Letter for Mahathir – By Haris Ibrahim.
Malaysianinsider reports that you had “defended the social contract, the so-called unwritten agreement between the Malays and the non-Malays during independence, by affirming that without the agreement, Malaysia would not have been formed”.
They quoted you : “If there was no social contract, the terms and conditions of allowing citizenship to non-Malays would have not taken place. One million outsiders were given citizenships at the time.”
Now, this quote from you got me curious. Let me tell you why.
I conferred with my aunt, who confirmed that my maternal great grandfather, Eliathamby, of whom I’ve written previously in a posting entitled “The land that my forefathers helped build”, would have left Ceylon and arrived in what is now West Malaysia, around 1870. He died well before the conclusion of that social contract that you spoke of, so my great grandfather would not have come within those ‘one million outsiders’ who acquired citizenship at the time of independence in 1957.
My maternal grandfather, Vellupillay T. Williams, never lived to see the formation of Malaya so he, too, did not make up the’one million outsiders’.
Enough of my family tree. Let’s look at yours.
I got this from a blog, Malaysiana :
Perhaps, the most famous Malayalee to land in George Town was Iskandar Kutty, a merchant who married a Johor-Riau wife Siti Hawa Iskandar. They became the proud parents of Alor Star’s top public school Sultan Abdul Hamid College’s founder-principal and Kedah’s royal educator Datuk Mohamad Iskandar.
Mohamad was the school teacher of Tunku Abdul Rahman. He and his wife Datin Wan Tempawan Wan Hanafi from the Kedah Bendahara’s (Prime Minister’s) clan, were the proud parents of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s Father of Modernisation and fourth Prime Minister.
And this from Malaysia Today :
Born in December 20, 1925, Dr Mahathir hailed from the state of Kedah, at the capital of Alor Star, whose father was a school teacher. His father was Indian who migrated from Kerala, who married a malay lady and sold banana fritters during the second world war. His early education was through vernacular school and at the Sultan Abdul Hamid College in the city.
My question, then, Doc, firstly, is whether your father was amongst the ‘one million outsiders’?
And when did you become ‘Malay’, Doc? When did you move from being a son of an Indian who migrated from Kerala to a Malay? Not that I care, but when?
Speaking of Malay, do you remember your “Malay Dilemma”, Doc? Do you remember what you said about the problem of inbreeding amongst the Malay community, and that whole business of genes? Back then, who had heard of this thing called DNA?
Who had ever imagined that science would one day make it possible for all of us to trace our genealogy?
Guess what, Doc? It seems, based on all this new DNA scientific knowledge, that there’s no such thing as a Malay race. It would seem that you’ve gone from being a son of an Indian who migrated from Kerala to a ‘does not exist’.
Just like that!
My cyber buddy, Michael Chick, has written extensively on this matter, in a three-parter in Malaysiakini. HERE, HERE, and HERE.
See what Michael writes in his final part: “The people Malaysians call ‘Malay’, are actually only a tiny sub-component of the much larger Austronesian group. And all Austronesians are the end-product of extensive inter-breeding between the Taiwanese and Dravidic Indians. All this has finally been irrefutably proven by independent DNA testings from world-class faculties”.
I’ve never been very good at all these sciences, Doc, but if you’re any better, and you think Michael’s cocked-up big time in his conclusions, why don’t you take him on?
Damn, I digress.
So when and how did you become Malay, Doc? Because of the definition of ‘Malay’ in the Federal Constitution, Doc? Article 160 (2)? That right?
So, right up until the last moments before Tunku’s declaration of independence, you were the son of an Indian who migrated from Kerala, and moments later you were magically transformed into a Malay? And is not the definition of Malay in Article 160(2) stated to be for the limited purpose where the word ‘Malay’ appears in the Constitution?
But really, Doc, I don’t give a toss whether you hold yourself out as Malay or the son of an Indian who migrated from Kerala. Whatever turns you on.
What pisses me off is this Bumi-non Bumi crap. November 19th, last year, The Star reported on Najib’s balik kampung to Makassar in South Sulawesi. You can read the report HERE.
Courtesy of The Star, Najib is reported to have said: “I feel like I am returning to my roots,” and, when asked to comment on the possibility that some people might view the fact that he had roots here in a negative light, Najib said: “I am not apologetic about it. This is my family history and I am proud of it.”
According to the report, Najib said he was the direct descendant of Bugis royalty who migrated to Pahang in the 18th century. Well, at least this Malaysian is not ashamed of his roots!
Now, you know that aunt I mentioned earlier? You know her.
I googled her name yesterday and this is what is written of her in Wikipedia.
“Rasammah Bhupalan, also known as Rasammah Naomi Navarednam or Mrs F.R. Bhupalan is a renowned Malaysian freedom fighter and social activist
Born in 1927, she has championed causes such as the anti-drug abuse movement, women’s rights, education and social justice causes.
Rasammah was one of the earliest women involved in the fight for Malaysian (then Malaya ) independence. She joined the Rani of Jhansi Regiment, the women’s wing of the Indian National Army, to fight the British. She served in Burma during World War II.
As founder president of the Women Teacher’s Union , she fought for equal pay for women teachers and tried to bring disparate teachers’ unions under an umbrella.
The former school principal was the first Asian representative of the World Confederation of Organisations of the Teaching Profess ion for two successive terms. She was also very active in the National Council of Women’s Organisation (NCWO) and Pemadam.
She was a teacher in the Methodist Boys’ School, Kuala Lumpur from 1959 to 1964 and was the principal of the Methodist Girls School , Kuala Lumpur for 13 years from 1970 until she retired in 1982. On 11th November 2007, Mrs.Bhupalan was one of the few veteran teachers who were invited to attend MBSSKL’s 110th Anniversary Celebration Dinner. The dinner was specially organized to honour all the former and current teachers of the school”.
Quite frankly, I think the write-up in Wikipedia does little justice to all that Aunty Rasammah has done for this country. But that is another matter.
More importantly, Doc, why are you, the son of an Indian who migrated from Kerala, and Najib, the descendant of Bugis who migrated from Sulawesi ,are bumiputra, whilst Aunty Rasammah is not?