Tak Habis-habis dengan Darwinisme!

I think Batsman has gone off the bat with this Darwin business.

By AsamLaksa

This letter is in reply to “Darwin Again” by Batsman.


I think Batsman has gone off the bat with this Darwin business. Look at it this way, his message is about the obsession on the concept of competition scaring away the Malays in Malaysia. However, Darwinism and ‘survival of the fittest’ do not apply in this aspect.

The trait that is most important for survival is not competitiveness or desire to dominate but adaptability and this is seen not just in the genetic variability but also in behaviour and mindset. So I do not get it why the author has to go on and on about Darwinism when there are no credible arguments using Darwinism to rebut his points. Perhaps the author does not really understand Darwinism and has trouble arguing against others who use Darwinism.

There’s a lot of talk about wanting the Malays to be more competitive and that it will be good for them. On the macro level, competition is good as it forces the group to develop. However on an individual level, there will be those who fail in the competition due to many reasons and many would be tragedies. In the context of ‘survival of the fittest’, those who are most adaptable will survive; however they may not be the most successful because the concept only goes as far as survival and thus not called ‘dominance of the fittest’.

Over-competitiveness is self destructive because the goal is blurred where one group is driven to kill/maim the other. It’s easy if your opponent is weak (not much of a competition) but when they are almost of equal strength, that’s when over-competitiveness and self destruction kicks in.

There is little basis to worry about over-competitiveness in Malaysian business because what matters is profit and profit-mindedness prevents self destructive impulses. It is when politics and religion or anything which is oblivious to reason gets into the picture that over-competitiveness becomes an issue. For example, adding an agenda to remove certain businesses held by a certain race or faith from a certain area even though these businesses can co-exist and profit at the same time.

I find it ridiculous to state that Darwinism “was placed on a pedestal by funny champions of science” and that “Darwinism has fossilised the same way some religions tend to be”. The biggest problem with this is that “champions of science” have left Darwinism on the wayside and moved on to the Theory of Evolution because Darwinism does not incorporate many later discoveries such as Mendellian inheritance and genetics.

The next amusing point from the above is the veiled contempt towards “some religions” which have fossilised; which ones? And the last paragraph shows incredulous ambiguity by calling for a new opposition platform which incorporates faith and religions; do these fossilised religions count too? Darwinism is only 200 years old and is already ‘fossilised’; is the author pointing out dogmas that are more fossilised being more than a thousand years old?

I would love to see Batsman justifying his statement that there are none or only very few studies on the impact of competition among humans in fields of economics, politics, social studies, etc. I’m sure all the philosophers and academics he likes to quote don’t always go “Kill or be killed!” The kill or be killed concept is an absolutist oversimplification. Such absolutist concept does not reflect the real picture and is never taken seriously by rational people though I must admit that absolutist concepts are highly favoured by religious nuts such as a strange desire for global religious dominance for fear of being in a killed or be killed fashion.

Oh, I must not fail to point out the author’s favourite anti-West rhetoric this time in the guise of US global domination and by understanding US international policy by watching Hollywood movies (Avatar anyone?). However there is one glaring misconception the author shows which is competition and dominance going hand in hand.

As with US global dominance and UMNO supremacy, domination actually discourages competition. The dominant party does not want competition and actively prevents it, sometimes violently suppressing it. I’m not surprised UMNO doesn’t encourage Malays to compete in the global environment because then the Malays will surpass UMNO’s ability and thus break UMNO’s social, political and economic dominance.

There must be a healthy competition in Malaysia in all sectors. Healthy competition meaning a competition based on ethics and reason. The Malays will have to throw away their irrational fears and insecurities on competition and embrace adaptability. I do not see an end to all subsidies as small start up capital is still needed. However, it must be only available to bona fide start ups. It costs less to provide start up capital to a multitude of small businesses than to rescue one failing large corporation, which is another form of subsidy giving.

Remember, the key is adaptability because the rest of the world is forever changing and opportunities will always arise. Now, that would really be a Malaysia Boleh, not the over-subsidised variant we’ve been getting so far.