All Malaysians are sons of the soil

Posted on May 5, 2007



The title of this post was taken from a letter dated 10th October, 2006 from one Dr Vanaja to Malaysiakini.

Amongst other things, she stated :

“By democratic right, all Malaysians born here are sons of the soil irrespective of which race they belong to. We should all be Malaysians, not bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras. Why should one race always be given crutches?

If we believe in God and basic human values, then we should help all those in need irrespective of race. We should be fighting corruption which has become the culture of the day. We should use meritocracy as the yardstick for progress.

As long as we are in denial, there will be no real progress. As we become more of a global village, many Indian and Chinese Malaysians will work even harder and will succeed here in Malaysia, if not elsewhere. The Malay Malaysians, if they still need their crutches, will surely be left behind.”

To this letter, one M Sahaja replied by letter dated 16th October, 2006, also in Malaysiakini. I quote the relevant excerpt :

“I am not surprised to see that the letters published by your paper on racial issues, vis-a-vis those that question Malay rights and the supposedly ‘bumiputera status’ of the non-Malays as claimed by Dr Vanaja and the others, are all written by the Chinese or Indians. I have yet to read a letter written by a Malay on the subject”.

I had replied to the letter of M Sahaja but for some reason, it was never published in Malaysiakini. I now reproduce it here.

My letter :

The letter from M Sahaja entitled ‘Non-Malays clouded by own insecurities’ vindicates that which I have said for the last 30 years : that the NEP would give birth to a monster called the modern Malay who shamelessly demands the continuance of an economic policy premised on a notion of priority of citizenship based on race. M Sahaja epitomises this.

Dr Vanaja has, in my view, correctly depicted that economic policy as being nothing short of an apartheid programme.

M Sahaja claims that he has yet to read a letter written by a Malay on this subject. Allow me therefore to oblige him.

I am of Malay-Sri Lankan parentage. In my days of ignorance, I have received a study loan from a government programme reserved for Malays. I have also previously partaken of the Amanah Saham Bumiputra scheme. To the best of my recollection, this is the extent to which I have benefitted from the NEP.

I have since ceased to partake in the Amanah Saham Bumiputra scheme. I am also presently repaying the study loan.

I now unreservedly apologise to Dr Vanaja and every Malaysian who has been marginalised by the NEP for the benefit I received therefrom. I dissociate with any notion that my citizenship has greater value than Dr Vanaja’s on account of my Malay ancestry.

Let me state unequivocally that I am firstly Malaysian. My Malay heritage in this regard bears no relevance whatsoever.

As one who firmly believes in the Holy Qur’an as the inerrant Word of God, I cannot pretend that there is no injustice in a policy that seeks to improve the impoverished lot of only one class of people based on racial considerations. Such a policy plainly offends a cardinal foundation of Islam, as I understand it, that all men are equal.

I am unable to divest myself of the benefit that I have taken from that policy. I can only atone for this wrong by working with like-minded Malaysians to urge our government to replace the present economic policy with one that is just and equitable to all Malaysians.

To M Sahaja, I pray that one day you too will begin to see the injustice that is being inflicted upon our fellow Malaysians who are also in need of governmental aid to better themselves, by reason only of a race they are born into by God’s Will. May God Guide you to that which is just.

Posted in: Bangsa Malaysia