It Is Okay Being Racist If You Are A Minority

It is called “reverse racism” and among the ways it works is by making racist remarks against the majority claiming it is a reaction against oppression.

Yesterday I received a WhatsApp message that has been making its way around on the Internet purportedly sent by DAP’s people:

deb01

deb02

deb03

deb04

deb05

deb06

deb07

deb08

Forgive me for getting technical with this but I have to endeavour to make people understand the background of this nation to understand the current situation we are in. I cannot possibly answer all the allegations above as I do not work for the government therefore I do not have all the data needed but I shall make references to publicly-available documents.

The Malay States were rich with tin and land for rubber plantations.  This led to the signing of treaties to enable the British to have a share of the wealth and the creation of British protectorates of the Federated Malay States (formed in 1895 with common institutions such as the State Constitution, and a Resident-General administering the states on behalf of, and answerable to the Sultans and Yam DiPertuan Besar as his salary was paid by them) and the Unfederated Malay States (C.D Cowan, 1961; Emily Sadka, 1968; Eunice Thio, 1969).

The economy was divided into two systems – tin mining and rubber plantations dominated by the Chinese, and peasant farming and inshore fishing conducted by the Malays (M Yusof Saari, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia; Erik Dietzenbacher and Bart Los, Univeristy of Groningen, The Netherlands – World Development, Volume 76, December 2015, pp. 311-328).

With the expansion of mining and rubber lands, the Malays got pushed back to the edges of primary forests, and away from economic wealth that both the Chinese and Indians were enjoying.

EW Birch, the 8th British Resident of Perak, recognized this dire situation and quickly proposed a policy of preserving the Malay land. The only way to him to preserve the Malay race was to “free them from the clutches of those people who now remit to Indian large sums of money, which they bleed from the (Malay) people.”

This later became the Malay Reservation Land Act which spirit is preserved in the Malaysian Federal Constitution. Even Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham conceded that something had to be done to preserve the Malays. He wrote:

“In the Malay sketches contained in this and a previous volume, I have endeavoured to portray,…the Malay as he is in own country, against his own picturesque and fascinating background…The position he occupies in the body politic is that of the heir to the inheritance. The land is Malaya and he is the Malay. Let the infidel Chinese and evil-smelling Hindu from southern India toil, but of their work let some profit come to him.”

The Chinese and Indians brought over by the British were British subjects as far as the colonised parts of Malaya were (Pulau Pinang, Melaka and Singapore).  However, the ones in the Malay States were disinclined to give allegiance to the respective Sultans as they pledged allegiance to their homeland.

In 1911, the Malays made up 53% of the population. By 1931, they were already outnumbered and in 1941 formed only 41% of the population.  The Chinese community was at 43%, displacing the Malays as the dominant racial group. The Malays were in a disadvantageous position and this proved explosive in 1946 during the Bekor tragedy.  The Malays remained as the minority until 1970.

And if you think the Malays have done well since then, the table below will show that despite the NEP being in place, the income of the Chinese grew tremendously as compared to the Malays (M Yusof Saari, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia; Erik Dietzenbacher and Bart Los, Univeristy of Groningen, The Netherlands – World Development, Volume 76, December 2015, pp. 311-328):

screen-shot-2017-03-06-at-18-02-39

 

Allegation 1 – Of the Top 5 Banks, Only One is Non-Malay

The top five banks are Malayan Banking, CIMB, Public Bank, RHB Capital, and Hong Leong Financial Group.

If you see who the top 30 shareholders of Maybank are, you would see that they are mostly government investment agencies, or nominees especially by Citigroup. Citigroup is NOT Malay.  However, you would see that at Number 28, a private individual is an individual shareholder.  He is NOT Malay.

The top shareholders of CIMB as of 30 June 2015, are Khazanah Nasional – 29.34 %, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) – 17.51 %, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) – 3.61 % and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group – 4.61 %.

Public Bank, although third in the list, was the second largest bank in Malaysia by market capitalisation in September 2016.  Its major shareholder is Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow, who has a 23.79% stake in the bank as of 26 January 2016. Teh is also the bank’s founder and chairman. He is NOT Malay.

I can skip and go on to Hong Leong Financial group if you want to see the shareholding information.

Allegation 2 – 99% of PETRONAS Directors Are Malays

The DAP and Pakatan are famous for plucking numbers from the sky.

Two of 16 directors of PETRONAS are non-Malays so that makes 12.5%.  Therefore, only 87.5% are Malays. Now look at their respective background and tell me of they are not qualified to be there.

PETRONAS is a government-owned company. It is not an Ah Beng Enterprise (no reference to Lim Guan Beng) and the board is answerable to the Government on all matters.

Allegation 5 – 100% PETRONAS Contractors Are Bumiputeras

Bumi Armada is one of the largest suppliers of offshore support vessels, Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) units, Floating Gas Solutions (FLNG/FSRU/FSU) to PETRONAS. It is an Ananda Krishnan company. Ananda Krishnan is NOT Malay.

Allegation 6 – Chinese Companies Must Have 30% Bumiputera Employees; Malay Companies Can Have 0% Chinese

Again, this is very racist and a blatant lie.

There is NO legal requirement that companies have to employ 30% Bumiputera.  Otherwise you will not get these racist advertisements:

chinese04 chinese03 chinese02 chinese01

You are only required to show your Bumiputera equity be it 30%, 51% or 100% if you are tendering for a Bumiputera-open or Bumiputera-limited contracts.  That is EQUITY, not employees.

In reality too, most “Bumiputera” companies that tender for government contracts are actually Chinese-run companies that use Malay names on the license and application forms.  Malays are given 30% allocation while non-Malays have 70% but even the 30% has non-Malay participations.

They always claim that they are the “second-class” citizens of this country yet they are the ones who control the economy.

Do you think if policies are not in place they would care for the Bumiputeras?

And by saying Bumiputera, I mean the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak who are economically second-class citizens in their own land as the Chinese are the ones who dominate the economy there.

Allegations 7-10: Minimum Participation of Non-Malays in Government Sector

In 2014, the Royal Malaysian Police had had to lower the entry requirements to cater for the non-Malays – all they need to do is PASS the Bahasa Malaysia subject in their SPM exams.

Even that they cannot do.

In 2016, out of a force of 90,000, Indians made up 3.3% of the total while Chinese 1.77%. In 2016, the Royal Malaysia Air Force the non-Bumiputeras number about 5% of the total 15,000.

This is not due to the pay offered.  I don’t think they are interested to serve a Malay-majority government.

Allegation 13 – Kedah Chinese Rice Farmers Have To Sell To Malay-owned BERNAS

BERNAS is a company that regulates the supply and price of rice in Malaysia to deny millers exorbitant profit at the expense of end users.

BERNAS’s top 30 share holders in 2012 are as follows.  Note the solo individual top shareholder.  Again, he is NOT Malay.

screen-shot-2017-03-06-at-17-28-38

Allegations 19-22: Malay Schools versus Non-Malay Schools

First – THERE ARE NO “MALAY SCHOOLS.”  They are the National Schools where all children are supposed to go to, mix, learn and grow up together.  Most Chinese or Tamil schools are private schools and are self-funded.  That is why we see only a small chunk of the budget go towards the latter two.

screen-shot-2017-03-06-at-18-01-14

Now if we go back to the first paragraph of the WhatsApp message that I received, it is mentioned that the Malaysian government practices racial discrimination, yet the baseless allegations made that I am familiar with have been shot down.

We have seen also that because of their weakness in their command of the Bahasa Malaysia, a language they are supposed to have mastered after 60 years, they have failed to join the public sector. This is due to the fact that they refuse to learn anything that is not taught in their mother tongue.

They would rather that their children do not grow up with the children of the Malays or learn to speak the language that has always been the language of this land and is enshrined in the Federal Constitution as the language of the nation.

So who is it that wants segragation? Who is being racist?

NOT the Malays.

As for those who migrated from Malaysia, those are the free-riders with no loyalty whatsoever to the nation.  When the going gets tough, leave for seemingly easier life.  For those people, loyalty lies in the pocket.

If this government is being racist do you think that there would be vernacular schools? Do you think DAP’s Chen Man Hin would have made RM790 million from a government company?

So who is being racist here?  Obviously DAP itself.  Out of the 30 Central Executive Committee members there are only four Indians/Indian diaspora. one Malay and two Sabah/Sarawak Bumiputera.

Again, the rest are NOT Malays.

Insula Est, Non Tua

Coat of Arms of the British East Hindia Company
Coat of Arms of the British East India Company

Of late there have been calls for the return of Pulau Pinang to the sovereign Ruler of Kedah.  This is because since being governed by the DAP, Pulau Pinang (Penang) has been behaving like an autonomous state while chasing out Malays, Indians as well as marginalised Chinese from the island state.

If I were to follow my heart, I would wish for Kedah to reassert its sovereignty over Penang. However, legally that would be disastrous for Malaysia.

The History of the 

The proponents for the return of Penang to Kedah base their arguments on the agreement made in 1786 between the British East India Company and the Ruler of Kedah at the time, Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah.  During that time, Kedah was already under the Rattanakosin Kingdom established by King Taksin. Kedah was already paying tributes in the form of Gold Flowers to the Kingdom of Siam in 1781 and had accepted the Siamese sovereignty.

In the 1786 agreement, Francis Light was supposed to assist the Kedah ruler in the event that Kedah comes under attack by another power; the British East India Company (BEIC) was not to protect enemies of Kedah (namely the Burmese and Siamese); and BEIC was to pay the Kedah government an annual repariation of 30,000 Spanish Dollars for the lease of Penang.

Tension grew when Francis Light did not inform his superiors in India of the full details of what he had promised to Sultan Abdullah.  In the end, Light was asked to provide Sultan Abdullah with less than what had been requested. The EIC decided to to provide the Sultan with any form of protection and nothing was said of financial repariation.

Light was forced to use the island’s revenue to pay the Sultan but offered only $10,000 Straits Dollars a year for eight years for the island, or $4,000 Straits Dollars a year for so long as the Company occupied the island.

The unamused Sultan then gathered his forces in Prai in late 1790 to take Penang back by force which was defeated by Light. Sultan Abdullah sent his emmissaries Tunku Sharif Muhammad, Tunku Alang Ibrahim and Datuk Penggawa Telibun to negotiate a treaty with Light.

In 1791 a treaty called the Treaty of Friendship and Peace was signed between the BEIC and the Sultan of Kedah and the annual payment of a sum of 6,000 Spanish Dollars was promised to the Sultan for the rights to Penang and the two countries promised “to live in peace by sea and land, to continue as long as the Sun and Moon give light.”  BEIC was to no longer provide protection to Kedah against its enemies.  This treaty supercedes the treaty of 1786. (Dr Cheah Boon Kheng, former lecturer, History Department of the Universiti Sains Malaysia)

In 1800, another treaty was signed between BEIC and Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Shah II, the successor of Sultan Abdullah for the lease of Seberang Prai (called Province Wellesley then) for an annual sum of 4,000 Spanish Dollars that is to continue “as long as the Sun and Moon give light.”

From 1826, the BEIC placed Penang under the Straits Settlements. Subsequently, in 1874 the BEIC was dissolved and as a result of the 1873  East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act the Straits Settlements came under direct British Crown rule via its government in India.

The Brtish Government became the rightful owner of Penang as successor of the BEIC.

Towards The Independence of Malaya

Each state in what was called Malaya were sovereign states up until 31st August 1957 when the Federation of Malaya that existed following the breakdown of the Malayan Union in 1948 ceased to exist.

“Malaya” as it was known then was made up of the Federated Malay States (Selangor, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang), the Unfederated Malay States (Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis, Johor), and the Straits Settlements (Penang, Melaka and Singapore).

The discussions leading to the formation of the 1957 Federation of Malaya excluded Singapore in the equation.

During these discussions, both Melaka and Penang were referred to as the Crown Colonies whose people are citizens of Britain. The discussions involved Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Government, the Nine Malay Rulers, and the Alliance government the people had elected to represent them.

In an early stage, it was agreed by both Her Majesty’s Government and the Nine Rulers that the office and person of the Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Queen would jointly administer the Settlements as “equal partners.”  According to this arrangement, the Queen would delegate her sovereign authority to the Yang DiPertuan Agong as the representative of the Queen and the Nine Rulers and that the Melaka and Penang would have a Governor appointed in consultation with the Straits Settlements’ office (CO1030/132(28) dated 16 August 1956).

This would be in line with protecting the Straits Chinese who were British subjects whose representation to the British government expressed fears that if Penang is administered by the independent Malayan government, they would be subjected to discrimination.

The British High Commissioner to Malaya, Sir Donald MacGillivray had already expressed grave doubts as to whether that arrangement would be accepted by the Alliance Party as the latter had wanted all the Settlements involved to be part of the newly independent and self-governing Malaya (CO1030/135 (2) dated 19 July 1956).

UMNO as represented by Tunku Abdul Rahman had also proposed that the provisions for Malay reservations in the proposed Constitution should be applied to Penang and Melaka.  However, this was met with stiff resistance by the British government. The Secretary of State said the proposal could “aggravate racial feeling”, adding that during the 180 years of British rule in the Settlements there had been no racial discrimination (CO1030/496 (8) dated 14 May 1957).

A compromise was proposed by the Rulers’ legal adviser, Neil Lawson, who suggested that one of the clauses on land reservations to include a provision to allow the State governments to set up a trust to buy land for the settlement of the Malays. This compromise was accepted by the meeting. This proposal was contained in Article 88 of the Federal Constitution allowing Parliament to modify the articles on land (Articles 83 – 87) for application in Penang and Melaka (Constitutional Proposals for Malaya, Cmnd, 210, op.cit).

If you noticed in all the above meetings not once did the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Sir Badlishah ibni al-Marhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah, discussed the return of Penang to Kedah as well as asserting His Royal Highness’s sovereign authority over Penang.

This demonstrates that Pulau Pinang and Seberang Perai were no longer legally part of the Kedah Sultanate.

However, what also almost happened was the return of Melaka to the Dutch.

On 16 May 1957, a newspaper Straits Budget reported that the Malayan Party under Tan Kee Gak had planned to ask the British Secretary of State about the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 in respect of Melaka.  According to Tan Kee Gak, Britain was planning to abandon Melaka to Malaya and as a contracting party was in breach of the said contract.  Therefore, Melaka should be returned to the Dutch instead of be part of an independent Malaya.

The Colonial Office viewed the report seriously and sought the advice of the Foreign Office which in turn sought the help of the government of the Netherlands to renounce such a claim explicitly (CO1030/439 (79) dated 20 June 1957).

Summary

I have no reservation whatsoever in expressing my disgust at the way Lim Guan Eng runs Penang and uses it in a very unMalaysian way.  But I doubt there is any legal avenue that would allow for the return of Penang to Kedah that would be undamaging to the country in its present legal form.  It would allow for parties in Melaka perhaps to ask Netherlands to reconsider claiming the state as its own based on the 1824 treaty, and Manila would have a legal precedence to follow in its claim on Sabah.

Not once did the Sultan Of Kedah from the days of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Shah II through Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah have ever staked a claim on Penang.  This is simply because the treaties of 1791 and 1800 have superceded the one made in 1786.

And Penang’s current form is because of the 1957 Federal Constitution, cemented further by the 1963 Federal Constitution, agreed upon by all including by the Nine Malay Rulers without a single objection to its sovereign status. So how is it that Penang should be taken back by Kedah?

If the current claim is about the maruah (face/pride) of the Kedah Sultanate or about the pride of the Malays, that is just the mouth talking before the brain could think.

It would be nice to live dreaming about the day Penang becomes another district of Kedah but that is what the heart wishes. It is the legal and constitutional implications that have to be thought of thoroughly.

 

MH17

  
It stares at you. It is dead, has been so for the past 15 months, victim of a struggle it never was a part of. Yet you cannot avoid the stare and today we know why.

A couple of hours after the MH17 went down, I was asked to appear on a TV channel to try and make sense of what was happening. I finally left the studio at 6.30am saying that a BUK system had downed the aircraft.

We know now that it’s true. The 9M-MRD was downed by a proximity-fused BUK. Conspiracy theorists were quick to jump the gun saying a Su-25 Frogfoot did it using its cannons while others posted a video of a plane going down somewhere in India and passed that off as the MH17.

There were no bombs on board, no were there bullet holes on any part of the fuselage. In fact Malaysia Airlines too cannot be faulted for flying in that area because 61 carriers flew there, with 160 aircraft flying there on that fateful day itself until the airspace was declared off-limits.

When the announcement was made by the Dutch Safety Board, everyone thought it would be the day we would know who the perpetrators are. When no such detail was given, families were left disappointed. Some journalists and even a cabinet minister asked on social media why have the perpetrators been allowed to go scot-free?

This is the Dutch Safety Board. It operates in accordance with Annex 13 of the ICAO guidelines as follows:

  
The investigation team was only to find out hownthe plane was brought down and if there were weaknesses in the system that could have prevented the incident from happening – and learn lessons to prevent recurrence. To find the perpetrators is the job of another investigation team that looks at the criminal aspects of the MH17 incident.

We all want to know who made 9M-MRD stare at us like in the photo above. But that is not for us to know tonight. That will come at a time I hope that is not too far in the future.

I am glad that the cockpit crew did not know what happened to them. It was swift. It was in the microseconds. I am not too happy that some had a minute or slightly more to digest what was happening. I don’t even want to imagine those last moments.

And we wouldn’t have known anything much had we not been able to retrieve the black boxes as well as most of the bodies of the victims if not for these two men who worked in an unorthodox manner to secure them.

While everyone else was figuring on how to get to Donetsk, these mostly-forgotten two paved the way for our team to get there.