The right

Personal November 23rd, 2007

I once spoke to a Malaysian Malay who told me that the Malays in his country are actually not lazy, but rather, they believe that the land was given to them (I think he mentioned that it was by Allah, but I am not sure) and that they do not need to work very hard, but instead will be able to harvest the crops that’s provided for them.

From him, I found out a few things:

  • that the Malays were thought to be lazy
  • that this supposedly resulted in Malaysia being not as economically competitive as its neighbour – Singapore
  • that when Malaysian Malays come to Singapore, they start to work very hard and be very competitive

To me, it was something very new, partly because I have never considered Malaysian Malays to be lazy. I have always thought that because the country is big and that they have natural resource, they thus do not need to slog hard as Singaporeans, where the country is deprived of all other natural resources.

However, I came across this statement by someone who posted on

We’ve been put in our place by Singapore for years, simply because the Singaporean government know exactly what it takes to survive. The Malaysian government on the other hand, is interested in 2 things (i) how to enrich themselves at the country’s expense, and (ii) how to dispense patronage and exert influence to enrich their friends and relatives at the country’s expense.

We’ve turned into a country of lazy, stupid people who go to the government for handouts, which will run out pretty soon. It’s very sad for the minority who genuinely want to survive on their own two feet with a decent standard of living in 20 years time. I think in about 30 or so years, we’ll be in the same situation as Bangladesh and the Philippines are now – exporting our skilled labour to fill unskilled jobs, because the relative difference in wealth will be so great.

I’m not sure if the author of this post is a Malay, but even he/she also slams her own country on their supposed laziness. To further quote from my Malay friend, are people really meant to work this hard? Or are Malaysians really lazy?

For this, a Christian friend of mine shared his views – that everything that Christians have is provided by Jehovah Jireh – the Lord will provide. He believed that the moment he has to work extremely hard (read: long hours, no rest, etc), it is a sign from God that he has to move on (to another job) because God never meant for his children to slog.

True enough, he changed from Company A to Company B then to Company C before going to Company D, where it got bought over and he took a break looking for a Company E before he eventually went back to Company A – with an overall pay increment!

If I were to take him as an example, then I would really believe that God does provide because he seemed to readily find a job every time. However, I am quite a pragmatic and realistic person where work is concerned because I don’t think my future boss will pay me if I just work in a mediocre fashion.

Perhaps it’s because this is Uniquely Singapore and not Israel? Hmm…

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