A Malay view of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’

Azly Rahman

‘O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety. Indeed the noblest among you is the one who is deeply conscious of God.’ – a saying of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him)

‘Malaysia – to whom does it belong? To Malaysians. But who are Malaysians? I hope I am, Mr Speaker, Sir. But sometimes, sitting in this chamber, I doubt whether I am allowed to be a Malaysian. This is the doubt that hangs over many minds, and … [once] emotions are set in motion, and men pitted against men along these unspoken lines, you will have the kind of warfare that will split the nation from top to bottom and undo Malaysia.’ – Lee Kuan Yew, now Senior Minister, Republic of Singapore

Instead of defining Ketuanan Melayu as ‘Malay superiority’ which is quite meaningless, philologically inaccurate, and philosophically arrogant, I think the word ‘dictatorship’ is closer in meaning. As you read this piece, please refrain from value judgment and from bring trapped in the prison-house of language pertaining to the word ‘dictatorship’.

To dictate connotes to tell, which connotes to narrate. To narrate means to weave a story based on an ideology. To ideologise means to encapsulate. To encapsulate means to be trap. Dictatorship, here might also mean an entrapment. Instead of acknowledging one’s freedom to rule, one is acknowledging being in an entrapment – and to rule out of that condition. This is a form of false consciousness.

Words, as a literary theorist Raymond Williams might say, must also be contextualised/situated within the economic condition they emerge in. Marx’s famous dictum that human beings’ existence is defined by the economic condition they are in and that this condition is already predetermined. This is a deterministic view of human history.

I first read heard the phrase Ketuanan Melayu in the mid-1980s from a book by one Malik Munip. I was reading his work, at the same time reading Lim Kit Siang’s ‘Malaysia in the dangerous 80s’, to get a sense of the argument. I was an undergraduate reading Literature, Education and International Politics.

I also heard that Malay students were discouraged from reading Kit Siang’s work and encouraged to read ‘Ketuanan Melayu’. I love banned books and books that others tell me not to read. There is a sense of intellectual challenge to be able to read banned books.

I read Mahathir Mohamad’s ‘The Malay Dilemma’ and Syed Husin Ali’s ‘Malays: Their Problems and their Future’ and Syed Hussein Alatas’ ‘The Myth of the Lazy Native’ at the same time. Again, to get a sense of balance.

I read Malaysian official publications on economic outlook, juxtaposing them with a close reading of analyses on the political-economy of the Malaysian capitalist state.

I read the work of Freud and Marx to see where some of the major authors of the Frankfurt School of Social Research are going with their arguments on totalitarianism. I read the Quran and the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata to see where the arguments on race superiority lie and what the fate of humankind will be.

The idea of social dominance and racial superiority might all be primarily about economics, if we are to read the history of the development of ideologies of superiority. But my question is – who has the right to claim that this or that land belongs to this or that group of people. At what point does culture and citizenship meet and negotiate the issue of egalitarianism? When does ‘the truth of one’s culture’ reach its limit and the question of ‘the truth of citizenship’ dominate?

This is a very complex question Malaysians must answer after 50 years of Independence. We must open up the dialogue on this issue.

Lyrical propaganda

Let us look at how the idea of ketuanan Melayu is disseminated to the young. One way is through indoctrination camps in which songs are used.

Over the decades, perhaps millions of Malay students like me were taught the dangerous propaganda song, ‘WARISAN/Anak Kecil Main Api'(A Child Plays with Fire). One verse concerns the power of the Malays::

… kini kita cuma tinggal kuasa

yang akan menentukan bangsa

hasil mengalir, ke tangan yang lain

pribumi merintih sendiri…

My loose translation of this 1980s propaganda song by the Biro Tata Negara reads:

… political power is what we are only left with

one that will determine the fate of our nation

wealth of this nation flows into the hands of others

sons and daughters of the soil suffer in solace…

I do not think we have a clear understanding of what the lyrics mean. I doubt if the songwriter even understand what a ‘people’s history of Malaya’ means. It is a song based on racist intents; its lyrics penned by one who does not have a good grasp of the political-economy of Malaysian history, let alone the latest advances in the field of psychology of consciousness.

The training programs that encapsulate the theme of this song are meant to instill fear of the Malays, not of others but of themselves, and to project hatred onto other ethnic groups without realising who the enemy of the Malays really are.

Using relaxation techniques to bring the brain waves in the alpha and state (conducive for suggestive and subliminal messages), trainees were put under ‘half-asleep’ conditions to get the ketuanan Melayu message to colonise the consciousness. The technique pioneered by Russian brain scientists Barzakov and Lozanov in the1970s, called ‘suggestopedia’, is used to instill the deep sense of fear for oneself and hatred of others.

History is a complex syntagmatic pattern of interplay between technology, ideology, culture, inscription and institutionalisation not easily reduced to simplistic lyrics as such sung to the tune of pre-war German-nationalistic-sounding compositions.

History is about the complex evolution of the ruling class which owns the technologies of control. As Marx would say, at every epoch it is the history of those who own the means of production that will be written and rewritten. The winners write history, the losers write poetry or study anthropology, some would lament.

Back to the lyrics. After 50 years of independence, who is suffering in Malaysia? Who has become wealthy? Who has evolved into robber barons? What has become of our judiciary system, our universities, our city streets, our sense of public safety and security, our schools, our youth, and our entire socio-economic arrangements at the eve of the 12th general election. How has the idea of ketuanan Melayu contributed to this state of affairs?

Language of power and ideology is at play in those lyrics. The definition of ‘bumiputera’ is at play. It has become a problematic word in this age of deconstructionism; an age wherein as the poet WB Yeats said, “the centre cannot hold”.

Rock musicians will recall the Scorpions’ famous song ‘Winds of Change’ to serenade the fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of the breakdown of the Soviet Empire. We have to face the ‘wrath’ of the word.

Put an end to Ketuanan Melayu

For Muslims in Malaysia, this saying by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is familiar: ‘Your descent is nothing to be proud of. Nor does it bring you superiority. O people! All of you are the children of Adam. You are like equal wheat grains in a bowl … No one has any superiority over anyone else, except in religion and heedfulness. In order to consider someone a wicked person, it suffices that he humiliates other people, is mean with money, bad-tempered and exceeds the limits…’

I would say that ketuanan Melayu is a dangerous concept that is threatening race relations. It is an arrogant interpretation of selective history; of a history that is largely benefiting those who profits from the ideology.

Those promoting this concept are not well-versed in the matters of philosophy of history. I do not think thinking Malays these days subscribe to the idea of ‘Malay dominance and dictatorship’. If there is a ketuanan of one race, then the rest are ‘slaves’ and ‘serfs’ and ‘sub-citizens’, if we are to analyse it from the point of view of ‘Master-Slave’ narrative?

As a Malay wishing to see the withering of and an end to the concept of ketuanan Melayu and the birth of a new consciousness that will respect the dignity of all races and the humility of all ethnic groups, I call upon Malaysians to continue to be critical of any attempt by any race to project their own sense of false superiority that would only breed dangerous ethnocentrism bordering on xenophobia.

We should work together to deconstruct all forms of race-based political arrangement and work towards establishing a new order based on a more egalitarian economic design that takes into consideration the basic needs and dignity of all races.

We should teach our schoolchildren how to deconstruct such sense of racial superiority, through the teaching of not only tolerance but social egalitarianism – via peace education strategies. We will have a lot to gain for generations to come.

  1. #1 by Jamesy on Thursday, 7 February 2008 - 6:39 pm

    ” … political power is what we are only left with

    one that will determine the fate of our nation

    wealth of this nation flows into the hands of others

    sons and daughters of the soil suffer in solace…”


    I guess Ketuanan Melayu has and will always been sloganised and institutionalised in the minds and hearts of the Malays by UMNO to hold on power in the land they called their own whilst the non-Malays(the pendatang) will be told, “Kalau tak suka, boleh keluar…”. based on Master-Slave mentality. The concept of Ketuanan Melayu is more like the concept of Nazism propagated by Hitler of superiority of Germans race over the Jews to be me.

  2. #2 by Jamesy on Thursday, 7 February 2008 - 6:41 pm

    Correction -….. superiority of Germans race over the Jews to me.

  3. #3 by lucia on Thursday, 7 February 2008 - 7:17 pm

    “If there is a ketuanan of one race, then the rest are ’slaves’ and ’serfs’ and ’sub-citizens’”

    so true. the other day when i attended the MAFREL’s election watch workshop, MAFREL’s chairman, abdul malek (he’s also the RM2.5 million man – awarded that amount for his detention in ISA) was echoing that too when he said that he never believe in ketuanan melayu because ketuanan melayu means the melayu are superior to all the other races, which is very wrong, since islam never mentioned that. (quote above: “Your descent is nothing to be proud of. Nor does it bring you superiority. O people! All of you are the children of Adam. You are like equal wheat grains in a bowl … No one has any superiority over anyone else”).

    malek said what they want is keadilan melayu, not ketuanan melayu.

  4. #4 by greenacre on Thursday, 7 February 2008 - 7:46 pm

    We can watch football fields everyday but never the level playing fields. Never the twain shall meet. Motherland? anyone?

  5. #5 by BlackEye on Thursday, 7 February 2008 - 8:20 pm

    It is time we accept that “ketuanan Melayu” is in fact a code word for looting, plundering that accompanies abuse of power etc by the Umnoputras and even Anwaristas. Just like religion is opium to the masses (according to the Communists), so is “ketuanan Melayu” to the Malays.

  6. #6 by Libra2 on Thursday, 7 February 2008 - 8:24 pm

    UMNO’s quest for power has distorted and stunted Malay’s crtical thinking abilities , intellectual expression and debate.
    “Our race is superior, our religion is superior”. How great?
    But how often do they look into the mirror and questions their own integrity, morality and dignity. Little wonder they are often mocked at behind close doors by the other races.

  7. #7 by BoycottLocalPapers on Thursday, 7 February 2008 - 9:45 pm

    Will “Ketuanan Melayu” still work if all of the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia are Arabs instead of Chinese and Indians?

  8. #8 by ktteokt on Thursday, 7 February 2008 - 10:08 pm

    Ketuanan should be declared only with the right state of mind. How can these people be more superior by just declaring so? They should show the world that they are truly capable and more superior before declaring such a stupid title!

  9. #9 by tanbh106 on Thursday, 7 February 2008 - 11:18 pm

    Last time, we blamed the British for “divide and rule”. 50 years after independent, who are practising “divide and rule ?

  10. #10 by waterfrontcoolie on Thursday, 7 February 2008 - 11:33 pm

    SLOGANEERING has been the hall mark of those involved in this gomen. I was told once by someone who attended a meeting to make Port Klang a regional and distribution hub. A local politician asked why it was so difficult to achieve it? Just declare it!!! So the self proclaimed KETUANAN MELAYU was coined in the same vein. And we have been declaring so many self acclaimed glories without blinking our eyes, for so long that we have surely forgotten that they are just slogans. Of course, many creators of these slogans would themselves believe them after a while. And this is when troubles begin!! Like Lincoln said ‘you cannot bluff ALL the people ALL the time!!, but in Malaysia, you most probably can! at least for the last 25 years>

  11. #11 by 9to5 on Thursday, 7 February 2008 - 11:54 pm

    I don’t think there is any “ketuanan melayu” being practised in Malaysia per se. It would be more accurate to use the term “ketuanan melayu UMNO” because we see the UMNO malays becoming tuans in the award of lucrative contracts, appointment as the heads and CEOsof judiciaries, government departments, petronas, toll concessionaires, national news media, universities, govt linked companies, police, tentera, etc.

    Ketuanan melayu UMNO is evident in all of the above areas; these UMNO malays exerted their “ketuanans” over the ordinary malaysians which also included the majority of ordinary malays like fishermen, farmers, low rank government servants, factory workers, small business entreprenuers, etc. It’s is a minority of politically well connected of malays having ketuanan over the majority of malaysians, malays included. The ordinary malay folks never claimed “ketuanan” over their neighbours or business associates of other races; it’s only the few politically connected UMNO malays like Zakaria, one-eye-jack, kris rattler and the like who are actually practising “ketuanan melayu” for their own benefits. These people only coined the word “ketuanan melayu” to justify or legitimise their hold on power and amassing of huge amount of wealth for themselves!

    It’s a real irony that in “ketuanan melayu”, the majority of ordinary malays forming the larger 65% population of malaysia are in fact the biggest losers! They are the ones who are being “ketuaned”!

  12. #12 by damianyeow on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 2:13 am

    Ketuanan Melayu or ‘special rights & privileges’ are nothing more than a dicrimination policy or even a doctrine based on ethnic & in M’sia’s case also religion, manipulated into a weapon of segregation
    Another similar policy with similar intent is Apartheid last practiced in South Africa. Of course in M’sia’s case the Malays claimed they are the native or local-born & have lived here for generations. Fine nobody’s disputing that, but the Orang Asli came earlier & I don’t see them enjoying much, if at all this so-called special rights. so this is just a simple case of who’s more superior in numbers & if u’re a “Big” (majority) u can bully the “small”(minority).If we look at history carefully, u’ll see why MCA & MIC ‘agreed’ in priciple before
    independence in ’57 for these special rights to be granted to the Malays at that time. Its a fact they are the majority & many are poor, so the understanding was, this fact indeed was suppressed, that this ‘Bumi’ policy was ‘temporary’ to enable the Malays to catch up & be equal footing with the other minority races namely Chinese & Indians. But after 50 years?, that’s like 3 generations, & u stll can’t stand on your own 2 feet, u still need the government to assist you? Come-on?.I can use the analogy when a baby learns to walk & stumbled, the parent will guide him along…but in this case can your parents guide u untill u’re 50 years old??
    The fact is now UMNO is using this so called ‘special privilege’ as a political tool under the disguise of protecting ‘Malay rights’ but at whose expense? At the nations expense, where’s M’sia in education, in trade, in business, in scientific research, in economic
    field, in medical field, in engineering, in technical know-how, answer-Nowhere. Instead M’sians find themselves overseas serving other goverment of other nations, why not our own?

    And you want to know why the ‘gomen’ is still not worried when facing with all these statistics & alarming figures because they don’t care. They know they are Dumb, so if smart people want to leave the country, the more go the merrier loh….

    So what I don’t understand is why on earth, are there people still supporting MCA & MIC..? I truly can’t. The facts are there, right in front of you. The leaders of all BN are like cancer, spreading ‘thru the body’ so by being a member or supporting the ruling party, you hope to gain something, I can understand that,
    but if the body finally succumbs & dies, then what, you’ll die with it
    too, right? Then they are those with “Boh chap” attitude, who are completely indifferent to what’s going on…….Wakeup man before it’s too late………..

  13. #13 by greenwald on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 2:33 am

    Look at the flip side of the coin: If the Malays are to be deemed “superior”, then someone has to be “inferior”. Right?

    What country are we talking about that has an institutionalized superior race and an inferior race? The last known country with that was South Africa and we know what happened to that system.

  14. #14 by ChinNA on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 3:31 am

    greenwald, one difference in South Africa is that the ‘superior’ race is the minority.

    The 2006 midyear estimated figures for the other categories were Black African at 79.5%, White at 9.2%, Coloured at 8.9%, and Indian or Asian at 2.5%. – Wikipedia.

    In th end, majority wins?

  15. #15 by BlackEye on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 7:11 am

    “…it’s only the few politically connected UMNO malays like Zakaria, one-eye-jack, kris rattler and the like who are actually practising “ketuanan melayu” for their own benefits. These people only coined the word “ketuanan melayu” to justify or legitimise their hold on power…”

    Hope Malaysians would see it for what it is.

  16. #16 by ktteokt on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 8:22 am

    If being spoon-fed made them more superior, then it is the biggest joke of the century. How can a “handicapped” race be made superior when the others are fighting hard for survival? And just how long does the government expect to support these “jelly-fishes” at the expense of the other rakyat? The PM had to guts to announce that the NEP will be extended indefinitely. Wouldn’t that mean we are raising a bunch of “spineless parasites” and driving the nation backwards in development? So how the hell are we suppose to achieve the so-called “Wawasan 2020”? Given more than 30 years of special privileges, these people still failed to stand up and how can another 12 years make these people “advanced”?

  17. #17 by max2811 on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 9:02 am

    When the resources of the country run out, the only ppl left capable of defending themsleves against any economic onslaught from outside are the Chinese.

    The Malays will be left worse than before. They are so used to being spoonfed, pampered and spoilt, they can’t cope in the globalised and competitive world.

    I hope this day will come soon. And we will be economically colonised again. By whom, is your guess…

  18. #18 by Bigjoe on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 9:40 am

    While people like Dr. Rahman has always existed in Malay intelligensia and respected, they are never followed popularly. They represent the highest aspiration of the elite Malays but inevitably practically disconnected with their larger Malay population.

    As he himself mentioned, there is literally millions of young Malay minds that have been brainwashed with the idea of ketuanan Melayu. Even if they hear the argument against it, they are not going to give it up unless there is a severe guilt of it.

    Our famous SIL is a case in point. When he was a young privilleged students he argued against NEP. But as soon as he finished school and saw his opportunities, he has taken the argument for it to new heights in the name of his ambitions. Those millions that have been brainwashed is only too quick NOT to protest against it even though they know its all for selfish reasons.

    No, this is a pipedream

  19. #19 by BoycottLocalPapers on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 9:44 am

    I think the author of this artilcle forgets that to UMNO, the word “Malay” is equal to “Muslim” i.e. Malay = Muslim. Therefore, “Ketuanan Melayu = “Ketuanan Muslim.” That is why non-Muslims in this country are treated like dhimmis. Check out the definition of “dhimmis” at Wikipedia:

    Dhimmis were allowed to “practice their religion, subject to certain conditions, and to enjoy a measure of communal autonomy” and guaranteed their personal safety and security of property, in return for paying tribute and acknowledging Muslim supremacy (Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhimmi)

    That definition of dhimmi above explains why our Muslim Ministers who are of Indian or Chinese origin are considered as Malay. The Chinese who overwhelmingly voted for Abdullah Badawi in the last general election because of Abdullah’s Chinese origin (and his wife was of Japanese descent) thinking that Abdullah is going to treat the Chinese community better than Mahathir should have learned from the Indians. The mistreatment of the Indians today originated from Mahathir Mohammed’s era. Is Mahathir a 100% Malay? According to Wikipedia, Mahathir’s “father was a schoolteacher of Indian origin, having migrated from the state of Kerala.”

    All Malaysians should have realized by now that political parties that champion the supremacy of one race or religion cannot be just and fair to all Malaysians.

    If Abdullah Badawi is truly “committed towards the creation of a Malaysian community that is dynamic, peaceful and harmonious, confident and competitive, as well as one that holds fast to the tradition of a culture of togetherness,” the first thing he should do is to abandon the “Ketuanan Melayu” concept and his “Islam Hadhari” as Malaysia cannot be just and fair to all as long as it favors the supremacy of one race and the supremacy of one religion above all others.

    DAP and PKR might not be perfect but if you truly desire a just and dynamic Malaysia that is “committed towards the creation of a Malaysian community that is dynamic, peaceful and harmonious, confident and competitive, as well as one that holds fast to the tradition of a culture of togetherness,” then the only alternative that you have in this coming general election is DAP/PKR.

    Vote for DAP and PKR for a “Just & Dynamic” Malaysia!

  20. #20 by sotong on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 10:26 am

    ” Ketuanan Melayu ” is the result of decades failure of leaders to unite and lead a multi racial and religious country after independent.

    Rampant corruption, gross excesses and abuses, increase in crime, breakdown in social and family values, religious extremism, numerous big and small Napoleans and etc. are signs of decades of bad leadership and governance of the country.

    Everyone is for himself/herself…….there is gross lack of confidence and trust in their leader/s or the system to deliver justice and fairness.

    The ordinary people have their leaders/politicians to thank for creating this mess.

  21. #21 by k1980 on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 11:37 am

    I think “ketuanan melayu” is a direct byproduct of “ketuanan jihadist”

  22. #22 by alaneth on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 1:29 pm

    The Social Contract by our founding forefathers was agreed upon…

    But even this is now hijacked by religious fanatics LMNs !!!

    Vote for Change, Vote DAP…

  23. #23 by MAJULAHMALAYSIA on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 3:36 pm

    I think every Malaysian must study the Perlembagaan Malaysia. Perlembagaan Malaysia is the Supreme Law Of Malaysia. But what the UMNO did seems they are superior than the Perlembagaan Malaysia. Or you all can read the book “The Reluctant Politician – Tun Dr. Ismail and his time”. A story about our then powerful Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. During our forefather drafted the Merdeka Social Contract, there is no “Ketuanan Melayu”. Even Tun Dr. Ismail not agree with the “Bumiputera” status.

    In order to catch up or compete with Singapore, first we must equally treat the citizens and make them competent so they will survive in this global world. Singapore success because they make use of the citizens and not the natural resources. Hope one day Malaysia will become First World country.

    Malaysia First Malaysian First

  24. #24 by chowkw on Friday, 8 February 2008 - 7:17 pm

    I think Malaysians deserve a better quality and higher standard of living given the vast natural & abundant resources ie oil. gas ,palm oil etc. However, years of corruption and mismanagement had caused this nation to suffer the economic consequences as seen now. For those younger generation ie below 40 years, I like to share some of these scandals in the 80’s that cost the loss of RM BILLIONS. Look at MAMINCO scandal. the FOREX scandal , BANK BUMIPUTRA FINANCE (BMF)Who are these culprits? Were anyone prosecuted? Your guess is as good as mine.( NONE were prosecuted, where is accountability? It is dead in this nation ) Some magicians stole the money and disappeared. Why do we Malaysians allow these scandals to happen? It is because the BN govt. have absolute power in Parliament and our voters in the urban areas continued to support such a corrupted govt. So , Malaysians deserve the BN govt. they voted in. I understand the rural folks will continue to vote for the BN due to their naiveness,simplicity and therefore can be easily manipulated by the printed media. But, alas, I am totally shocked as the urban voters aslo supported a corrupt govt. and continued to support them even though they are well aware of the scandals and corruption perpetuated by BN. This trend of support for a corrupted BN defies all logic especially due to the urban voters intelligence and literate and educated background. Look at PETALING JAYA, BANGSAR< and DAMANSARA areas. Who is their MP. In 1999, in PENANG, the urban voters even throw Kit Siang and Karpal Singh out of Parliament. As a petty trader in SEPUTEH, I appeal to my fellow Malaysians to reflect seriously on the future of Malaysia. With the current scandals ie VK Lingam tape, the submarines and Sukhoi jets purchase and the rising crime rate and high inflation prevailing , can you believe in this BN govt. It is because of the absolute power , BN have 200 Parlaiment seats vs only 19 , that gave the BN unfettered power to cover scandals after scandals.I am sure you can see the BN is good only in talking. After 50 years, Malaysia remains divided as a nation due to BN divisive policies. Are we treated fairly as Malaysians citizens? Can Malaysia and her CITIZENS survive in this globalised world? If you love Malaysia and think of the future of your children, the time is now. VOTE FOR A CHANGE. JUST DO IT. Give ONE chance to make Malaysia a better place to live. History has proven that if the people dont want to change inspite of all the scandals, then there is no hope for Malaysia. The change must come from the people like you and me , ordinary folks. JUST CHANGE IT.THE PEOPLE MUST DECIDE WHAT THEY WANT.LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE. I BELEIVE MALAYSIANS CAN THINK LOGICALLY AND WILL WANT A CHANGE. Thank you. BETTER MALAYSIA

  25. #25 by DarkHorse on Saturday, 9 February 2008 - 10:24 am

    “Ketuanan Melayu” is Islamo-facism. Period. It is old wine with a new label.

  26. #26 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Saturday, 9 February 2008 - 12:28 pm

    /// ‘Malaysia – to whom does it belong? To Malaysians. But who are Malaysians? I hope I am, Mr Speaker, Sir. But sometimes, sitting in this chamber, I doubt whether I am allowed to be a Malaysian. This is the doubt that hangs over many minds, and … [once] emotions are set in motion, and men pitted against men along these unspoken lines, you will have the kind of warfare that will split the nation from top to bottom and undo Malaysia.’ – Lee Kuan Yew, now Senior Minister, Republic of Singapore ///

    Just look at the profundity of this statement.

    Just marvel at the “over-the-horizon” ken of this statesman.

    This was spoken in the Malaysian Parliament in 1965, and 43 years later, it is coming back to haunt Malaysians…

  27. #27 by kaybeegee on Saturday, 9 February 2008 - 8:23 pm

    This ketuanan Melayu is a joke a very big joke. Melayu is defined by Constitution. Anybody not born a Malay can be a Malay. John Bull from England, Sudakasi from Japan, and anybody from anywhere. Just comply with the Constitution and hey presto, you are Malay.
    Point is how can a bunch of people classified as Malays by constitution and mostly from Indonesia , partly Middle East some from India and Yunnan say they are Ketuanan Melayu? Dont have to work,colonials like Winstedt did not say the Chinese and Indians are lazy.Free handouts. Still looking for handouts unashamedly.
    Ketuanan my foot.

  28. #28 by catharsis on Saturday, 9 February 2008 - 9:08 pm

    Azly, how can we have mature and rational open dialogue on any issue when some do not subscribe to the principle of balance arguement and a fair go with one’s opinion. Life will be easier and peaceful if those who are skewed to dogmatism would “BIN” any opinion not acceptable to them rather than resorting destructive “BIN LADIN” behaviour when they do not agree with some opinions

  29. #29 by ChinNA on Sunday, 10 February 2008 - 7:39 am

    Could it be that the rationale for NEP now is related to the lucre, personal lucre?

  30. #30 by HB Lim on Sunday, 10 February 2008 - 9:16 pm

    And who, apart from the UMNO, are the biggest culprits who supported and assisted in the flourishing of this ketuanan melayu or bumiputra concept and culture? It is the MCA and MIC’s gradual and shameless submission and giving way to and ‘ball-carrying’ UMNO for the last 50 years that have left us in this unenviable position as second class citizens. They have sold away the Chinese and the Indians’ rights. Get rid of MCA and MIC and UMNO will automatically collapse and ketuanan melayu will die a natural death. MCA and MIC are traitors and you know what they do to traitors in ancient China and in modern times after the Japanese occupation. My blood boils when I see and hear those MCA and MIC low-lives act and talk.

  31. #31 by ktteokt on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 10:52 am

    UMNO should be ashamed of itself. Despite being more than half a decade old, it has failed to live up to its name, “United Malays National Organization”. Just how much effort has been put in to unite the Malays? If at all they had, then there won’t be PAS, Keadilan and other political parties consisting of Malays standing against it! Change name to “UNITING MALAYS NATIONAL ORGANIZATION” please, it is more APPROPRIATE!!!!!!

  32. #32 by ktteokt on Monday, 11 February 2008 - 9:30 pm

    typo error, not “decade” but “century”, my apologies!

  33. #33 by TAXATION on Thursday, 8 May 2008 - 2:25 pm

    Actually there is no such thing as ” ketuanan melayu”. If there is, i would not have become a very poor malay. I would have become a tuan instead of a kuli. So don’t hate the malays for things that are not proven to be true. Even though i am a poor malay but i don’t hate the rich chinese or indians. And i was thinking of leaving this country. So if you are not happy to be in Malaysia, leave the country. Don’t blame or hate the malays as not all of them are being given the so called special rights, if there is one. My kids , even though passed their examination with flying colours, still no scholarships are given by the govt. And i know my non malays neighbour still get scholarships from the govt eventhough my kids result are much better. So please stop pointing fingers to the malays as if they are the one that made u suffer. How i wish this concept of ketuanan melayu to be true so that my life will not be so miserable and for your information there are malays who are even dying because of starvation.

  34. #34 by simon041155 on Monday, 8 December 2008 - 3:40 pm

    Quote from http://www.islam101.com/rights/hrM2.htm :

    “Islam not only recognizes absolute equality between men
    irrespective of any distinction of colour, race or nationality, but makes it an important and significant principle, a reality. The Almighty God has laid down in the Holy Quran: “O mankind, we have created you from a male and female.” In other words all human beings are brothers to one another. They all are the descendants from one father and one mother… Assuming airs of superiority is in itself a reprehensible vice which no God-fearing and pious man can ever dream of perpetrating. Nor does the righteous have more privileged rights over others, because this runs counter to human equality…”

    “From the moral point of view, goodness and virtue is in all cases better than vice and evil. This has been exemplified by the Prophet in one of his sayings thus: ‘No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab. Nor does a white man have any superiority over a black man, or the black man any superiority over the white man. You are all the children of Adam, and Adam was created from clay’ (al-Bayhaqi and al-Bazzaz). In this manner Islam established
    equality for the entire human race and struck at the very root of all distinctions based on colour, race, language or nationality. According to Islam,God has given man this right of equality as a birthright. Therefore no man should be discriminated against on the ground of the colour of his skin, his place of birth, the race or the nation in which he was born.”

    “Malcolm X, the famous leader of African Negroes in America, who had launched a bitter struggle against the white people of America in order to win civil rights for his black compatriots, when he went to perform the pilgrimage, and saw how the Muslims of Asia, Africa, Europe, America and those of different races, languages and colours of skin, were wearing one dress and were hurrying towards God’s House-the Ka’bah and offering prayers standing in one row and there was no distinction of any kind between them, then he realized that this was the solution to the problem of colour and race, and not what he had been trying to seek or achieve in America so far. Today, a number of non-Muslim thinkers, who are free from blind prejudice, openly admit that
    no other religion or way of life has solved this problem with the same degree of success with which Islam has done so.”

    Based on the foregoing, Ketuanan Melayu is clearly un-Islamic. Yet after spending millions and millions of ringgit each year to perform the Haj, many did not see what an African Negro saw in Makkah. But then again, Malcolm X was launching a bitter struggle to win civil rights for his black compatriots, while the Malays are blinded by greed and therefore could not see. The proponents of Ketuanan Melayu are not only a disgrace to Islam but has made the religion gain ill-repute. And the “best” part is they are blaming others for that!

    And by the way, the main beneficiaries of Ketuanan Melayu are not the Malays, but the UMNOputras and their high-level non-Malay associates (you know who they are) who are immuned to the laws of this country.

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