CALL US MALAYS, SAY INDIAN MUSLIM YOUTH - GEPIMA
Members of the Malaysian Indian Muslim Youth Movement (GEPIMA) want to be known as MALAYS and not Indians.
Syed Osman Mohamed, Ali's 24-year-old son, said we "feel uncomfortable to be known as Indians, because people automatically think we are Hindus when we are actually Muslim." Read here for more
New Straits Times (8th March 2008) reported "....GEPIMA's president Mohamed Kader Ali claims that Members of the Malaysian Indian Muslim Youth Movement (GEPIMA) want to be known as Malays and not Indians. We feel uncomfortable to be known as Indians, because people automatically think we are Hindus when we are actually Muslims. Kader added that Muslims of Indian origin suffered an inferiority complex by being regarded as Indians. .." Read here for more
In September 2005, the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kimma) passed a motion seeking the Government to give MALAY status to Indian Muslims born in the country. In the eight-point motion, passed at its 30th annual general meeting, Kimma cited provisions in the Federal Constitution, which stated that a Muslim who could speak Bahasa Malaysia and practise the Malay culture was regarded a Malay.
The contents of the motion, among others, stated: “The Indian Muslims adopt the three elements but still cannot get the Malay status. If there is a problem in doing so, at least give the bumiputra status as is being done for the Portuguese”.
The motion was handed to the Prime Minister's political secretary Datuk Othman Desa who opened the meeting.
Kimma is also asking for a special quota for the Indian Muslims in the allocation of low-cost houses, places in public institutions of higher learning, scholarships and employment opportunities. It also wants two of its members to be appointed as senators. Read here for more
In March 2006, Bernama reported he Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kimma) Saturday decided that it will affiliate itself with Umno, after having failed to get admitted into the Barisan Nasional coalition over the last 28 years.
Its president, Amir Amsaa Alla Pitchay, said a memorandum on the matter would be forwarded to Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad next week.
"It was taken because Indian Muslims in the country have no representation at the state or federal level. We have no senators or members of parliament," he told a press conference here.
I used to be ashamed to be an Indian Muslim because in this country, race was related to religion. And I did not see where I fit in.
(But) I look like an Indian. I sound like an Indian. Therefore, I am an Indian. And I am proud of it too.
I am now proud to speak Tamil. This is my mother tongue.
My father put himself as MALAY in my birth certificate. But I changed it myself back to ‘INDIAN’ in my identity card.
Not all Indian Muslims think like Gepima and Kimma. I certainly do not want to sell my identity for a few extra ringgit.
Hence, what Gepima and Kimma did was a source of great humiliation for me.
- Read here on the dual-identities of race and religion of Indian-Muslims in Malaysia
- You Can’t Change your Race
- Read here for more on the pervasive influence of Indian-Muslims ("Mamaks") in UMNO.
- Penang UMNO-MAMAKS on the Streets as Pretenders to the Malay Race
Excerpts: Read here for more
I used to be ashamed to be an Indian Muslim because in this country, race was related to religion whereby a Malay was equated with Islam, a Chinese with Buddhism and Indian with Hindu and I did not see where I fit in.Commentary on the news "CALL US MALAYS, SAY INDIAN MUSLIM YOUTH - GEPIMA"
But as the years passed by, I realised the beauty of my own ethnic identity. I am now proud to speak Tamil. This is my mother tongue and I cherish its beauty. I love Indian food, cinema and songs. My father put himself as Malay in my birth certificate but I changed it myself back to ‘Indian’ in my identity card.
I look like an Indian. I sound like an Indian. Therefore, I am an Indian. And I am proud of it too.
My plea is for Gepima and Kimma not to claim to represent me and those who think like me.
Not all Indian Muslims think like Gepima and Kimma. I certainly do not want to sell my identity for a few extra ringgit. My parents migrated to Malaysia in the 1960s and I was born on this soil in the 1970s.
Hence, what Gepima and Kimma did was a source of great humiliation for me. How could both these groups claim to speak for all Indian Muslim Malaysians?
And do they lack basic common sense?
Religion can be changed. It is a state of the mind and heart. But how can you change your genetic identity? It is in our DNA, for god's sake. If we are born Indian, we cannot change to become a Malay or a Chinese as and when we like just because we want to get certain rights and privileges as well.
As far as I am concerned, even if I am the last Indian Muslim standing, I will stand proudly, for God made me what I am and I do not suffer from any so-called low self-esteem as claimed by Gepima.
- "... What's up with all this wanted to be Malays? How can u be Malays when u are Indian? Religions and name will not change who you really are. No matter how many bleach Michael Jackson put on his skin, he is still African-American which is black. Even he is fairer than most caucasions. So, people of Indian Muslim, please be proud of what your parents made you. That's how GOD differentiate human from one another..."
- "... President of GEPIMA.Listen here I know about you.I even attended your talks held in dewan DBKL few years ago on Thaipusam day.There were few speakers including Hj Taslim,Mohamad Iqbal and Ubaidulla's son and 2 malay hajis and Dr.Kadeer I brahim.You can dress like them(malays), you can cook like them(malays),you can speak malay at home. Nothing changes and they will still address you and refer to you as KELING and just like all the mamaks in UMNO.So my friend just understand that race is different from religion.All MALAYS ARE MUSLIM BUT NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE MALAYS. You can never change your race and please give up your losing battle...."
- "... Be proud of the heritage that GOD has given you. being a muslim does not change your race and identity , it is your belief that has change. check your motives why you want to change , it is because being a malay you have more benefits. just be proud that we are MALAYSIANS...."
- "...What is so special to be called a Malay when your race is an INDIAN. Better to be called MALAYSIAN instead...."
- "...Your roots are Indian, just because you speak fluent Malay and follow the custom. Doesn't make you Bangsawan. Paham tak?..."
"...I wonder what’s more embarassing: The fact that Gepima’s Indian Muslims don’t want to be known as Indian, or the fact that Gepima still stands for Malaysian Indian Muslim Youth Movement.
I think if Gepima really doesn’t want to be known as Indian, then first, don’t refer to yourselves as Indian Muslims. If you’re not proud of your heritage, then don’t wear it on your badge. .."
"...First they have to abolish their GEPIMA movement and join some Malay youth movement. KIMMA threatened the government by saying they have 600,000 over members.
I wonder how many members GEPIMA has. Also 600,000 or maybe slightly less at 300,000?..."