The Emerging Malay

Got this from a Singapore blog called littlespeck. Its interesting how a Singaporean sees a new emerging Anak Bangsa Malaysia of Malay origin from his perspective.

He’s educated, secularly religious, and forms a new breed that is beginning to leave its mark on racial politics and on Malaysia.
Sep 21, 2008
A shaking trend to emerge from Malaysia is the changing values of the younger set of post-independent Malays, who are steadily changing the political landscape.
Not many Singaporeans realise this transformation, a result of better education, has been taking place in the past 10 years. The wide reach of the Internet has recently speeded it up.
I believe that even members of the ruling class may not be aware of its extent, or if they, do they may not wish to talk about it publicly.
This emerging Malay (still a minority, but growing) is as religious-minded or as culturally conscious as his parents, but he believes in a secular, multi-racial Malaysia.

The change has been gradually happening for many years, but it took the Mar 8 general election to bring their feelings out into the open.
If you visit the cities and talk to the educated, urban youths, you’ll likely find that they are as intelligent and articulate as young people in Singapore.
My feeling is that the future – especially of general elections – will move their way – faster if the messy failure to register hundreds of thousands of voters is corrected.
Many of disenfranchised people are young, liberal-minded, who could make a further dent to conservative parties.
How do they feel about multi-racialism, Islam, Malay supremacy or special Malay privileges? The following four postings could provide readers some idea of the New Malay feels: –
(This was written in Malaysia Today, unimaginable even three years ago.)
Dear Melayu UMNO,
I am a melayu (Malay) by birth and a muslim by choice. I hereby wish to inform you that I do not appoint you to represent me to fight and protect for my rights.
I have faith in this country and its constitution, and truly believe with the help of God the most merciful and compassionate, my rights and a citizen shall be protected.
Please do not use me for your personal agenda. Do not speak on my behalf, do not threaten others for me because I do not require protection from you.
I despise you for using my religion to fulfill your ambitions. I resent you for creating disharmony and scare tactics to protect your positions.
Go and sell your corrupted, twisted outdated idealogy elsewhere cos I ain’t buying it.
I will stand by my fellow Malaysians….malays, chinese, indians, punjabis, siamese, javanese, pan-asians, orang asli and even yemenis, arabs, pakistanis and others. God bless!
(By ‘owlz’, a Malay Undergraduate posting in Limkitsiang blog)
What’s happening to this country? Please stop and stop these racial issues… I’m a Malay, 22 years old and I’m a University of Malaya student.
In my class, I’m really happy I can interact with one another as Malaysians. Sure!!! In my class from 30 students, there are only five Malay and 25 Chinese.
Even after class, there’s not a great deal we can makan-makan and minum-minum (eat and drink) together without realiing that we are all “penumpang”, “pendatang” (squatters, newcomers) or whatever the damned thing you call it.
If I don’t understand anything or face any difficulties in the subject that I learn, my Chinese friends don’t even hesitate to teach me and so when they ask me, I will share my knowledge also.
Then again, we makan-makan again at mamak stall eating a roti canai and glass of teh tarik. ERRGGHH!!!
Do you think our political leaders never experienced this warmth moment with their friends different in races during their study period on youth time? How come? We live in Malaysia laaahh… It’s healthy when you getting know each other
In UM (Universiti of Melaya), in our college activities, we Malays don’t even have any problem to hold any occasion collaborating with Chinese or Indians. We engineered an event together until it success – for example, a choir competition, a Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Competition, an Annual Dinner of the college.
We work together.
But when I read the newspaper, puuuff!!!! Seems every single of my joy is lost, destroyed!! Everyday racial tense issues! AAAARRGGHH! Can’t we respect each other?
I’m a Muslim and my religion teaches us, in Holy Quran – “Nor will you worship that I which worship, to you be your religion, and to me my religion (Islamic monotheism)” – Surah Al-Kafirun : sentence 4-5….
It means that even you are from other religions – can apply to other races – there’s nothing to do with that. You are free to apply or live with your own life and religious style if you are different than a Muslim also.
So, just respect other races or religions laaahh! Can’t our leaders do that? It really makes me paaiinn!
(By Dr. Wan Muhamad Hasni Wan Sulaiman PM)
Dear Friends
I am quite disturbed by the recent events among the UMNO people, actions and statements about race and Malaysian history. We actually forgot that to begin with – we ALL are immigrants to Malaysia; the only difference is, who came earlier and who came later.
Historically, the Malays are settling in Malaysia circa 1000 to 1300 (ie about 1,000 years ago), and the rest of other races came in from 1,600 onwards (few hundred years later). The difference in timing (at least in historical sense) is negligible.
The Jews occupied Palestine for 5000 years (and hence their claim to the Holy Land), the Arabs occupied Arabia for the same period of time, and so on with other races, when comes to claim of racial supremacy over a piece of land being made.
These people not only have claims over the land because of ancestral ownership, but also they were the pillars of the civilization that was once built by their ancestors on these lands.
To say that the Malays have built a great civilisation in Malaysia, then we are definitely fooling ourselves; as in actuality the great Malay civilisation lies in what is today – the ruins of Angkor Wat! (in Cambodia) (May be those Malays making much fuss about Chinese returning to China, should also be heading to Cambodia, as that is where they actually belong – historically).
In a real sense, Malaysia was built upon layers and layers of immigration – by Malays on various stages and variety – Champa Malays, Thai Malays, Melayu Laut, Indonesian Malays (batak from Medan, Jawa from Java, Riau – from Riau Islands and province, Minang – from Padang), the Arabs (all the Syed, Saids, Sheikhs etc,), the Malabars (Indian mixed with Arabs), theIndian Muslims (which somehow became Malays or Mamaks), and the various mixed marriages that happened between these immigrants.
This process happens at the same time when Chinese and Indians (tamils, sikhs, singhalese, etc) were also migrating to Malaysia and assimilating into the territory. Therefore, to claim that Malay race (which is already very vaguesly defined if we look at the reality asexplained above), has prior and superior claim to this land than otherrace is totally absurd.
What happen was by virtue of Malay Sultanate, this whole thing becomes the issue that needs to be addressed by the British. In another word, the politics was in control of the Malays, and therefore, they want the supremacy of the Malays to continue (politically).
When the negotiations took place for the formation of the constitutions (at states and federal levels), the insertion of the Malay race as well as Islam, and the role of the Sultans were enshrined in. That’s it. Not because Malays were here earlier than the others.
Now that we have gone so far, and we have lived so far, comes the time for us to adapt to the changes that are taking place (and in fact already took place): we have now at least third generation immigrants living today.
In any society, when the third generations come forth, it is as good as he/she is a truly citizen of that country, assimilated into the culture of that country, etc..etc.
I am actually of the inclination to propose that we should just ammend our constitutions and laws to just simply identify that anyone who is third generation Malaysian should just carry an identity as a “Malaysian Race” (Bangsa Malaysia), and gradually we drop the Malay, Chinese, Indian race from our identity.
I honestly can’t imagine 50 years from now (i.e. two generations down the road), that our grandchildren still talking to each other as Malay, Chinese, Indian etc.
Anyway, the names will continue to reflect the persons origin – because Malays will use Islamic names, Chinese will use mixed Chinese and Christian names, and the same for Indians. So there should be no fear of losing your “identity”.
For a start – let us agree that race-based parties are “finished”. It should be the end of UMNO, MCA, and MIC (and hence BN). I would favour PKR (opposition Anwar Ibrahim’s Keadilan Party) – because it is truly being built upon a multi-racial lines.
(Some would comment that PKR is for Anwar – not true. A party will live longer than the person. Anwar maybe instrumental in forming it, but its future will be determined by its members).
DAP (Democratic Action Party) – is also a good choice, except that it needs to come to the centre and gets a more balanced representation by various races (it is still overtly Chinese).
PAS – is still a Malay party (which in many ways behaves just like the other side of the coin for UMNO).
We also should not condone any stupid action by any stupid group of people, be it Malays, Chinese, Indians etc.
We should seriously opening our medium of expression; the mere supression on racial issues over the years by BN (ruling alliance), actually contributes to the current “lack of tolerance”.
(Every one needs to practice to walk before he can run – racism needs some form of open discussions (through media etc), before it can be a free for all forums).
The existing goverment controlled media must be blamed, and freedom of media must be opened.
ISA (Internal Security Act) must be abolished (as it is actually used against those who are anti-government. racist remarks by UMNO/ruling party has always been condoned – Hishamudin’s keris case is good example.
UMNO conventions have been full of racial remarks, etc).
Anyway, I have to stop here; Time for Buka Puasa (Starting fast).
Dr. Wan Muhamad Hasni Wan Sulaiman PM
(Excerpts by Raja Petra Kamarudin, editor of Malaysia Today now under ISA detention.)”There should be no bloodshed and loss of life. And ask the Malays in the opposition to come out in defence of their non-Malay brothers and sisters and warn the Umno Malays, in no uncertain terms, that they take to the streets at the risk of facing fellow Malays from the opposition who will defend their non-Malay brethren to the last drop of their blood.

I, for one, am ready to stand by my Chinese and Indian comrades. So let Umno be warned.” – Raja Petra Kamarudin, editor of Malaysia Today now under ISA detention.
Compiled by Littlespeck.

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