About Nungsari Radhi’s ‘The Malay Agenda’


Will Dr Nungsari stand behind this concept? Having Islam as the religion of the Federation is a feudal concept. And to eliminate the feudal Malay mind you must eliminate all the trappings of feudalism. And Islam has to be that first ‘victim’ to fall so that Malays can be free from mental bondage and they can remove the shackles from their minds.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Today, Dr Nungsari Radhi, an economist and managing director of Prokhas Sdn Bhd, a Ministry of Finance advisory company, wrote an interesting article titled The Malay Agenda, which was published in The Malaysian Insider. You can read the entire article HERE but I would like to pick up some of the salient points of that article and offer my view or comments. (Dr Nungsari’s comments are in red-italics).

We should make Malaysians realise what is happening in Syria – a beautiful ancient country now decimated by internal strife caused by sectarian differences. People who used to live together are now killing one another, fleeing their homes, becoming refugees in other lands.

The problems in Iraq, Syria, Libya and many other countries in the Middle East is the result of the Sykes–Picot Agreement, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, that was secretly signed between England and France in 1917 to carve up the Ottoman Empire into many countries.

It was a very poorly thought-out plan and what we are seeing today is the backlash of a silly strategy that was not aimed at bringing peace and stability to the Middle East but so that the west could divide the Middle East into colonies of the western powers. Hence England and France need to be blamed for the present chaos in the Middle East, the issue of Palestine and Israel included.

We have forgotten what happened to Yugoslavia – the barbarism, murder and bloodshed that saw the country broken up into pieces. It existed as a country for over 60 years prior to that and what happened seemed to suggest that they lived a lie all those years. Are we living a lie ourselves?

Yugoslavia was ruled by what we would call a benevolent dictator, Josip Broz Tito. He ruled with an iron fist and was a symbol of unity to the many different ethnicities in that country. It was his policies that maintained the peaceful coexistence of the different nations of the Yugoslav federation.

During Tito’s rein, Yugoslavia was a federation of six republics, with borders drawn along ethnic and historical lines: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. In addition, two autonomous provinces were established within Serbia: Vojvodina and Kosovo. After Tito’s death in 1980, Yugoslavia went through a period of political upheaval that eventually resulted in the breakup of the country and the inter-ethnic Yugoslav wars in the 1990s.

Hence replacing a dictatorship with a democratically elected government was actually bad news for Yugoslavia. A benevolent dictator who ruled with an iron fist worked better. So democracy does not always work when a country is divided into too many ethnicities and religious groups.

How did the objective of the New Economic Policy (NEP) – to promote national unity by removing racial identification of economic functions – become entrenched instead by this mutation of public policy and institutions?

The New Economic Policy was first introduced in Russia about 100 years ago soon after the creation of the Soviet. It was also called the NEP back in the Soviet about 55 years before it was introduced in Malaysia.

The purpose of the Russian NEP was to eradicate capitalism in favour of socialism. The economy would be transferred into the hands of the Soviet (Soviet means Rakyat). The Soviet in turn would form a local government council comprising of a committee of workers, peasants and soldiers, who would then form a regional council and above that a national council.

In short, and I have said this before (which many Muslims found offensive), the Socialist system of the Soviet is the system of the Ummah. And Islam is a religion of the Ummah (that is why Muslims are called Ummah Islam). Hence Socialism is what Islam is all about. In Islam, the Ummah is above the individual, as it is in Socialism.

So the NEP, at least the Russian NEP of 100 years ago, was not about promoting a national unity by removing racial identification of economic functions, as Dr Nungsari said. It was about eradicating capitalism by transferring the economy into the hands of the Rakyat (Soviet).

The deeply ingrained feudal mentality must change. It is at odds with globalism, competition and the pursuit of excellence. There must be the belief that each individual Malay is in control of his or her own destiny, that upward mobility is a function of how he or she performs, not determined by his or her station of birth or by a helping hand from somewhere, or someone’s patronage. Self-reliant is a Malay agenda.

This statement by Dr Nungsari is contradictory. Globalism actually transfers the economy into the hands of the corporations, multinationals and banks. The people will become economic slaves to those with money. Might becomes right and the individual would be held in bondage by the United States Dollar. Is Dr Nungsari, therefore, saying that Malaysia should sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)?

The Malays should ensure that democracy works, that it is not hijacked by any minority group. They need a healthy competition in politics because only a healthy competition will yield an effective government, one that will deliver their agenda, which is also a national agenda. In that regard, there needs to be free flow of information, freedom of the press and debate. So long as the democratic process works, the wishes of the majority will prevail. Democracy is a Malay agenda.

This is another contradictory statement by Dr Nungsari. All over the world democracy is being hijacked by minority groups. It is basically the tyranny of the minority over the majority (less than 51% of the voters, or 25-30% of the population, decide on behalf of 100% of the people — made worse by the first-past-the-post system).

The only way the majority can rule is to adopt the Soviet or Rakyat system where workers, peasants, the military, civil service, etc., form local councils. These local councils then form regional or state councils, which then form a national council. Hence all decisions would come from the very bottom rather than from the top, like how an elected government works.

Under the present system, say like in Malaysia, the 222 Members of Parliament decide on behalf of 30 million Malaysians. Then less than 50 of the Cabinet Members implement the decision by the 222 Members of Parliament. So, in reality, less than 50 Malaysians rule over 30 million Malaysians with the approval of 222 Malaysians, many who are also Cabinet Members.

As a community, the Malays must strive to be multi-dimensional. There must be a thriving civil society – of all sorts – within the community and tolerance of differences between groups in the community. It must reduce dependency on officialdom and rely more on volunteerism and community-driven initiatives. The future is about networked living. Social capital formation is a Malay agenda.

I would like to make this my last comment although there is more in Dr Nungsari’s article. To see a thriving civil society and to get the Malays to join that thriving civil society, Malays must not only discard their old feudal mentality, as Dr Nungsari suggests. They must also discard their old taboos and outdated beliefs. Malays must be allowed to think and to decide for themselves what they want to do.

If Malays feel they no longer want to believe in Islam and would rather become a freethinker or atheist this must be allowed. If Malays want to enter into gay partnerships or marriages this must also be allowed. Islam should not be forced onto the Malays. To be able to turn Malays into a thinking-race you must allow Malays to pursue what they think is true and correct.

Will Dr Nungsari stand behind this concept? Having Islam as the religion of the Federation is a feudal concept. And to eliminate the feudal Malay mind you must eliminate all the trappings of feudalism. And Islam has to be that first ‘victim’ to fall so that Malays can be free from mental bondage and they can remove the shackles from their minds.