February 2, 2010

Malays are not and never will be racist

by Rusdi Mustapha
Monday, February 1st, 2010 09:20:00

I WAS going to describe in my column this week about a book titled 19th Wife, a story of Brigham Young, the prophet and leader of the Mormon church, then maybe allude it to Tiger Woods' 19th mistress and probably write about how Malaysians, especially the Malays, love to have mistresses. Then, I said to myself: “Nah! Boring!”

So, I decided to write about the subject of racism. I begin with a statement by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who said non-Malays should not question the special privileges enjoyed by the Malays and Bumiputeras.

“They must remember that it was the Malays who agreed to give them citizenship previously. Maybe the earlier generation of non-Malays is thankful of that, but the present generation has forgotten,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also said he was, like a majority of the Malays (myself included), not a racist but still felt offended when he read an article recently in a local newspaper that stated that there were no real Malays in the world and that Malays were actually immigrants.

Granted that the statement may be right and the Malays in this country were once immigrants from somewhere. My ancestor, Datuk Puteh, who opened a settlement in Seri Menanti, was from Pagar Ruyung in West Sumatra. We are of Minangkabau descent, so am I a descendant of immigrants?

My take is, within the Malay Archipelago, great and powerful Malays of Minangkabau, Bugis and Achenese descent came and helped and fought for each other.

One member of a great Bugis royal family from Celebes, or Sulawesi, came to Pahang and was given a great title, and today his descendants became prime ministers of this great country.

Many more Bugis royalty, after being pushed out by the British or Dutch colonialists, took refuge with their brother Malay kingdoms. One from Sulawesi went to Siam, today’s Thailand, and fought with the ruling royalty to stave off invaders.

Yes, we were immigrants, but for all intents and purposes, we were politically and socially here first. Yes, we probably invaded the local inhabitants to secure the land and installed a Malay governance and the rest is just history, my man!

Just like New Zealand, Hawaii, Australia, South Africa and many, many more examples where the indigenous people have capitulated to bigger kris, gunpowder and muskets, and other “modern” weapons of subjugation.

I have said this before and I will say it again: Does this mean that Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and Hawaii and in many, many examples of brutal subjugation of people, that the lands should be given back to their original people? I think we all know that answer.

But one thing I have to agree with Dr Mahathir is that it appears the Malays in this country cannot sustain what they have acquired.

I agree with Dr Mahathir, 100 per cent, that Malays in this country have become weak — people just throw all kinds of accusations at them and there is nothing they can do… because they are weak! If they persist on being weak, then we have to put up with the inevitability of this country being governed by the Opposition, namely, by the DAP, which is smart enough to use weak Malays from other Opposition political parties to eventually grab power from the descendants of the immigrant Malay-dominated government!