Tun Dr. Mahathir defended the remarks he made recently regarding laziness and how it plagues a particular race in Malaysia. When, oh when, can we talk about issues in Malaysia without bringing in race?
Our esteemed statesman ruffled some feathers recently when he commented that “Malays are lazy”. This is against a backdrop where the viral video circulating at the time was one where ordinary Malaysians were paid to utter racist remarks under the pretext of an audition. Unbeknownst to the audition hopefuls, they were recorded in an impromptu session where the casting director prompted them to repeat racial stereotypes. Fortunately, all of them declined to do it, even when there were promised money.
Dr. Mahathir’s remarks touched upon one of the stereotypes that the video addressed- that Malays are lazy. Our former Prime Minister go on so far as to state that his own personal experience in his business gave him pause to think that Malays are also dishonest.
This is a simplistic racial way of thinking that has plagued Malaysia all this while. We seem to think that certain (negative) traits are exclusive owned by the different races. But they are not. The Malays certainly don’t have a monopoly on laziness. I’ve seen and worked with people all over and I have seen lazy and dishonest people everywhere.
While I admire Tun for his leadership (which I think brought more good than bad), I can’t agree with his racial way of thinking. A lazy person is a lazy person because he is lazy. It’s not because he is of a particular race.
See news article here: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/dr-mahathir-defends-malays-are-lazy-remark-says-they-prefer-to-be-mat-rempi