Posts Tagged ‘race relations in malaysia


That ugly side of Malaysia…Malay special rights

It has been a long, and I mean long time since I have written anything that might land me behind bars.

This is one of them.

This morning about 8000 UiTM students marched in protest of the suggestion by Selangor Menteri Besar’s suggestion that 10 % of UiTM’s annual enrollment be opened to non-Bumiputeras and foreigners.

For some of us reading this, we would think that the MB’s suggestion is a no brainer. As a graduate of a NUS, which is anything but racially homogenous, marching against opening up the enrollment is a travesty of what higher education is. A prostitution of democratic rights if I may put it.

Mind you, I’m not against the 8000 students marching. Its their right to air their grieveinces however I may find it immature and childish. (Comparison with the way the government cracked down on HINDRAF and this march really shows what sort of government we have, a fair and just one…lol)

Unfortunately the news article from which I got wind of this is in Malay. But here is a snippet of stupidity that results from having a university that caters solely to the Bumiputeras.

Diminta mengulas mengenai pendapat yang mengatakan percampuran pelajar Bumiputera dan bukan Bumiputera akan mewujudkan satu persaingan yang sihat, beliau tidak bersetuju dengan pendapat itu.

“Saya amat tidak bersetuju kerana telah terbukti seperti apa yang berlaku di universiti-universiti lain setiap kaum tertentu hanya akan bergaul dengan kaum mereka sendiri.

“Ini bukan persaingan yang sihat. Keadaan ini lebih bahaya jika wujudnya perasaan mementingkan kaum sendiri walaupun belajar dalam satu institusi,” katanya.

Tegas beliau walaupun UiTM terdiri daripada kaum Bumiputera sahaja, tetapi para pelajarnya telah dididik untuk menghormati agama, adat dan kepercayaan kaum lain.

And the translation into English:

Asked to comment on the opinion that the mingling of Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera on campus will produce healthy competition, he disagreed with that view.

” I absolutely disagree with this view because it is proven that each race will only mingle among themselves as it is happening in other campuses.

” This is not healthy competition. This situation is more dangerous if there sentiments of racial self-preservation exists even when studying within the same institution,” he said.

He stressed that eventhough UiTM consisted only of Malays, each student is taught to respect the religion, custom and beliefs of other races.

This was quoted by the president of what we would call the Student Council.

Firstly, it’s certainly not true that students in other institutions of higher learning mingle amongst themselves alone. That’s just Malay chauvinism making that kind of assumption.

Secondly, granted that people of common ethnicity tend to group together, it is by no means a dangerous precedent or anything to be overtly worried about. Since over 90% students will be Bumiputera in UiTM (if the proposal is accepted) in any case, wouldn’t it be nice to extend a welcoming hand to the 10% others who wish to study with you too? Instead of focusing so much on the fact that we are Malay, you are Chinese, you are Indian, you are lain-lain, just being nice and welcoming will diffuse any unhealthy tensions straight away.

Thirdly, nobody is taught to how to live harmoniously in a diverse society. You’ll have to embody it and suck up to the occasional hiccups that living together brings. The fact that the so-called president in his eminent wisdom has seen fit to criticize and organize a march for nothing more that a show of juvenile immaturity shows that the lessons of living together in a multiracial country has not made an impression on him (and the rest of his ill-informed gang.)

I just find it shocking that tertiary level students still think like primary school kids. It’s little more than, “I dun wan to fren fren with you.” Which is ironic because throughout primary and secondary school, Malay, Chinese and Indian study together. Somehow upon reaching tertiary level, we feel there is a need to have schools like UiTM, which caters exclusively to one race.


About me

moogleBorn and bred in KL, Malaysia. Now studying for his Phd in Singapore. Learning to walk one fall at a time.
June 2018
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