Most Read
Most Commented
Read more like this

Recently, a friend sent me a picture which had been circulating on social media. It read, “Bumiputera adalah rumpun Melayu. India Muslim tetap India, jangan ganggu hak kami”. It literally means "Bumiputera is a Malay ethnic group. Indian Muslims are Indians, do not mess with our rights".

The said picture came with a few lines of text which when translated, says “We reject Indian Muslims being given Bumiputera status. We are proud ethnic Malays, not equivalent to the race which manipulates others for their own benefit. Please do not tarnish Article 153 of the Constitution!”.

Now allow me to tell you what I think of Indian Muslims and Malays – they are like chapatis and naans. They are both usually round in shape and eaten with curry. The two might look similar, but they are actually not.

Chapati is made of atta flour and butter, while naan is made of wheat flour and yogurt. Likewise, Indian Muslims and Malays both practise the religion of Islam and are accustomed to the culture and tradition of the Malaysian Muslim such as wearing jubah, baju kurung, baju Melayu, hijab and songkok. But that is all there is to their similarity.

While associations formed to represent the interests of Indian Muslim community in Malaysia such as Kimma (The Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress), Gepima (Malaysian Indian Muslim Youth Movement) and Permim (Federation of Malaysian Indian Muslim Associations) are favourable towards Indian Muslims obtaining Bumiputera status, allow me to represent the many Indian Muslims in Malaysia who do not think our Indian roots should be tarnished by claiming to be anything but Indian.

The truth is, most Indian Muslims in Malaysia, including the members and leaders of Kimma, Gepima and Permim still converse in Tamil at home; watch Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan on TV; own a playlist consisting of MGR’s hits; eat putu mayum and dhalca on the first of Syawal; wears Punjabi dress and kurta on special occasions; and have great love for curry while gagging on the smell of budu and tempoyak.

How then can we claim to be "rumpun Melayu"?

Many Indian Muslims do not care about obtaining Bumiputera status.

We are not willing to exploit our faith to gain some subsidies and quotas. We are quite dignified with who we are...

Please join the Malaysiakini WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news and views that matter.

Unlocking Article
Unlocking Article
View Comments