|WRITTEN BY A KADIR JASIN|
|TUESDAY, 02 MARCH 2010 16:53|
Sorry to say, but I am proud to be Malay. Although sometimes I’m embarrassed by the attitude, behaviour and achievement levels of the Malay and even more so when Malays are linked with corruption and laziness, nonetheless I’m still proud to be a Malay in Malaysia.
I’m sure a Chinese is proud to be Chinese too and an Indian proud to be Indian. It’s immaterial if many among the younger generation Indians and Chinese adopt Western names even though they are not Christian and are unable to speak English well. In Malaysia where we are followers of ‘in’ trends, even Malay youths are caught up with using English names.
Hence, my personal stand is to defend the Malay identity in the identity card and other official documents. Furthermore, this Malay identity affirms me as a Muslim, Bumiputera and someone who doesn’t eat pork or drink.
(Recently, I was having a meal in an upmarket restaurant in Bangsar. I ordered spaghetti with clams. But there was ‘chardonnay’ (alcohol) in the dish. So I asked, is it genuine chardonnay or chardonnay Malaysia-style. The waiter replied it was the real McCoy. So it is haram lah. However spaghetti with clams can be prepared without the use of alcohol. What’s amazing in Malaysia is (a food that is) haram can be made halal with just a change of ingredient. Thus in Malaysia, ‘bacon’ which is pork derived can be rendered halal by replacing it with beef or turkey.)
The above analogy helps to explain why I disagree totally with the government’s suggestion for the Race box in official forms to be done away with other than for the purpose of census and statistics.
Bernama quotes the roadmap to the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) launched by Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak today (Jan 28) as saying:
“In fostering a 1Malaysia government, it has been proposed that the mention of race on government forms be eliminated except for the purpose of census and statistics.”
Am I Malaysian just because I am proud being a Malay? Or to put it another way, is my love for Malaysia any less if I were to prefer to remain a Malay and I want my Malay identity on record?
I don’t care if the Chinese, Indian, Iban, Kadazan and others do not wish to have their ethnic afifiliation stated in their identity card; birth, death and marriage certificates; land grants or any other official documentation issued by the government 1Malaysia. That is their prerogative.
Who knows … it might be that the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia are no longer proud of their ethnic origins and instead want to be bangsa 1Malaysia.
For me, I want my Malay identity to be known and acknowledged because I’m a pribumi of Tanah Melayu – belonging to a race from the Malay Archipelago. In the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, Malay and Islam cannot be separated.
If fate decrees that I should suddenly fall by the wayside, anyone stumbling across my stiff body will know that I’m a Muslim when they see my race recorded (in IC) as Malay.
Truly, I am sad and angry when one by one, the features that relate Malays to their race, country and rights are being eroded day by day, bit by bit.
To throw away the identification of race in the official forms and documents as proposed is one example of the direction taken to destroy the Malay identity as the core race, the pribumi and the majority race on Malaysian soil.
Is this happening merely the non-Bumiputeras “feel that they have lost their rights, feel discriminated against and frustrated (geram)”because of the New Economic Policy, and as a result I, as a Malay, must no longer be entitled to declare my racial identity?
Even if the non-Bumiputeras feel that they have lost their rights, are discriminated against and frustrated because they consider that the New Economic Policy does not benefit them, do they really believe that all Malays and Bumiputera are satisfied with the policy too?
It is a big mistake to think that Malays and Bumiputeras are not aware that more non-Bumiputeras have become rich and are enjoying the good life due to (the workings of) NEP.
So, please lah don’t fault me if I’m proud to be Malay and wish my race recorded officially. Thank you.
For more information on the GTP roadmap announced by the Prime Minister, please read the Bernama article ‘Era Baru Bagi 1Malaysia Dengan Transformasi Kerajaan’.
[The English version of the Bernama story can be read here.]
This article was originally titled Saya mahu terus jadi orang Melayu and appeared in A Kadir Jasin’s blog ‘The Scribe’ on Jan 28, 2010.
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