CYBERJAYA: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday said the Malays were less committed to work, not hardworking and at times, not trustworthy.
He also said the community’s culture had become a major stumbling block in Malaysia’s journey to be a developed country by 2020.
Speaking at his Vision 2020 Forum here yesterday, the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman said: “I believe the Malays have the same capabilities as the Europeans and the Japanese. But, the (Malay) culture remains a problem.
“We find that we (Malays) are not so committed, not so hardworking and sometimes, we are not so trustworthy.
“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 said the Japanese, for instance, took pride in their work and had a “strong sense of shame”.
“But the Malays now, sorry, there is less sense of shame. Even if they do bad work, it is okay (for them).”
This is not the first time that Dr Mahathir had criticised the Malays.
In 1970, he had authored a controversial book titled The Malay Dilemma, which he highlighted the Malays’ alleged weaknesses that allowed them to be subjugated, among others.
At the forum, Dr Mahathir also complained that Malaysians were not working hard enough because of “too many public holidays”.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir was left red-faced when the forum was marred by a low turnout.
The event which was scheduled to start at 2pm was delayed for more than an hour as organisers waited for more people to arrive.
Only about 300 guests attended the event, which was held at Asteria Grand Ballroom in i-Tech Tower here. Organisers had anticipated a turnout of at least 1,000 people.