Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Singapore Malays

My wife flew down to Singapore yesterday to spend the new year and Hari Raya Haji with family and friends.

Regarding the recent hoo-ha in the press about Lee Kuan Yew's statement on the so called marginalisation of the Chinese in this country and someone's retort that Singapore Malays are also in no worse fate, perhaps I can add something more about Singapore Malays (I think I can speak with some authority here since I spent some years there, my wife was a Singaporean and my eldest boy Imran was born there), I believe LKY's very subtle divide-and-rule policy has further marginalized the Malays in the tiny republic. Their contempt for our bumiputra or affirmative action policies have succeeded in creating a Malay bogey so much so that many young Malays there will now deny their Malay roots and instead claim that they are Arab, Javanese, Bawean or whatever.

Now I bet if one were to ask our Dato Syed Hamid Albar's young relatives in Singapore whether they are Malay or Arab, chances are they will claim they are Arabs instead. This is in direct contrast to the situation here in Malaysia, where even many our saudara baru or recent converts will unashamedly try to pass off as Malays or bumiputras. No prizes for correctly guessing why.

Sure they (the Singapore Malays) have made some great strides in education, business and the professions etc., but as my next-door neighbour (a Datuk and a retired senior civil servant from Rembau) once said, "... there are probably more Malay medical doctors and PhD's from the luak of Rembau than the entire island of Singapore." And I believe he may be right.

In other words, if the situation is indeed reversed here in Malaysia and Malays are the minority instead, we may just suffer the same fate as our Singapore brethren. So will our non-Malay friends who have been involved in the recent spate of Malay/Muslim bashing get off their bloody high horses ...

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