Sunday, 14 December 2008

Malays On Ketuanan Melayu

I ran into Stevie of YouTiup this afternoon while he was waiting for his lunch.

He asked me to check out a particular link. Considering it was from the mainstream media, I hesitated, but heck - it was Stevie all the way from China, how could I not indulge him once in a while? ;-)

But interestingly, it was a good article about how urbane and educated Malays view Ketuanan Melayu or Malay Supremacy.

I'm surprised UMNO has not demanded that it be retracted, since it harms their agenda of divide and conquer.

Some excerpts from A middle class Malay perspective:

Fahmi Fadzil on the idea that the Malays are the natural leaders – or in some way the owners – of Malaysia:

"No. On my father’s side I’m the fourth generation born on this peninsula, on my mother’s side just the third generation, so I see myself as a pendatang too. I don’t subscribe to the idea of a natural leadership role for the Malays.

More than that, as a Muslim, I don’t see the need for this. There is no such thing as one group being ethnically superior to another."

Zahim Albakri on Malay rights:

“I was brought up (to believe) that every citizen in Malaysia was equal. I was never brought up believing that Malays should have more than everyone else.”

Dain-Iskandar Said on the concept of ketuanan Melayu:

"First, what is a Malay? Most Malays I know are some kind of mix, so who defines being Malay? Who are the guardians of the definition?

The definition of ketuanan Melayu seems to be Umno; it always seems to lead back to Umno’s agenda.

[It] exposes deep insecurity, because if you really believe you are leading this country, what are you so scared of? I don’t think any of the other races want to take that away from you. They can’t, because in the Constitution are enshrined certain precepts.”

Some of these things they say, are exactly what I've been pointing out for years. It's good to hear it from the mouth of a Malay himself.


Antares said...

Good old Huzir son of Sulaiman (Anwar's chief legal eagle)! Clever of him to pick the brightest & most talented of the fully urbanized Malay upper class (or at least upper middle class). It so happens I know every one Huzir interviewed and these friends I would never look upon as "Malays" really - they're just great people to me. Good on The Star to make a stand at least once in a while :-)

Patricia said...

I think Huzir's 'respondent pool' is flawed because it consisted of the exception, rather than the rule. I expected this: what they said and felt, given their backgrounds and education. I would have been 'huh?' had it been anything else!

Talk to the rest, I'd tell Huzir. He'd be surprised (or would he?) at what he hears. Many do not agree with these views; and many see these views as wrong, and a betrayal of the Malay race.

What it means to be Malay today has been blurred by what it means to be Muslim. Muslim dress, practice, and tradition is slowing erasing what it is to be Malay from the Malay psyche.

As a for-instance: those who wear the jubah, both men and women. It is a Muslim garment, but it is now felt to be superior to the lovely Malay bajus out there like the baju kurung (both men and girls) and the different kebayas from the different states.

And the NEP? If implemented as-it-was-intended, would have made this very discussion academic. It was meant to level the playing field; it didn't.

So we are back to the Malay and his feeling that slowly, he is being pushed out of his own home. That the rest of us pendatangs feel this way is another story, for another day, perhaps....


-naga- said...

I agree with Pat, Huzir's interviewees were selective.

And I am surprised The Star's building is still standing.

kalimullah hassan said...

write about something else lah !

Crankster said...

Hello folks. Been so busy the past few days.

I won't disagree - the majority of Malays wouldn't agree with this take. It doesn't matter.

What matters is that some Malays are smart enough to acknowledge that. I'm just happy to know there are a few smart Malays at least.

Knights Templar said...

Merry X'Mas Kiddo ...have a great new year ...

Shalom !

Crankster said...

Thanks, Knights. :) You too!

vinnan said...

The law defines Malays as Muslims. There is nothing ambiguous here. However, the offspring of a Muslim of any race can eventually become a Malay. This 'racial conversion' is accepted by all Malays in Malaysia as bona fide. If you do not believe me go to the NRD and ask them how this is done.

In other words, the definition of a Malay is a legal and religious one. It is this lack of a cultural feature in the definition of a Malay which makes it unacceptable to most non-Malays. For example while there is a legal definition of what constitutes a citizen of the USA there is no hard definition of what constitutes an American. Thus, people like Piyush Jindal who converted from Hinduism to Catholicism can become governor of heavily Protestant Louisiana. Can a Shite become a Menteri Besar in Malaysia? Americanism becomes a catch-all for those who resides in the USA as a way of life and as a goal to strive for. This commpon cultural dream /goal is only possible in the absence of legal and religious definitions which automatically divides the people. Will the Malays ever be ready?