........ and just four days ago in http://anaksihamid.blogspot.com/2013/08/singapore-sling.html
I was having a jolly good time dramatising the conversation of Ah Beng, Ah Nand and Ah Mad about how Sinchiaporeans relate to one another. That posting in no way re-hashes the antics of that wonderful Singapore comedy "Phoa Chu Kang". The main thrust was to highlight what the authorities expect of the Singapore Malay - to prove his/her loyalty and integration.
The survey by the Suara Musyawarah could be regarded by non-Malays in Singapore and elsewhere as just another whinge - which deserves the exasperated retort "What more do the Malays want?".
All this is just old hat - issues like participation in the Singapore Armed Forces, lagging behind in education and income, ownership of property and job opportunities. It's so tragic because these grievances are tantamount to asking(?), complaining(?) for crumbs from the Master's Table! During the Roman Empire the Roman masters kept their conquered people quiet by giving them bread and circuses. Singapore Malays are wont to boast to Malaysian Malays about the strength of their dollar against the Ringgit, the re-sale value of their flat etc - in other words, their bread. They are also given the circus of shopping malls, Wisma Geylang Serai, Universal Studios Theme Park and Pulau Blakang Mati (ooops! Sentosa) Resort and more Shopping Malls. On a good day they can drive in their costly Sing-cars or cheaper weekend cars to do their marketing - cheap at JB . A few can take their little sprouts to Disneyland in USA, or vacations in New Zealand and Australia like many other non-Malay Singaporeans. But there's always Langkawi, Cameron Highlands, Malacca ( not Melaka) and all the Beach Resorts in Peninsular Malaysia - all very cheep! A plate of chicken rice in a Malaysian Hotel only costs SGD 6 !
But a people cannot live on bread alone. A people need a sense of dignity, a feeling of pride in themselves and their culture - even if they have little to spare in their pocket. What is the Singapore Malays' take on this?
The most tragic and depressing part of the NST's article is this.
Suara Musyawarah vice-chairman Alwi Abdul Hafiz said the community had moved away from their loyalty towards the Malay archipelago, which was apparent more than two decades ago.
"Now there is a strong sense of nationhood, of belonging to Singapore, especially among the younger generation. The issue is, we feel that our loyalty is being questioned and that we cannot be completely trusted."
Singaporean and other Nanyang Chinese will never forsake their cultural roots. Look at Hua Song (meaning
"in praise of the Chinese") -" a museum which offers students the chance to appreciate the spirit of adventure and enterprise of the early Chinese migrants".
Musyawarah's vice-chairman has chosen the wrong word to apply to the "Malay Archipelago". It is not a question of loyalty but of upholding their cultural and geographical bond - just like the Chinese and Indians do in Singapore. How about remembering and celebrating the Malays' spirit and origin? Firstly, -
Where are these villages? Check: http://anaksihamid.blogspot.com/2012/03/alimah-bt-awang-anak-jati-singapura.html
|The original caption reads: " Water-colour painting by Suri bin Mohyani of Kampong Kuchan (Lorong 3, Geylang) the present home of the descendants of the Kallang River Orang Laut."
This is Geylang today.
|Geylang : The New Chinatown
And what about the Singapore Malays' cultural hub in Geylang?
I said this in my last paragraph of the above posting. Singapore Malays have to write their own script of their place in modern Singapore. They have seven years ( in 2019, Singapore will be celebrating its 200th Anniversary) to get it going and get it right. A people who do not acknowledge and respect their own language, history, culture and background - no matter how humble - will always be scorned and looked down upon. Singapore Malays have to work and stand up for their dignity and rights as the 'natives' of Singapore because there is no round table like King Arthur's where everyone is accorded an equal placement. Learn from the Chinese in Malaysia. Unite - for you are all children of the Malay Archipelago.
|The Chinese Singaporean is proud of being this. (From the Hua Song Museum))
|Malay Shop, Singapore. The Singaporean Malay should uphold this tenacity of their forefathers.
While the Chinese maintain their Nanyang (Overseas) credentials Singapore Malays discard their maritime ancestry as people of the Malay Archipelago so as to be more Sinchiaporeans than Singaporeans.
|The Malays' Middle Kingdom ( The Middle Kingdom is the traditional name for China)
Enough's said. I'd like to say more but I have to get on with the packing for our Hari Raya visit to Singapore to see Lely, Irene, Jai and his mum.
And to ziarah Abah's and Akim's grave at Pusara Abadi.