IT is wrong to single out one type of people as lazy and it does nothing to improve the situation, says Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) chief executive officer Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He was commenting on a speech by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who said that shamelessness and laziness are holding back Malays.
“Being lazy is an attitude of some people. It happens everywhere and not only among Malays,” says Saifuddin.
Instead, Saifuddin suggests that what is needed is to improve the attitude of all Malaysians, not just limiting such efforts to any one ethnic group, as well as positive encouragement.
“We should celebrate successful people and motivate others to emulate them.
“Continuously nagging people will not make any difference,” says the former Deputy Education Minister.
PKR deputy information chief Sim Tze Tzin accuses Dr Mahathir of simply trying to cause provocation. He says failed policies have caused Malays to seem as though they are lazy.
“Dr Mahathir is just trying to provoke Malay insecurity by comparing them with other people.
“The Malays that I know, who work in Bayan Baru and Bayan Lepas factories, are among the best in the world.
“They are hard-working and disciplined and they come from all over the country,” says Sim, who is also the MP for Bayan Baru.
He says this showed that Malays are not lazy and could stand toe-to-toe or shoulder-to-shoulder with any people in the world.
However, he says failed policies, including practices initiated by Dr Mahathir himself, are to blame in cases where certain Malays could be seen as lazy.
“His policies are what has made certain Malays very lazy, such as cronies who get projects and immediately pass them out to contractors.
“This is the policy laid out by Dr Mahathir that made some elite Malays very lazy,” says Sim.
But, he adds, that it is not only the elites that have lost out in some way due to failed policies but also the poor.
“Failed policies of Umno are destroying their economic prospects. Cheap labour from Indonesia or Myanmar are suppressing the low wages of Malaysians, of low-income families, the majority of whom are Malays.
“At the end of the day, because of cheap labour, they give up.
“Not because they are lazy, but because of the cheap wages, they cannot sustain themselves,” says Sim, adding that low pay provides a “disincentive” to work.
“Don’t blame the Malays, blame the policies,” says Sim in conclusion.