What Is 'Ketuanan Melayu'?

A fortnight or so ago I noted a flurry of media activity on Melayu Malaysia vs. Melayu Singapore. I didn't see any debate on mckknet on subject ... and since some have lamented about the dearth of news, let me pick this subject of "Malangnya Melayu Malaysia" - Ketuanan Melayu?

Just what exactly is "ketuanan Melayu"? It's unfortunate that we Malaysian Malays are so obsessed with "ketuanan" Melayu that I am uncertain we, overall, are worthy to be "tuan". Despite all the claims on championing the well-being of Malays, statistics dismally project otherwise ..... Only 14 % of Malaysian Malays finished upper secondary or higher education (vs 25% in S'pore where the Malays are without special govt assistance). Median household income for Malays in S'pore rose from $1880 to $2708 (RM 5857) .... no data for Melayu Malaysia (under wraps of OSA?).

Just what is "ketuanan Melayu" when only 14% of us have secondary/tertiary education? When median household income is uncertain?

We love the NEP (DEB) as we can "hide" behind it, camouflage our "Malaise" (was that how this English word came about ... from the British observance of the Malays in Malaya then?), and have a back-stop for our weakness ... in theory, we can gain easier access to businesses, education and other worldly elements (it did worked in the past esp. when Tun Razak was at the helm as motives/intentions then remained more pure than tainted) ... yet in the recent past, the few ones who really gained at our expense are those in cohort with powers of the day.

We elevated some Malay figures and claimed them as successful corporate figures ... it is easy to be "corporate figures" when there's assistance though some of these "corporate figures" don't deserve to be named as such. The true corporate figures would have survived economic crises, business cycles relatively unscathed. Given this premise .... how many of these "corporate figures" really remain today (without need for tax-payers bail-outs ... the money you and I put into the coffers?)

It is shameful that we Malaysian Malays, after years of "independence" we can't seem to make it, even with continued dependence on Govt support. So ... what "ketuanan Melayu" are we claiming??

Ketuanan Melayu ... how different is it from "Nazi supremacy?", racial indifference? and indignation of fellow Malaysians? It is interesting to note that all said and done, the powers-that-be allowed the Malay supremacy rally to take place last weekend ... because it was "UMNO heavy". Had it been by someone other that "UMNO heavy" ... would it have taken place?

It is shameful that it took place. The one unexpected good upside to the rally was that it turned into UMNO-Mahathir bashing ... how lovely. Here are some quotes from the rally ...

Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Exampli gratia of a real fickle Malay politician, no leanings, a lalang who wud bend with the wind)

"The problem with UMNO today is that a lot of people try to curry favor. A rally like this is the right venue to express our views because those who speak at UMNO general assemblies are more concerned with pleasing the leadership than telling the hard truth."

Datuk Mazlan Harun (son of Harun Idris)

"It is now time for Mahathir to listen to the grassroots ....We want to know why the government paid such a high price for MAS shares. It must explain. The grassroots' opinion is also that the present Cabinet must be cleaned up. The present Cabinet does not enjoy credibility among the Malays."

Tajuddin Rahman

"43 years after independence, but where are our rights? If the Govt can spend millions and billions of ringgit to build Putrajaya, the MSC and all these grand buildings, surely it can also create development which can benefit the Malays. But there are still poor Malay farmer and fishermen. Instead, the Govt is more concerned with helping selected companies and people - YTL, MRCB, Berjaya, Renong, DRB"

Tan Sri Awang Had

"The world has become a borderless, global vilage. If Malays wish to be masters of their own destiny, they must master knowledge and the tools of technology" .... hear, hear, I wud second this!

So .... folks tell me again .... what ketuanan Melayu are we talking about? Let the debate begins ....

PS 1 ... who's gonna buy MAS? Qantas, KLM and Swissair have all packed out. Some say Niki Lauda (ex F-1 champion, CEO of Lauda Air) has been aproached?

PS 2 ... how's KLIA? British Airways will be pulling out of Malaysia. Qantas and Lufthansa have already pulled out. Any takers on who is next?

Zainal A. Ahmad

Excerpt from MCKK Community Mailing List

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