KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 — It is not the race of a person but the value system held by the race of a person that propels them forward and ensures their success, two-time former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

The Langkawi MP said that the difference in a race’s value system makes a big difference, and that Malays should accept that they have the wrong values and must change for the betterment of the country.

“The value system of the Japanese ensures that they will succeed. The value system of some other primitive races will ensure that they will fail. So this is the problem that we face. It’s not just race, it is the value system – and this can be changed.

“We have to accept that we have wrong values and therefore we must change. For example when I say the Malay’s are lazy, and everybody gets angry with me,” he said while launching his new book titled Capturing Hope: The Struggle Continues for a New Malaysia at the MPH Bookstore in Midvalley Megamall here.

Dr Mahathir said that opportunities are rife for the Malays in the country, but because of their value system, they fail to take advantage of this.

“Why are the Bangladeshis’ here? Why are the Indonesians’ here? Why are other people coming to work here? It’s because we don’t want to work. It’s very simple.

“Of course there are lots of people who work hard. I’m not talking about them, I’m talking about these people who can do work, but refuse to do so,” he said.

He said that from his own experience running his very own bakery, The Loaf, he noticed that when he employed Malays, they did not care very much nor have any pride in their work.

“I’ve been an employer, I had a roti shop at one time. Of course I employed Malays, but I find that they don’t care very much if they do it well or not.

“You see, our value system between Malays and Chinese are so different. If the Malays can adopt the Chinese value system, I’m quite certain that they will compete with the Chinese,” he said.

He said that because of the value system held by the Malays, people from outside Malaysia are now taking advantage of the opportunities in the country.

“But at this moment, we find lots of jobs in Malaysia, but Malays are unemployed. Why? Because they don’t want to do the job. Some of the jobs will not be very high class, doesn’t give you high pay but the Bangladeshis who came here, they started off as labourers, doing menial work.

“Now they have bought over a lot of Malay shops, and now they are even into wholesaling to supply people with goods and all that. Why does this happen? It happens because of the value system, not only between Malays and Chinese, but between Malays and Bangladeshis.

“They ran away from their country because opportunities are not so good. Why do they come here? Because we have good opportunities that we don’t want to take, and so other people take,” he said.

Dr Mahathir’s new memoir is available for sale from today and is priced at RM100 per copy.

ENDS