual, nak kaya cepat, tak mau nak usaha sendiri. Tau nak kaya cepat, tapi bila dah kaya cepat, nak maintain tak boleh sebab tau nak cari jalan mudah je. Jatuh bankrap pulak. Dapat tender pi jual kat C**a, untung dapat kat depa tu la. Lepas tu dok bising C**a makan duit depa, C**a penipu la apala. Dah tu orang Melayu sendiri dok tikam belakang sesama sendiri, bila nak maju? Pikiaqla sendiri, otak ada payah sangat nak guna!" - a friend of mine, a Malay himself, once said. So, when are we ever going to start to use our brain?


  1. you said it. well, couldn't agree more as i myself experience the same thing. bosses love to lazing around and dump everything on me. and i'm totally burnt out, demotivated and not to mention, building hatred tower in my heart.

    i wish i could hit her head with fire extinguisher.

    well, the point here is to change the way things work out when you're up there (hold the power). it wasn't easy but just ensure your principle sustainable until you get there.

    GOD bless Melayu~

  2. yes 200% agree with u sis. Me oso working with Finnish boss, luckily all 3 of malays in his company done job exceeded his expections! (termasuk lar ai..awww perasan sekejap!)hehehe..
    But mmg sad to say terlalu ramai yg jadi tukang komplen, politics?? yes i think thats the best suits the Me-Layu...

    Yang kita bleh buat just try and usaha to 'educate' them to be more productive and 'civilise'...?

  3. AGREED!...nuff said..but i still believe Malay can excel..slowly but surely..but we have to move faster..

  4. I support your opinion and you boss' too :). Melayu are complacent and easily contented. Kita dah terlalu mua dengan bantuan sejak dari dulu. Susah sikit, takpe sebab ada orang akan tolong.
    Comparing ourselves to Ch1nese, they are much better in terms of success stories. They are very much independent. That's why they could survive better.
    It is sad to admit, but that's the reality.. too bad...

  5. me on the other side..being a non-melayu.. i might said..i agree with what u blogged in this entry.. i work hard to get what i have now.. thou i work so hard... and smart.. but still.. the better positions and names go to the M.. hehehehe.. dunno la... nasib kot... keje cam nak mati pun takder orang nampak...

  6. I have the same opinion and gladly seconded your idea.

    Manja and Meminta2.. lepas tak dapat kite Merajuk~ Sungguh lengkap cycle "M". Lepas tu kite carik Tun 'M'~~

    It shows in the last election results, kan?

    The normal reason I got when I asked why the vote for opposition, "Kami org teraniaya" or "Kami x pernah dpt ape yg diminta" or "Orang lain dpt lebih"...

  7. sorry ummi, but i really have to disagree with you.

    are we malays the professional lazers? i don't think so. you should have seen us how we, the malay ACCA students, work our ass off to realize our dreams. if we really were the professional lazers, why would we even be doing something that is so costly and so time-consuming like ACCA? why don't we just do the bachelor in accountancy like everyone else? you should be proud when i say that in certain papers, uitm's pass rate are even better than the chinese-dominated colleges like kasturi, kolej bandar and even sunway college, even though we have to work real hard to get to where sunway is now ( though uitm is still far behind).

    melayu memang teraniaya, melayu memang tak pernah dapat apa yang diminta. apa yang kerajaan dah buat untuk kita selain daripada mengumpul duit dari kita semua? cuba tengok kebanyakan projek-projek pembangunan pun kaum lain yang dapat walaupun ada company melayu yang as competent as the other companies. trust me, i know.

    come on la, heartless devilish, which company are you working in? i never heard such a bullshit before.
    all i heard is that if there is any position available, it will go to non-malays. some of the big companies like public bank have malay workers only because they have quotas to fulfill. i happened to know that in certain companies, out of 20 workers, they only have 2,3 malay workers. can you imagine what these poor guys have to go through day in and day out? all the racism, all the insults and all the heartbreaks. but do you hear any complains?

    mangifera, what is your job? i have a friend who is working as a junior accountant in one of the big four audit companies for over a year now but still doing the work of a clerk. come on la, as the lower level staff, what do you expect but a pile of work to do?

    i agree that there are more than a few crooked malays here and there, but do you have to blame all of us for what they have done? it is the case of the kerana nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga, don't you think?

    trust me, we malays are not that bad.

  8. Dear wani,

    Sorry ummi.. I cant resist the urged to replied to her comments ;)

    you should just consider a different situation here, if a malay works in an all malay company, the chances for office politics and laziness to occurs are damn much higher... and non-malay working here will be the discriminated party.

    if a malay works in a non-malay company, the situation is reversed. Discrimination? Vice versa... dont deny that.

    But, for me.. who works in an office that have generally good mixed between all the races, i can see that malay need to works harder to reach the level that the non-malay employees are. not ALL, but majority...

    Malays are not that bad, but, the not-so-good ones are always being exposed.

  9. soraya, in case you're wondering, i am looking at both sides' perspectives. can't you see? all of you were knocking malays off the shelves while all i did was merely pointing out the goodness in malays. come on, berapa kerat sangat lah company melayu yang ada kat malaysia ni pun? racist semana pun melayu ni, tak pernah pun kita discriminate mereka yang bukan melayu.

    oh and by the way, Umno didn't actually lost the pilihan raya. the government should have just do what we have elected(ye ke?) them do instead of still mourning the fact they have turned over the reign of four states to the opposition parties. why aren't they rejoicing the win of sabah from the bebas party? tamak sangat agaknya.

    the malaysians have chosen and they choose not to trust them anymore. you should understand why.

  10. racist semana pun melayu ni, tak pernah pun kita discriminate mereka yang bukan melayu. <-- Ok, tell me why in the government owned company or GLC why the number of non-malay employee is sooooo small... like 1-2% compared with the overall number of employee? That is the reason why non-malay company retaliate by not hiring malay employee. Tell me, pernah dgr melayu panggil those chinese guys as Cina Bab*i, or Cina Ko*pet? Or indians as Keli*ng? Heh.. as long as we Malay still leveraging on the specialty called Malay governance a.k.a. Bumiputera status to handle our incompetencies, we cannot be on par with those Non-Malays who struggled with their own bare hands and wittiness. They come to this country as buruh, but now see where they are. Did they need the Bumi status? Nay my dear.. Nay!

    berapa kerat sangat lah company melayu yang ada kat malaysia ni pun? <-- the number is small.. because the malays that really know how to operate a company is also small, and most of them still rely heavily on the government help and policies, e.g : bumiputera quota, special rates and rebates, discounts... and if we performed open tendering process (read Guan Eng review on the open tender) their wailing and cursing and nagging and dont know what else can be heard from milessssssss~ Trust me, I am working and handling tender from these 100% owned Bumiputera company everyday!

    I am a malay myself, born, raised and still proudly called myself a Muslim Malay girl, but the incompetencies in my own race... cannot be ignored. Malays need to be knocked down the shelves, so they will be awaken from their slumber.

    My last opinion is quote shocking, but if one day UMNO is deemed fully unrelevant by all, I will cast my vote for non-Malay parties. Why? because during that time, Malay not only need to be knocked down the shelves, but need to be kicked out from their comfy bed to be awaken from their dream.

    Miss Wani, Heartless Devilish works for the Government, so.. there is the prove for our Malay racism and Mangifera and me works in a GLC company, which also 100% owned by the government.

    P/s : We Malay still have a lot of goodness, but criticism is needed to ensure that there is check and balance between our goodness and sleepiness.

  11. if i didn't know better, i would've thought that your last comment was written by somebody else.

    for your information, miss soraya and whoever wrote the last comment for you, government-owned company is NOT a GLC. GLCs are the companies that experience government's interfering so that the companies will not be controlled by one party only. and one more thing, there is no such thing as a government-owned company. kalau government sector atau public sector tu adalah. besides, there are a lot of non-bumi GLCs, one good example is DIGI.

    i don't know why i even bother telling you this. and you needn't worried whether it's true or not, since i made an effort to at least find out whether what i'm writing existed or not, unlike some other people i can name of. maybe i was amazed at how ignorant people can be, well, maybe i'm not.

  12. Ok, maybe I am stupid because I confused some terms with others. But, I am here not to discuss about the company ownership technicalities.

    If, you are right, I will not bother to check because no matter what it won't make any difference in my decision. Thanks for your correction.

    I just want you to wait a few years, enter the REAL working environment to experience it yourself. Such optimism (owh, you should include pessimism or prejudice) will only occurs to those who haven't experience it first hand. So, I will just smile and I will wait for you to grow up.

    By the way, I write the last comment all by myself.

    Thanks :)

    -the end-

  13. miss soraya, you don't have to wait years as i'll be entering the working world next january, if everything went well. in fact, i've already sent my resume to several companies.

    but why do i have the feeling that you are awaiting my fall from grace? i know there is a cruel, cruel world out there, and to think that people are watching my steps and waiting for me to trip, is totally unthinkable. you should be wishing me luck and praying for my success instead of hoping that some bad luck will befall me. this semester is very crucial for me, but you just don't care, do you? your words just befitting the person ummi described in her post.

    come on, i'm only 2 years younger than you. in the eyes of the law, i am legally an adult.


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