Sunday, January 27, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

I have not heard of the Chinese and Indian political leaders in Malaysia visiting the neighboring countries in Southeast Asia – especially Indonesia and Brunei, Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines, and came out feeling elated and delighted by what they had seen in the countries, especially on how their brethren are being treated by the host countries there.

Many Melayu in Malaysia will be certain, they are not about to go there even for a visit. They do not have much fascination to visit those countries, where they know full well how the Chinese and Indians are being given ‘special’ treatment by the host countries.

So they can compare it to what they are getting in Malaysia and can continue to demand from the country here.

Many of the Chinese and Indian political leaders will feel disappointed by what they can see, especially on how their brethren are not given the same treatment that they are given in Malaysia.

The host countries and its native people did not care for the Chinese and Indians whose ancestors had come to those countries at the same time as the other Chinese and Indians had come to Malaysia or Tanah Melayu in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.

There, they cannot demand anything, much less land and money to build their temples and schools.

In Malaysia, they can.

In those countries, the Chinese and Indians have to adapt to the local ways by also assuming local identities, and severe ties with their Motherlands of China and India.

They were also forced to use local names and speak in the local languages, even though they can still speak and communicate in their own mother tongues privately.

There is no Chinese school in these countries that were supported by the government.

In Malaysia, the government spends billions of ringgit to build Chinese and Tamil schools. They are not Indian schools but Tamil ones, since the others in the Indian group do not have their own special schools, since their numbers are too small for them to be able to make demands on the government, like the Tamils and Chinese.

So the catchword is NUMBERS!

The Chinese and Indians are still significant in numbers and worse, the Melayu are divided into few factions so there is no unity amongst the Melayu, like in the other countries where the natives are united so they can impose their will on the immigrant communities.

But what happens in Malaysia if there is Melayu unity? And what happens when the numbers of the Chinese and Indians become smaller and less significant?

Can the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia continue to behave as they still do today, if their numbers shrink further?

No sane Melayu doubt it. It can happen, and the Chinese and Indians will become more self-marginalized the more their numbers shrink and the more the Melayu come together to become a wholesome whole.

This can happen, so much so that there won’t be any parliament and state assembly area in the country that has a Chinese or an Indian majority. The areas that still have it today have shrunk quite considerably.

So much so that Pulau Pinang can become a Melayu-majority area that is has become since two years ago.

And one can say that the Chinese and Indians are making all sorts of demands from the government, because they know it is a ‘Melayu government’.

And they are also fully aware that their time may end soon when they can exert their demand, because the future does not hold much promise for them as their numbers continue to shrink.

No one can doubt that the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia can become much like their brethren in the other countries in Southeast Asia.

When this happens, there will be real peace in Malaysia, with racial strife almost not present in the thinking and attitude of the non-Melayu political leaders, whose racial-based parties too would suffer, so much so that they would be turned into social and cultural clubs and not political clubs anymore where their leaders and supporters busy themselves organizing social and cultural shows and play ‘mahjong’ everyday.

So the basic issue concerning racial interaction between the Melayu and non-Melayu in Malaysia hinges on pure numbers and how divided the Melayu are.

If the Melayu are truly united without PAS around, then surely, there is no need for the Melayu to waste time being politically active as they can easily win more than two-third majority in parliament and all the state assemblies, with the Chinese and Indians having to submit to the will of the majority.

In fact, even now no sane Chinese or Tamil leader would dare talk about the national consensus or referendum to settle some sensitive issues concerning the Melayu language and the vernacular schools if they should be allowed to continue.

Because the non-Melayu know they will lose such national referendum or consensus if they are held anytime.

So how ‘liberal’ or confused they are, they won’t dare utter the words, which in any real and true democracy should be practiced, because they know the Melayu will unite if the national referendum or consensus are held to settle on the matters.

And it is also not a surprise how the Chinese and Tamil political leaders do not dare ask their brethren in Malaysia to look at how the Chinese and Indians in the neighboring countries are treated by the host countries, including in Singapore, which does not allow for the free and uncontrolled expression of their Chineseness and Indianess, by not offering land and financial assistance to allow them to build their own schools and even temples, like the Malaysian government does.

So it is also not a surprise that none of the Chinese and Indian political leader has ever bothered to make visits to the neighboring countries where their brethren are being accorded the ‘special’ treatment by the host governments, who are mostly Melayu and also Thais and Filipinos.

Because they know they will be very disappointed if they are there seeing at their brethren being given the special treatment and not being able to say or do much, yet, who can rise to assume the posts of president in the Philippines and prime minister of Thailand and high offices in Indonesia.

They reason why they are able to do this is because they do not see themselves as Chinese and behave as such, but as Thais and Filipinos and Indonesians.

1 comment:

Mohamad said...

I agree with you on this.