Tengku Faris’ speech: Your say

Apr 17, 08 9:20am


vox populi big thumbnail‘Many non-Malays have been in this country for four or five generations. They are citizens of this country who should not be seeking ‘gratitude’ for being allowed to live here.’

On Tengku Faris: Non-Malays should not seek equality

A Very Concerned Citizen: I am both sad and disgusted by some of the statements made by the Kelantan Crown Prince Tengku Faris Petra. Many non-Malays have been in this country for four or five generations. They have worked hard and contributed significantly to the success of the economy. They are, in every sense of the word, citizens of this country who should not be seeking ‘gratitude’ for being allowed to live here.

They are not asking for special privileges. They are only asking for fair treatment. It is time this country treats all citizens as assets, and not discriminate some as ‘foreigners’. All of us are bumiputera. If we continue to discriminate based on race, we will forever be divided as a nation.

Statements uttered by the crown prince are polemic in nature, and would further fuel discontent amongst all races. If we genuinely love this country, all of us, regardless of race, religion and gender, should work together to make this a great nation.

Amor Patriae: This is a shocking moment and comes as setback to the new emerging nascent Malaysian consciousness. A correction, needs to be in place. The idea of ‘non-Malay citizenship in exchange of special treatment of the Malays’ is not based on historical fact but more of Umno propaganda. It has not been stated in any serious historical work of Malaysia. It is more of a Biro Tatanegara Module which finds entrance in government institutions, universities included.

Our historians are well aware of this but choose to be quiet about it. When we ask them, they say no point responding to political statements. The ruling government has been successful thus far to deter any challenge to its Umno hegemony. The challenge is not only from non-Malays, but also from the Malays.

When the series on real struggle for Malaysian independence was published by Prof Rahman Embong of UKM, that makes Umno looks pale in comparison to the young Malays and Chinese who fought with their life against the British, the series was immediately stopped and the head of the publishing unit transferred.

As some of our historians will not say anything that Umno will not be pleased to hear so we have to urge those who are more independent and value integrity to come forward. The best will be Prof Cheah Boon Kheng who has already published on pre- and post-independent period.

The existing published materials are clear on the issue – no such thing exist. The most is said are on areas that consensus were not reached (for instance, the nature of special privilege for Malays, how long it will last) between the Malay leaders and the than Umno leaders. New research is impossible to be conducted from Malaysia as most of the primary material is classified by the National Archives.

So, by repeating the myth time and again, it has becomes some sort of a truth and even entered our school syllabus. This should be de-constructed for the sake of our young Malaysians regardless of race. I also urge serious Malay historians (such as Prof Ramlah Adam) to come forward to clear the distortion and pave way for better Malaysia. This is the time to act with conscience and they Malaysian will always remember them for this. Speak up, historians.

Baiyuensheng: Well, I don’t know about this and something is wrong in this statement. I mean, I read it a few times and still it does not make me any more enlightened.

I mean surely, and morally this is wrong, more so probably on religious standpoint of view since all religions are advocating that all human beings are equal, unless I am wrong. Somehow the moment I read this, I felt nauseated almost immediately – just does not mix well with my ‘inner’ being’ I guess.

So it is a bit strange that people can still advocating this and thinking that by saying a few times more, people will somehow accept this? This concept as advocated is really beyond me and my comprehension. I would say more so for any decent intellectually endowed human being. By the way, this country Malaysia, is as much yours as it is mine.

Anonymous: This smacks of deliberate recklessness on his part and which does no good at all in re-stirring muddy waters typically the hallmark of BN rule. If the Pakatan Rakyat in the new political landscape is going for a better job in bringing about fair and competent governance and improving better race relations among the various races, speeches such as this should be discouraged.

The speech is most inopportune and unnecessary as it serves no useful purpose but an attempt to further arouse sensitive emotions. One suspects he has been manipulated and he should know better.

Jane: I was so heartsick when I read the opening paragraph that I didn’t even bother to log in, as I figured the full report would just make me sad and livid all at once. Having read it all later, I’m no less heartsick.

Respect has to be earned, regardless of whether you are commoner or royalty. Intelligence, a sense of justice, thoughtfulness – these, in my opinion, are some of the qualities that engender respect. On that basis, Raja Nazrin of Perak has earned my respect. I have none for this prince from Kelantan. He needs to get out from under that coconut shell and live in the real world.

V Liew: I read with disgust this report. It is racist, instigating and irresponsible. Since when were the Malays ‘challenged’ in the 12th general election? By whom? By the non-Malays? To simply categorise such matters is playing with fire. The ‘loss’ of BN in the GE has nothing to do with Malays being challenged – it is the corrupt and arrogant Umno (or even BN for that fact) that is the subject matter. If we look at Pakatan Rakyat, there are Malays also in this coalition too.

For as long as leaders speak out loud in open along such racial lines, it proves that they are insensitive towards the rakyat and will remain the reason that Pakatan Rakyat will be the alternative solution to governing Malaysia.

Teo Chuen Tick: The Federal Constitution’s Clause (1) states: ‘All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.’ This clause in our constitution is good enough grounds to seek equality 50 years after independence. The baggage of the pre-independence era should not be forever a burden on the backs of new generations of Malaysians.

Augustine Basnayake: Such is the substance of people who are leaders in Malaysia. If this royal leader knows anything about what is going on in this world, he would have made a better speech which would have brought all his subjects, Malay and non-Malay, closer to the horizons of human unity, closer to the leaders of the nation, closer to national unity without considerations of race, religion and skin colour.

Now that he has made known his (and probably of others in his category), prejudiced, jaundiced perception of non-Malays and non-Mulims in his state, I hope that those affected will give the respect that is due to such and play the game well.

His comments on the election only goes to show where his bread is buttered, in his position. There can be no peace as Malaysians dream of or imagined possible, as long as there are leaders such as these in Malaysia and are devotedly listened to by gullible subjects.

Joe Fernandez: It’s not up to the Malays to give out citizenship. Citizenship is a right enshrined in the constitution of a modern nation-state. For example, an Indonesian comes into Malaysia legally for work and later on is freely given permanent residence and. The children of our permanent residents will automatically get citizenship if they are born in this country, live and study here. Somewhere along the way, the parents and the grandparents would get their citizenship.

All this is provided for by law. These are not the kinds of laws which can be easily changed since they would make nonsense of other provisions in the constitution. Where does Malays agreeing to give citizenship to non-Malays enter the picture? The Kelantan crown prince should not distort law and history because it brings discredit to the institution as the great protector of the non- Malays.

Zorgen: It is very disappointing and much regretful to hear the Kelantan crown prince making such a statement. It is obvious to me that his motive is to gather support for his own benefit. As many Malaysians have just started to move away from the narrow thinking of racism and being religion-centric, this statement is trying to resist the change for a better Malaysia.

If viewing from the historical perspective, let us ask who are the real owners of this land (bumiputera). They are those Iban, Kadazan, Dusun and Orang Asli (mainly the tribal groups Semang, Senoi and Proto-Malay) etc. What and how much has been done to help the real bumiputera here? What is the benefit to this country in promoting a racism and religion-centric mental block?

Christine: I am enraged when I read what Tengku Faris had to say about the rights of the Malays. Someone has to remind him of the following:

That without the Indians and Chinese, Malaysia will never be where it is today. That a lot of the Malay culture has influences from the Indian and Chinese culture, from its lifestyle to its food to its lingua franca.

That for as long as some have this kind of mentality, a lot of talented Malaysians, be it Malays or non-Malays, will be forced to seek opportunities abroad with their talents. That the Malays are not the entirely the ethnic peoples of what is called ‘Malaysia’ today. Ask him if he speaks what he spoke on behalf of the Orang Asli.

That this is not what Islam teaches – that mankind knows no boundaries when it comes to skin colour or ethnicity

Malaysian: Though I respect Tengku Faris’ view, I found some ambiguity in certain areas such as:-

a) he calls for unity of rakyat and also the unity of the Malays. Why the difference?

b) citizenship of the non-Malays were part of the so-called ‘social contract’. I do not understand why beri-paksa kerakyatan when means ‘forced-to give citizenship’, is being raised by him.

c) He said that the 12th general election results have shown that the Malays are being ‘challenged’. Wasn’t it the Malays who also voted for Pakatan Rakyat? So, I can’t understand why the so-called ‘challenged’ here.

d) He said that ‘the Malays must defend the constitution’. Why only the Malays? All of us should defend the constitution, right? Not just the Malays.

e) Tolerance in practising religion should be ‘two-way’. Tengku Faris was implying it is only ‘one-way’.


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