When I first heard of Hindraf’s ₤3 trillion (approx. RM13 trillion) class action against the British Government, my immediate response was “Good!”
If they are successful, the Malays could put up another one against the British for marginalising the Malays justified from the findings of their Anthropologist to apply “The Myth of the Lazy Native”.
Whose blood wouldn’t boil by the knowledge that when R.O.Winstedt first arrived in Malaya, he questioned the education policy to provide Malay education till Standard 4.
Yeah sure, the Malays DON'T NEED education to be farmers, fishermen and gatherers. Chinese and Indian have more needs for Anglo Chinese and Anglo Tamil schools. Malays justifiably ONLY NEED proper education 100 years later. MCKK was established because Malay, specifically the anak raja and pembesar Melayu, needs it.
Yeah sure, the Malays DON'T NEED a better life. They are lazy and contented lot. They refuse to be coolie and tappers in the tin mine and estate. They shouldn't be tilling their own lands.
Winstedt himself described in his 1947 book, "The Malays - A Cultural History", that Malay attempted to export and be wholesaler of their own produce but failed. After all, it is only acceptable and the rights of marginalised "immigrants" owners of lorries and ships to refuse service. He wrote further of Chinese and Indian contractors boycotted a construction tender for requesting use of Malay labourers. It must be the Malay's fault then for being choosy and demanding high postions of Engineers, Architects and Surveyors.
Ah … Since we are to emulate Hindraf’s action, lets do one also on the descendents of the abusive Raja-Raja Melayu and the Pembesar-Pembesar. They were instrumental for the psychological suppression, violent and sadistic infliction on the Malay people, and corruption and pilferage of the Perbendaharaan Kerajaan justified under their version of political and cultural feudalism.
For safe measure, lets claim like Hindraf that feudal practise continued for 50 years after independence perpetuated in politics (ruling and opposition alike), government, business and society albeit with Raja-Raja Melayu not possesing any more political and administrative power. The claim is that it hindered Malay progress or more precisely, perpetuated Malay’s indifference or risk aversion to progress.
In concurrence with RPK’s cynical piece, MARAH: Malay Rights Action Hoard, there is bounty to be made for all Malays, Chinese, Indian and former colonies to sue the colonial invaders.
If Malays have been hoarding, why is hardworking me not rich? Perhaps I should start work and scrounge through history and law books to seek for that pot of gold at the end of the courts of Britain, Spain, Portugal, Neatherland, France and Belgium. Such actions are timely for these Orang Putih must slug it out to make a living again and stop basking in luxury from the treasure of the colonies.
"Immigrants" and Geo-Culture
I left out one more demand the Malay can make in their lawsuit and that is to seek perpetual annual compensation to cover the cost of providing welfare for and any demands made by the “immigrants”. The British did force on the Tunku to accept them as citizens. Take note that the word immigrant is in open and close inverted comma to avoid definition disputes.
Since the Hindraf demonstration, too many Tambi-come-lately have been regurgitating Lee Kuan Yew's basi arguments to dispute Malays as original inhabitants and half baked claims of the presence of Old Tamil Kingdom up north to claim their rights.
A simple answer, if some Malays are "immigrants", why are they similar or the same in language, culture, lifestyle and habit with the original Tanah Melayu Malay? Who is "immigrants" and who is local? On the historical claim, please meet up the Archeological team from University of Malaya for clarification. The team has non Malays in it.
Transmigration within the geo-cultural (alam budaya) area is common in those days. It's like Northern Chinese moving to the prosperous if not more vibrant Southern China. Gujeratis deciding to leave their kampung for greener pasture in Tamil Nadu. Prior to colonisation and formation of nation state, transmigration of Malay within the Malay Archipelago is a norm. We were practically one nation and could have legally turned to one, if the atom bomb in Japan was later by few more days!
The merantau Malays uphold to the idiom “Masuk kandang lembu menguak, Masuk kandang kambing mengembik” (Entering the cow’s pen one moo, entering the goat’s pen one bleat). Adapt and assimilate to be accepted by their new community. The migrating Gujeratis is expected to speak Tamil, eat Southern Indian food and accustomed themselves to Tamilian culture in Tamil Nadu. Same case for the Mandarin migrating to the Cantonese provinces.
Have all these "immigrants" coming here from outside this geo-cultural area moo and bleat accordingly? Why is there resistance to unite and desegregate? Ponder this before berating!
Malayness and Sacred Agreement
So, allow me to touch on the Constitution a little, although I intend to write at length in my future posting.
Observe the constitution carefully. It makes no specific mentioning of other races than Malay. It makes no specific mentioning of other religions than Islam, other languages than Bahasa Melayu (not Bahasa Malaysia), and other instututions as sovereign than the Raja-Raja Melayu. (Save for my cynicism above, I uphold the Raja-Raja Melayu as sovereign for it’s historical and legal relevance and continuity.)
Malay Special Rights and Malay Reserve land are safeguard measures for the orginal inhabitants to protect from further erosion of their already weak and marginalised position in the economy vis-à-vis the “immigrants".
Even that, it is not difficult to be a Malay and enjoy those rights. The Portugese are allowed to save in ASN. Under Pak Lah, Indians have 3% allocation now.
Pak Lah’s mother, the late Dato Kailan is Chinese with roots from Kwantung (the family even had a major clan gathering attended by Pak Lah in Penang). Since Ahmad bin Badawi is Malay, the family is Muslim and practise Malay custom, Pak Lah is hereby considered Malay/Malayan. This just demonstrates that being Malay is not exclusive.
Perhaps it is not as easy and seamless for non Muslims, but Malay are easy and reasonable people to please as long as they are not slighted. They are receptive and taken in by good manners. They are ever willing to tolak ansur till their head get stepped over (pijak kepala) from having their interest compromised and rights questioned. Use them!
Coming back to the Constitution, by re-independence, this country in its modern legal form of Malaya and later Malaysia is merely continuing where it left off. In fact, some argued we were never colonised but the Raja Raja Melayu merely out sourced its administration. For a price, off course.
Now lets look at the Social Contract imbedded in the Constitution. It is actually not the right application of Rousseau 's term. Social Contract is more applicable to our mystical irrevocable agreement between Sang Sapurba (rulers) and Demang Lebar Daun (ruled). It is only one of Khairy’s early screw up of blindly applying from his school textbook.
It is essentially a Sacred Agreement legitimised in the Constitution. Some of the terms can't even be changed by 2/3 majority in Parliament. For one party to seek its revocation, is it logical for one party to return to status quo of statelessness?
What about a review? That would mean renegotiation. Shouldn't the awarding party agree first to do so and both party must agree for it to work? Wanna cut a new deal, what do you have to offer on the table? Malay have learned The Donald's Art of Dealing and Sun Tzu's Art of War. Do not expect a free lunch.
The Sacred Agreement basically continued where we left off as a nation with a Malay geo-cultural characteristics and heritage. It's not about Ketuanan Melayu. That is racist conjuring by some devious hands to wrongly brand the Malays. Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad (Kok Lanas) never spoke of "Ketuanan Melayu" in his speech at Singapore ISEAS in the mid 80s. He spoke of the reality of Malay dominance in Malaysia and Chinese dominance in Singapore.
In the Sacred Agreement, “Malays” leaders offered (or more precisely was forced upon by the British) the Immigrants citizenship with the condition that our heritage is acknowledged and continued. Even that, all their private rights are safeguarded. The legal term is quid pro quo.
Malay is the national language but the private use and study of other languages are allowed. What right of Hindraf to seek Government funding of Tamil school, which means learning and teaching of a language for private use that is not provided for in the Constitution?
If the Indian wish to pursue Tamil-based education, do it with private and not public resources. Don’t blame the Government, if Indian are marginalised because of language or social segragation. There is no application of Tamil in Government, Commerce and whatever sector!
Islam is the religion of the Federation (note that it is not mentioned as official “ceremonial” religion). Malaysia is NOT secular for there is no separation of state and Islam. Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn got it wrong. But the Constitution allows for "private" practise of other religion in "peace and harmony". Peace means to follow the law and regulations and not indiscriminate building of temples. Harmony means not to cause discomfort to the Muslim and other communities. Keyword is private.
Hindraf's Mischievous Comedy
There are many points to dispute Hindraf’s lists of demands and it's could be another lengthy posting by itself. (Latest: Read Biggum Doggmannsteinberg's posting here and other updates.) Hindraf have been merely overdramatising this event and it is repeatedly reported that the demonstration, lawsuit and ludicrous claims are made to gain international attention.
I can appreciate attracting public attention but not by making false accusations. Could one fathom such things as genocide and ethnic cleaning happening in Malaysia? The claim of indiscriminate destroyal of temple without proper adherence to procedures? The systematic marginalisation of Indians by Malays? The accusation of death in Kampung Medan to UMNO and Malays?
In fact, Hindraf wrongful claims on Kampung Medan incident have slighted and offended my UMNO friends who worked tirelessly to address the situation during and after event.
I like to be fair as best as possible. I personally believe in the right to assembly as part of the process of democrasy. Every citizen, even a lone protestor, has every right to march and make public declaration of his/her belief. I would love to see it work like the days I joined Anti Aparthied marches in the US. Demonstrations creates public awareness. I really wish we could do without police permit to hold public assembly.
But not, when it disturb peace, cause chaos and affect public safety. Not, when there is a court order disallowing it. Police are responsible under International Law to safegurad Foreign Embassies. Mind you, even in the liberal Western countries, demonstrators infringing the law and creating public disturbances would be apprehended by police.
Lets face fact that our society is not democratically matured. It’s citizens are still emotional rather than rationale about politics, public interest and various issues. Even most of our politicans, how decorated they are, have shallow understanding or even ignorant of history, law, governance etc. Our Prime Minister is such. Of late, many leaders seemed unable to articulate themselves properly.
Generally, most Malaysian take the cynical and/or conspirational approach to understanding issues. Look how some sector of the Indian community easily bought in the artificially created extreme perception and claims worked up by irresponsible politicans and human rights lawyers in Hindraf.
Hindraf have some legitimate grivances and they have every right to fight for it. Are the grievances really constitutional in nature? Is it merely problems with government bureaucrasy or procedures? Or an employer's issue? Lets not discount the intra-community problem with its cultural practises, discrimination and cruelty. Lets not discount that Hindraf have poor advocacy strategy in their activism.
In the first place, lets be clear who does Hindraf represents? Which segment of Indians?
Do they expect themselves to be taken seriously with Tian Chua-esque stunt to sue the British Government and yet seek the Queen's assistance for Queen’s Counsel? Can you fathom seeking help from the sued party, namely the British Government, to champion their case in the International arena?
Does it make sense to do a handover petition demonstration on a Sunday when the British High Commission office is closed? What is the game to refuse IGP Tan Sri Musa Hasan offer to finally allow them to hand their petition?
The plight of the poor and oppressed estate workers, particularly of the Indian creed, has the concern of every citizens. Their grievances have been discussed oftenly in discourses and it has reached the attention of the highest echelon of Government.
Will such comedic act help the poor segment of the Indian community? Will it sustain public sympathy and support? Remember that their problem will be solve here, with assistance by the Government and not abroad.
Start Digging ...
Ah well, whatever it is. I think I might as well dig up history book and constitution for issues to sue.
Let see, Article 153 spoke of Majlis Raja-Raja as Trustee of the Special Malay Rights. Raja Nazrin spoke something that is tantamount to questioning this rights to seek for societal equality. He is not legally a Sultan yet, is there room to sue him for not mentioning fair together with equality?
The same Act states that no Government can deny or change any policy without the Council’s consent. Do I have ground to sue the Government for my brother being left stranded abroad without scholarship in the midst of his Masters when Anwar Ibrahim as Finance Minister cancelled his scholarship? Did he get the rulers' consent to do that?
What about contracts given to YTL, Patrick Badawi and Scomi which infringe on the Malays oppurtunity? Can sue or not?
I know for a fact that many Malay Reserve lands were acquired but not properly replaced with lands of equal value and stature. Now there is money to be made from the court system. ECER with huge tract of Malay Reserve land is a goldmine for lawsuits.
Since the mission in life of a Malay is to blame others for their misfortune, can anyone advise if there are nitpick issues to sue the Government for screwing up the implimentation of NEP? It is claimed that NEP and UMNO failed completely because private Malay equity in PLCs is less than 5% from 1.5% (1970). This means NEP did not provide Malays with education, and churn Malay graduates, professionals and executives. It didn't provide economic opportunity for the poor and rural.
Lets sue UMNO for that. One politician openly said "Mengaku saja, siapa tak ada taukeh Cina belakang?" There is one more basis to do so. Why is there still 5.2% hardcore poverty? I bet its all marginalised Indians. Lets sue MIC for that matter!
Sue, sue, blame, blame, ...! There is lucrative bounty from the hidden treasures of history.
More Hindraf posting to come on!
** This posting was reedited 5/12/2007 9:00 a.m.
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