Thursday, February 25, 2010

Busting The Myth "The Singapore Malays"

Hantu Laut

It's a tough job separating truth from urban legend.

Preceding the article by Ben Bland I posted here, I did a search on other case study of Singapore Malays, to do what the popular TV series on Discovery Channel "The MythBusters" do to disprove the myth. In this case, busting the myth that the Malays in Singapore are on equal ground as the Chinese and Indian Singaporeans and are more successful and doing far better in every aspect than the Malays in Malaysia, purportedly spoiled by the government's affirmative action.In other words there is no discrimination against the Malays in Singapore.

This article will show and prove to you that discriminations in Singapore are far worse than the ones perceived in Malaysia.

To start with, the Malays in Singapore is a small minority and the Chinese in Malaysia is a big minority.That itself gave the Malay Singaporean a disadvantage, politically and economically.

In reality, the average Chinese Singaporean is quite colour blind.

In a tight and competitive society almost everything boils down to materialism.Chinese Singaporean are more concerned with education and material possessions rather than worrying about the colour of your skin.

Discrimination in Singapore, is not within its society but institutionalised, the same thing that some Malaysians are accusing the Malaysians government of doing to non-Malays.

Some 13 years ago the then Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew triggered a debate about Malay loyalty in a televised comment he made before an audience of university students. Lee said the government has taken two opinion polls prior to and following the visit of Israel President Chiam Herzog to Singapore.The poll found the number of Malays who were against the visit dropped sharply from one poll to the next, while the proportion of non-Malays who didn't oppose the visit rose marginally.Lee said "in certain circumstances the Malay Singaporeans reacted as Malay/Muslim rather than as Singaporeans"

In an article in The Far Eastern Economic Review YearBook 1998 Lee said it came down to a question of loyalty "Are we sure that in a moment of crisis, when the heat is on, we are all together heart to heart? I hope so. But we ought to have a fallback position and quickly fill up all the missing hearts if some go missing." Lee certainly doubting the Malay loyalty in the event of war with Malaysia or for that matter Indonesia.

Lee' son, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong once commented in an open forum on why Malays do not hold sensitive positions in the armed forces.For example, there are no Malay fighter pilots because their religion might conflict with their duty to Singapore.His statement provoked backlash of criticism from the Muslim community.

At a Singapore 21 forum in September 1999 Lee said "If, for instance, you put in a Malay officer who's very religious and who has family ties in Malaysia in charge of a machine gun unit, that's a very tricky business.

"We've got to know his background. I'm saying these things because they are real, and if I didn't think that, and I think even if today the Prime Minister doesn't think carefully about this, we could have a tragedy."

So, if the non-Malays, including people like Lim Kit Siang think the Malays in Singapore are on equal ground as non-Malays and politicised it for political mileage than he is kidding himself.It is clear that the Singapore government does not trust its citizens of Malay descent and openly discriminated against them in certain areas.

In Februaray 1999 Indonesian President B.J Habibe lashed out at Singapore racist policy and said institutional discrimination against Chinese in Indonesia had been abolished, but Singapore still blocked advancement by Malays in its armed forces.``In Singapore, if you're a Malay, there is no way you can become an officer in the military.``The real racists are there, not here,' he was quoted saying.

In the seventies up to the late eighties the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Army did what they called 'country studies' of various countries and regions of the world where US forces are likely to be deployed.The study also includes ethnic compositions and the societal position of each ethnic group in the country concerned.

Singapore was one of the countries that came under the scrutiny of the US Army country study and had a section on Singapore Malays which I have reproduced below.

The Malays

The Malay made up 15 percent of Singapore's population and were, like the Chinese and the Indians, descendants of immigrants. They or their ancestors came from peninsular Malaya, Sumatra, Java, and the other islands of the Indonesian archipelago. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Java was much more densely populated than peninsular Malaya, and its people had a significantly lower standard of living. From the mid-nineteenth century to the period just after World War II, many Javanese migrated to Singapore, attracted both by urban wages offering a higher living standard and by freedom from the constraints of their native villages, where they often occupied the lower reaches of the economic and social order. Singapore Malay community leaders estimated that some 50 to 60 percent of the community traced their origins to Java and an additional 15 to 20 percent to Bawean Island, in the Java Sea north of the city of Surabaya. The 1931 census recorded the occupations of 18 percent of the Malays as fishermen and 12 percent as farmers; the remaining 70 percent held jobs in the urban cash economy, either in public service or as gardeners, drivers, or small-scale artisans and retailers. The British colonialists had considered the Malays as simple farmers and fishermen with strong religious faith and a "racial" tendency toward loyalty and deference; they preferentially recruited the Malays to the police, the armed forces, and unskilled positions in the public service. In 1961 more than half of Singapore's Malays depended on employment in the public sector. Although the colonial stereotype of the Malays as rural people with rural attitudes persisted, Singapore's Malay residents were for the most part no more rural than any other residents. Malay identity was couched in religious terms, with Malay being taken almost as a synonym for Muslim, and most Malay organizations taking a religious form.

After independence, the government regarded the Malay preponderance in the police and armed forces as disproportionate and a potential threat to security and acted to make the security forces more representative of the society as a whole, which meant in practice replacing Malays by Chinese. The government's drive to break up ethnic enclaves and resettle kampong dwellers in Housing and Development Board apartment complexes had a great effect on the Malays. Evidence of the convergence of Malay patterns of living with those of the rest of the population was provided by population statistics, which showed the Malay birth and death rates, originally quite high, to be declining. In the 1940s, Malay women had married early, had many children, and were divorced and remarried with great frequency. By the 1980s, Malays were marrying later, bearing fewer children (2.05 per woman for mid-1986 to mid- 1987), and divorcing less frequently. By the 1980s, a large proportion of Malay women were working outside the home, which was a major social change. Many young women in their late teens and early to mid-twenties were employed in factories operated by multinational corporations, which, unlike the small-scale Chinese shops and workshops that had dominated the economy into the 1960s, paid no attention to ethnicity in hiring. Even Malay fishing communities on the offshore islands, which appeared to preserve the traditional way of life, were in the 1980s losing population as young people moved to Singapore Island, attracted by urban life and unskilled jobs that offered higher and more reliable incomes than fishing.

Although very much a part of Singapore's modernizing society, the Malays conspicuously occupied the bottom rungs of that society; their position illustrated a correlation between ethnicity and class that presented a major potential threat to social stability. With the lowest level of educational attainment of any ethnic group, the Malays were concentrated at the low end of the occupational hierarchy and had average earnings that were 70 percent of those of Chinese. Malays had a higher crime rate than other groups and in 1987 accounted for 47 percent of the heroin addicts arrested. The 1980 census showed that 86 percent of the Malay work force was in the clerical, service, and production sector; 45 percent of all employed Malays worked on assembly lines, largely in foreign-owned electronics factories. Only 8 percent of all professional and technical workers (including schoolteachers), and 2 percent of all administrative and managerial personnel were Malays. Malays dropped out of the competitive school system in large numbers, and those who continued past primary school were concentrated in vocational education programs. In 1980 they made up only 1.5 percent of all university graduates and 2.5 percent of students enrolled in higher education.

In sharp contrast to neighboring Malaysia with its policies of affirmative action for the Malay majority, Singapore's government insisted that no ethnic group would receive special treatment and that all citizens had equal rights and equal opportunities. The potential threat, however, posed by the overlap between Malay ethnicity and low educational achievement and occupational status, was clear. Demonstrating the Singaporean propensity for discussing social affairs in terms of "race," both government spokesmen and Malay intellectuals tended to attribute the Malays' economic position and educational performance to something inherent in the Malay personality or culture, or to their supposed "rural" attitudes. The ways in which lower income and ill-educated Malays resembled or differed from the very many lower income and ill- educated Chinese, who had very different cultural backgrounds, were not addressed.

In 1982 the prime minister defined Malays' educational difficulties as a national problem and so justified government action to improve their educational performance. The colonial government had provided free but minimal education, in the Malay language, to Malays but not to Chinese or Indians, on the grounds that the Chinese and Indian residents of Singapore, even those born there, were sojourners. In the colonial period most English- language schools were run by churches or missionaries, and many Malays avoided them for fear of Christian proselytization. Although after independence schooling in Singapore was not free (fees were generally low, but the government felt that people would not value education if they did not pay something for it), Malays continued to receive free primary education. In 1960 that benefit was extended to secondary and higher education, although the free schooling was offered only to those the government defined as Malay, which excluded immigrant Indonesians whom the Malays regarded as part of their community. Throughout the 1960s and most of the 1970s, most Malay children continued to attend schools that taught only in Malay, or, if they taught English at all, did so quite poorly. Opportunities for secondary and higher education in the Malay language were very limited. Although many Malays were employed in the public service or as drivers or servants for foreign employers, in almost all cases the language used at work was the grammatically and lexically simplified tongue called Bazaar Malay.

Throughout the 1970s, relatively few Malays knew English, a language that became progressively more necessary for high-paying professional and technical jobs. Substantial numbers of the Chinese knew no more English than the Malays, but they found employment in the extensive sector of Chinese commerce and small-scale industry where hiring demanded command of a Chinese regional language and personal recommendation. The former Malay economic niche in the military and police forces was eliminated in the late 1960s and 1970s, and the large number of Malays who had been employed by the British armed forces at British naval and other military facilities lost those secure and well-paying positions when the British withdrew from Singapore from 1970 to 1975. Such factors as poor command of English, limited availability of secondary and post secondary education in Malay, and the loss of public-sector jobs accounted for much of the low economic position of the Malay community in 1980.

In 1981 Malay community leaders, alarmed by the results of the 1980 census that demonstrated the concentration of Malays in the lower reaches of the occupational hierarchy, formed a foundation called Mendaki, an acronym for Majlis Pendidikan Anak-anak Islam (Council for the Education of Muslim Children). Mendaki (ascent in Malay), devoted itself to providing remedial tuition classes for Malay children in primary and secondary school, offering scholarships for living expenses and loans for higher education, attempting to encourage parents to take a more active role in their children's education, and holding public ceremonies to honor Malay students who excelled in examinations or graduated from academic secondary schools or universities. Government support for Mendaki took the form of financing the organization through a special voluntary checkoff on the monthly contribution of Muslim workers to the Central Provident Fund, and through unspecified other public donations.

Throughout the 1980s, both the number of Malay students in selective secondary schools and institutions of higher education and the proportion of Malays passing and scoring well on standardized examinations slowly increased. As with the changes in birth rates, it was difficult to separate the effects of such government-sponsored programs as those of Mendaki from other factors, including increased female participation in the work force, residence in apartment complexes rather than kampong housing, exposure to television and radio, smaller family size, and better teaching in the schools.

The use of a voluntary checkoff on the monthly Central Provident Fund contribution as a means of raising Malay educational funds was characteristic of Singapore in the 1980s. Malays, like other Singaporeans, were assumed to have regular employment and salaries, and their distinctive Malay and Muslim concerns were efficiently and equitably addressed through a computerized government program.

The above study is a little out of date now but is still reflective of the Singapore government policy of sidelining the Malays in the military hierarchy.

Being a small minority and not a source of economic threat to Singapore's overall society the Malays need not be discriminated in other areas.The social structure and economically driven Chinese and Indians took care of it socially without resorting to conspicuous discrimination.

Most high paying jobs in Singapore would require proficiency in English and Mandarin and that would immediately exclude most Malays from applying for the job.In the private sector other than factory line workers, clerical, office boys and drivers, other jobs require the applicant, apart from English, to know Mandarin or the main Chinese dialect in Singapore. Out of the window goes the Malay applicant.

To say the Malays in Singapore are more hardy, more successful and stand on equal ground is a myth.

Zaqy Mohamed question in parliament about the under-performance of Malay students may not be totally the responsibility of the government but it does show that the Malays in Singapore are not exuberantly more successful, politically and economically, than the Malays in Malaysia.

It's an urban legend.

Also read:Where Bears Roam Free


Y1 said...

I am not sure that there is positive discrimination in education against the Malays in Singapore. In the army maybe but that I think may now be slowly rectified.

If I am not mistaken, English is the main language for education with compulsory language of your choice. After 40+ years, most school going students will be proficient in English and the language of their own by now. Hence the career path for the new generation should now be on level playing field. Unless you really want to work for stingy Chinese towkays who insist you speak Chinese in servicing customers in food courts and stores, there should not be any reason any race will fall behind as I think there will be ample opportunities for anyone to work in the government, factories, offices etc.

That beg the question, why do you think the Malays will not be as hardy as the other races when left on their own? I think the Malays can do equally well and also to excel when they have to. I long to see that happening.

eddy said...

Profound post Bro, my take is discriminatory practise for the benefit of the majority be it negative or positive happens everywhere in this world but maybe Singapore PAP Government takes great pain to disguise and facilitate this kind of practise favouring its 75% majority.

Here are some interesting read:

1. The charade of Meritocracy by Michael Barr:

2.Racial quota for the Housing Development Board is for the PAP to stay in power-and it is racially discriminatory at:

read the comment sections as well, very lively but civilised banter by commenters.

However there is another interesting post by Reme Ahmad a journo in the ST Singapore titled: Jawapan saya mengenai isu melayu "tertindas" read here:

This subject is something that will be discussed and reported for a long time I suppose. What is certain is that God will not change the fortune of a people unless the people worked hard to change it themselves.

Anonymous said...

it's 'loyalty' not 'royalty'.

Hantu Laut said...


You have to read my post carefully.I never said there is discrimination in the education system in S'pore.

Read the paragraph below.

Zaqy Mohamed question in parliament about the under-performance of Malay students may not be totally the responsibility of the government but it does show that the Malays in Singapore are not exuberantly more successful, politically and economically, than the Malays in Malaysia.

That means it is not the government to be completely blamed, the Malays have to play their part too to a achieve higher standard.

If anybody were to know about S'pore education it would be me, all my 3 children were educated there, my eldest girl went on to the US, my second girl to UK.Both graduated.Unfortunately, I lost my son in a car accident when he was just 12.

'O' Level in S'pore is generally 4 years of secondary school defined as 'express class' while in Malaysia it is 5 years of secondary schooling.My daughters finished O Level when they were 15.

Certainly, there is no discrimination in the education system in S'pore.

My article is about disproving the myth that S'pore Malays are better than Malays in Malaysia, not about attributes of the race.

I personally think the Malays in Malaysia are doing far better in every aspect of life compared to those in S'pore or for that matter Indonesia.

I lived in S'pore for 10 years and never felt discriminated for not being Chinese.I love the functionality and efficency of the city but still I wouldn't want to live there for the rest of my live.Coming from Sabah I still love the great outdoors which is missing in S'pore.

Hantu Laut said...

Thanks,not that I don't know the difference.Corrected.Thoughtless error.

eddy said...

Bro Y1 actually there are many present examples where Malays when left on their own can do equally well or excel in their chosen field...some prime example, Just have a look at the Management and staff of Malaysia's Petronas and its group of companies see how much they have expanded overseas and more without political interference. I do agree with Bro HL when he said that the Malays in Malaysia are far better in every aspects of life compared to their brethrens in Singapore and Indonesia.

Anonymous Craven (AC) said...

I think the main contrast between the Malays in SG vs MY, is that the SG Malays stand on their own feet and survives without being spoonfed with wealth siphoned from the other races.

Also, another area for comparison will be how much discrimination the SG Malays suffers from as a minority vs how much discrimination minority races in Malaysia suffer from. It is my opinion that minorities in Malaysia have a much harsher life - in order to support a caste of politically linked Malays to live a life of luxury.

Y1 said...

Sorry HL, my apologies for not reading carefully.

I am not so sure that the Malaysian Malays are doing better than the Singapore Malays. Maybe some of the urban and politically connected Malays are, but on the whole the rural Malays are not.

Sorry to hear of your third child's untimely demise. May Allah bless his soul. Good to hear that your two others are doing well.

I also know the Singapore education as I finished my A Levels there after failing my Malay papers for Form 5.

I now have my second son doing Engineering in Singapore. I tried to get my eldest to study there too but alas he could not make the grade for his chosen and highly competitive course.

Yes, Singapore is a great place for its functionality. Nothing beats Sabah for its great nature. You gain some, you lose some.

SM said...


If I'm not mistaken, Spore has a Malay General in their Armed Forces now (he's alreday been there a year or so).
You can be sure the Spore Govt is not going to "spoon-feed" their Malay population as UMNO does in Msia. Most Malays I know in Spore are very happy with the way they are treated & in fact most of them do very well without any "crutches".
I'm also very, very deeply sorry to hear about your son.

Robert HO nric S0197974D said...

1.Hi! Great post!

2. I dont know if you know that it is official policy of the LIEgime to keep the Chinese at ~78% of the pop; so they import huge numbers of Chinese from PRC, HK, Taiwan, even Indonesia, etc. State scholarships are regularly given to these Chinese so they are captured young while still formative, study here for years to become acclimatised, then when they graduate, they are instantly given PRs to stay for good, thus boosting the Chinese racial quota as well as brainpower.

3. Suppose Malaysia were to build a University in JB and do likewise, ie, give some scholarships to MALAYS from Singapore? [Besides attracting all Singapore races to study in this JB University]. This could instantly give new Hope, Opportunities, Confidence, Upliftment to the Malays in Singapore, all of which they now have not, as Third Class citizens.

4. This is just 1 aspect of a JB University, which makes much sense in many other ways. This will actually be welcomed by the LIEgime because it solves THEIR problem without spending a cent, which they count like precious blood. Cheers!

eddy said...

1. Wow, interesting information on the min 78% of Singapore's population Mr Ho. If its true, so the Malaysian Malaysia slogan of the PAP before they were kicked out by Tunku Abdul Rahman is just mere hogwash. No wonder that when Mr Lee became Prime Minister of independent Singapore we don't hear of the slogan Singaporean Singapore.

2. (AC), so sad to hear that your's and your friends wealth is being siphoned to make the Malay elites rich. Does it mean that the Malay elites basically hold out their hand and wallah money will flow into their hands like pipe water ah, no need to work because presumably in your racist mind malays are either stupid or lazy or both and need to be spoon fed like brainless idiots eh. Never mind that the Malaysian Government of 52 years which are majority Malays had taken this multiethnic and multireligious country from an agriculture based country to a industry based economy with policies designed to benefit most if not all its citizens. Its no mean feat you know, considering that many countries with multiethnic and multireligious background end up in civil wars. Malaysia is still a stable country thanks to this stable Government that we have OK.

So citizens like Robert Kuok who got sole concession to supply sugar and flour for the last 50years, like Lim Goh Tong and Vincent Tan who got gambling concessions also Francis Yeoh who got those fantastic IPP contracts from the Government with subsidised gas from Petronas have to share their wealth with the Malay elites also, oh wait Ananda Krishnan who got the multimedia and satellite concession also share his wealth with the ruling Malay elites ah? So very sad that the minorities who make up more than half of Malaysia's rich and virtually control the Malaysian economy are suffering ka, wow like that, I, a Malay want to be a minority in Malaysia lah.

What to do, I cannot change my birthright, so just have to make do and prove you wrong ma. I really think you have to meet and make more Malay Malaysian friends who are confident, academically qualified and definitely can stand tall anywhere not judge the Malays from what you read in the portal in cyberspace, magazines and what your friends say.TQ.

mohamed said...

"The Malay made up 15 percent of Singapore's population and were, like the Chinese and the Indians, descendants of immigrants"

Wow, singapore malays are decendant of immigrants. This twisting the reality a bit, isn't.

If and when the chinese rule Tanah Melayu, we will be catagorised as immigrant too?

Dream on you b>5#@*d

Dr Syed Alwi said...


You are so very wrong. I am happy to be a Singaporean Malay who is moderately successful WITHOUT the NEP nor the Ketuanan Melayu. Why is it that you keep harping on the issue of Malays in the SAF ? Even if we have 10 Malay Generals - how will that help the community ? In fact we already have a Malay General. Frankly what LKY says - is true. When Malaysian commandos scream Allahu-Akbar charging at an SAF unit - will YOU shoot them ? Forget LKY - I myself have doubts about that !! No - I totally reject your article as being superficial and not well reasoned. The Malaysian Malays only APPEAR to be doing well - because of the NEP and the Ketuanan Melayu. Lets see how they fare without crutches. I am more inclined to be proud of our moderately successful Singaporean Malays whose success is achieved via genuine effort and merit.

Dr Syed Alwi

makan$$pandai said...

Frankly, LKY should be the last person to question the Malays on their loyalty or their last grain of rice.
That's right! Not someone who served the Japanese Imperial army that occupied Singapore, and not least, the British declassified records suggest he was a coward who spoke with fork tongue.

The Malays should not get too carried away with pride over the appointment of their first Malay one star general, only after umpteen years. In reality, it is a humiliation to all the real soldiers because it begs the question;
How on earth did a sissy like LHL become a BG at age 30?
How did he become PM ?
Has he been up to the task ?
How about the wife's appointment ?

So the point is, lesser mortals including the Malays are hard done by the PAP's meritocratic system
which in essence has no qualms embracing nepotism and cronyism.

It is all so visible except to those who choose to close their eyes.

Purple Haze said...

The notion by Robert Ho that folks in S'pore will flock to a JB University is flawed in that it assumes that the people in S'pore will simply accept that such a JB University is of an acceptable standard.

I think Singaporeans (of whatever ethnic origin) still want value for money !

eddy said...

Congratulations Dr Syed Alwi, you are a confident, academically qualified Sigaporean.Obviously you are very happy in Lee Kuan Yew's kingdom. I would not argue with a Singapore citizen who loves Lee Kuan Yew and lap up anything he says, if you are happy, everybody is happy Doc.

Only one thing lah Dr. Syed as a qualified academician with presumably a Ph.D maybe you should not go round generalising a people like saying "The Malaysian Malays only APPEAR to be doing well - because of the NEP and the Ketuanan Melayu. Lets see how they fare without crutches". I do not knowlah but when I, a Malaysian Malay, was studying in the UK for my Engineering Degree, my Professor always tells us students not to generalise, he says generalisation is like assuming and jumping to conclusion it makes you seemed to be not really thinking when speak if you get my drift. But then again you are a "Dr" from Singapore so siapa saya, only a "Malaysian Malay who needs tongkat to survive" hendak judge a "Dr" kan..maybe my old UK Professor can lah.

And about this war mongering thingy, I do think that Lee Kuan Yew or Lee Hsien Loong should stop this nonsense about Malaysia or Indonesia attacking the small city state you call Singaporelah. We are an ASEAN familylah, we should be committed to economic prosperity and social stability among all its members.Not posturing to fight a war which does nobody any good.

But maybe the city state got other designs on Malaysia ke? I hear these persistent rumors about Singapore agents funding anti Malaysian Government portals, I hope its not truelah. Believe it or not Malaysia and Indonesia are committed to a prosper thy neigbor policy you know, so I hope the city state subscribe to that alsolah and not succumb to the kiasu mentality Singapore is famous for.

Anyway why worry, especially now even your presidential guard are made of the much feared Gurkha mercenaries and you are host to one of the largest American Naval/supply base in the far east in Changi and you also now have a Malay General so nobody is going to bother Singaporelah...for a very long,long time and with that security, people from Malaysia and Indonesia and ASEAN even China will be coming in droves to what will probably be the biggest gaming/gambling center in South East Asia if not ASIA, none other than your squeaky clean and morally upright and meritocratic Singapore.

SM said...

Bro Eddy,

I guess Dr. Syed Alwi touched a "raw nerve" with you!
You did go to great detail to disparage Spore BUT you unfortunately did not answer his question on whether the Msian Malays will survive without the crutches! Yes, you said you don't know...I can answer that question actually...YES the Msian Malays will be able to survive without the crutches (surprised I'd say that?)! UNFORTUNATELY, with the UMNO Govt continuing with its "divide & rule" modus operandi & NEP, we will never know as the Msian Malays will always be "Kataks di bawah Tempurung" due to their need for the NEP crutches!

Hantu Laut said...


That piece was not written by me.It's an extract from the US Army country studies.

If you are student of history you would know what was written therein was true.The Malays in Singapore were also migrants many hundred years ago.Most came from Sumatra and Java.

Hantu Laut said...

Dr Dr Syed Alwi,

How do you measure success?.Many people think of fame and fortune as a measure of success.Some even think owning a posh car that cost more than the house they lived in is a measure of success.It's different strokes for different folks.

I have no doubt there are many successful Malay Singaporeans and without doubt many Malaysian Malays too.

The Malays here don't need the crutches anymore.It is the politicians that want to keep it and keep the gravy train.

There is a sizeable Malay middle class now compared to 30 years ago.That to me is a measure of success, that the leaders of this nation, other than stealing from the coffers, have also given the people a better life.

It is not the NEP that is wrong, it is the guardians that have abused the nobility of its cause.

Not all Malays in this country benefited from the NEP.I, for sure have never felt any need for the it.I certainly don't hang around politicians waiting for a windfall or the crumbs and majority of Malays don't.

So, your generalisation that all Malays here need the crutches has no basis.

Dr Syed Alwi said...

Dear People,

On the issue of security and defense in ASEAN - I support LKY's view because - if you look at Malaysian and Indonesian politics - the Chinese are often demonised. No question about that. Singapore therefore has no choice but to make contingency plans just in case an anti-Chinese maniac rises to power in Malaysia or Indonesia. These are unpleasant things to talk about - but they are real threats and not perceived ones. Secondly - maybe my generalisation of Malaysian Malays may be painful for you to hear. But whose fault is that ? No one forces the Malaysian Malays to hold on to crutches. If Malaysian Malays are so confident - well - why the current state of affairs in Malaysia ? Just vote out both PAS and UMNO and put DAP on top ! But the Malaysian Malays will not do that because they have become addicted to the NEP and the Ketuanan Melayu. They cannot function in a race-religion blind environment anymore. Everything becomes twisted with race and religion. Everything. Its a ridiculous situation. Thats my observation of Malaysian Malays in general. I am willing to agree to disagree with you on this.

Dr Syed Alwi

SM said...

Dr Syed Alwi,

I agree with you on most counts of your last comments HOWEVER, PAS has nothing to do with UMNO. The Malays in Msia only need to vote for DAP, PKR & PAS. UMNO & the BN will be out of power & a "New Economic Model" based on "Need" rather than "Race" based policies will be in place.
Most Middle income Malays don't need the NEP anymore BUT then again why kick out UMNO & thus the NEP & give-up an "unfair" advantage?
I don't balme the Msian Malays...I "guess" if I were in an "advantaged" group like the "Bumis" I too would have probably kept the status quo even though I knew "deep down" it was unfair & stupid & run by a bunch of corrupted & racists crooks (but then again I would not be able to stomach UMNO no matter how advantageous they made me! Another example...I just read that the 2 Malay journalists that had entered a Catholic Church last year & descrated the "Holy Eucharist" has been allowed off by the AG! That's what 1-Malaysia is...advantageous to 1 Race & 1 Religion & to hell with the rest. No prizes if you guess which Race & which Religion!).

Y1 said...

You are right. Many Malaysian Malays have done well and are doing well on their own. I long to see most Malays, including those from the rural or urban poor doing well too.

Dr Alwi, thanks for you contribution to the other side of the debate. Glad to know how some of you feel. I remember having met a Singapore Malay studying Accountancy in London some thirty years ago, he was envious of the Malaysian Malays and wanted so much to be part of the Malaysian system then. I wonder how he feels now and whether he is still in Singapore or have migrated to Malaysia as I have lost touch with him.

eddy said...

Actually Bros (Dr Syed Alwi included), its not the part where you fellas said that Malays in Malaysia needs crutches to be successful is painful but the part where you generalise all Malays in Malaysia as such that touches a raw nerve. And borrowing Bro HL's "your generalisation that all Malays here need the crutches has no basis". Its especially rich coming from a Singaporean whose Singapore depends heavily(read crutches) on their neighbors for labour,trade, cheap raw life giving water and other basic necessities such as sand and aggregates etc. Anyway, I think if we argue until the cow comes home pun there will be no resolution as obviously many here myself included are entrenched in our views but then again in cyberspace we just have to agree to disagree for now.

...and thank you Bro Y1 for your kind words at least you try not to generalise a people wherever they are located.

Anonymous said...

To Dr Syed Alwi,

Just admit it, it is true that S'porean Malays are structurally left behind by the system.

To the Malaysian Malays, just ignore Dr Syed Alwi' s comment.He is one of the few that belong to those "yang baru naik punya".Baru sekarang dapat PhD.Jadi sifat jakun tu kuat.

I have talked to the old S'porean Malay families who have settled in KL, Malaysia ( they left S'pore when S'pore separated from Malaysia 1965), all of their family members, grandpa, great grandpa dah ada degree, PhD DURING THAT PERIOD and they said they left because things would change for the minorities in S'pore after 1965, which happens as we all know.

Now all of them very successful, one of them even have a firm in the UK worth 100 million pounds, my friend.And they still admit minorities can have a hard time in S'pore.Now the question is, how can someone like Dr Syed Alwi said nothing is wrong with the current system?

Dah baru dapat PhD aje dah nak kasi komen begitu ke?

Jelas melayu arab tak sadar diri..

singaporean said...