We are not Malays.We don't want to be called Malays.That's the sound echoing throughout Sabah the past one week. The aftershocks of the Rustam's earthquake.
Suddenly, nobody wanted to be Malays in Sabah and Sarawak.Yes, it's getting out of fashion.Chinese and Indians don't want to be Malays, that's fine, understandable, but what about Kadazans, Muruts, Dusuns, Bajaus, Suluks, Kagayan, Sibutu, Ilanuns (gosh! never heard of some of the names before). Oops! my sincere apology it should be Iranun, lest we offend the Chief Lanun.
It's an enormously complex task to classify races especially those with very ambiguous origin.Let us find out where the Malays stand in the world of anthropology and languages. Malay came under the group called the Malay race which is a branch of Malayo-Polynesian, a sub-category of Austronesian.It covers Malaysia,Indonesia,Philippines, and some South Pacific Islands.However, the ethnic origin of the Malays are still much disputed. One theory by Johann F.Blumenbach, an anthropologist, considered the Malays as sub-category of Ethiopian and Mongoloid races. He described the Malays as "brown colour, from olive and a clear mahogany to the darkest clove or chestnut brown" He classified races into five categories, namely, Caucasian (white race), Mongolian (yellow race), Malayan (brown race), Ethiopian (black race), and American (red race).I didn't know anthropology was that simple.
So, who are the Malays other than those in West Malaysia? According to anthropological findings and study of languages almost all of the indigenous groups in Sabah and Sarawak came under Malayo-Polynesian through the Malay race. There are 1265 languages under Austronesian. The theory is, you can speak different languages, but still can come from the same root. Just like the Indo-European group of languages which includes Hindi, Urdu, Pashtun, Persian and most European languages.
So why are people like Leo Moggie, Bernard Dompok and surprisingly Pendikar Amin Mulia who couldn't be more Malay than his name , suddenly, woke up one fine morning and found out they were no more Malays.
At the joint Gawai Kaamataan Festival at Kota Kinabalu, Leo Moggie said "the Dayaks and KadazanDusuns still need to be given special attention to get a fair race.Toward this end discontinuing the NEP would be a disadvantage for the natives of Sabah and Sarawak because we are still not at the same level to compete.
Dompok, a true blue blooded Kadazan said "both communities were looking forward to the day their companies can be seen in Kuala Lumpur and listed on the main board of Bursa Malaysia".
Well, Mr Dompok seems to have selective memory and let me refresh his memory for a while. When PBS was in power in Sabah he was a senior member of the Sabah state cabinet and the Kadazans had all the opportunities to embark on their entrepreneurial journey.They controlled the state coffers and all state projects.What did they do? They were only interested in selling state assets and state lands. Even worse, they allowed an MBO of one state company to a Kadazan businessman on deferred payment and what did this Kadazan boy do.He stripped most of the assets and never paid the government the full sum and eventually returned the company back to the state.What hope have you got to reach the main board of KLSE if you couldn' even manage a company handed to you on the platter.
Even more absurd was the statements of Pendikar Amin and to quote him verbatim "even though the communities under USBO(comprising the Bajau, Iranun, Ubian, Yakan, Suluk, Kagayan, Binadan, Sibutu, Sikubang, Simunul) are Muslims and having almost similar cultures and lifestyles of the Malays, in reality they are not Malays", and went on to say "in this issue the difference in mother tongue and origins is evidence that should not be hidden and discounted", and finally he said "USBO also feels that the NEP should be continued with a view that the government concentrates on new targets like communities under the USBO wing"
Another self-absorbed and fallacious statements.Sabah have had five Chief Ministers from that tribal grouping, if that befits the definition.Why are the people still so backward and poor and only the leaders are rich? Kota Belud, the Bajau's heartland, have had two Chief Ministers, a father and a son, held the elected seats since independence and did absolutely nothing for their own district. You can see the incompetence and couldn't care less attitude of the leaders just by looking at the conditions of the town itself. Five former Chief Ministers from the USBO stables, all without any track records to speak off, you should now know why the state of Sabah has always been behind other states.
If the Chinese can do business and survive without the NEP, why can't the Malays, the Bajaus, the Dayaks, the Kadazans and the Iranuns? Isn't one NEP more than enough?Do we need to provide custom-made crutches for each and everyone of them?