Monday 28 April 2014

Pekong di Dada dan Kuman di Seberang

According to Barack Obama :

Malaysia must ensure non-Muslims in the country also have equal opportunities as its Muslim majority if the Southeast Asian nation  wanted to continue prospering.....

Malaysia won't succeed if the non-Muslims do not have the same opportunity.

(see Jennifer Gomez, The Malaysian Insider April 27th, 2014)

Let's look at who has the most opportunity for attaining prosperity.

Mean Monthly Gross Household Income by Ethnicity, Strata and State, 1970-2012.
Note that the richest states in the Peninsula - Penang and Selangor 'belong' to the Opposition.

To summarize the above which is not too legible, for which I apologize:

                          1970                  2012    
Bumiputera          172                    4457
Chinese                394                   6366
Indians                 304                   5233
Others                  813                   3843
Average for
Malaysia               264                   5000

On another aspect of   "equal opportunities"  let's compare the poverty index of  the world's most powerful and richest country with that of Malaysia.  According to the World  Bank, Malaysia's  Poverty Rate was 3.8% in 2009 and 1.7% in 2012.  The United States of America, with a US$17 trillion economy, had a poverty rate of 15% in 2012.  Since it has been suggested to the President that the minorities in Malaysia are treated unfairly  and he had to advise us that that would impair our future prosperity, how did USA manage to "prosper" when the Poverty Rate (2012)  of the Blacks measure 35%, the Hispanics 33% and the Whites just 13% ?

Our human rights brigade, granted a precious audience with the President,  had the privilege of spilling out their angst about life in Malaysia , something which the poor in USA surely wish they could do too - people like .....

Homeless in Washington -
One out of every 5 children in the US is now living in poverty ( Source: US Census).  This child may have the same colour as the President but he doesn't have the privilege of growing up in a white middle class family.   This child, unlike the President, comes from a a line of slaves and whose forefathers knew only discrimination and abuse in a Judaeo-Christian culture.  Could he have been elected as a president like Barack Obama?
Usually, when I come across a feature on life in the USA, I notice one group has been carefully omitted.  These are the people you see in Hollywood movies killing and massacring the pioneer whites.  These'pioneers',  like all immigrants are always positively represented as hardworking, enterprising and hence deservedly successful.

Those left out are the Native Americans.  From The Guardian 22 April 2012 :  The UN is to conduct an investigation into the plight of US Native Americans, the first such mission in its history. 

  Photograph: Jennifer Brown/Corbis.   Taken from the Guardian.

Many of the country's estimated 2.7 million Native Americans  live in federally recognised  tribal areas which are plagued with unemployment, alcoholism, high suicide rates, incest and other social problems.

......... some US conservatives likely to object to international interference in domestic matters.

Now , doesn't that sound familiar?  To quote the MI :   "Obama said non-Muslims in Malaysia are currently facing hostility, and some have felt oppressed.  There shouldn't be reason to discriminate, and you have to make sure that you are speaking out against this in daily life.

Do read this:

It all started with the Pilgrim Fathers - escaping the prejudices of their motherland in Europe - immigrants starting a new life and all the blah, blah blahs about their toil and their sacrifice and of course their Thanksgiving Day.  Initially, they were welcomed by the Native Indians.  But the new arrivals had this caveat - one the Christians practised where ever they left their footprint.

Taken from Punch Diary 1973
Now that most people in Malaysia have watched the blockbuster movie Captain America why not give this movie "Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee" a try?  It's not breathtakingly exciting, -  full of thrills and spills - but it might make you cry.

 Here's a little background from YouTube.

Finally the MI wrote:  Obama  said that almost every religion teaches the basic principle of "do unto others as you want others to do unto you"  

Well, 'Muslim Malaysia's' track record here is not too bad.    Christians are hardly sidelined.    Read the following scans (courtesy of Iain Buchanan).

What more can Malaysia do?  Who is being  "discriminated against and sidelined" ?

I wonder?  Did anyone at the  "700-strong crowd of youths  and civil society representatives"  ask President Obama about his election promise to close down Guantanamo Bay prison?  Also, as he specifically asked "the new generation to stand in other 'people's shoes and look at things through their eyes'  ", did these civil society representatives ask the President  if he could imagine himself as one of the 11 people in Yemen who were killed by an American drone attack in December 2013 as they were returning from a wedding?
Mind you, this was not the first or the last murder-by-drone under the President's watch.

Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world, - though the cant of hypocrites may be the worst, - the cant of criticism is the most tormenting!   (Laurence Sterne 1713-1768)


Anonymous said...

Bring in on Cikgu. Excellent and spot on. Love it and thank you for your article. I am annoyed that this statement by Obama was made at Dewan Tuanku Chancellor, University Malaya. I wish he attend our annual graduation and see the number of students graduating by group(race?) in major Discipline such as Medicine, engineering, Law etc.... Don't be surprised ..still marginalized? Stupid Obama..

anak si-hamid said...

Dear Anon 1.15pm,

Cikgu says thank you.

You have to make sure that the Malays of the future, the children and grandchildren, must form that line of Medical, Engineering etc. graduates.

They have to be given an
"education" and not mere "instruction" in the schools, and especially at home.

More than ever, now and in the future, Malays are confronting a world -local and global- where the narrative is being "constructed" by others who have their own nefarious agenda - disguised as "human rights". This time, they are not armed with guns and cannons - but with the power of the word and the manipulation of ideas.

We need a generation that can deal with that rationally, not only by protesting and screaming in the streets - but by using the power of the word ... and going for the jugular - in English.

I make no apologies for recommending the English language.
A proficiency in writing (and speaking) in another language will not and must not rob you of your Malayness - our heritage.

The Malays must remain Malays and not turn into a souped-up version of the American/British or the Arabs.

Unknown said...

Try to get his comments in full. What was reported is only part of a paragraph. He is not talking down to Malaysians. He also references the challenges in American policies as evidenced in its history. As a matter of principle no one should be treated unfairly and all should be given fair access to a better life.

Now let's talk about hudud instead. ... anyone?

chia said...

While I agree with some of your points made regarding the US, especially regarding their treatment of the Native Americans, there are many other points that I feel are not accurate.

There's no doubt that in general, the Chinese in Malaysia have a higher income. But you cannot merely look at the mean of whole populations and make conclusions. In ALL races, there is a tail of poverty. And ALL persons who are part of this tail should be treated the same. The problem is when you make only one tail more important than the other. The Indians and the Lain-lain have a huge tail of poor as well, do they not deserve equal opportunities? You seem to say that they don't, because in general, the bumiputeras are making less (bear in mind that bumiputera numbers also do not directly mean Malay numbers, as non-Malay bumiputeras who are really at the bottom of the scale, have been included in the calculations). Also, equal opportunities do not merely mean financial opportunities. The Chinese are not looking for free hand outs, but the recognition that we are FULL malaysians, whose forefathers contributed to this land. Oppression is not merely financial.

Also, do you know how poverty rates are calculated? Are they standardised across the world? Do you think the 15% poor in the US are living as badly as our 1.7% poor? In the US "the poverty threshold for a family of four with two children was $22,811" That's about US$1900/month. In Malaysia, the poverty line income is RM860/month. Seriously, a Malaysian family who makes RM860 does not live the same quality of life as an American family who makes US$1900. The PLI by the Malaysian govt is really just a made up number to boost their image. Please see this article on what happens if we were to use a "real" PLI:

Christians have in general been given some freedom to practice in Malaysia, and the word "sidelined" probably does not apply. But I think these days, you can agree that things are moving in the direction of impeding this freedom. It's better to stop this downhill slide instead of looking only at the past and say "where got!".

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Saffura Chinniah,

You say : Obama "references the challenges in American policies as evidenced in its history". Don't ALL politicians in ALL countries, in ALL their speeches, do this?

You then say: "As a matter of principle no one should be treated unfairly and all should be given fair access to a better life". Don't ALL politicians say this?

Not sure what direction you're aiming at, - apart from "hudud", which I wasn't writing about.

Now let's talk about "hypocrisy" - anyone?

Anonymous said...

similar repartee:

Anonymous said...

Why are we still fighting based on race or ethnics. This is MALAYSIA.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Chia for your comment

I totally disagree with you on the statement that “The PLI by the Malaysian government is really just a made up number to boost their image”

Let us not be ignorant as our ignorant will led to us being so emotional about the whole debate.
Our Poverty Line Index was constructed based on recommendation from foreign experts and local researchers who have done lots of work in the area of poverty, inequality and development. I am not a big supporter of PLI too and Malaysia must come with an alternative ways of constructing PLI.
The current PLI has been adjusted for a couple of time under the good advice of foreign experts and consultant. I have work with Prof. David Demery, University of Bristol, UK ( and he has shared with us some alternative way of constructing PLI. The earlier version of our PLI for Malaysia was developed by Prof. Nanak Kikwani formerly at University of New South Wales ( who has developed “Kikwani-Syun Index) as a better measure/estimate to replace the earlier index. The new index received strong interest among academician like us as their works were published in top journal. Similarly, Economic Planning Unit Malaysia has spent huge sum of money to pay these foreign experts. The PLI constructed was based on the existing data such as HHI (Household Income Survey/HIS) and Household Expenditure Survey/HHE) which is a nationwide survey conducted by Department of Statistic (DOS, Malaysia). Thus, PLI was based on the data/ survey and its applicability will also be driven by the quality/details of data. I agree that the level of aggregation involves may affect the degree of” bias” in using PLI. (Please contact me at if you’re interested in these details).
For anybody to come up with PLI there has to be theoretical framework and some mathematical test to validate that index. I am very sure these foreign experts that EPU Malaysia has appointed knew what they are doing. As a local researcher, we give input to Economic Planning Unit if we feel that the calculation does not reflect reality on the ground.
So Cha, PLI does not drop from the sky (suka suka hati) as it is based on scientific methods.
As for what Malaysian Insiders (Ganeshwara) has suggested, we can put everything in PLI but the application /practical of it remains important especially in lights of data that we need to have. My group at University Malaya is working on a more multidimensional approach in measuring poverty and inequality and we are also depending on HIS and HHE data from DOS Malaysia. We don’t have the resources to launch a new /alternative nationwide survey as this will be an expensive exercise. Our recent study released to the press (5th March, 2014) also indicate that poverty and inequality among the Malay/Bumiputera and rural household group in this country worsen in lights of government policies such subsidy rationalization exercise.
Doing field work research (seeing reality* on the ground/“akar umbi “ level) on this issue and come up with a good result/outcome? Anybody?

No ‘hypocrisy’ please..

Assoc.Prof. Dr Fatimah Kari
University Malaya

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Anon May 1, 1.00AM,

It's a shame isn't it?

There are far too many who won't commit themselves: who have mastered the art of "running with the hare and hunting with the hounds".

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Chia for your Comment.

I quite agree: the statistical mean conceals a great deal, at both ends. But as you will know, a more serious weakness of such quantitative measures is their failure to account for the 'structural context' of the figures - i.e the social, economic, political, and cultural framework that defines things like the pattern of power and advantage in a society (financial and otherwise), the impact of external influences (e.g. capital movement, trade preferences, political pressures, local and overseas ethnic and religious networks, etc).

Once raw income figures are qualified by such complexities, the 'structural advantage' is even more clearly with the Chinese rather than with the bumiputera (whether Malay or not). You say that "equal opportunities do not merely mean financial opportunities". True. It depends on the ethnic group's structural advantage which has been institutionalised to favour the Chinese - not only in Malaysia, but in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore and Thailand (although in Vietnam, the Vietnamese managed to clip this inequality of opportunity at the end of the Vietnam War).

As for poverty indexes: of course such figures cannot be standardized around the world. But it would be fair to say that ALL governments manipulate such statistics for most favourable effect. The same applies to measures of "corruption". There are two key facts: (a) the "richest" countries (like the US) are many times richer than the "poorest"; (b) the wealth disparity within the richest countries is both vast AND GROWING RAPIDLY.

Incidentally, do you know what being poverty-stricken in the US actually means? Of course "the Malaysian family who makes RM860 does not have the same quality of life as an American family who makes US1900". Do you mean the American poor have a better quality of life? Well, the Malaysian family has a cheaper lifestyle to maintain - they do not eat much red meat, beer and spirits are not part of their normal diet, there's no need to worry about heating bills in winter. You can freeze to death in US but you can always shelter from the heat. As for clothing - inner and outer - and shoes (for winter and summer), the American lives under more straitening circumstances than the Malaysian. Still, it is a pointless quibble.

As a matter of curiosity what handouts are given to Bumis which are denied to the Chinese - free education (and in their mother-tongue too), free health, free BR1M, free choice of names (unlike in Thailand and Indonesia), subsidized petrol, sugar, cooking oil and as much space and choice of location as they want for their cemeteries (unlike in Singapore or the Republic of China)?

As for becoming FULL Malaysians - the Colonial British made sure that the immigrants in Malaya were protected in enabling them to become citizens. There was no need to apply for a "Green Card"as in USA, there's no language or citizenship test to take ( as in
Brunei and UK), there's no need to prove one's financial and educational viability as in Australia and New Zealand!

Malay and non-Malay forefathers alike contributed to this land. But let's not be so naive as to think that when people were taking full advantage of the economic opportunities of this land under the umbrella of British Imperialism, they wanted to contribute to the well-being of Malay/Malaysia.

(to be continued)

anak si-hamid said...

.......continuation :

In Malaysia today, as in the past, most people think only of "What's in it for me? - for my ethnic group, my culture, my salvation in paradise, my religion, my business and my 'freedom' to ape the liberties of the West. But perhaps there is one group that is willing to put their lives on the line for Malaya/Malaysia - our Askar, and Police who gave their lives during the Second World War, the Communist Insurrection, Confrontation and Lahad Datu. The sacrifice of such people made it possible for those who live here to keep their livelihoods, accumulate more profit, expand their industries, ensure their educational future, and cherish their heritage - in a peaceful country.

Finally, you say that "Christians have IN GENERAL been given SOME FREEDOM to practise in Malaysia". What exactly do you mean by this especially with reference to the words I have highlighted?

In the 57 years since Merdeka, how have Christians been denied their freedom? If you are thinking of the brouhaha over the East Malaysian bibles and the use of "Allah", why didn't the Churches raise this issue before Merdeka and before the formation of Malaysia? If you want to push the goalposts at the expense of others - you must expect a reaction - or is this the real agenda? - 'menanggok di air yang keroh'. This is exactly what the American President has done, with the blessings of some of the FULL Malaysians.

Aiyaah - like this, mana eh sai!

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Prof. Fatimah,

We really need more professionals like you.

Tak sia sia negara memberi pelaran yang setinggi ini kepada puan.

Anonymous said...

Excellent. I await the replies , just so that no one can say they were denied the right to reply.


Anonymous said...

"In the 57 years since Merdeka, how have Christians been denied their freedom? If you are thinking of the brouhaha over the East Malaysian bibles and the use of "Allah", why didn't the Churches raise this issue before Merdeka and before the formation of Malaysia?"

Correction. Why didn't the Islamic Departments raise this issue before Merdeka and before the formation of Malaysia?

The Bumiputera Christians of Malaya, Sabah & Sarawak have been using 'Allah' long before 1957.

It was only in the 1980s that overzealous government officials decided to enact a restriction upon the Christians. Previously, it was not an issue.

Anonymous said...


But the most we can do is raise level of awareness, vote for the right people (is there any such thing?) and keep our sanity while respecting each other. Those in power should have the balls to make the change.
But what really caught me by surprise is the attitude of an appointed director at PEMANDU who can twist and turn and hit below the belt with her last parting remark in this forum.
Malaysian politicians are forgiven for their brainless tongue, but for one of the director at the think tank of the country who doesn't seem to have the respect for the religion of the people where this country’s name come from, this is shameful. I felt offended Saffura Chinniah, as I read your response fully and not just the last sentence
And Saffura Chinniah, don’t worry as we are not In Singapore where such a statement will be beginning of the end of your career, as we are tolerant Malays who put you where you are now.

Penumpang Malang

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Penumpang Malang,

The use of distraction by the media-communication industry is not new.

If it's not done properly, it ends up like a cheap shot - resorted to when there's an unwillingness or inability to encourage clear thinking.

The ability - in English - to recognise and tackle such tactics is what I referred to in my reply to the first comment.

Very interesting - your comparison with Singapore.

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Mus,

Talk about "fire in the belly". Remember how Abah put down that British Army Captain in the early 1960s?

Anonymous said...

" Thats why I would rather be a civilian native then a British officer like you "....that was Abah's reply when the British army Captain commented sarcastically when Abah bought a new car.

I think this is what you meant ?

By the way ...stil nothing from the like of Saffura Chinniah and others ?


International Evangelical Conferences in Malaysia 2000-2014 said...

International Evangelical Conferences in Malaysia 2000-2014

When the natives Malays were riled by rude Chinese christian evangelists wanting to call Jesus Father Allah, Najib said with his most purportedly statesman lips, what has the Christians done to us?

Muahaha.... from here we know we have a nincompoop as an UMNO President. Alas also as a nincompoop Prime Minister. As Helen Ang blogs have exposed the european tribe were galvanised by Christianity to attack other tribes all over the world and kill and steal their gold and land.

You know the Malays are in trouble when their leader was schooled in the Christian Missionary St John. Thus he thought that the Mat Salleh were good people. It never occurred to him what was the MAt Salleh doing 14 000 km away from england or belgian or german whoever was the brother priest then.

The Christians are here to suppressed other non Christians and enslaved them like they did to the Africans and Phillipines. They were only killed by the China emperor and Japanese priests themselves that is why they stop at Phillipines.

But by 1960s, the english tribes no longer belief in the Jew JEsus.Their most influential leader John Lennon wrote a powerful song GOD which helped to destroy the Jesus mythology. Just google God John Lennon. God is a concept of pain. And so the european tribes became mellow.

But all these escape those malays brainwashed by christian missionaries like St john. Critical questions never cross his simple mind poor Najib.

When we celebrate every year our independence it is from the oppresion and imperialistic Christian Queen Elizabeth.
Remember that. Next time please add Merdeka dari Pembunuh Kristian Inggeris Queen.!