The earlier article I wrote mainly about the gratitude and attitude of some rich and wealthy who I considered lost in transition. However, after some blog hoppings, my attention was to this article from the Star.
Huzir Sulaiman has written for theatre, film, television, and newspapers, who I supposed has lots of exposure of life in his life, as a professional writer should. After all, what he writes should reflects some picture of lives (unless a sci-fi production). I kept on reading the article, and the interviews included did reflect something – gratitude and attitude of the malays interviewed (and may some of us too!).
I supposed the likes of Datuk Sakmongkol with his two articles (this and this), Mat Cendana, Jed Yoong and DSN for examples has given their thoughts on the article written. As from my point of view, I would say, the so called middle class are not middle class. If they were, seems not only some of the wealthy have been selfish, but the middle class also infected by the virus of being selfishness!
Let us review on the individuals interviewed. We have Fahmi Fadzil, 27, is a writer and performer. He is the son of Datuk Fadzil Yunus, the former director-general – and later general manager – of the Felda group of companies, and Datin Fauziah Ramly, a senior civil servant who was most recently a Commissioner with the Public Service Commission. Then we have Datuk Zahim Albakri, 45, the director and actor, is the son of Datuk Ikmal Hisham Albakri, the first Malay architect and the first President of Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia, who designed the National Library, Putra World Trade Centre, and the Bank Bumiputera headquarters in KL. We also have The composer Datin Saidah Rastam comes from a family steeped in public life. Her maternal grandfather was Perak’s 14th Datuk Panglima Kinta, who held 56 public service posts at the time of his death. Her father is Datuk Rastam Hadi, the former managing director of Petronas and former deputy governor of Bank Negara. Her husband is the urbane lawyer-turned-banker Datuk Charon Mokhzani (who, with exquisite politeness, declined to be interviewed for the article).
Hmm..middle class are they? They maybe middle class by background history who have achieved success in their life. However, it does not mean a simple conclusion can be drawn, to the fact they are surrounded by successful individuals, which in this case, malays.
The first commenter, Mr Fahmi Fadzil who has been living in KL, in a God given good life. He said “The thing I remember most from school, from kelas agama, (is that) from the early days of Islam there was a clear message that you were all the same. Whether you were Arabs or not, you are all the same now. We should be talking about values and principles held by people rather than subscribing to simplistic ideas of certain ethnicities being the owners of the land. I don’t subscribe to that, and even if I did, I think the rightful owners would be the Orang Asal.” The principal point of view seems fine. Islam is larger than Malay, however, as for Malaysia, it is a bit unique case. If for not Malay, Bumi and the new brothers and sisters in Islam who will take care of Islam in this country, who will? Do you think that others will fight for us? I wonder if the Islamic Finance introduced in Malaysia was planned by non-muslim? If so, I believe, most of issue pertaining to Islamic issues has been resolved. And I believe, as for the rest of the world, Palastine issue has be resolved much much earlier.
Yet again, if they are labelled as middle class, I don’t share the same view. By way of stats given by Program Amal Jariah, I say, a lot of work still need to be done. Let us look the stats as at 18th December 2008, 5.50pm, shall we?
More than 80% receiver are Malays. If they are successful, there are some who left behind. Not because they are lazy, but some of them are not as fortunate as some of us. I may not know the modus operandi of this program, but I do remember once I visited a rural area in one of the states in Peninsular. This guy, a small time fisherman, was at home, repairing his broken boat engine. A small one, but too rusty, really. His income based on what he catches for the day. The maximum he can received for a kilo of fish he caught is RM4. Imagine, just RM4 for every kilo. For ‘kembung’ we bought in market costs us RM9 a kilo. RM5 difference! If he don’t go to the sea fishing, as what happened the day I visited him due to problemed engine, he has no income for the day.
There are some more that I have by chance visited some who shared the same luck. With my own personal experience, I would say, the stats given above is somehow true.
I know, some may argue that there are some more that unfortunate, and yes, I agree. Thus, by far, if more than 80% consist from Malays, I believe, the statements made by these ‘middle class’ were made based on their own world view. Not the perspective shared by some other middle class who does not have any strong back up as the individuals interviewed. And I believe, somehow Mr Huzir has given false view and impression. Perhaps the picture given suits his article (as given in the earlier article). Only that, it should be “middle class” and the poor!
Words on the street – Some ‘middle class’ are not middle class at all…anyway, is there any classes? Are we in India?