So I recently picked up a book written by Senu Abdul Rahman, former UMNO Sec Gen. It was written in 1971 about the mindset of the Malays. Even then, we were talking about the laziness and the slow progression of the Malays (in general term of course) economically and socially.
"The "I want to help Malays" way leads to less action because the help is for others. A person will help others as far as he can without affecting his position and sacrificing too much of his comfort and leisure. On the other hand, the plans for progress among the Chinese, the Jews, the Americans, the Germans and the Japanese, which are drawn up by individuals for themselves, are vigorously implemented by those concerned, because they are working for their own gain. Though this is selfish, the total result produced by the full implementation of these plans exceeds the total result produced by the aggregate approach of the Malays. The aspirations and plans of the Chinese, the Jews, the Americans, the Germans and the Japanese can be fully implemented, whereas those of the Malays are not implemented or only partially implemented. This is the difference, and this is clear from the results".
The other interesting part, besides the obvious issues that we talk about till now, is about vocabulary. There is no such Malay word as "persistent" or "initiative". On the other hand, there are no English words to describe "latah" or "merajuk". "If a word does not exist in the language, this shows that the object does not exist in the society".