Who is provoking whom?

Richard Wee considers the latest remarks of Ahmad Mahayuddin Abd Manaf of the cow head infamy and tries an experiment in empathy.
“Its proven historically that this is Tanah Melayu. Others are categorised as second class citizens,” Ahmad Mahayuddin Abd Manaf told reporters.

This is a typical passage from Ahmad who is quoted in the Malaysian Insider, he being one of the 6 charged for the now infamous cow-head incident.

Let us briefly consider his assertion. Ahmad suggests that he draws support from history to justify his claim for racial supremacy. Since this land was once known as ‘Tanah Melayu’, therefore as a Malay he is entitled to claim supremacy. He suggests that all other races being migrants are 2nd class forgetting completely that except for the Orang Asli, even the Malays are migrants from the isles of Indonesia.

But why stop at just ‘Tanah Melayu’? Why not take it further back? One of the leading theories on the spread of the Homo Sapien in this region can be found at www.sabrizain.org where he sets out on his website the thrust of which is:

“Anthropologists trace the home of the malay race to the Northwest part of Yunan, in China”.

So, if both the Malays and Chinese shared common ancestors, that would make us long distance relatives instead of two mutually exclusive races from different planets in the solar system. Science are consistent that there is no ‘racial gene‘ inherent in us.

This may be a revelation for the cow head protestors.

Ahmad is also relying on the ‘I-came-to-this-land-before-you’ argument to lay claim as the supreme race of the Land. But it is not in dispute that the Orang Asli were here before the Malays. If that is the case, using Ahmad’s simplistic deductive logic the Orang Asli should be supreme. There is little merit to this argument except perhaps amongst children who have yet to go to school.

Ahmad’s remark is one potent amongst a host of others why Malaysia must move away from racial issues in their engagement on political issues or viewing issues through a racial lens. His attitude may be highly relevant in the jungles of 14th century Malaya but certainly not the 21st century Malaysia. I have no trouble with the Federal Constitution preserving the rights of the Malays. However my respect for those rights is directly related to the manner in which Malays exercise those rights. If they do so in the spirit of nation building and bona fide in the interest of all the communities, I do not have an issue with it. But if they do so to provoke and anger the other races by, for example, telling us to go back to ‘your country’, then surely they should be prevented from exercising it as severely as possible.

Ahmad should consider how he would feel if the Orang Asli told him, ‘It is proven historically that this is Tanah Orang Asli. Others including the Malays are second class citizens.’ Then perhaps he would know it feels to be in our shoes when we have to listen to such drivel.


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18 Responses to Who is provoking whom?

  1. Read this blog on historical reality..on why Semenanjung Tanah Melayu was known as Semenanjung Siam Melaka..it was the British colonist who rename it. Forget the history u learn in school coz that is what the colonist want us to believe.
    http://sejarahnagarakedah.blogspot.com/

  2. Vincent Raj

    I agree with Zahid. How i wish more people think like Zahid then this country would have been more unified and instead of focusing on inciting disharmony we can focus on productiveness.

    Unity is the key to a successful nation. Let's not give in to the present governments focus on retaining power by hook or by crook. I myself have great malay and chinese friends and we mingle and participate in many important social events like weddings, birthdays and so forth.

    Common people despite our external differences we are all the same on the inside. Peace loving and concerned about each others wellbeing.:)

  3. skuter

    Zahid is right. Placing Malays as migrants from Indonesia is wrong. The reason for the special position of Malays in our constitution was because in our Independence, we decided we wanted self rule, separate from Indonesia which is in our region. Same priviledges was extended to Sabah & Sarawak Bumiputeras when they decided to join us instead of Indonesia.

    So suddenly placing Malays as Indonesian migrants is like telling the Malays we did a huge mistake forming Malaysia. I'm sure the Kumpulan Bendera would love this position.

    The cow-head paraders are wrong. In fact parading the cow's head is inhumane. Especially if the cow was slaughtered halal, meaning that the cow died for human consumption literally in the name holy name of God. Even if it's not, still it's inhumane to parade a severed head with such insult.

  4. katdog

    I think people should stop citing the Yunan theory as it has no strong relevance to Malay culture today. The link between Malay's and Yunan is a very weak link.

    What is more clear is that the Malay culture and civilization we recognize today originated from the times of the Srivijaya empire which started in Palembang, Sumatra. From Palembang the Srivijaya empire spread Malay culture to Tanah Melayu and even came into conflict with the Khmer Empire in the Mekong river. The Malay Srivijaya empire that existed during the 7th century was predominantly a Hindu/Buddhist empire. The Balinese Malays in Indonesia are said to be direct descendent's of the Malay Srivijaya empire and a portion today still practice Hinduism.

    The Melaka Sultanate established 600 years ago was a successor empire to the Srivijaya empire. During the twilight years of the Srivijaya, a Hindu Malay Prince known as Parameswara was driven from Singapura by attacks from rival Majapahit empire. Parameswara was to found a new base in Melaka. At the beginning, the ruling customs of Melaka was distinctively Hindu as decended from Srivijaya. However Parameswara later converted to Islam after marrying a Muslim Princess from Pasai. Melaka grew to control Tanah Melayu and Sumatera but was later defeated by the Portuguese. The princes of Melaka escaped and founded the Johor and Perak Sultanates.

    Many remnants of Hindu heritage remains in Malay culture even today. Many Malay words like meja, kerusi, salji, kitab, guru are descended from Sanskrit used by the Hindus.

  5. Zahid

    Oh yeah, one more to add, Richard. When you refer "even the Malays are migrants from the isles of Indonesia", how would you explain Sabah and Sarawak being part of Kalimantan (an Island of Indonesia)? Or you just simplistically assume that the British and the Dutch changed the geographical state of this region when they came?(Times like these, it suddenly make sense of the Umno's opposition in the 40's and 50's to completely liberate ourselves from any influence of the British and truly Merdeka under the read and white banner of Indonesia. Who knew 50 years later it would bite us back for choosing our own path separate from Indonesia.)

    And when Parameswara(Sang Nila Utama) stopped by in Singapore(Temasek), the man he killed, Demang, was he a migrant too? If not, what tribe was he? How about the Old Kedahans who built the temple in Lembah Bujang way before Parameswara came? What tribe were they or they were simply Indians because they were Hindus? Like the Balinese(I'm being sarcastic)?

    How about the Sumatran Rhino?

    Pleaselah, we are Malaysians an the fact that we are what we are is because we choose to acknowledge respect our differences. At least if this Ahmad is a racist sonofagun, why should you stoop to his level? Worst, you got your assumptions all wrong.

    Can't we all just live together despite our differences?

  6. StraightTalking

    Sometime it pains me to read such strong arguments presented in such tame words. The author shout be SHOUTING HIS HEAD OFF just like those bastard cow-head mutherfuggers and put it in no unmistaken way that the Orang asli ARE THE REAL BUMIPUTRAS!!!! AND NOT THOSE COW HEAD MUTHERFUGGERS!!! LIKE ME:

    COW-HEAD MUTHERFUGGERS, YOU ARE NOT THE REAL BUMIPUTRAS!!! FUGG YOU ALL!!!

    man! I feel so good!

  7. Zahid

    Dear han,

    "you are being contradictory, accusing Richard of being a racist, while on the other hand, you still claim supremacy of a cluster of arbitrarily chosen tribes to suit your leaky dogma."

    I did not "arbitrarily choose" tribes to state my point, unless you want me to list the hundreds of polynesian tribes that makes the Austronesian gene (Minang, Bugis, Jawa, Bangsamoro, Dayak, Negrito and the list goes on and on) in South East Asia alone. It's like how the Han, and the Hakka and other provincials are Chinese. And where have I used the even the slightest idea that one race is SUPREME over the other? Because I claim that this land had it's natives? Then that means the Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians are all out for Racial Supremacy?

    I'm merely stating a fact because I find it cunning to Tribalise the Malays and pitting them against Orang Asli and the other tribes in this region, and I see the purpose of this is to dislodge the claim of the natives of this region. If we want to claim natives, we have to move back to wearing loincloths because that's what you pictured us to be. Natives should be no better than that.

    I do note the genographic project and read it before, because in the absolute end we are all children of Adam. But to use that simplistically would mean that what the whites have been doing to Native Americans was acceptable, and the Chinese getting rid of the British in China was racist.

    So quit "tribalising" Malays and the Orang Asli.

    Because God made us ALL diverse. That's a fact. And let's live to except our diversity and not go against one another OR pit others against each other. That's wrong.

  8. Noreen

    to me it doesnt matter who came first, who came last, who is more, who is less. what is important is right now. We are all Malaysians, born and raised.

  9. mamak

    Negeri Sembilan

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Negeri Sembilan

    ???? ??????

    — State —

    Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus

    Flag

    Coat of arms

    Anthem: Berkatlah Yang DiPertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan

    Location of Negeri Sembilan

    Coordinates: 2°45?N 102°15?E? / ?2.75°N 102.25°E? / 2.75; 102.25Coordinates: 2°45?N 102°15?E? / ?2.75°N 102.25°E? / 2.75; 102.25

    Capital Seremban

    Royal capital Seri Menanti

    Government

    – Ruling party Barisan Nasional

    – Yang di-Pertuan Besar Tuanku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir

    – Menteri Besar Mohamad Hassan

    Area

    – Total 6,645 km2 (2,565.6 sq mi)

    Population (2007 est.)

    – Total 1,004,807

    – Density 151.2/km2 (391.6/sq mi)

    Human Development Index

    – HDI (2003) 0.801 (high)

    Postal code 70xxx to 73xxx

    Calling code 06

    Vehicle registration N

    Federated into FMS 1895

    Japanese occupation 1942

    Accession into Federation of Malaya 1948

    Website http://www.ns.gov.my

    Negeri Sembilan (Jawi: ???? ??????; Cantonese: ???; English: "the State of nine") , is one of the 13 states that constitutes the Federation of Malaysia. It is located on the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia, just south of Kuala Lumpur and is bordered in the north by Selangor, in the east by Pahang and in the south by Malacca and Johor.

    The name is believed to derive from the nine districts or negara (now known as luak) settled by the Minangkabau, a people originally from West Sumatra (present-day Indonesia). Minangkabau features are still visible today in traditional architecture and the dialect of Malay spoken.

    Sultan of Selangor

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    Sultan of Selangor

    Monarchy

    Provincial/State

    Sultan Sharafuddin of Selangor.JPG

    Incumbent:

    Sharafuddin

    Style: His Royal Highness

    First monarch: Salahuddin Shah

    Formation: 1745

    Sultan of Selangor is the title of the constitutional ruler of Selangor, Malaysia.

    [edit] Bugis bloodline

    The Sultans of Selangor are descended from a Bugis dynasty that claim descent from the rulers of Luwu in the southern part of Celebes (today known as Sulawesi). Nobles from this bloodline were involved in the dispute over the Johor-Riau Sultanate in the early 18th century, eventually placing their full support in the cause of Sultan Abdul Jalil of the Bendahara dynasty against the claimant to the Malaccan lineage, Raja Kechil. For this reason, the Bendahara rulers of Johor-Riau established close relations with the Bugis nobles, providing them with

    A recent work of great importance for the study of early Chinese economic activity in

    Southeast Asia is the University of Hong Kong PhD thesis of James Chin Kong (??) of 1998,

    entitled Merchants and Other Sojourners: The Hokkiens Overseas 1570-1760. This is the most

    detailed study to date, in any language, of the Hokkiens overseas during this period, and when

    published will be an essential text for anyone studying the development of economic activities

    among the Chinese of Southeast Asia. In the period he examines, the Hokkien were certainly the

    most prominent Chinese group to operate and reside in Southeast Asia.

    The Sojourning Hokkiens

  10. Vincent Raj

    The malays are clearly a very confused race given their multiple influences through time. They were once hindu's and therefore learned the customs and culture of indians, many of which remains till today. Their ancestral heritage from china and their previous settlements in indonesia all deals a big blow to their identity. Can't blame them for their intense urge to be identified as a pure race.

    Whatever said and done, one thing we all know for a fact is, the orang asli are the original inhabitants of 'Tanah Melayu'. One must give their overdue recognition as the prime settlers of this land. It's like the white australians being given 'bumiputra' status when in actuality the aboriginals are the prime settlers of the land. At least the white people acknowledge themselves as immigrants, it's time the malays acknowledge that too.

  11. The PM should clarify his 1Malaysia slogan as we sees more and more signs that UMNO is encouraging racism in this country instead of fostering racial harmony for the nation to move forward and prosper for the good of ALL MALAYSIANS.

    Bukit Bendara talk about "Pendatangs" as the same cermah where the then DPM was present and now the suspension is cut. The cow head demonstrators are from the ruling party so so they claimed. The newspapers owned by the ruling party is playing up the race issues. Dear PM please show your 1Malaysia card and walk the talk. Otherwise our PM will have to tell us that his followers are out of his control including the newspaper owned by his party. Why should leaders hide behind others easily linked to them. Show your colour.

  12. han

    hi Zahid,

    you are being contradictory, accusing Richard of being a racist, while on the other hand, you still claim supremacy of a cluster of arbitrarily chosen tribes to suit your leaky dogma.

    you don't come across as a non-racial purist that you make yourself out to be….so quit trying to challenge other people's views with arguments that has been customised to suit your

    lopsided hypothesis.

    you may want to visit the national geographic website http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ to read more about the genographic project, to widen up your constricted view of the human race.

  13. R.Prem Kumar

    Just out of curiosity, have you not come across quite often, the offspring of a Indian/Chinese couple? Dead-ringer for a Malay is it not? Hehe I am kidding. But seriously… Let me quote Gandhi Ji : There is enough in this world for everyone's needs but not enough for one person's greed. Does it matter who came first or does it matter who is going to remain stagnant whereas the rest of the world moves on?

  14. Ghifarix

    (Austro)nesian "family"; when did this terminology derived? Richard you got your anthropology very very mixed up….We in ASIA ain't Austro and Austro is foreign and dates back no more than hundred years. In fact it is a "false" rather forced Astrological make up.

    Perhaps you can check with Captain Cook.

  15. malaimari

    The sea to the east of the peninsula and north of borneo was and still is called Laut CINA Selatan, by the same methodology of Ahmad then all of Malaysia was part of China long before the creation of Tanah Malayu by the British Colonials.

  16. Zahid

    Richard,

    Stop being tribal for heaven's sake, just to rationalise a certain racist view. Do you know that besides Orang Asli there are Orang Laut, Orang Darat, Orang Hulu, Orang Bukit (except Orang Utan, of course) which are categorised as Malay? The anthropologist research traced back to Yunan because apparently there were some Yunans who came here and married with the locals, bringing some of their cultural influence.

    The Chinese claim Malays are from China, the Indians claim Malays are from India. All with the same agenda.

    It wouldn't be right, say thousand years from now, we assume Malays were from Arab, because they found that Malays adopt Arab-Muslim names now, would it?

    The Malays are of Austronesian/Polynesian gene clustering. Don't check just one website, check with many other anthropological references. The language of the group (including Orang Asli, in whichever tribal/suku dialects)are of Malayo-Polynesian group of language(which Malay, Minang, Iban, Kadazan, Tsou etc language belong to), deeply rooted in the Austronesian family.

    I am sick an tired of racists dividing Malays into tribes, pitch them against each other, just to dislodge them from claiming nativity and then stereotype native characteristics by the loincloth. It's like the whites siding the Mohawks or the Sioux only to later squander all of them off from all over the continent to Nevada.

    This "Tribalising Malay to pitch vs Orang Asli vs Iban vs Bidayuh vs Kadazan vs Dusun vs every other tribe in the Malay Archipelago" evil agenda should stop! And it starts with you, Richard Wee!

  17. UMNO should tell the non Malays the citizenships the country are giving to them are different from those

    of the Malays. They are second or even third class citizenships, the first class citizenships have rights and privileges that the non Malays will not have.Including the Sakai and the Head Hunters they only get the second class ones, when they are really the natives or sons of the soil.

    To avoid being called the pendatang the so called Malays now call the Sakai also Malay but of a different kind but they are also Malays ! So the Malays have now got two different kinds of Malays.

    Clearly they are also pendatang, Indonesians and half breeds, dispute this have anyone claiming to be Malay to have their DNA tested to prove they are indeed sons of the soil,pure Malays, before calling the non Malays pendatang just like Ahmad Ismail ! This is not a joke but a fact that it takes one to recognise anyone.

  18. AJ

    the people are drifting apart.. the sense of oneness seemed a distant reach..