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Thursday, September 24, 2009

“1Malaysia Concept” in Conservanist Perspective.

“1Malaysia Concept” by Sharyn Lisa Shufiyan, 24 - Conservationist

The following article was emailed to me by my old buddy, Idrus al-Haj who, just like me, has also retired from the Government Service, and was written by his niece Sharyn Lisa Shufiyan.

This article is very pertinent under the present social, economical and political landscapes of Malaysia when 1Malaysia concept is being propagated in a subtle manner to ‘achieve total unity amongst Malaysians’. I hope I am correct.

I share with Sharyn’s views, especially when she says, I think the main reason why we still can’t achieve total unity is because of this 'Malay rights' concept. I'd rather 'Malay rights' be replaced by human rights. So unless we get rid of this Bumiputra status, or reform our views and policies on rights, we will never achieve unity.

I reproduce hereunder the article which her great uncle Idrus al-Haj gave me the green light to publish:-

“Both my parents are Malay. My mum's heritage includes Chinese, Thai and Arab, while my dad is Minangkabau. Due to my skin colour, I am often mistaken for a Chinese. I'm happy that I don’t have the typical Malay look but I do get annoyed when people call me Ah Moi or ask me straight up "Are you Chinese or Malay?" Like, why does it matter? Before I used to answer "Malay" but now I'm trying to consciously answer Malaysian instead. There's this incident from primary school that I remember till today. Someone told me that I will be called last during Judgement Day because I don’t have a Muslim name. Of course, I was scared then but now that I'm older, I realise that a name is just a name. It doesn’t define you as a good or bad person and there is definitely no such thing as a Muslim name. You can be named Rashid or ALI and still be a Christian. I’ve heard of the 1Malaysia concept, but I think we don’t need to be told to be united. We've come such a long way that it should already be embedded in our hearts and minds that we are united. Unfortunately, you can still see racial discrimination and polarisation. There is still this ethno-centric view that the Malays are the dominant group and their rights must be protected, and non Malays are forever the outsiders. For the concept to succeed, I think the government should stop with the race politics. It's tiring, really. We grew up with application forms asking us to tick our race. We should stop painting a negative image of the other races, stop thinking about 'us' and 'them' and focus on 'we', 'our' and 'Malaysians'. No one should be made uncomfortable in their own home. A dear Chinese friend of mine said to me once, "I don’t feel patriotic because I am not made to feel like Malaysia is my home, and I don’t feel an affinity to China because I have never lived there. I know some baby Nyonya friends who can trace their lineage back hundreds of years. I'm a fourth generation Malaysian. If I am Bumiputra, why can’t they be, too? Clearly I have issues with the term. I think the main reason why we still can’t achieve total unity is because of this 'Malay rights' concept. I'd rather 'Malay rights' be replaced by human rights. So unless we get rid of this Bumiputra status, or reform our views and policies on rights, we will never achieve unity. For my Merdeka wish, I'd like for Malaysians to have more voice, to be respected and heard. I wish that the government would uphold the true essence of parliamentary democracy. I wish for the people to no longer fear and discriminate against each other, to see that we are one and the same.

I wish that Malaysia would truly live up to the tourism spin of Malaysia truly Asia. Malaysians to lead - whatever their ethnic back ground. Only ONE NATIONALITY - MALAYSIAN. No Malays, No Chinese, No Indians - ONLY MALAYSIANS. Choose whatever religion one is comfortable with.”


  1. 1 Malaysia is only a Govt propaganda its a gimmick, what displeased Sabahan most is the federal govt (UMNO especially)'s failure to control the massive influx of illegal immigrants into Sabah. There is even allegation that thousands of "illegals" have been granted permanent residence or citizenship thereby rendering useless Sabah's control over immigration. As a result, these so called doubtful "citizen" is always welcome here because everybody can become 1Malaysia. This is a strategy to dilute the KDM to become a minority race in her own country.

  2. ...I am proud to be Malaysian...(...16th September 1963 Malaysian that's it..)...but 1Malaysia is an imposibble dream! Our political system itself is biased...and how are we supposed to "be truly anak-anak Bangsa Malaysia or 1Malaysians" when we have UMNO, MCA, UPKO, MIC and other race-based political parties?!?

    Malaysia's (...or to be precise...Malaya's) present political circumstances can't escape the breakdown of South Africa under apartheid rule, Rwanda of the Hutu and Tutsi, Palestine's Goliath versus Israel's David, the Balkans "small is beautiful" revolutions...or even between the Shia and Shiite!

    Malaysia's citizenry is so diversified and when one, two or three major races desire to be dominant over the minorities of Malaysia's 2nd half then the concept of the original Malaysia Plan as conceived and then materialised on the 16th of September 1963 is a confirmed failure!

    Just don't push the Malayan part of Malaysia and its "quagmires" to the shores of Sabah and Sarawak, the 2nd half of Malaysia!

    ...lucky us Malaysians having 2Malaysia!

    King Cup s/o Nche Matahari,
    Republic of the Bittersweet Island.

  3. The one Malaysia concept is an ideal vision of this country more so with its multiracial and religous society. The question is whether the other Ministers in UMNO would suscribed the PM vision in the midst of their leader promoting the ' ketuhanan Malayu' war cry. Time and action on the ground will be the yardstick to gauge the 0ne Malaysia concept success.