Malaysiakini Letter

Non-Malays clouded by own insecurities

M Sahaja
Published:  |  Modified:

I am not surprised to see that the letters published by your paper on racial issues, vis-a-vis those that question Malay rights and the supposedly 'bumiputera status' of the non-Malays as claimed by Dr Vanaja and the others, are all written by the Chinese or Indians. I have yet to read a letter written by a Malay on the subject. It is like their views do not matter or worse, like they have been systematically marginalised.

Unfortunately, the points these Chinese and Indians raise are petty and most of them smack of 'hatred' and this laughable as they lack the moral authority to do so because they are biased and clouded by their own insecurities.

No, they do not hate the Malays, but themselves. Why? For the 'sins' of their fathers and the British for encouraging them to come to 'British Malaya' so they could find a new life in Nanyang.

The reality is that it is the Malays who have been systematically marginalised in Malaysia. Their equity is so marginal compared to that of the Chinese and this is a better guide to say who has been systematically marginalised in Malaysia - not, by the way, how certain individual Chinese who think they have been deprived of a government scholarship.

Even qualified Malays, too, have been deprived of scholarships despite them getting into prestigious Ivy League universities. I am an example of such a Malay who got admission into such a university, yet my scholarship application was rejected by Malaysian government agencies.

China, at the time in the mid-1800s, was experiencing famine and many were also stricken with diseases while many more were being hounded by the triads and Manchu agents. So those who were fearful for their lives had to flee from South China to come to Nanyang.

As for the Indians, it was not their fault that their ancestors had been encouraged by the British to come to Malaya to work in the estates where they were promised their proverbial pot of gold. The Chinese and Indians in Malaysia who are still harping over the issue should blame the British and their ancestors for their predicament.

And they should also blame the other Chinese who seem to be contented living in Malaysia as multi-millionaires. They are the ones who do not seem to complain about being 'marginalised'. The fact is that even in India, the 'untouchables' have been systematically marginalised by their fellow Indians for centuries. I hope Dr Vanaja will agree with this fact.

As for the bumiputera status as defined by Dr Vanaja, he or she should know better that one just cannot redefine the word - which means native - as he or she pleases. The English and Europeans who had gone to America to displace the Native Americans long before most of the Chinese and Indians were brought to Malaya still do not consider themselves 'natives' of the US.

Even the Chinese-Americans whose ancestors had gone to that country dare not claim to be natives and their status is the same as the Caucasian-Americans. They are marginalised in America and holed in the so-called Chinatowns. The same with the British in Australia who are not Aborigines.

As for the Malays and Orang Asli, we are the same - we came from the same region called Nusantara Melayu. Lastly, as a Malay, I can also consider myself to be marginalised if I want to just to blame others for my failures - just like the other Chinese and Indians in Malaysia who feel such.

Editor's note: M Sahaja, if you have followed the discussion in the 'Letters to the Editor' forum, you would have known that we have published letters written by Malay Malaysians, including yours.

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