"...The British agreed to certain provisions in the (Federal) Constitution to serve as a safeguard for the Malay position in Malaysia.
It was NOT meant to create a situation of ‘superiority’ or racial dominance of the Malays.
The whole intention was to create in Malaysia the unique situation of EQUAL citizenship, rights and status for ALL races but at the same time the preservation of the position and culture of the Malay race.
Our leaders should therefore be mindful of this balancing act, and NOT tip the scales in favour of Malay Supremacy, and the other end, leading to the erosion of the Malay identity.
Keep it somewhere in the MIDDLE. "
Balancing the Scales of Unity in Malaysia
Updated: Commentary (29th April 2008)
I believe that the notion that non-Malays owe a debt of gratitude to Malays for the granting of citizenship and they in return they should duly recognise that henceforth Malays hold special rights and should not seek equal treatment, is misplaced.
In recent times, this misplaced perception has led to the ascendancy of the disturbing and racist Ketuanan Melayu concept.
When the Federation of Malaysia was formed, equal citizenship right was sought to ensure fairness and equality to all races. However, with the granting of citizenship to Chinese and Indians, the Malays feared that their position would be undermined by the perceived aggressive cultural traits and economic superiority of the other races.
As a compromise, the British agreed to certain provisions in the constitution to serve as a safeguard for the Malay position in Malaysia.
The whole intention, therefore, was to create in Malaysia the unique situation of equal citizenship, rights and status for all races but at the same time the preservation of the position and culture of the Malay race.
It was NOT meant to create a situation of ‘superiority’ or racial dominance of the Malays to ensure that many years from now, in our grandchildren’s and their grandchildren’s time, the ‘Malay-ness’ of Malaysia will not disappear.
Our leaders should therefore be mindful of this balancing act, and NOT tip the scales in favour of Malay Supremacy, one end which will lead to racial discontent and oppression of the other races, and the other end leading to the erosion of the Malay identity. Keep it somewhere in the middle.
History has shown that the turbulent times in Malaysia occurred when the scales tipped too much towards one end or the other. The turbulent mid to late sixties marked the tipping of scales towards the erosion of the Malay identity side.
The 70s attempted to redress this through the NEP, and this has lead to the tipping of the scales towards the Malay Supremacy end. The watershed 2008 elections is an attempt to redress back the balance.
The question is, after this will the scales be tipped back to the erosion side or the Malay Supremacy side or will our leaders have the foresight to ensure that it stays somewhere in the middle?
I believe that the only time when we were truly a harmonious and balanced society was just after we achieved independence when all the races truly felt united and had a common goal.
When this position is achieved once more and maintained, then will Malaysia truly be a harmonious and united nation.
From a Reader of Malaysia-Today: Read here
"...There is more to it than the commentary that the Malays agreed to accord citizenship to other races.
The first point to note is that prior to Merdeka, the then Malaya was a colony of England.
We were all "citizens" as a colony of the British prior to 1957 . So were the Malays, Chinese and Indians in Malaya. That is a fact in which UMNO apologists tend to skim over or allow that to fade in the consciousness of today's Malaysians.
The question is: If the Malays had said No to giving citizenship to the other races, would we have got our Merdeka in 1957 FROM THE BRITISH ? Chances (are) NO and also it would not have been as easy as we had got (for) our independence.
The British has to sort out the Chinese and the Indians who were here or brought into the country by the colonial masters since they took over the country from the Dutch and the Japanese. Evacuate them to UK? Hongkong? Send them to Singapore?
The scenario will be very different. A No from the Malays for the citizenship of other races, even those BORN here might even result in the secession of some states by the British to accommodate those non Malays not given citizenship.
Penang and Melaka might remain as a colony of the British.
Just like Sabah and Sarawak were not part of Malaya in 1957. These states could have been like Hongkong or Macau.
The worst case scenario if the Malays had said NO, would be the denial of merdeka by the British. That is the main reason why the early founding fathers of Merdeka were not only Malays, but other races, Chinese and the Indians who stood by the newly formed UMNO to fight for independence.
Don't forget in the background in which the Brits were worried (about) the Communists (who were) supported by Communist China.
The option of the Malays not to give citizenship to other races would have been a disaster for the country, for the Malays themselves and for the Chinese and Indians.
So UMNO today should realise this part of history not written in our history books.
It is not like as if the Malays were already running Malaya prior to 1957 and therefore the giving of citizenship was a present to the other races.
In the final analysis, the founding fathers of Merdeka, especially Tengku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and all those early leaders of UMNO saw the realpolitik making sure that other races have a fair stake in the future of this country.
People like Khairy and Hishammudin and those ultra-Malays who try to spook racial fears among the Malays, should remember THIS part history.
Many of the writings of Malay historians tend to forget that prior to the Merdeka the TUAN of the country was the ORANG PUTIH. It was the Ketuanan Orang Enggeris.
Think about it: Pan out the scenario on the assumption that the Malays 1957 had told the British that they will not agree to giving the citizenship to other races. Do you think we will still have the kind of Malaysia today. You bet? No way.
We might be like those African countries or in the Balkans, genocidal wars, Malays fighting the British for independence, the other races siding the British, and with some siding the communists, and having overseas Chinese in SE Asia in the fray and the Indian subcontinent especially from Tamil Nadu sending arms and weapons and men to fight for their Hindu brethren.
So I think it is time the Malays stop barking on this citizenship issue after 50 years and thank their blessings that the founding fathers of UMNO/MCA.MIC had the foresight to see the consequences.
Not giving citizenship to other races would be more damaging to the Malays than to the other races, especially to the destiny and future of Malaysia as we know today.