Mein Kampf – Malaysian Style

By Rotten Egg

On reading the recent emotional ranting of the architect of modern Malaysia (a person whom I admire for his tenacity, determination and foresight in managing issues), I could not help but detect certain strands and themes that seem to parallel the infamous Fuehrer.

Mein Kampf (My Struggle) by Adolf Hitler was spoken by Hitler and written by Rudolf Hess while Hitler was in prison in 1925. This book crystallized Hitler's thoughts and became the blueprint which the National Socialist Party (Nazi) would use to gain power.

Although Austrian by birth, he championed German Supremacy, i.e., the idea that Germans are a superior race, and was accepted by the Germans as one of them (as Austria is a Germanic nation).

Hitler kicked out a corrupt government, brought Germany out of recession and reignited the pride of the German people of that time, the 1930s. We should remember that Volkswagen and the Autobahn are his legacies, among others. He carried out his plans per his writings in Mein Kampf, mesmerizing the people with simplistic rhetoric and inspirational tones on grand stage sets.

The Malay Dilemma was written by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in 1970, after he lost his seat in parliament and after the May 13, 1969 riots. This book crystallized his thoughts and became his blueprint in running the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the country. The book's basic message was that the Malay race was a gentle and a laid-back race, taken advantage of by foreign arrivals. To overcome that, the Malays had to aspire to develop themselves and be the dominant force in the country through state support.

Although of Indian Muslim heritage, he is classified as Malay, and the Malaysian constitution recognizes him as a Malay, as being a Muslim and practicing Malay customs are defined as being Malay. The other native races are not defined as Malays but instead are labeled as Aborigines (Orang Asli/Pribumi), even though they could be Muslim and practicing Malay customs.

Mahathir became Prime Minister in 1981 (resigned in 2003), and he went on to eliminate the power of the Royals in parliament. He fanned the flames of Malay supremacy (Ketuanan Melayu) and continues to do so right up to this very day. His legacies are Proton (Malaysian national car maker), the North South Expressways and the Petronas Twin Towers among others. His greatest success was overcoming the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 by implementing radical measures such as capital and exchange controls.

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