Tuesday, November 09, 2010

How To Be Wrong And "Wronger"

Sigh, I try not to comment on politics since this is a business blog, but when someone gives a very wrong answer, its hard to ignore.

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Malaysian Insider / KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Non-Malays’ “low spirit of patriotism” is a key reason for their low presence in the military, the defence ministry responded today in Parliament. It added an aversion for discipline as another reason.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in a written reply to Setiu MP Datuk Mohd Jidin Shafee, revealed that non-Malays made up only 1.2 per cent of 2008/2009 recruitment. Bumiputeras made up 98.2 per cent.

“The total intake for 2008/2009 is 9054 officers — 8151 (90 per cent) which are Malays, 26 (0.29 per cent) who are Chinese, 82 (0.91 per cent) who are Indians and 795 (8.8 per cent) who are Bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak,” said Ahmad Zahid.

The Defence Minister promised there are no racial quotas in recruitment, only based on “interest, eligibility and willingness.”

“The ministry finds that the participation of non-Malays especially among the Chinese and Indians are still lacking,” said Ahmad Zahid.

The Minister then cited a host of reasons as to the lack of non-Malay participation in the army, including “a possible perception that the armed forces offers a lower pay than the private sector.”

“The reasons (for the low participation of non-Malays) could be because of a fear towards a tight discipline. It could be because of a low spirit of patriotism. It could be because certain ethnic groups had a negative perception of the armed forces and did not encourage participation,” said the minister.

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Some of the comments left by the readers were enlightening, worth repeating here:

nvictus · 46 minutes ago
Maybe its because non-Malays do not have trust that they can ever reach the top echelons of the Military or Police anymore......how many non-Malays Generals/Admirals do u know at the present time? Ask any current servicemen or retired Non-Malay will they ever encourage their children to join the service......many will say no................WHY?

There was a time when the top echelons of Military & Police Force was dominated by the Non-Malays......so what happenned? All of them suddenly became less patriotic because they are paid less money or all non-malays brought up to be less disciplined...... ha ha ha.

Zahid Hamidi needs to come up with a way better answer than that......................or he is blind & deaf to the obvious. Being passed over for promotion is the single biggest reason for non-malays to shun the civil service/military/police............because u feel like a 3rd class citizen. So the next question that comes to every non-malay's mind is why must the non-malay be patriotic when the country treats them like garbage....................................go figure.

Once before · 47 minutes ago

Aiyaa...you guys commented too much on racial issues.....just joined and feel it for yourself...if you cannot stand the hardships in military...the tough discipline..saya yang menurut arahan....short recruit hair.....wake 5.30am every day for subuh prayers....dont dream of joining.....even many malays cannot tahan the sudden change of lifestyle and ran away from the service...i've spend 2 years in military camps during my study at Sg. Besi...We never distinguish skin colours...because we are brothers until today...

JF7
· 50 minutes ago

Well, am not sure if 'low spirit of patriotism' is and should be one of the reason as there are still quite a numbers of non-Bumi who joined civil service but not in the armed forces.

Personally, I am willing to die protecting the country and do not mind joining the army if we are at war, but during peaceful times like this, I am just another civil servant that serves the country, faithfully, with 100% love for Malaysia no matter what other people would say about this country.

by the way, I am a Malaysian of Chinese descend

whereweheadto · 2 hours ago

You should ask how patriotism can be ingrained in our hearts when we are not given fair treatment and always reminded that we are immigrants. So, how can a sojourner fight if he knows he is only in the country temporarily and without any prospect of further promotion?


Abdullah
· 2 hours ago

Patriotism is not proof by participating in the army.

Maybe they don't want to board a plane which do not have engine. Or maybe they don't want to board a submarine which cannot dive.

Alan Goh · 2 hours ago

Datuk Zahid,what are you talking when you mentioned that low patriotism and
fear of discipline are the 2 main reasons non-malays are shying off from joining
military.Please be honest and factual when you made such comment.What about
lack of promotional prospect to the top due to racial barriers and lastly,to implement meritocracy and leadership qualities for future promotions,perhaps you will see a rise in non-malays joining the civil service...
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What would be a more correct answer?

1) Perception - The perception that the military is not an absolute and transparent meritocracy. No one in their right mind would enlist because to get somewhere in the military, it has to be a career. Would you be prepared to put in 15-20 years when you have no confidence that its a meritocracy?

2) Even If Its A Meritocratic System - Even so, the pay scale is not enticing. Now, if you make it a meritocratic system, and adjust wages and benefits to RM2,500 for grads, 5 years in RM6,000, Leftenan RM8,000, Captain RM10,000, Major RM14,000, Leftenan General RM20,000, etc... plus life pension on 60% of last drawn pay. If you have that, you will have plenty aspiring to be in the army.

3) Patriotism & Peace - We are in peaceful times, you cannot generalise that not taking the military option would be unpatriotic. We all want a better life for our families, and have a career with genuine prospects. I think if we were attacked, give everyone the right training and weaponry, we'd be happy to fight the enemy as well.

5 comments:

clk said...

The similar argument can be made for why isn't there enough non-Malays in the General Civil Service instead?

Is it due to lack of "patriotism" or opportunities?

Both my parents were civil servants and when one grows up with stories of being pass up for promotions/opportunities, one's mind is made up from thereon.

Winstone said...

I'm a Malaysian Chinese student currently studying in USA. I joined the National Service last year. I love my country and I feel what Dr Ahmad Zahid is misleading.

After I came to USA, what I can feel my love for my country has grown deeper. This year, barely a few days after reaching USA, we rented a room in the university to celebrate Merdeka. We sing patriotic songs and show patriotic videos to the audience. I still remember that day, all of us haven't recovered from the jet lag, but hey, it's Merdeka, our people shed blood to win our country back. So what reasons do we have to not celebrate it?

Sometimes, I feel sad when people ask me where do I come from. Because when I answered "I come from Malaysia," people will say, "I know Malaysia, but I never know where it is." Then I'll say, "It's right above Singapore." Then they'll say, "Oh, now I know!" Why do people don't know us but they know Singapore? So, this few days, me and my fellow Malaysian is starting to plan to organize a Malaysian Cultural Night in the University early next year. We want to show the world who we are and what we can do. We're going to show them our culture, our food, and our identity.

But moments ago,the statement from Ahmad Zahid totally broke my heart. He insulted all the patriotic non-malays. I agree that there are Non-Malays who are less patriotic, but made them a less patriotic?? I'm brought up a patriotic student, but insults and accusations like the one from Ahmad Zahid will eventually make people like me become less patriotic.

And I wonder how old is Ahmad Zaki. I wanted to tell him that I'm 18 but I'm not so ignorant and naive like him. Joining the military doesn't mean you are patriotic. Lee Chong Wei, Jimmy Choo, Nicole David are all non-Malays but they brought our country's name to international standards. The last time I checked they're not from the military. But they showed patriotism.

Nobody has the rights to say who is patriotic and who is not. It's time to grow up Ahmad Zahid, we're all patriotic, IN OUR OWN WAYS.

clk said...

Patriotism isn't just about joining the Forces or Civil Service.

How about acting for the interest of the Nation? How about ensuring no corruption, tainted money, abuse of power, using public moneys for private interest, working for the interest of the public rather than for themselves etc. and the list goes on.

On the basis of my definition, many politicians would fail the "patriotism" test. Many times they only "act" patriotic by singing some songs and accuse others.

Action as usual speaks louder!

pk said...

Yeah...non-malays paying majority of the taxes to keep alive the armed forces, civil service and all their excesses...and we are not being 'patriotic'!

How about reversing the role and allow 1m+ non-malays to enjoy all the perks of civil service whereas the 'malay patriots' go stinge, save and work their butts off and bring money into the country?

Jakarta said...

I share the same view with most of you. We have patriotism in our own way. I'm proud to be born in the country but ashamed to tell people that we have a bunch of A#$@%holes running the country with such non-sensical comments. I wonder if Ahmad Zahid has sent all his kids join the military yet.