Unjust Comparison Between Ketuanan Melayu and Zionism
This morning I stumbled accross an article in Malaysian Insider entitled ‘DI ANTARA ZIONISME DAN KETUANAN MELAYU’, literally means BETWEEN ZIONISM AND THE MALAY OWNERSHIP, written by Amin Iskandar, the Executive Director of National Institute of Electoral Integrity. An extract of the article goes like this:
“DEC 14 — Di antara kebaikan yang berlaku di Malaysia selepas tsunami politik 8 Mac 2008 ialah banyak isu-isu yang selama ini diklasifikasikan sebagai “sensitif” telah menjadi perbincangan umum. Perbincangan dan perdebatan secara terbuka akan menghilangkan “misteri” isu-isu sensitif tersebut. Diantara perdebatan yang belum berakhir semenjak kuasa majoriti dua pertiga Barisan Nasional (BN) hilang di parlimen adalah isu mengenai konsep ketuanan Melayu…………………………………Negara Israel dikuasai oleh fahaman Zionisme. Apakah yang dimaksudkan dengan fahaman Zionisme? Di dalam fahaman ini, bangsa Yahudi dianggap sebagai bangsa yang terpilih. Bangsa-bangsa lain dianggap sebagai kelas kedua. Fahaman Zionisme memberikan keistimewaan kepada bangsa Yahudi di negara Israel. Penduduk berbangsa Arab di negara Israel tidak mendapat keistimewaan yang sama dengan rakyat berbangsa Yahudi di Israel……”
It baffled me to say the least that someone entrusted with such PUBLIC trust and expected to exercise reasonable INTEGRITY in giving out opinions for public consumption, is exposing his lack of depth in research and analysis. Worse still, when some one bearing a Malay name seems to be so NAIVE in handling issues that had been successfully resolved by the FOUNDERS of our great nation well before the country’s independence.
First and foremost, no single country in the world offers FREE CITIZENSHIP to foreigners coming in and out of their countries. Even European countries, Australia and New Zealand, who used to have liberal immigration policies are TIGHTENING up their procedures in the wake of MASSIVE waves of immigration from countries in crisis. The most generous offer a foreigner can get these days is to be PERMANENT RESIDENTS, while CITIZENSHIP has become a luxury almost every where….. accept in Singapore, for certain CHOSEN PEOPLE.
Malaysian citizens among Chinese and Indian communities are mainly the descendents of early IMMIGRANTS who were granted citizenships of PERSEKUTUAN TANAH MELAYU (Federation of Malaya) in early 1950s, shortly before the first General Election in 1954. Persekutuan Tanah Melayu was formed in 1948 to replace the MALAYAN UNION which was rejected by the Malays under leadership of UMNO. Persekutuan Tanah Melayu was then regarded as TRANSITION GOVERNMENT before full independence is granted by the British.
Along the road to full independence, the British PERSUADED the Malay Sultans and UMNO to accept the Chinese IMMIGRANTS who had been staying in Tanah Melayu for over certain number of years prior to independence to be granted citizenship status. The Malays were then not in the mood to delay the independence much longer. As a compromise, the Malay Sultans and UMNO agreed to the British proposals, with the condition that there would be sufficient clauses in the upcoming Constitution to protect the SPECIAL POSITION OF THE MALAYS, the original owners and rulers of Tanah Melayu.
The compromises and understandings which were later known as the SOCIAL CONTRACT became the BASIS of the Malaysian Federal Constutution. It ended up into Malaysia having TWO CATAGORIES of citizenship, the MALAYS/BUMIPUTRAS and the NON-MALAYS/NON-BUMIPUTRAS. Lets be very clear at this point, the non-Malays were not forced to agree to the Social Contract. They could have packed-up their bags and sail back to China and India, their motherlands, who would have embraced their sons back
In short, it was not the intention of Malays to make non-Malays ‘second-class’ citizens, if thats what the present Malaysian Chinese and Indians often ‘sarcastically’ call it. To the Malays, they were HOSPITABLE and ACCOMODATIVE enough to accept the Chinese and Indian immigrants as citizens at the first place. And the Malays had made it clear that the citizenship comes with CERTAIN CONDITIONS, which were then accepted by the forefathers of the present Chinese and Indians.
In short, the DUALISM of Malaysian citizenship is consequent to an Agreement agreed upon by the forefathers of major races, and deemed binding on their descendents.
There was NO SUCH AGREEMENT whatsoever between the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs. Arab lands were forcibly partitioned by the British and the Americans, co-incidently in 1948 too, to make way for the State of Israel. The Arab fought against the partitioning, only to lose more of their lands and territories in the ensuing wars. The fact that the Jews regard themselves as the CHOSEN PEOPLE OF GOD was based on certain teachings in their religion.
However, the HUMILIATING experience of the Palestinian Arabs may serve as useful reminders to the Malays in Malaysia…… they can not depend on others to protect their KETUANAN MELAYU over this lands formerly called Tanah Melayu. Only they can defend their ancestoral rights as ENSHRINED in the Federal Constitution.