Over the years, I've come across some smug characters who deem speaking in Malay to be "below" them - they'd insist on replying in crude English (if you can call it that when they speak), so as to appear "less kampung" or superior to the man on the street. These are people who have broken out of the "kampung", but have yet to get the "kampung" out of themselves.
They have tasted wealth through the "accident of birth", and now demand rather than earn the respect and "prestige"/stature they crave.
This is the result of Mahathir's version of NEP & the Ketuanan Melayu - people who despise their own heritage, and see shame in it.
However, nothing can beat what I read today in a blog.
The following was published at the link below:
“I AM AN EDUCATED MALAY. DON’T SPEAK TO ME IN MALAY. I AM NOT ORANG KAMPUNG. DON’T TREAT ME LIKE AN ORANG KAMPUNG!!!”
I was taken aback at the sudden outrage.
“I beg your pardon sir. Did I offend you in any way?”
“I AM AN EDUCATED MALAY, NOT AN ORANG KAMPUNG! DON’T TREAT ME LIKE AN ORANG KAMPUNG!”
“Excuse me encik, I’m not sure what you mean. In what way have I offended you?”
“YOU WERE ROUGH TO MY DAD, DOCTOR. IF YOU WANT TO SAY ANYTHING, YOU CAN SPEAK TO ME IN ENGLISH. I CAME BACK FROM KL. YOU DON'T TREAT US LIKE ORANG KAMPUNG!”
My mind raced back over the last 3 minutes or so, trying to recapitulate exactly what I have done to trigger such an unwarranted verbal backlash.
I walked past, I saw a patient with heart failure in distress and I propped him up so that he can breathe a little easier and even so, with the help of one his own sons to do so.
Before long, I found myself facing a man, arms folded across his chest, shooting off irrelevant verbal diarrhea upon me.
I tried to bring the situation under control.
“I apologise sir if my actions have in any way offended you or somehow hurt your father…”
“YOU ARE ROUGH. MY FATHER IS A VERY ILL PERSON. YOU CAN’T DO THAT TO HIM. DON’T THINK I AM NOT EDUCATED. I CAN SPEAK ENGLISH, YOU CAN SPEAK ENGLISH TO ME IF YOU WANT TO DO ANYTHING. DON’T SPEAK TO ME IN MALAY.”
The angry self-proclaimed educated Malay then instigated his siblings to join in the verbal harassment, something which they gladly did.
Keeping a cool front over the next ten minutes or so, I managed to bring the raging anger of the mini mob under control and settled the whole misunderstanding amicably.
However, I walked out of the ward a changed person, or at least a person with a changed perception.
I couldn’t help but wonder to myself if the group of self-professed educated Malays were church arsonists or at the very least some recent cow-head protestors.
After all, a great part of their argument was based on irrelevant information like how they were educated and could speak English with a great emphasis on how they were not orang kampong and therefore should not be treated as such.
It took me a while to dissect and digest the message the family was trying to send to me and when I finally did understand, I was more disgusted than ever.
They were not upset that I tried to help.
Neither were they oblivious to the fact that the patient was better after an adjustment in positioning.
Rather, this family of now successful and educated Malays was perturbed that I failed to accord them a higher pedestal compared to the other patients I had attended to earlier.
I spoke to them in Malay and that’s a no-no.
In short, they were trying to impress upon me that I must recognized their exclusivity for the simple fact that they were not ‘orang kampung’, a population whom they regarded as lesser beings.
Is the Negarakuku that half a century of New Economic Policy and special Malay privileges have come to produced – a minority of holier-than-thou elitists who look down on their fellow beings with disgust and despise?
Believe me, my views are not based on a single encounter with one such family.