Dr Ismail Aby Jamal

Dr Ismail Aby Jamal
Born in Batu 10, Kg Lubok Bandan, Jementah, Segamat, Johor

Sunday, July 31, 2011

How does a society move from industrial to informational and then to a libidinal economy? And what would the social consequences of such a movement be in Malaysia?

How does a society move from industrial to informational and then to a libidinal economy? And what would the social consequences of such a movement be in Malaysia?


Dr Azly Rahman

How does a society move from industrial to informational and then to a libidinal economy? And what would the social consequences of such a movement be in Malaysia?

If we were to characterise the socio-economic development of this nation from the time of independence through its phases of base-superstructural growth – we could see that Malaysian society has moved from pre-industrial to industrial, then through an informational stage to a libidinal one.

We have seen the change from race-harmony to madani (modern) to hadhari (civilised) to a 'tongkat ali' society, based on the national slogans we ascribe to each period.

We saw a genuine effort to engineer an evolution of society based on respect and accommodation of the variety of ethnic groups in the 70s and 80s. In the 80s and 90s, we saw the rise of sophisticated racism and the bipolar, yet subtle breakdown of race relations.

And as we entered the 21st century, we witnessed the rise of a strange brew of post-industrial tribalistic show of arrogance amongst and between different social, religious, and political groups.

We are seeing the rise of the 'tongkat ali' society – a society named after the male libido enhancement formula. The name itself may have derived from the name of Islam's fourth and most famous Caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib, who was assassinated by the clan of Muawiyyah in the battle of Siffin – a violent episode in the early history of Islam.

Driven by pleasure

'Tongkat ali' in the Malaysian context is a phenomena in itself. The root of this 'miracle sexual enhancement herb', common in the northern states of Malaysia, lies in a sectarian, religious historical movement and the marketing of it to Malay Muslims.

These days, one can find the extract in virtually all food and beverages – and even in toothpaste – so that society may become “sexier” and able to evolve masochistically. But exactly how this extract works scientifically is not known in the cultural context of Malaysia although its popularity is remarkable.

Malaysian men might be going libidinally crazy these days with the mass intoxication of this extract in all spheres of things edible. It is as if tongkat ali is the best discovery for Malays since their fool-mistaken-as-hero, Hang Tuah. This libidinal hero – who lacks both the intelligence and the critical sensibility to revolt against the libidinal sultan – embodies the ethos of this 'tongkat ali society'.

The 'tongkat ali society' is here. And for Malaysians it signifies the advent of an economic system that produces leaders and a rakyat that are hyper-ventilating in their pursuit of the meaning of the words peace, harmony and happiness.

Rather than seeking cerebral solution to social issues and meaningful living, we are seeing libido at play. Massive gambling, politician-buyouts, the awarding of billion-ringgit projects to political cronies, the birth of hate-groups and the rise and slow demise of racist politicians. All these are manifestations of the rise of the 'tongkat ali society'.

The death of reflective thinking

It is characterised by the death of a reflective society and the muting of critical sensibility. Because so much libido is embalmed in the minds of the powerful and so much power is given to the robber barons to plunder – society is now becoming an enhanced entity that cares more about the acquisition of wealth and property by any means necessary and less about the fate of generations to come.

The game plan in this libido-enhanced economy is to accumulate as much wealth as one can in the shortest period of time by using other people's money to become the best bubble economy in a country where bankruptcy is a guarantee.

A 'tongkat ali society' is also characterised by a libidinal economy and dispossessed youths. We put band aids on problems that could have been prevented through a sound education system and a thorough understanding of cultural change.

We also see the use of massive public funds to educate a small number of people who we call “gifted and talented” - leaving the intelligence and creativity of a large number of children unattended to.

The 'tongkat ali society' is now manifesting itself in the crudeness of ultra-nationalistic Malay political and non-governmental groups whose libido is wrongly channeled. Instead of improving race relations and ensuring a just and equitable economic system, it is channeled towards destructive and divisive ends.

The rise of the 'tongkat ali society' in Malaysia is a reality – as real as the proliferation of this libido-enhancing commodity.

DR AZLY RAHMAN, who was born in Singapore and grew up in Johor Bahru, holds a Columbia University (New York) doctoral degree in International Education Development and Masters degrees in the fields of Education, International Affairs, Peace Studies, and Communication. He has taught more than 40 courses in six different departments and have written more than 400 analyses on Malaysia. His teaching experience spans both in Malaysia and in the United States and in a wide range of teaching context; from elementary to graduate education. He currently resides in the United States.

Comments (3)

written by temenggong, July 30, 2011 16:46:19

If Umno leaders can foresee the impact of globalisation on Malays, then they will hasten meritocracy and world standards in education. There is no escape from this, since most business is going to be big business multinationals. The entire local GLCs and Malay businesses mean nothing and can vanish within a year.

If Umno want to see Malays become the neo-low level working class, then they should not tinker with the current mediocre system.

written by batsman, July 30, 2011 14:56:58

After all - we are now 28 million strong. ...

written by batsman, July 30, 2011 14:56:11

Does Kacip Fatima fit into the equation?

No…no cheong hei article this time. Very short one, for once. Street demos DO NOT undermine the country’s economy. Corruption does. Get it? Corruption! Corruption undermines the country’s economy. Not street demos. Street demos kick out the munafiq and fasiq leaders who are destroying the country.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

UITM Lecturer: Street Demos Can Undermine Country's Economy

(Bernama) - In the aftermath of the July 9 street demonstrations in the federal capital by an illegal organisation called Bersih 2.0 and groups aligned to it among them opposition parties, many individuals are perturbed by the potentially damaging impact of the protest on the country's economy.

University Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Dungun campus political science lecturer Che Hamdan Mohd Razali acknowledged that the protesters' demands centred around freedom of speech and electoral reforms but noted that they they had not been able to substantiate their allegations but instead hurled condemnations at the government.

At a time when the government was trying its utmost to raise the living standard of the people and make Malaysia a high income nation by 2020 via the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), National Key Result Areas (NKRA) and Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP), such aggression was a setback, he opined.

"The government is still banking on foreign investment to spur our economic growth. There is only nine more years until 2020 left. That's not a long period.
"It is therefore crucial that a peaceful and conducive situation prevails in the country so that investors will not hesitate to come," he said.

He said political and economic stability was important in ensuring peace. If there was a crisis in politics, it would jeopardise the economy, and vice-versa.

"Both are interlinked and critical as a basic element in the growth and development of the country," he stressed.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Ariffin, a medical officer in the private sector, concurred that foreign investors would shy away from the country especially if the foreign media played up incidents which were just "a storm in a teacup".

He feared medical tourism which the country was trying to promote would be affected as well.

"Potential patients from other countries would think twice about coming here for treatment if they believe we are a troubled country," he said.

Another academician, Abd Ghapa Harun, Senior Lecturer at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's History, Political and Strategy Research Centre surmised that peace and harmony in the country could be sustained if the government readily responded to the issues that were being relentlessly harped on.

"For example, issues about corruption or the election - the government must respond to them immediately.

"Peace is not merely a demonstration-free situation. In a wider context, it is taking further measures to avoid confrontations including through dialogues and discussions before issues are blown out of proportion," he said.

Comments (12)

written by commonfolk, July 31, 2011 07:23:16

It is clear that this University Teknologi Mara Dungun campus political science lecturer Che Hamdan Mohd Razali had sided with the Devils of Malaysia (Umno).

2020 is just a political gimmick Mahathir used to prolong the life of Umno. How can Malaysia become a developed State with all those unequal racial policies?

Foreign investors does not come to Malaysia is just that Malaysia is not attractive enough and corruptions in Malaysia had eaten away their confidence. ...

written by reeperbahn, July 31, 2011 05:03:16

Medical Tourism?? do they mean all the people who go to Singapore seeking treatment? in the near future, without jobs, the people will have nothing to do and they can go and demonstrate everyday. these interlectuals will be sitting at home jerking off! VIVA MALAYSIA BOLEH!! ...

written by durianbesar, July 31, 2011 03:50:02

what this country needs is a change in regime..... get the fcuk out BN... you have done enough damage to all races who are citizens of this country. Go by meritocracy and get the best brains to run the country not half past six fcuking bungs and assessss.

Malaysia should be creative to attract foreign businesses to setup here .... forget the fcuking halal red-tapes.... the police fcuk ups and many other issues created by BN to skim off money....

written by amor patriae, July 31, 2011 03:42:16

At least Bernama included Ghapa Harun who talked some sense.

The rest, a typical representation of Malaysian academia. Even to bodek the government, they can only do in most vulgar way - no class whatsoever!

Sometimes, it makes one wonder if the government covertly made an unwritten policy to employ sub-standard materials to occupy public universities positions - in order to curb any form of intellectual dissent.
Its utterly disappointing to see many can't even articulate their thoughts consistently without defying common sense!!!

written by Davy McChester, July 31, 2011 03:30:13

If these three so-called intellectuals do not have the commonsense , foresight , hindsight ,what is really happening to the country ,Allah please do not stop blessing Malaysia ! These guys are certainly cohorts ,and abetting UMNOputras in destroying the fabric of Malaysia: its people ,its institutions,its judiciary ,its fair law enforcement. If they can't surmise : how could two low level officers who do not have the motive factor for the crime they have been charged and sentenced to death over the murder of the Mongolian lady involved in the Govt submarine procurement scandal(?). Surely the professors and dr lack critical thinking, therefore talk stupidly . Therefore ,do not expect any critical thinking human output from their domain. What a sorry state ! Demonstrations are avenues to release tensions when a Govt ignores the overwhelming public frustration over matters affecting the economy ,social health of the country and its people. Demonstrations are part and parcel of democracy and it is considered an healthy sign in any democracy in the world. . You cannot be more stupid than the three goons in this article. What an audacity to call themselves professors and doctors ? Take my ....for a ride !

written by flyer168, July 31, 2011 02:39:10

Thanks to Bolehland's Education System...
Guess they all missed out bigtime on this...

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"No matter how noble the objectives of a government, if it blurs decency and kindness, cheapens human life and breeds ill will and suspicion – it is an evil government" - Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind 1954.


written by flyer168, July 31, 2011 02:32:44

"At a time when the government was trying its utmost to raise the living standard of the people and make Malaysia a high income nation by 2020 via the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), National Key Result Areas (NKRA) and Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP), such aggression was a setback, he opined."

Hello, why is the DPM suggesting this....

Food stamps being considered to cushion rising cost of living - http://thestar.com.my/news/sto...sec=nation

Instead of proper "Social & Economic Solutions" for the rayaat???

Has Bolehland reached the level of Greece & US Financial and economic Armageddon ???

You be the judge.

written by flyer168, July 31, 2011 02:26:48

"At a time when the government was trying its utmost to raise the living standard of the people and make Malaysia a high income nation by 2020 via the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), National Key Result Areas (NKRA) and Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP), such aggression was a setback, he opined."

Hello, why is the DPM suggesting this....

Food stamps being considered to cushion rising cost of living - http://thestar.com.my/news/sto...sec=nation


instead of proper "Social & Economic Solutions" ???

written by Oscar Winner, July 31, 2011 01:59:29

Too boost the economy, we must allow more C4 deaths, more purchases of submarine, fighter jets and more kickbacks, more TBH/Sarbani/Kugan deaths, more cronyism, more Perkasa ketuanan crap and SHIT 3X, more sodomy reruns, more Datuk T patriots, more CSL porn stuff, more bonkings, more Brikin bags, diamond rings and bangles for FLOM, more overseas trips and shopping sprees for the FIRST family, more money laundering..................and most importantly, at all times, bend over to be screwed, as this will attract more FDIs and more toursits, and will definitely help achieve vision 2020

written by onnyap, July 31, 2011 01:39:18

I will never invest in a country where the judiciary is not independent. My investment is only protected by the ruling government selective laws.

written by roggon, July 31, 2011 01:29:39


written by Revolution, July 31, 2011 01:21:40

Brainwash again ...

The wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak dismissed the allegation

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has denied she had purchased a diamond ring worth over RM24 million, three weeks after the allegations surfaced in cyberspace.

The wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak dismissed the allegation that was raised by a blogger, calling it yet another lie to slander her.

“There is nothing I want to say because I have no time to address such things. Let (the blogger) say what he wants.

“This is slander but what have I not experienced? I have experienced it all. So, rather than address this, it is better I pay attention to public issues as these are more important,” she was quoted as saying by Berita Harian when accompanying her husband on his working trip to Kedah yesterday.

Screenshots of a Customs computer screen showed the ring, from New York celebrity jeweller Jacob and Co, was brought in under her name.

Najib Tun Abdul Razak is going in for a big shock, it may even be the cause of Mahathir Mohammed suffering a severe heart attack, I would not want to speculate more on that score, and to avoid that he -Najib, has to be extra careful in the selection of who stands where, in the next General Elections, not in the component parties but particularly in UMNO as deals have been struck to dump him come the next elections.

This should not come as a shock to many Malaysians, as he was not really the rightful heir to the position of Prime Minister, when Badawi was moved aside. For the "RAHMAN" equation to have been settled it had to be someone whose name began with the alphabet "N" but what the entire country forgot is that his name began with a "M" his name is Mohd. Najib.

UMNO insiders close to Najib say Mahahtir was aware of this and as such worried that Badawi who had removed Rafidah Aziz woudl do the same to Najib and Muhyuddin and replace them with Nazri to remain Prime Minsiter for the long term.

Now as some superstitious UMNO people are talking because of what has happened the next cycle has begun prematurely, and the next equation is "MAHATHIR" he has occupied the M prematurely and as such the next PM's name will begin with an "A" and that should mean Anwar Ibrahim they believe..

Some UMNO circles believe that Anwar is the ordained one to become Prime Minister, they say if he does not this nation is doomed, this belief is not only with those who have left UMNO but many who remain there, and they hold firm to the fact that Anwar will be back because that is his destiny, they even go as far as saying that is why the entire "RAHMAN" equation fell apart, it is a curse they say and that is a sign to the Malays.

So will Anwar become our next Prime Minister?
Within UMNO there is talk about who should be dumped come the next elections, and overtures have been made by existing members from UMNO to cross over. Najib has actually got a Hobson's choice to deal with, he may have to take all the people aligned with Muhyuddin or face the wrath of Muhyuddin's supporters, if he does that then he has to reckon with his own supporters who do not support Muhyuddin and of course he has the Kuli factor to deal with, poor Najib.

Going it alone he does not have too much choice, he lacks the ground support Muhyuddin has raked in during Najib's tenure as PM.

Now to add insult to injury both in Sarawak and Sabah there are potential candidates who know that the only way to serve their people is to go with the opposition, they now reside in the BN fold and are awaiting their time.

The opposition have learned their lesson from the last elections, the elections when Semangat and PBS had a coalition and now they have decided to play it cool and quiet, so whilst Najib goes on his rampage of the opposition the opposition is on a quiet rampage of the BN themselves in a vote us or vote them it does not make a difference campaign in the Eastern corridor.
Doubtful seats like Sungei Siput have been strengthened for the opposition with the detention of their MP under the EO. Neutrals are moving to the opposition as Najib together with his not so intelligent cousin tries all the wrong things in desperation.

Surprising though the UMNO's intelligence unit that used to garner all the information for their bosses and keep them fully appraised of such situations does not seem to be that intelligent anymore, the people are not giving them the news they once used to acquire so easily. Now it seems they are more preoccupied with finding out what Ambiga is after next and all intelligence is lacking in the handling of the situations that arise.

If UMNO was shocked by the results of the last elections the next one is going to be a disaster, a complete disaster.

The Rosmah Factor.

The grassroots are fed up with Rosmah, and she has single handedly given Muhyuddin a huge advantage over Najib, so much so they say Muhyuddin can even go for the position of PM right now if he wanted to, but Muhyuddin is playing it carefully, he wants Rosmah to wreck more damage to Najib.

His enemies within UMNO are disappointed with the Vatican diplomacy, they are waiting on when to play that card on him, they are fed up of the cronyism by which they were undermined when Mukhriz took centre stage after Khairy's fall, they are fed up with the 1 Malaysia call of Najib and are glad the rest did not accept it though, they want more education rights, they want more business licenses which the Najib government has not given them, they want everything they have been used to in this crutch mentality upbringing they are so accustomed to.

They now say Rosamh got 500 million ringgit from the Scorpene Submarine deal and they got peanuts,and even what they have is being taken away. Najibs' opponents in UMNO are fanning these issues to their own delight.

Mukhriz Mahathir will be defeated just like his father in 1969, Najib will come out with a majority to form a government, and an even thinner majority, Mahathir may get a heart attack all this is what the immediate future holds for Najib.

The infighting, the ruthlessness of the present leadership is very similar to what happened just prior to the capture of Melaka by the Portuguese they say, where it was actually his own people who let Sultan Mahmud down and allowed the Portuguese to win. It is a similar situation now except that it is all Malaysian this time and UMNO looks like they are ready to let Najib fall.

Many in UMNO look forward for a clean government, one that can be trusted and the majority do not think Anwar is made out to be what he is, the Trio helped Anwar more then Najib realises, in fact more than even Anwar realises.

The time is ripe for elections and ripe is yellow.

Related articles

• Bad is not enough, make it worse! (dinmerican.wordpress.com)

• 13th General Election: Najib's Unsettled mind? (afyassin.wordpress.com)

• The Doom of Ketuanan Melayu: UMNO in Sarawak (suarasabah.wordpress.com)

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