Malays must change freebie mindset, says Dr M

(The Star) – The Malay community should work hard to reap rewards, instead of merely looking forward to receiving “free things”, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“I know many people in this country go for free things. But we should feel ashamed when we take something for free,” he said in his speech when launching the Ummah Unity and Economy Semi­nar organised by the Malaysia Isla­mic Welfare Organisation (Perkim) and Malay Chamber of Commerce here yesterday.

Dr Mahathir, who is the Perkim president, added that Muslims, who were among the poorest communities in Malaysia, should work hard to be financially stable.

“When you are wealthy, you can help develop your religion.

“For example, if you are rich, you would have the means to donate to the construction of mosques and so on.

“However, Muslims must know how to manage their finances well.

“There is no use being a billionaire if you spend more than what you have. You will only end up owing the bank,” he said.

Dr Mahathir added that the Malays would lose their power in the country in the next 10 years if they did not unite now.

He said if the community was to split into different factions, they would become minority groups in the country.

“The minority cannot rule the country in a democratic framework, under which the majority rules,” said Dr Mahathir, urging the Malay community to be united based on their Islamic faith.

Dr Mahathir regretted Muslims in the country were not taught the importance of uniting from young.

“When we were young, our religious teachings taught us to be devout. However, these did not stress on unity among Muslims.

“The reasons as to why we should be united were not imparted to us either.”