Sometimes, I get in a pensive and thoughtful mode. Last Saturday was one of them. I had gone with my mother to attend a funeral in the kampung (village) and had the following thoughts, which I then penned down in a FB post:
1. Majority of Malaysians are poor. The median income is only RM1,700 per month. Only 25% are tertiary educated with only 10% with a degree. Only c.10% pay income tax.
2. Majority of Malays are simple kampung folk. Malays form c.60% of the population with median income of only RM1,600 a month. 70% of unemployed graduates are Malays. English language competency is low. Most may not fully comprehend the situation regarding 1MDB, with all the flipping and joint ventures.
3. The strength of the Malay race is in their community spirit and budi bahasa (thoughtful manners) – which we are in danger of losing. For example, after the funeral we were immediately invited to a wedding held next to the burial grounds even though we did not know the bride/groom and their parents.
4. Equality may not be best. The men dominated the funeral, with the younger ones digging the graves while the elders led the prayers. In a way, IMHO men and women are never meant to be equal. Yes the men have a higher ‘standing’ in the common worldly sense (inheritance, power etc) but they are assigned a much bigger responsibility – to lead the community, to take care of their families and to be answerable for the collective family members’ actions. It is when this responsibility and accountability is lost that the ‘negative’ impact of inequality among the sexes is felt the most.