Ketuanan Melayu: A legitimate right of the Malays

After all the controversy and polemic about Ketuanan Melayu, it is shocking to note that 50 years after independence the citizens of the whole country especially the Non Malays neither genuinely do not grasp or simply refuse to accept the fundamental basis of our unique nationhood.

Before this matter gets out of hand and becomes more toxic and turn ugly, it is high time to remind everyone of the simple facts and truth about the issue.

First of all, the world knows that before the successive colonizers; the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the British came with their gunboats this country; the Malays were the original indigenous and legitimate owners or TUAN of this country. The Malay Sultans were the Rulers and the entire indigenous subjects and citizens were the Malays. There were no Chinese and Indians at all. The Chinese and Indians were subsequently brought into this country by the British colonizers as immigrants labour to work in their mines and plantations and help the British exploit and plunder this country.

By right when this country regained her independence, the British had to return this country to the Malays as the TUAN and restore everything to its original position as when they first set foot in this country. This was the legitimate and rightful premise of the nation.

But as a political plea bargain, the British requested for the immigrant population to be allowed to continue to remain and be citizens of this country upon independence. The Malays were well aware that by the time the Chinese and Indians who were open to much better opportunities during the colonial days have already achieved considerable economic and social progress and advantages compared with the Malays themselves who have been subjected to hundreds of years of systematic suppression, deprivation and marginalization. In fact the immigrant Chinese ‘apeks’ has already become towkays and Indian ‘thambys’ have become overseers, mandores, even engineers and money lenders while the Malay TUANs themselves have been reduced ti mere ‘Ahmads’ largely confined to the remote Kampungs wallowing in the mud with their buffaloes. Thoese who managed to leave the kampong were in uniform elevated to drivers, peons, mata-mata or Malay regiment  soldiers to keep everyones’ peace.

However, despite the potential threat to their own position, the Malays with their typical magnanimity and generosity were still willing to take the risk of accommodating about 3 million Chinese and Indians, nearly as many as the Malays themselves and confered instantly citizenship BUT on condition that it would not prejudice or compromise their own position and status as the legitimate TUAN of this country.

This was the condition precedent or the prerequisite for the immigrant population to remain and be citizens of this country ie: they have to agree, recognize, accept and respect the precedence of the Malays in this country. This is what Ketuanan Melayu or social contract is all about. It is essentially about the reinstatement and restoration of the Malays as original and legitimate owners of the land.

To legitimise this fundamental agreement the Ketuanan Melayu was clearly articulated and captured in a special provision clause enshrined in the constitution as the cradle of collective consensus and conscience of all the citizens in this country and nation for prosperity.

In fact, in order to manifest and underline all the intents and purposes of the letter and spirit  of this provision about Ketuanan Melayu even further, the constitution went on to constitutionally define the term MELAYU to highlight, differentiate and distinguish them from others. To emphasis the special status, position and powers of the Malays, the Malay Sultans were reinstated as Rulers of the states, with the AGONG regularly elected among them as King, Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces as the protector and keeper of the Constitution and the country. Furthermore, the mother tongue of the Malays, Bahasa Melayu was made the national language while the religion of the Malays become the official religion of the country. All these constitute and spelled the essence and veracity of the Ketuanan Melayu.

The simple and blunt answer to those who still question Ketuanan Melayu should question their own existence and presence in this country. It must be put to them clearly that this special provision would not have necessary if the Malays did not have to carry the burden of accommodating them, the immigrant Chinese and Indians and extend to them the privilege of citizenship which they enjoy until this very day. It was simply a quid pro quo for accommodating them. The term Melayu would not have been constitutionally defined if not for the existence and presence of others with the consent of the Malays in this country.

All the affirmative action policies and actions stamming from this provision such as the New Economic Policy (NEP) of the Bumiputera policies are to empower the Malays to redress themselves in order to restore their original and rightful position as the TUAN of this country. They are not privileges but inherent and legitimate rights of the Malays to do whatever it takes to restore their status and position that had been lost of hundreds of years of suppression and deprivation of the British colonial rule. It must also be clearly understood that the onus of this restoration process lies entirely with the Malays themsleves to devise their own strategies to achieve this ultimate end within their own time without any leave from others.

The truth is, until today, in spite of various affirmative policies and actions, the Malays have not been able to liberate themselves completely from the vestiges of grave setbacks suffered from the British rule. To a certain extent the process has been made even more difficult and complex, as it has been compounded by other strenuous constrains such as the need to compromise and accommodate Non Malay interest. All our policies have always been delibrately accommodative and never been at the expense of others. In fact, some of our affirmative actions intended to benefit the Malays have been riddled with constant leakages arising from exploitation by Non Malays causing serious cancellation effect.

All said and done, today, the Malays are still far behind in every sphere of life compared with the Non Malays, especially the Chinese who have enjoyed good head start with the indulgence of the British colonizers actually at large extent at the expense of the Malays.

Glib talks about equality, the Malays are intrinsically the least equal. Talk about justice, where is the economic justice for the Malays who have actually sacrificed and  suffered the worst. In all things what matters most is tangible EQUITABILITY which remains very much an elusive dream as far as the Malays are concerned. If at all it is the Malays who should be shouting and clamouring for equality and justice but not others.

The thought of the Non Malays grudging the so called special privileges of the Malays is most grateful if not outright bad faith. After all, at the time of reckoning the forefathers of the Chinese and Indian immigrants had a clear choice; either they recognize, accept and respect the KETUANAN MELAYU and live with it for prosperity or remain as foreigners or leave this country as the British excess baggage.

However they wilfully chose to remain and be citizen of the country which has been the land of milk and honey for them. For them to question and repudiate the KETUANAN MELAYU especially while the Malays are still struggling and they having the best of both worlds means that they are trying to have both the cake and eat it. Whereas they know full well that never in history and nowhere in the world not even China or India can anybody be allowed to do so. It is as if they wish to abrogate or usurp the legitimate rights to the Malays to exercise their liberty to remedy their own position without leave or consent of the Non Malays.

The increasing audacity of the Non Malays is not at all surprising now that they are more entrenched and more daring to exert their presence perhaps emboldened by the emergence of their original homelands China and India as world powers. It is no coincidence that even the Indians who have been generally more docile have recently organised themselves as HINDRAF which saw it fit to take their grievances to India for political leverage. The Chinese of course with their more aggressive attitude has recently forced the government to apologise and pay homage to the Great Wall of China over a purported incident of mistreatment of Chinese citizen by an immigration department that turn out to be a farce because the actual victim was in fact a poor Malay lady. Indeed it was a great humiliation for the Malays as a whole. Perhaps these ugly incidents will haunt the Sino-Malay relationship for years to come.

In any case, our brief history has shown that the Non Malays especially the Chinese had never really lived up to their obligation to the Malays and this country right from their humble beginning. When the British left this country in a lurch in World War II, the Malays in the true spirit as the sons of the soil defended the country with their lives and soul to the last man. The Chinese on the other hand organised Malayan Communist Party (MCP) with the support of mainland communist China tried to take over this country from the British for themselves. They mounted viscious and savage guerilla warfare with unfold loss of the Malay unity lives and damage to this country until they were defeated.

Then, in 1969 when they smelt power after a strong showing in a general election they arrogantly taunted the Malays threatening to send them back to the kampongs where they belong resulting in bloody race riot.

Yet again, when Singapore gained her independence through Malaysia, the Chinese-based party PAP in Singapore spawned the idea of Malaysian Malaysia in order to undermine and upstage the position of the Malays resulting in the amputation of Singapore from Malaysia dealing another huge sacrifice on the part of the Malays and this country just to avert another political disaster. Till this day the politics of Chinese chauvinism continues to breed and spawn the same sentiments though with some subtlety through the DAP, as the 5th column and proxy and alter ego of Singapore’s PAP.

Should anybody think that the provision for KETUANAN MELAYU was uncalled for or  a little ostentious, all above incidents prove that not only it was sound foresight on the part of our founding fathers but the fundamental protection of the position of the Malays as such prove absolutely necessary and completely tenable.

To say the least, it was this sound mechanism of KETUANAN MELAYU as the fulcrum of the equilibrium that provides the foundation that provides the foundation and framework for our grand coexistence that has seen this country and society achieve unprecedented success in peace and harmony that has made our nation an icon of diversity and en envy of the whole world. Thanks to the wisdom of our forefathers and the magnamity of the Malays.

Going forward therefore it is high time that leaders of all political persuasion should enlighten themselves with this fundamental issue and appreciate and embrace it with complete integrity of purpose. And without any apology the Malays should stand up and defend their special position with KETUANAN MELAYU with fortitude and dignity not only for the good of the Malays themselves but for the sake of the future of the whole country.

Datuk Nordin Bin Salleh

23 February 2009

* Nordin was with MNCs before embarking fulltime into politics. He won the Sg Pinang DUN seat in Kelantan during the 1990 general elections under Parti Semangat 46. He was one of the two Semangat 46 who crossed back into UMNO in 1991 for the sake of Malay unity. This paved the way for an effort to strengthen the Malays and eventually saw Semangat 46 being dissolved and its members returned to UMNO en bloc in 1996.

Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 14:58  Comments (24)  

Tony Pua’s agenda to demonize PM Najib’s NEMonomics

PJ Utara DAP MP Tony Pua, who is also DAP’s propaganda Chief is set to demonize PM Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s effort to improve the economic position, especially with the New Economic Model bold agenda of doubling the income per capita within 10 years.

The Malaysian Insider reports:

FDI crashing because investors lost faith, says DAP

KUALA LUMPUR July 25 — A lack of confidence in Malaysia’s economy has driven foreign direct investment FDI to our neighbours leaving the once-roaring “Asian tiger” to compete with Indochina countries the DAP said today The World Foreign Investment Report WIR 2010 released by the United Nations showed that FDI in Malaysia plunged 81 per cent last year trailing behind countries like the Philippines Vietnam Thailand Indonesia and Singapore “For the first time ever in history Malaysia attracted less investment than the Philippines ” DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua said in a statement today Pua pointed out that Malaysia was the only Asean country to experience negative FDI flow in 2009 The Philippines attracted US$1 95 billion RM6 24 billion in FDI compared to Malaysia’s US$1 38 billion while Singapore raked in the most — more than US$16 billion “Among Southeast Asian nations we are now only attracting more FDI than Cambodia Myanmar Brunei Laos and Timor-Leste ” added Pua “What was previously unimaginable that we may one day be compared to countries such as Cambodia and Myanmar is now a real possibility ” said the Petaling Jaya Utara MP pointing out that those countries had also attracted less than US$2 billion in FDIs last year Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been trying to lift Malaysia’s profile as a destination for foreign investment to help the country achieve an average gross domestic product GDP growth of at least six per cent per annum over the next five years But Malaysia’s FDI rates have fallen faster than other regional players like Singapore and China and at the same time capital outflows have dampened private domestic investments The Najib administration has also warned that the economy may slow down in the second half of the year due to external factors but have insisted that a six per cent growth was still achievable Today Pua also said that Malaysia had suffered the biggest decline of FDI in Southeast Asia from 2008 till 2009 “The government cannot use the excuse of the global financial crisis as the reason for the precipitous drop in FDI as we have performed the worst compared to all other countries big and small in the region ” said Pua Data revealed that Malaysia suffered a large 81 1 per cent drop in FDIs compared to far healthier figures in Thailand 30 4 per cent Vietnam 44 1 per cent and Indonesia 44 7 per cent However Singapore Brunei Philippines and Myanmar still managed to register positive growth said Pua Pua also DAP’s chief economist pointed out that Malaysia was the sole Southeast Asian nation to have registered a net negative FDI flow last year Najib was criticised for stalling on the NEM “Malaysia was the only country where our outflow of FDI amounting to US$8 04 billion is substantially greater than the FDI of US$1 38 billion received ” said Pua “Not only are foreign investors unwilling to invest in Malaysia our own local investors as well as foreign investors who are already in the country have a total lack of confidence in the ability of our economy to generate an attractive return to their investments ” added Pua He pointed out that Malaysia’s net FDI flows have declined from US$2 56 billion in 2004 and US$1 09 billion 2005 to a net negative US$0 02 billion 2006 negative US$2 7 billion 2007 and negative US$7 67 billion in 2008 “Despite Datuk Seri Najib repeatedly insisting that the era where ‘the government knows best’ is over his administration continues to crowd out private investments by directly awarding mega-projects to government-linked entities such as the Sungai Buloh land to an Employee Provident Fund joint venture with the government or the Sungai Besi airport redevelopment to the 1 Malaysia Development Fund ” said Pua “Without these necessary and critical changes to the government’s economic policies the Malaysian economy will only continue to drift away from the radar of both local and foreign investors ” he added Pua went on to criticise Najib for not moving ahead with his New Economic Model pointing out the prime minister had been forced to call it a “trial balloon” after a sour reaction from some Malay groups.


The truth is far from what has been described. Tony Pua is using the 2009 figures to back his claims that the economy is not so bullish and losing out FDIs  to our neighbours.  The analysis is comparatively weak as the correspondong period of analysis was no longer relevant, in the context of the real economic propulsion programs ever since PM Najib took charge and new policies, which include liberalisation to 27 subsectors announced.

MITI under Dato’ Seri Mustapha Mohamad is bullish and confident of realising RM 115 billion of FDIs for the next 10th Malaysia Plan (2010-15). The growth set is at 12.8 % annually as compared to an average of 2% per annum during PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s watch. report on the matter:


M’sia Optimistic to Woo RM115 Billion Private Investment by 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 JULY, 2010: Malaysia is optimistic of wooing RM115 billion private investment by 2015 in line with the target set under the 10th Malaysia Plan, says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said the Government Transformation Plan would create a conducive environment for investment flow.
“RM115 billion investment represents foreign direct investment and Malaysia’s investments overseas. The six per cent gross domestic product growth forecast this year is achievable,” he said.
Mustapa also said there was potential investments from South Korea particularly in the property sector.
To date, investments from South Korea totalled US$3 billion, he said.

Mustapa said there are indications that South Korean companies are keen to increase their investments in Malaysia.
“We should exploit this potential with South Korea’s aggressive investment overseas,” he said.
The latest investment from South Korea is the acquisition of Malaysia’s largest petrochemical producer, Titan Chemicals Corp Bhd, by Honam Petrochemical Corp.
Another investment by South Korea is the plan to set up a solar cell manufacturing plant at the Senai Hi-Tech Park in Johor by STX Corp.
Mustapa said interest in Malaysia’s property sector among South Koreans was also promising as they see Malaysia as an ideal place to live due to good quality of life and safe environment.

Meanwhile, at the Business Councils meeting with the International Trade and Industry Ministry today, Mustapa said strategic partnership promotion and ways to boost trade and investment took centrestage.
Among the Business councils which attended the meeting are the Malaysian-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Malaysian-Swedish Business Association, Malaysia-Norway Business Council, Malaysia-Italy Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Malaysia-Dutch Business Council.
The East Asia Business Council and Malaysia-Japan Economic Association also attended the meeting.
Mustapa also said there was a need to enhance the ministry’s database system to provide comprehensive information on foreign investors and trade.
“We discussed ways to share information and to complement the information with the foreign countries,” he said.

He said the currrent database system focused on information gathered from the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA), mainly on companies that have received incentives from MIDA.
“Some companies which don’t have large investments are not captured,” he added.

— Bernama

The fact is that PM Najib’s effort to restore the confidence of investors in the active campaign to meet industrialists and financiers in his trips to the US, EU, Japan and China  is very much reflected in the first quarter’s FDI alone almost match with the whole of 2009 FDIs.

Human capital is one of the agenda to uplift the capabilities and competencies of the Malaysian workforce, to realise the expectations of the high value economy demands. Newly formed agencies such as the Talent Corporation is designed to source for the necessary talents from outside, to meet the shortfall of the demands. The Federal Government is also investing in over RM 1.5 billion a year for human capital programs, which include training and skill-sets uplifting programs for new and existing workforce.

To facilitate the influx of FDIs and promotion of further expansion of already existing MNCs, the rules of ownership have been relaxed. New banking and finanncial services license issued and better process for industries to be set up is being actively introduced.

2009 was particularly a bad year for business. Since the subprime financial meltdown in the US during the second half of 2008 and escalated to EU, the Malaysian economy is not spared. The lakclustre and lack of faith to PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah’s weak administration compounded to the poor FDIs attracted for 2009.

Pua should instead clearly demonstrate if DAP controlled Penang State Government under DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng did manage to attract FDIs for 2009-10 actually faired much better  against what Gerakan led BN Penang State Governemt under Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon did. The proof is a must for the State Government’s based on its own initiatives and not initiated by Federal Government campaigns, which is spearheaded by MIDA and NCIA. CM Lim and Excos did a lot of trade missions on their own and the effectiveness is yet to be seen.

Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 01:41  Comments (5)