Archive for November 2nd, 2015

Malay Schizophrenic Response to British Colonialism

Bakri Musa
[email protected]
Oct 28 2015

Malays actively shunned and refused to participate in the various colonial endeavors even those that could potentially benefit us. Instead we undertook a form of passive resistance, utilizing what John C Scott refers to as “weapons of the weak.”

While these everyday forms of passive resistance may not grab headlines, nonetheless they are akin to the cumulative accumulation of the coral reefs. In the aggregate and over time they exert a profound impact. When the ship of state runs aground on such reefs, attention is directed to the shipwreck and not to the aggregations of petty acts that made those treacherous reefs possible.

So was the Malayan Union initiative shipwrecked upon a reef of resentment and resistance that had quietly been building up and concretized over time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lessons From The Past

M. Bakri Musa
October 20 2016

The coming of Islam, European colonization, and the pursuit of independence – these were transformational events in our culture that resulted in the toppling of the Malay collective coconut shell. In all three instances our culture had served us well in guiding us through uncharted waters.

Yet, and this seems perverse, in our current tribulations we are far too inclined to blame our culture. I suggest that instead of forever berating and blaming the presumed inadequacies of our culture, it would be far more meaningful and productive if we were to analyze and learn how our culture had dealt with the major events of the past, and apply those insights to our current challenges.

If I were to grade the performance of our culture to the three transformational events in our history, I would give an exemplary A-plus for the path we chose towards independence, an A-minus for our reception to the coming of Islam, and a respectable B for our performance during colonization. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Peaceful Path We Chose Towards Independence

M. Bakri Musa
13th October 2015

The third defining moment in Malay culture was the peaceful path we chose towards independence. The Malay world was turned upside down with colonization; it altered the physical as well as social landscape. The latter was even more profound and threatening.

Despite that, and defying the trend of the time, we opted for this peaceful path through negotiations and collaborations in pursuit of our independence.

If one were to stroll along the countryside of pre-colonial Malaysia, there would of course be no paved roads. One would have to literally cut a swath through the thick jungle. The only practical route for travel was by rivers and waterways.

The British built roads and replaced the thick jungle with neat rows of identical, boring but highly productive rubber trees. As for the rivers, once teeming with fish, they were now like kopi susu (cafe au lait) from the contamination of brown sediments from the ubiquitous tin mines. Read the rest of this entry »

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No “Lazy Malays” During The Japanese Occupation

M. Bakri Musa
Oct. 6, 2015

The Japanese Occupation briefly interrupted British colonial rule. Japanese troops landed in Kota Baru in the early morning of December 8, 1941, and surrendered some 43 months later. That was only a blink in our history but to those who suffered through that terrible period, it was eternity. As brutal as it was, Malays as a culture and community survived.

There was one significant but not widely noted disruption and humiliation of Malay culture during that period. The Japanese, despite their reverence for their own Sun God Emperor, had little use or respect for Malay sultans. At least the British maintained the facade of respect even though those sultans were essentially colonial puppets.

The colonials saw in the institution of Malay sultans an effective means of indirect rule. The British knew full well the reverence Malays had for our sultans. The British must have learned a thing or two from observing kampong boys herding their kerbaus (water buffaloes). Pierce a ring through the lead buffalo’s nose and then even a toddler could effectively control the herd by pulling on the rope tied to that lead beast’s ring.

That essentially was the British approach to controlling the Malay herd; pierce a ring through their sultan’s nose. The rope may be of silk and the ring of gold, but the underlying dynamics are the same. Read the rest of this entry »

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The infusion of the cream of Dayak community into DAP a major and historic development in DAP’s 50 year mission to be an inclusive all-Malaysian political party representing all ethnic groups and regions in Malaysia

The infusion of the cream of Dayak community into DAP at the signing of the DAP Dayak Blueprint ceremony at the Sarawak DAP headquarters in Kuching yesterday marked a major and historic development in DAP’s 50-year mission to be an inclusive all-Malaysian political party representing all ethnic groups and regions in Malaysia.

Right from beginning from our formation half a century ago, DAP founding members and leaders have dedicated themselves to the fulfilment of the Malaysian Dream.

DAP founding leaders and members had pledged to transcend ethnic, religious, cultural, linguistic and socio-economic differences among Malaysians to build a Malaysia where democracy, good governance and socio-economic justice could flourish allowing every Malaysian, regardless of race, religion or region to achieve his or her fullest potential for the collective good and greatness of the nation.

This was why from the beginning of the first DAP general election contest in 1969, DAP had fielded a multi-racial slate of candidates for parliamentary and state assembly seats in Peninsular Malaysia, with Chinese, Malay and Indians elected as Members of Parliament or State Assembly representatives in Peninsula Malaysia.

The DAP is also the first Pan-Malaysian political party, with branches and members not only in Peninsular Malaysia also in Sarawak and Sabah.

In the 2013 General Election, the first DAP Kadazan elected representative was elected to the Sabah State Assembly, and it is our hope that the first DAP Dayak elected representative will be elected to the Sarawak State Assembly in the forthcoming Sarawak state general elections expected to held in the first quarter of next year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Once docile Sarawak native villagers turning anti-BN activists

by Sheridan Mahavera
The Malaysian Insider
2 November 2015

Iban farmer Jimmy Saban did not care much about politics until the day government men, some of them armed with guns, came to take away the land that’s been in his clan and family for generations.

Saban is one of the growing numbers of unassuming farmers, foragers and peasants who are now anti-Barisan Nasional activists, and whose fervent talks against the Sarawak government could be a factor in the coming state elections.

What distinguishes 61-year-old Saban from the middle-class, urbanised opposition activist is that he is a farmer, just like those he speaks to.

Most importantly, he has seen first-hand how tribes people lose their lands in shady deals by private companies who are often backed by the state authorities.

Saban’s story of how tribal lands are still being unscrupulously taken away counters the narrative that is being churned out by chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s administration and that of the federal BN. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP winning hearts and minds in Sarawak’s remotest areas

by Sheridan Mahavera
The Malaysian Insider
31 October 2015

In the villages of Peninsular Malaysia, the DAP still gets a bad rap, but in an increasing number of out-of-the-way places in Sarawak, the opposition party has been received with open arms.

On September 27, it completed a water supply project for Kampung Long Luping in Lawas, a little Orang Ulu hamlet close to the Indonesian border in central Kalimantan.

This comes just months before the Sarawak state elections, which have to be held on or before September 20, 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

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As 2020 deadline looms, Malaysian students fail to shine in science

by Boo Su-Lyn
The Malay Mail Online
November 2, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 ― Less than 13 per cent of those who sat for the Form 3 PT3 examination last year scored at least a C in both science and mathematics, Putrajaya has revealed, despite Malaysia’s aim to achieve developed nation status in less than five years.

The Education Ministry also said that the average percentage of secondary school students who qualified for the science stream, based on their results of the previous Form 3 PMR examination, only hovered around 30 per cent over the past 10 years, though Malaysia has been aiming for a 60:40 ratio of science/ technical/vocational and arts students since 1970.

“The most probable reason for this could be the new format for the PT3 science and maths papers,” Education director-general Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof told Malay Mail Online in a recent email interview, in explaining the PT3 science and maths results.

“There were very few multiple choice questions which most students are very familiar with; and the test items demand a lot of thinking on the part of the students to gauge their understanding of the subject matter rather than regurgitating rote-learned concepts.

“It does not encourage teaching to the test and teachers need to engage the students in the learning process by asking more higher-order thinking questions. It is hoped that this kind of format will encourage the students to learn meaningfully and in future, the PT3 results will become better,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

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