Sunday, May 24, 2009

Malay Rights

My old MCKK classmate Dr Nik Azam in Kelantan sent this interesting take on "Malay Rights" to our alumni website which I think is certainly food for thought:

It cannot be wrong to say that we are in our present position because of the above. Every country has its uniqueness and peculiarities, Malaysia is no exception. Many in the world will find it odd that the majority group in Malaysia has special rights above other groups. This came about due to incidents in Malaysian history.

It is a basic human trait that every individual will always want something more than the next individual. This urge for empowerment is a bigger drive than just seeking simple survival. Man had fought duels, battles and wars and in the process he died young. He would have survive longer if he did not fight in the first place, but surviving and living under what terms?

The non Malays now clamour for the abolishment of these rights. Rightly so for them, they also seek empowerment. As a group we have to find smart ways to keep on to these rights but at the same time not to be seen as unfair. Our generation had benefited from them, it is our duty that our beloved ones who come after us are not deprived because of our follies. Do not read special rights here to mean just simple rent seeking.

America, Britain, Japan all have what they call as their foreign policies and strategic interests and the military muscle to back them up. They speak of equality of opportunity and equal rights but the basic is they want more for themselves and to safeguard what they already have.

All of us here are very Malay, is not our old school, the Malay College. So this subject cut across political party affiliations. We have to see that the present politicking do not affect Malay Rights. Party Keadilan is open to all races but 60% of voters are Malays, so they have to give leeway to this. Our classmate is not going to be the future PM if he does not come out with something clever on this issue.

UMNO by its very name is the party of the Malays and should champion our rights. But in the last general elections they received less than 50% of Malay votes. Very strange and food for thought for all of us and UMNO. The reasons are well known, UMNO to the majority of Malays is no longer the champion of the ordinary Malay, but are self serving for themselves. There had been so much wastage of the resources of the country. The non Malays shout that their children with strings of As do not get scholarships, but there are also Malay students with strings of As without scholarships. After the recent political setbacks, UMNO in the name of liberalisation had been giving away what in an indirect manner may touch on what before were considered as Malay Rights. In business and finance about 30 such changes were made, Hindraf leaders had been freed. They were the people who accused Malays of practicing apartheid.

The latest political happening in Malaysia, the Court of Appeal decision on the Perak DUN had been a victory for UMNO and BN, but is there any thought given to how the majority of Malaysians and Malays think about it. Are they not the voters who will decide future elections. The victory may prove costly in the long run.


  1. My understanding is that there is no specific provision in the Malaysian Constitution on any special rights or privileges for Malays. The Malay rulers have been given special rights and privileges. For ordinary Malay people, the Constitution only mentions "special position". What this means is left to interpretation.

  2. Captain

    Wish there were more liberal and far-sighted Malaysians like you. I think more people lik eyou should stand for elections come 2013. Then we'll all hve the M'sian we want and desire.

    As for their (Dis)honours, what do we do when they will not follow the Constitution? Any law or decision that is in conflict wu=ith the Constitution must fall - except in Bolehland!

    Looks like correct!correct!correct! and Lord Lingham's Silly Sauce still rules.

  3. Allow me to mix religion with this.
    One cannot be a Malay with 'special position" and as a Muslim at the same time.
    The Malays and the Muslims are split on this issue.
    Cant preach about fairness and yet demands privileges.
    Capt and fellow readers, what are your views on this?

  4. There's a difference between "rights" (hak) and "interests" (kepentingan).

    We have the same civil rights under Malaysian law but the interests of the different ethnic groups are also referred to in the Constitution.

    There's also a differene between "bangsa" (race) as in "bangsa Inggeris, Cina, India, Melayu" and "bangsa" (nation, national identity) as in Bangsa Bangsa Bersatu and Bangsa Malaysia.

    While we have the same national identity and national aspirations we do not have the same genes racially nor the same socio-cultural make-up.

    Please visit for a fuller explication! I hope you and your commenters will post your comments brickbats and all!

  5. Ninitalk is right here.

    But I also believe that "rights" or "hak" as in "right of way" for ships or motorists on a collision course for example, is only conditional upon the other party or parties willingly giving you your "hak".

    If they dont, then baby you aint got any.

    After many years of NEP and abuse of it by UMNO, non Malays are now asking for a rethink on these "hak" and "kepentingan" of the Malays. After all, they also have to look out for their own kepentingan too.

    And I do believe they have a point. Perhaps it would be fair to set a proper time frame because we Malays cannot rely on these "crutches" forever.

  6. "right of way" as of to avoid a shipwreck is acceptable, the one that hold the steer can easily make that call..


    what's yours is taken, you're hassle in every move, just because you're came out from a wrong womb..

    imagine.. you're that person; is it so difficult for us to understand all this


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