One of my
hostel mates from SABS days is Salleh K2. From our days at the hostels I have
always remembered Salleh as a focussed guy dedicated to whatever he was doing
at that point of time. Legend has it that he slept with a plank under his
mattress so that he would not sleep too long and not have enough time to study!
…or was it that he did away with the mattress and slept on the plank itself?
Sorry friends my memory is simply unable to recall clearly what happened in
those days…but I think you get what it is I am trying to say here. A few days
back he emailed about  something and
amongst other things asked me “ about an interesting Arabic poetry. i have
searched your archive but could not find it. wonder if you still have it” .
This was “Would you Permit Me” forwarded to me by one of our friends. I did
find it and I did sent it to him. I also took the opportunity to ask him a
question about the Malays and I thought his reply was one I wanted to share
with you.

Question from steadyaku47:
When you have the time would appreciate your comments on where we Malays
are at now and where we should or would be heading with or without UMNO. At
this point of time 70% of the population are already Malays. Is this an end to
be pursued relentlessly with a view of making the Malays the dominant race and
making the others irrelevant as is being done by UMNO now – or is multi
ethnicity the only way to go?…when you have time…when you have time.
Answer from
Salleh K2
On ‘where the Malays are now’:
We have the number but we’re disorganized and divided.
The whole country, Malays included, lacked leaderships
and they are full of contradictions. Their intentions/ rhetoric are
for solidarity but their actions are having disunity effect.
Ethnicity is a simple and powerful rallying point in
any campaign as it can easily raise the primordial sentiment. but it
is not a viable option anymore as we move globally. (sorry if this sounds
academic) furthermore, the concept ‘the dominant race’
sounds fascist or Jewish which everyone despise. Pluralism I imagine
is the inevitable option.
The Malays quo vadis? Najib has been pursuing 1
Malaysia and the entire cabinet, Barisan component parties leadership  and
the civil service are parroting after him. This is only in form but
has no substance whatsoever. (you might have been following this during
the current 
UMNO general assembly) in addition Rosmah has been
going around the country to dish out goodies and deputizing her husband to
announce policy, like a de facto cabinet minister.
One can’t help but to response with cynicism when
listening to these rhetoric and contradiction. With the
strong primordial sentiment at work, each policy
pronouncement regarding the 1 Malaysia has put the Malays on the defensive
position while the other ethnic groups strengthening their
hegemonies. In this way it fuels the centrifugal
force, threatening to rupture the very viability of this ‘nation’, in
my estimation. Sorry, I don’t see Malaysia as a nation yet. 
It’s just a state. 
So what is the option? It is going to be very very
challenging one to alter the current course. For one thing, soon,
within this generation, I imagine the Malays will feel the relative economic
deprivation. In fact already feeling now. With the current crop of
cronies gone; With the dwindling Malays students pursuing
university education and in programs that have relatively
low economic values; with the Chinese moving into the
vernacular schools and dominating the private school
and universities, the inter-ethnic social-economic gap will get
Najib’s attempt to placate everyone to close the
gap through a new Amanah Saham scheme has been received with a lot of
skepticism and cynicism. There is a joke now that this is basically a
fonzy scheme to pay the dividend for the other scheme in December.
To remain viable, we have to reeducate at the
kindergarten level to restart as a nation along the class line if you
It is almost subuh. I have to go and Insyaallah I will
write again if have other ideas. Have a fruitful day ahead.
Salleh k2