One phenomenon in Malaysia

I have stayed inMalaysia for three weeks and adjust to the environment here. I notice thephenomenon that the cleaners in the canteen and buildings of our university areMalay young men. I feel surprised because in China always old men or women takeon these jobs. And why is that? It is related with the culture in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, thepopulations are largely made up of Malay Malaysian, Chinese Malaysian and IndianMalaysian. As I know now , Malays seem to be the master of the country and havesome privileges.So they do not havemuch ambition and motivation towards success and are prone to enjoy life withtheir family. Their family and religion is their priority.

Malays often have a fatalistic  worldview, leading them to attribute successes, opportunities and misfortunes to the will of God. Furthermore, care and attention to human interactions may be prioritized over deadlines or monetary success. Malay culture perceives courtesy and respect as principal moral values that should take precedence over others. Prosperity is derived from nobility, not necessarily the accumulation of wealth. Because of these cultural attitudes, members of the Malay majority tend to be less focused on economic pursuits than other ethnic groups.

However, that has been negatively misconstrued as somehow suggesting a cultural lack of ambition or even laziness. On the contrary, it reflects the Malay view that relationship building is especially important and should not be approached lightly. They tend to be family-oriented people, choosing not to work overseas as much as other ethnicities and instead living within close proximity of their family networks.

The Chinese-Malaysian population generally exhibits great diligence and resilience. “The feel of losing” motivates people to achieve in everyday life as well as economically or academically. This can be something as small as endeavor to get to the front of a crowd or determinedly queuing for great lengths to buy or see something, or it can manifest in bigger ways (for example, aiming to be the best student in a university). As a result, Chinese-Malaysians generally strive industriously to achieve what they want. Chinese-Malaysians have come to dominate roughly 70% of the Malaysian economy and are regarded as the business-savvy ethic group of Malaysia.They make up a large proportion of the upper class. Many Malays have perceived this as a monopolization of the corporate sector, provoking underlying tension and mistrust between the Malays and the Chinese.

I think because Chinese Malaysians dominate the economy of the Malaysia, therefore the Malays are afraid of Chinese Malaysians extending their strength to other sectors. So we can see the Malays are called “the son of the soil” and their rights are commonly prioritized in politics, education and other public and some private sectors of society.

So the culture can explain why the cleaners are many young Malays. Chinese Malaysians look down upon the lower jobs, and they have more ambition to strive for the better job and gain honor for the family, just like our Chinese. But many Malay Malaysians enjoy their privileges and do not have eager for better jobs and position. They focus more on their family interaction and religion.


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