July 31, 2013
Tun DrM: It’s Malaysia now, no longer Tanah Melayu
by Art Harun (02-09-11)
In the last few weeks I have been entertained by two of my favourite people in the world.
Yes. Tun DrM and Lee Kuan Yew. Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison. The pot and the kettle. The men with the plan. The visionaries. The beacon of liberty, freedom, progress, development and oh yes, Asian Values.
One calls the other, firstly, “little Emperor of a tiny Middle Kingdom.” Then he downgraded the other – two days ago, to be exact – from being an Emperor to just a Mayor. The other one insinuated that his counterpart is delusional. And it goes on.
Nobody knows who is right or who is mightier. One thing which I know for sure is this. Both were benevolent absolutists bent on achieving anything which they managed to conjure up in their respective warped mind regardless of the consequences of their respective acts. Both are old people who really should just stop churning out vitriolic and do some good instead, like by not saying anything about anything.
Latest by Tun DrM is a mind boggling pronouncement that Malaysia belongs to Malays and that the non-Malays just have to live with that fact by accepting the culture and language of the dominant community. He has reportedly said :“This country belongs to the Malay race. Peninsular Malaysia was known as Tanah Melayu but this cannot be said because it will be considered racist.“We must be sincere and accept that the country is Tanah Melayu,” (The Malaysian Insider)
I am Malay. Tun DrM is my hero. Thank you very much Tun. As dirty talks go, that must have outperformed Linda Lovelace and the whole Dallas team put together.
I do not know why some people are obsessed with the ownership of this country. It is as if this country is full of things which could be owned and are in fact owned. On my last count, Bahasa Melayu is owned by Malays. The word “Allah” is also owned by Malays (who by Constitutional definition is synonymous with Muslims). There are also “special rights” which are owned by Malays. 30% of the economy are owned – well, actually, are supposed to be owned – by Malays.
In fact, I know of one specific Malay who is going around town owning everything and anything – mostly government projects and monopolised businesses -which are “ownable.” And now this. Malaysia is owned by Malays.
I am so glad to know that. Because the last time I went back to my kampung, I saw countless Malays riding old motorbikes, struggling to pay their water bills and school fees (who say our schools have no fees?), eating plain rice and ikan masin day in and day out, working in leased padi fields with just enough money to buy rice and ikan masin after paying their landlords for the padi field and the rentals for the tractors and harvesters.
Now I suppose, these poor Malays could go to the land office and claim this land, which has been declared as theirs. Nice. The Malay problems are solved. Poverty among the Malays is solved. Declining standard of education is solved. Health care problem is solved. Inability to think is solved.
And with one sentence (or two), Tun DrM has managed to solve the issue which had been ghosting his mind since 1969. Yes folks. THE MALAY DILEMMA IS SOLVED.
Take that Minister (Senior) Lee Kuan Yew! What do you have to say about that huh? You surely have not solved the Chinese Dilemma, have you Minister Lee? In fact, you do not even have a Chinese Dilemma to begin with! How very inferior to Tun DrM you are.
I have written so much on the so called social contract and on how Malaysia gained her independence as well as the thoughts and rationale which went into the framing of some of the provisions of our Federal Constitution, especially article 153. I am not going to repeat them here.
I am not going to argue with Tun DrM anymore. Let’s just assume – and it is really a very big assumption – that what he said is correct. Tanah Melayu belonged to the Malays. Let’s just take that as the gospel (oh, I forget, I am Muslim, and so it should be the “Quranic”) truth.
But is there a Tanah Melayu now? In 2011?The truth is Tanah Melayu has disappeared from the face of the Earth at 12 midnight 31st August 1957, when Malaya, and later, Malaysia, was born. When the late Tunku Abdul Rahman was screaming “merdeka merdeka merdeka”, Tanah Melayu achieved its independence and she morphed into this new state called Malaya, which later became Malaysia. All her citizens became Malayans, and later Malaysians. They may belong to different ethnicities, different races, different faiths, different tribes speaking different languages and dialects, but they all became Malayans that early morning.
This country belongs not to Malays anymore that morning. This country belongs to Malaysians from that morning onwards.If the Tun’s favourite hypothesis of the social contract is correct, true and accurate – that there was a round table agreement between leaders of the three main races where the Malays have agreed to allow the non-Malays to become citizens in exchange for special rights – then by that same token, it means that the Malays, through that very social contract, have agreed to disclaim their ownership of Tanah Melayu in exchange for some special rights.
I am not making this up. I am saying this based on what Tun DrM has been saying all this while. If ever there was such an agreement – as repetitiously blared by Tun DrM and his ilk – that would be the natural and legal consequences of that agreement.
If that being so, on what basis, I wonder, is Tun DrM now founding his claim that Malaysia is owned by the Malays?
As for Lee Kuan Yew, you do not have the right to even speak about us, okay. You have not even identified the Chinese Dilemma yet. You little Mayor!