Malay rights? What Malay rights?

I pinched the following letter from The Whisperer’s blog HERE. I think the overall message is a strong one, and worth sharing. So bloggers who are reading this, perhaps you’d like to pinch this letter and spread it on your blog too.


The Malays are ‘technically’ in power governing the country but it is also this same controlling group that demands the right to correct economic imbalances and disparities for its own race.

What does this say about the ‘majority governing’ Malay race for the last 50 years?

I dare say that most Malaysians (regardless of race) below the age of 40 would like to see all opportunities be spread amongst those who deserve it on meritocracy.

We do not need the keris anymore to tell others to be careful of what they say and do because in the survival of the fittest, the keris is of very little relevance!

If we continue to hide under the ‘bumiputera’ tempurung as most Malays have been in the last 50 years or more, the catch-up game will just get harder and the gap wider.

If we continue to expect without earning it, we will never learn how to be a race that succeeds on merit.

There is NO substitute for merit.

The Malay politicians continue to shout about Malay rights and bumiputera rights because the very nature of our local politics is sadly racially biased.

In this day and age, a great nation is built upon joint success stories, meritocracy and the combined hard work of its people WITHOUT any fear or favour of racial biased politics governing our daily policies.

I am below 40 and as much as I love the ‘idea’ that Malaysia is tanah tumpahnya darah orang Melayu, I can’t help but also feel that this country is for ALL Malaysians alike including the Chongs, the Kumars, the Xaviers, the Kaurs etc who were born on the same day in the same hospital as me here in Malaysia .

If we feel that WE (the Malays) deserve this country more than THEM , then WE (the Malays) should have shown them a long time ago that we deserve the ‘control all’ status.

We have to earn it.The policies FAILED because the very concept of Malay rights or the NEP/DEB is like a double-edged sword.

On one hand, it aims to eradicate wealth disparity but on the other, it has made the Malays oblivious of what reality is. Our (Malays) success is only reflected in the ‘perceived’ political power which today can collapse in a matter of minutes.

I would also like to see my children succeed in their country, Malaysia, for reasons that true success should be based upon, which are merit and hard work and NOT because they are Malays or bumiputeras.

For as long as the Malays don’t see this, there is very little point in fighting for Malay rights. It just makes us look more ridiculous.

We have taken this notion of being privileged a bit too literally in that it now simply means we want this country and its fruits all for ourselves without accepting the responsibilities that come with it.

I blame the MALAY politicians for this because we want to only fight the cause without strategising for the true substance and need of the cause. We have been given fish all the while without being taught how to fish.

It’s funny how two different generations can be so diverse in their thinking and the recent elections proved just that. We are no longer concerned with racial problems but more so the never-ending Malay agenda issues.

The rakyat has spoken and the landscape has drastically changed.

Is this change welcomed ? Is it good ?

The answer is ‘NO’ . Because we, the Malays, have been caught with our pants down – we are not ready to compete on any level playing field (we can’t even compete on advantageous grounds!).

Even with three or five more continuing policies for Malay rights or bumiputera privileges over the next 50 years, we will still be in exactly the same position as we are in today.

The truth hurts and the truth will always prevail. And the truth of what’s to come will NOT go away.

I am cynical perhaps because I feel that Malay rights is NOT relevant anymore.The right to be safe, to be treated fairly, to have a world-class healthcare and education, to enjoy equal prosperity, to have good governance, to live in a clean environment and to be war-free is what I want for my Malaysia . NOT for MY race to be artificially powerful.

If we want the Malays to fail, then by all means continue the fight for Malay rights. Go and polish your keris.

-Shaik Rizal Sulaiman


12 Comments on “Malay rights? What Malay rights?”

  1. warrior2 says:

    Let me guess. Shaik is a “succesful” person probably with 1 or 2 children who is given 10 to 20 ringgit perday as school pocket money and sent to tuition with more pocket money, live in a nice house, drive a big car, have money etcetc and is not a sweeper or a clerk with 6 children to feed and clothes and schooled and just dont have enough of anything and eveything.

    Usually a malay will say what he said when he is on the other side and will say differently when he is this side. Just like what Calvin commented in one of the posting about how one saiful is making life hell for the rest of the country because saiful is not his familly!

    Dont get me wrong but I am only pointing out the irony of things!

  2. Warrior2, i think you are getting it totally wrong here. I am 47 yr old Chinese and i have gone thru my fair share of inequalities that breeds freely in this country. But lets not get ourselves strayed by allowing our emotion to blind us from the very fact that the author of this article has indeed make his point clear and it doesn’t matter which class or comfort zone he comes from.

    The main contributing factor to the wind of change pre and post 8th March is Awareness. And warior2, you will be surprise how Awareness has change the whole political scenario of this country.

    Try to open up and mix freely without inhibitions from your past experiences. Believe me, its different now. Most of them share the same sentiment as the author.

    Lets be fair and try not to generalise. Differentiate them by all means.. between Malays or Umnoputras.Then you can see the difference.

  3. PKRisforMALAY says:

    Sheikh can sleep and eat well saying those because perhaps hes among the lucky below 40s who were born with silver spoon being fed tru his bloody mouth.

    He forgets 65% of Malays are still living in rural areas. Compared to 15% chinese and 40% indian. And out of those 65%, more than half are living in pure poverty.

    Much have been done to help them with initiatives from Felda, Risda etc…but the end of the rope to productivity and wealth of those hard earned works still much in controlled of the chinese. And this is fact!

    Accept the harsh reality!

    As much as we want to shout and say about fairing and squaring things…not one races would definitely willing to share all with the others.

    I have seen how hard some upcoming decent malay businessmen trying to make a living begging for some chinese towkay to give them prices as same as others of chinese..but to no avail!

    Chinese only invest their hard ringgits in M’sia because they know they get triple in return. But kept their wealth somewhere else…in Singapore, Hk etc. Then back home shout for more of this and that.

    emmm…thats the fact.

  4. warrior2 says:

    Wishperer, you have got me wrong there. I didnt say anything at all on the substance. I only commented on the irony of it.

    I would be very much interested to know his background, did he go to a boarding school and to the university, what was his qualification (score) to get to the U, did he get any scholarship, did he get a job on merit. He spoke about merit, well I want to know whether he is what he is today on merit.

    I may talk about the substance later on.

  5. humm says:

    One must always start from an ideal perspective but somewhere along the line what is practiced must also not be too distant from the constraints in reality. Yes, wouldn’t it be great if this world is all one people, one race, one religion. Never mind,let it be many people, many races, and many religion but all sharing perfectly and fair in all accounts. Wish again! I’m sure many would agree that the author is a little too idealistic and a little skewed in his views on reality. Steping out in the real world will show that this is certainly not the case in all aspect of our society right now.

    Let us take meritocracy for example. If we have students from schools in cities with all their access to materials do well compared to their peers in villages, do they deserve more? Are we comparing equals to begin with? The difference in social and economic standing surely contributes to their performace compared to others. Yes one can argue that there are kids from successful family that don’t do well too. Some schools in smaller towns are better equiped than those in major cities. Sure, but I am talking about majority and on average. Those that have, are definitely at better odds than those have nots. How can we evaluate merits by itlself alone without taking account of people social and economic background.

    Where we are now is influenced by where we came from. We cannot abondoned our history overnight as some would want us to believe. Waiving the keris or not has nothing to do with it. Lets not confused symbolism with added biased exageration with our real condition. Yes the malays have improved over the years economically, we cannot deny that. And yes that is due to the affirmative action by the government via NEP and I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that. Historically that is what was agreed among the leaders of our independence. And we will never be where we are now if we leave everything to meritocracy alone. So, now that the few have done well and suddenly wakes up, they say we don’t need anymore special support. For him may be, but for those that are still behind in their economic standing, is it just? He certainly speaks only for himself, but he is most certainly not being fair to the majority. This argument holds water only if ‘majority’ is indeed behind. That has to be established factually.

    The spirit of independence is not racially discrimination on race alone. It is an affirmative discrimination based on social and economic standing, BUT shall be championed by the various race group themselves. Our country I don’t believe has been one sided that it discriminates the non malays indiscriminately. That is evident even by the current standing of the economic powers divided among the races now. Just imagined, without much government support there are almost equal in numbers of malaysian non malays studying abroad compared to the malays. Well, that’s a separate matter that we can debate another time.

    Now, the frustration of the malays, especially towards UMNO now is many but one of them would be the uneven/unfair distribution of wealth. Lets not confused between the wealth that has been accumulated by some against the majority that still crys for assistance. Many malays that have move towards PKR basically cries for fairness, not for outright denial of assistance.

    All these however does not deny some certain truth that the malays or for that matter all the other races have to accept that i would say is more pertinent to the authors article. That is, as we all moved towards a more ‘levelled’ society where the proportion of social and economic standing are more balanced, then the time for a fair distribution of government support for all will happen. We will then i believe see a more sensible implementation towards meritocracy.

    One thing to note, however, even on current implementation, the government do recognised all malaysian regardless of race that have performed well in their education. It is common these days that even malays that score straight A’s have found it difficult to get outright support. The ‘level’ has indeed shows its tip.

    If one is to take the authors article positively though, it is as a reminder to all malays that we have to grow up sooner that we realize!

  6. warrior2 says:

    humm had said it well!

  7. Shaikh can speak for himself (how do we know if he’s even Malay for goodness sake, even if he is..he’s the Melayu Mudah Lupa and don;t think about other malay in rural areas)….i really would like him to disclose himself and let’s check his background whether he’s a product of NEP or not…

    humm..i could’t agree more with you…maybe the chinese/indians should be taught more about history and understand them so they understand the real situation

  8. Let’s not blow the author’s intention out of proportion.

    His Message is Clear. ‘NEP’ and ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ harms Malays more than It Does Good.

    Credit must be given to those deservings and for the very fact that he came out with his views in writing, i respect him for his wisdom and maturity. Thus, i refrain myself from questioning his qualification or his intention of writing this article.

    Sorry Michelle for these mess on your blog.
    No apology needed. We’re all in for open discussion.

  9. humm says:

    ‘NEP’ and ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ harms Malays more than It Does Good! It begs one to ask, how is it that it is MORE bad than good. Does ‘NEP’ takes away from the malay any priviledeges that it give to others? Does ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ makes the malay the less fortunate among other citizens in Malaysia? The answer I believe is quite obvious. The ‘NEP’ and ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ has been the sole reason what brings the malays to where they are now. It is an afirmative action that has benefited the malays, done on purpose to address the economic and social imbalance in our society at the verge of independence.

    Why then has some come to belief that it is actually more harm than good? One can only deduced that what is meant is, the harm of over dependence that all the priviledges brings. Or to some that has been at the disadvantage of being the non recepient of NEP wants us to believe so that it could be scrap! What else could there be in all the hidden messages that they are trying to promote.

    Short of judging, the Whisperer on the other hand by going through his blogs, are just against anything UMNO. All the articles title seem to be worded such that all the trouble in this world is due to UMNO. Now, I am no supporter for any party but I believe in fairplay and open minded discussion so that we all can learn from one another. How else can we progress! Why should an open discussion be interpreted as a ‘mess’.

    The irony is that in believing the ‘wind of change’, I hope it is not changing from one belief to ‘my set of beliefs’. Anything else is OK as long as you see this world as i do. That is certainly not the change that i would promote!

  10. Nasir says:

    Agreed with Warrior2….

    Firstly let us not forget that the NEP is not a racial discrimination policy, it was understood in 1947 that the non-Malays were to be given the privilege and entitlement for Malaysian citizenship was purely based on the acceptance by non-Malays to support, recognise and agreed fully at the exchange of Bumiputra rights, being uphold to the citizenship that was being offered to non-Malays. Meaning to say, the Chinese, who mainly originated from China and the Indians originated from India who came to settle down to Malaysia were given the right to citizenship of the country, to live and work so to speak, in a condition to uphold the Malay’s Bumiputra rights of the country, and not to jeopardise or question its integrity. I believe the non-Malays should recognize this terms and not to raise issued or to question the rights of the Malays in Malaysia while the Malays can also question the integrity of the citizenship offered to non-Malays to live and work in Malaysia. At the same time the Malays too should not go out of proportion to demands their Malay’s right in mainland China or India, seems illogic!

    By the way I am a Singaporean by birth, live and work in Singapore where Malay is the minority but not to forget we too has the Malay Bumiputra rights in Singapore which till todate, we Malay here has been deprived of our own right in the name of meritocracy! Loosing one status isnt as bad as loosing one’s right to live in their very own land!! If not for the Malay archipelago land who would give the native their own status and rights, who else would, certainly not China and India who got billions of their own citizens to take care of their own needs and rights!

  11. shaik rizal sulaiman says:

    Dear all,

    i wrote that article. I am a malay who worked hard to be competitive in this world. Not just the malay world but the global world.

    Perhaps my writing is too deep for some of you to understand and hence, you all decided to decode it the typical racist way and question the issues of rights and NEP! how do you define “rights”?

    if every malay’s right is to a scholarship, then why not give a scholarship to EVERY malay student regardless of their performance? this is the true definition of rights. With every right, there is merit and responsibility which we must uphold. Or else, our race will be “artificially” powerful. Read my article properly and you would understand that i write such an article because of my deep love for the malay race who i personally want to see prosper in a country they call their own! Like i said, the truth hurts and good things are always not popular (just like Dr Mahathir’s Malay Dilemma) so take it for what it is worth and understand it for what it is intended to mean.

    Don’t make judgements based on your personal insecurities because we cannot hide under the “malay rights” if we dont show what the right has done for us.

    I love my race and i love my country. The real “right” comes from within us first.

    I thank you, Shaik, for writing the article.

  12. :D says:

    Do you think about the one live in poverty? No you don’t care because you all good. Even if your name is shaik that doesn’t make you a malay. You might be an ‘Artifical’ Malay whom went study to a place and live in their perspective. Have you ever think about what the race is all about. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones don’t you agrees?

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