Welcome to Indonesia’s 34th province

Mariam Mokhtar
Aug 8, 11

If Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s ‘Project N’, the sequel to former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s ‘Project M’ is realised, Tourism Malaysia will not need use the meaningless ‘Malaysia, Truly Asia’ as its slogan.

It will have to adopt the more apt ‘Malaysia, Truly Indonesia’.

With numerous allegations that 3 million Indonesians have become Malaysian citizens with full bumiputera rights, then perhaps Malaysia, with the exception of Sabah, will soon be known as the 34th Province of Indonesia.

There will be no armed conflict to regain territory. It will be a walkover, like a human-wave flowing across the Imjin River.

From 1999, Indonesia created seven more provinces; Aceh, governed by Syariah law, was one of five provinces which received special status.

Perhaps, Indonesia’s hypothetical 34th province, would also receive special status because the former independent nation, Malaysia, willingly absorbed Indonesians whilst ignoring its own citizens, who were then forced to migrate.

If that were to happen, it is Umno which should be considered responsible for laying our ‘Indonesian’ foundations – the end justifies the means.

Perhaps Umno leaders consider the Malaysian Malay useless. Hard-working Indonesian migrant workers, both legal and illegal ones, have been rewarded for their contributions to the economy with permanent residency and citizenship.

However, Umno leaders have ignored the consequences of cheating normal Malaysians.

The main losers will be the Malaysian Malays. For decades, they have been conditioned by Umno to accept handouts without valuing hard work and self-respect.

Umno leaders find the more industrious Indonesians worthy of their attention. Traces of the ‘Malay identity’ will be eradicated and the Ketuanan Melayu brigade will have nothing to crow about.

For the ‘original’ Malay Malaysians, benefits will now have to be shared between a bigger pool of people, and senior positions in government and the civil service will be fought over.

And why are the MCA and MIC silent on this issue? At allegedly 3 million Indonesians (and 1.75 million Filipinos in Sabah), the numbers of these pseudo-Malaysians outstrip the 1.9 million Indian Malaysians, many of whom have no birth certificates or a Mykad although they are third-generation Malaysians.

Indonesians have left their comfort zones and travelled thousands of kilometres to earn a living. They leave their families and their spouses for several years, to work for a pittance.

Despite the hardship and isolation, many have triumphed, so much so that one was made menteri besar. If anyone doubts the Indonesian work ethic, one need only observe how every other household has a maid. Eateries would be nowhere without Indonesians serving us.

At the provision shops or the pasar, Indonesians are thriving. Building sites, factories, plantations and petrol stations have Indonesians as their power-houses. What would we do without them? We are too proud to fill those jobs that we consider beneath our station. And yet, we treat the Indonesians with disdain.

Absence of obsession

Malaysian and western friends living in Indonesia say that there are comparatively fewer cases of religious intolerance in Indonesia, a land of over 238 million people. True, there are cases of extremism but every nation has these.

Although many Indonesians are staunch nationalists, they consider themselves Indonesians first, before their individual racial, religious or ethnic identity. The Indonesians and their media, are not obsessed with race as we are.

In an every day situation, the Indonesian Muslim will sit and have coffee in a non-halal outlet, whilst his non-Muslim countryman drinks his beer. Indonesian Muslims do not froth at the mouth when pork or non-halal products are sold in a shop. Muslims are commonly employed in businesses which sell pork or alcohol.

A friend observed that the Malaysian Muslim checkout staff will gingerly pick up a can of pork with a plastic bag and then dispose of the plastic bag afterwards. Some Muslim children are banned from owning ‘piggy’ banks or the Miss Piggy (of the Muppets) stuffed toy.

And yet these same Muslims admit that when they go to Europe, America and Australia, they have no qualms about buying food from a shop that sells non-halal and halal food side-by-side. Are Malaysian Malays/Muslims hypocrites or it is a culture that our Malay and religious leaders have cultivated, to control us?

Things have worsened in Malaysia. Many homosexual Muslim men have gone to live with their partners in relatively liberal Indonesia.

During his tenure, Mahathir realised that the only way he and his henchmen could continue ruling the country was to alter the demography of Sabah and hence the electoral voting patterns of the nation.

Fearful of losing the elections, Mahathir spearheaded a project dubbed ‘Project M’, also known as ‘Project IC’, in the early 1990s in which it is alleged that hundreds of thousands of Filipino illegal immigrants became naturalised citizens.

BN turned a major social issue to their favour, with phantom voters, to ensure victory. Umno leaders are still not concerned about illegal immigration.

Ironically, when the RM17.7 billion Iskandar Malaysia project was launched in Johor in 2006, Mahathir was angry.

He said: “After the land is sold, the Malays will be driven to live at the edge of the forest and even in the forest itself. In the end, the area in Iskandar Malaysia will be filled with Singaporeans and populated with only 15 percent Malays.”

Najib in his wisdom thinks he is doing the right thing in granting citizenship to Indonesian immigrants.

However, he forgets that many Indonesians will have experienced life under the authoritarian regime of Suharto. They will remember how the Indonesian society and economy floundered in the late 1990s. They will recall how Suharto filled Parliament and the cabinet with his own family members and his cronies.

This caused many politicians and the young, principally students, to organise nationwide protests against the despotic rule, cronyism and corruption.

Who knows? The new pseudo-Malaysians that Najib has created may lead the calls for reforms, just as their politically and democratic minded counterparts once did in Indonesia.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 - 8:19 pm

    Welcome to Indonesia’s 34th province. After all, the malay peninsula was part of the majapahit empire several hundred years ago.

  2. #2 by raven77 on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 - 8:42 pm

    1957 is but a distant dream….

  3. #3 by good coolie on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 - 9:23 pm

    So far, no one has accused Indonesians of being parasitical. Boy, do they work hard! I hope Malaysia can control the criminal elements among the Indonesians, even though we do not hear too much of Indonesians’ crimes these days. By the way, what is the guarantee that Indonesians receiving Malaysian citizenship will vote for the Barisan Pengkorup Nasional?

  4. #4 by LIM GEOK KAI on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 - 11:38 pm

    God bless Malaysia! Please Malaysians ensure these untrustworthy care takers of our country be perish as the shit already hit the fence. OR get these people beyond redemption out the coming GE 13 without fail as these people are desperate wanting to be in power. Please save our beloved Motherland for our children future.

  5. #5 by seah_thomas on Thursday, 11 August 2011 - 12:18 am

    lts an irony, isnt it?
    UMNO, in trying to ensure the survival of its vested power and elite race, would seemingly or unknowingly end up wiping it off the face of the earth.
    What a trajedy !!…………….sad ending

  6. #6 by gofortruth on Thursday, 11 August 2011 - 2:40 am

    Malaysia the BOLEH land where an Indian became a Malay (you know who) & now Indonesians become bumiputras.

  7. #7 by dagen on Thursday, 11 August 2011 - 8:32 am

    Jamie oliver, here’s a brand new recipe for you. The secret recipe concocted by dr mamak to bake bumiputras – those miniature choco cupcakes. Trust me. The secret recipe is well tested. Yes, 3million times and that is official. But strangely that recipe is very specific and it is not meant to bake anything larger than cupcakes. Anyway, if you are interested here are the ingredients for baking a bumiputra:

    Main ingredient: indons, islam (soon to be converted to islam jenis-umno), uneducated, unskilled, labourer (or cleaner or anything lower).

    And dont forget the icing on top: Mykad.

  8. #8 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 11 August 2011 - 9:32 am

    Most people don’t get how important this issue is especially the rural Malays. And its not about being invaded by Indonesian because I sense the ultra Malays prefer that over being invaded by Chinese or other foreigners.

    This issue is important from simple peace and security of the next GE.

    The fact of the matter is there is never going to be a good enough time for Najib to go for a GE. Whether he is planning it or not, the truth is UMNO/BN will cheat massively. But that is not even the real problem. The real problem is that no one trust Najib. The man not only have been exposed as a fake, but the fact of the matter is he cheated from Day 1 in office of the PM with the illegal Perak takeover. And he has broken rules after rules each by-election. His past track-record, history and current suspicions reeks of being a cheater all his life.

    Hence, it won’t take much evidence to destroy the result of a GE if UMNO/BN does not win convincingly. If they win only by a narrow margin, it will not be accepted. AND the truth don’t matter because it was burried under a pile of lies in the past leading up to this.

    Hence it imperative that PR discuss the issue of peaceful transition – to force BN to take ABSOLUTE responsibility, leaving no stone unturned, excuses not accepted. They have taken us to this point of wrecking public trust in everything. They have to take responsibility when people give up..

    Otherwise, its inevitable that it won’t be a Bersih 3.0. It will be Tahrir Square and worst. GE is irrelevant..

  9. #9 by Captain on Thursday, 11 August 2011 - 3:53 pm

    You mean BN leaders are real traitors? In order to stay in power, they hand over the country to others? Just like that?

  10. #10 by Godfather on Thursday, 11 August 2011 - 4:20 pm

    This Captain fellow must be really thick in the head. Who says that they hand over the country to others ? They will continue to steal until there’s nothing left to steal, then they will hand over the country to others. Faham tak ?

  11. #11 by dagen on Thursday, 11 August 2011 - 4:33 pm

    Oh dear. So now my address is No xxx, Jalan Batu, Kuala Lumpur, Republik Indonesia.

    But hey hold a second. We have agung dont we? That means we cant be a republic. Haah, there there. Umno is dismantling our monarchy. Umno wants to get rid of agung and the sultans.

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Thursday, 11 August 2011 - 5:30 pm

    Dis is Y Toyol had built his palace, in anticipation 2 b d big fat chief of his fatherland’s 34th province

  13. #13 by Loh on Friday, 12 August 2011 - 11:32 am

    If Malaysia became the 34th province of a republic, then the Republic could be changed to constitutional monarchy. If they build 33 other palaces around the other 33 provinces, construction project alone could amount to 33 billion ringgit, or 33 trillion ruppiah. On the other hand if the republic retains its republic structure, monarchs would serve under the President. They had experience dealing with Mamak, and it should not be a problem dealing with democratically elected president and their election commission is certainly better than that in Malaysia.

    The Indonesian government after Suharto is less corrupt than UMNO government. It is better that we are really the 34th province rather than allowing the government to make use of Indonesian citizens to keep them in power to rob Malaysians.

  14. #14 by undertaker888 on Friday, 12 August 2011 - 12:07 pm

    Learn to sing Indonesian national anthem folks. And don’t condemn toyol too much. He may become our provincial governor.

  15. #15 by waterfrontcoolie on Saturday, 13 August 2011 - 8:47 am

    Yes, mariam has got the point; that the Indonesian-turned Malaysians will have the local Malays, oh no BUMIPUTRAs for breakfast; that is for certain. But do remember those BN leaders are all prepared to fly to Western Australia! And unless the thinking Malays begin to think hard on this issue, soon even without Bambang officially announce a takeover, we will be the 34rd province in every resepcts. To this, I always remembered a colleague who complained about food in Europe where he went for training, the Boss, a muslim just told him, either you accept the situation or you don’t go anywhere! We have created a dependenct pyschic in every sense of the word. Thanaks to UMNO anf BN for 57 years of Merderka!!1

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