Prof Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malays need to explore new industries and gain experience in such sectors so as to change their fate just as the (South) Koreans had done so, over the years.

Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) political analyst, Prof Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani believed that it was time for a strategic plan to get the race to acquire deeper knowledge and an education in new industries.

“We are lagging behind other developed countries such as (South) Korea, in the past we (Malaysia) were more advanced, but Korea has left us (and moved up).

Prof Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani

“Yes, they (South Koreans) are really tapping into the latest technology and learning and becoming industry players. So, there has to be a (similar) agenda among the Malays, and with the help of right policies,” he said.

Yesterday at the Malay Dignity Congress, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that only Malays themselves could restore their own dignity without leaning on others in addressing the issue of being looked down upon in their own country.

According to the prime minister, the government itself, despite being led by Malays, would not be able to restore Malay dignity if its people were not making any effort to change their fate.

Meanwhile, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) lecturer (Human Ecology) Prof Dr Jayum Jawan said that Malays (and Bumiputeras) should always be prepared for competition without necessarily depending on assistance, and based on their own abilities.

Economically, he opined, the Malays were not just competing against other races within the country but globally, where no one waits for Malays and Bumiputeras.

“Competition in a borderless world means globally, where the revenue and profit are higher and the market and demand for goods are enormous and limitless.

“That is where the competition should be, not in Malaysia which is too confined,” he said when commenting on Dr Mahathir’s statement on the failure of the Malays to seize opportunities, thus allowing foreigners to advance themselves and acquire wealth in the country.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the prime minister’s message was painful but should be taken positively.

“The younger generation of Malays need to prove they can succeed and improve their quality of life.

“Think of Tun Dr Mahathir’s speech as a challenge for us to change, especially the younger generation. We need to prove that we are not as weak and are able to succeed like the other races,” he said when asked to comment on the prime minister’s speech.

Meanwhile, PAS Central Committee member Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz supported Dr Mahathir’s statement that the failure of the Malays was due to their own attitude.

The Malays were also seen to be not using religion to motivate them to change for the better, he said.

The event organised by four universities— Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), was aimed at deliberating and resolving the dilemmas faced by Malays. – Bernama