Pakatan Harapan’s prime minister candidate Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad believes Malays in Malaysia are capable of bringing more progress to the nation, but are hindered by a problematic work ethic where bad work is not discouraged.
Speaking at a forum on Friday (Jan 12), the former prime minister was quoted by several news outlets as saying that Malay people “are not so committed, not so hardworking and sometimes, we are not so trustworthy”.
According to New Straits Times, Dr Mahathir also said: “I believe the Malays have the same capabilities as the Europeans and the Japanese. But, the (Malay) culture remains a problem.
“We always try to find the easy way out and that is why we are left behind. We like it when there is less work despite a high pay. It is not because we cannot (carry out duties) but because we do not want to, that is the problem,” he reportedly said.
Unlike the Malay culture, the Japanese have a work ethic that instills a strong sense of shame when bad work is produced, he said.
“Even if (the Malays) do bad work, it is okay (for them),” he was quoted as saying.
He added that Malaysians enjoyed “too many public holidays”.
Dr M had on previous occasions identified Malay culture as a stumbling block to progress.
In 2014, he sparked furor when he said that Malays were lazy.
“The Malays are lazy. They are not interested in studying and revising. If we go to the universities, 70% of the students are women. Where are the men?
“They prefer to become Mat Rempit, that is why I said they are lazy,” he reportedly said.