Kimma, the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress, said that though they had helped form MIC, they would lose their Indian Muslim if they remained in that party. Besides, religious elements have crept into MIC which made their continued membership untenable.
OK, not only that, but Kimmia insisted that there’s a world of difference between Indians and Indian Muslims, despite both groups originating from Tamil Nadu, mainly because of the difference in historical background. But, other than the obvious difference in religious beliefs, it didn’t elaborate on which aspects or why the historical background made the 2 groups different?
So Kimmia tried to join UMNO, but UMNO has remained cool to their application. Poor blokes. This is especially so when the Federal Constitution stated that a Muslim who could speak Bahasa Malaysia and practised the Malay culture would be regarded as a Malay, so why aren’t Kimmia members accepted as Malays? Kimmia wants the government to give Malay status to Indian Muslims born in the country.
Then, just in case there’s any difficulty on this score, Kimmia decided to have a fallback action, sort of a second best. If the government won’t consider them as Malays, they don’t mind being considered as bumiputeras, just like the Portuguese Malaysians.
Well, at least the Kimma acting president Syed Ibrahim Kader was frank about his objective. He said that bumiputra status was important as it would enable Indian Muslims to enjoy privileges in education, socio-economic welfare, employment, allocation of low cost houses, places in public institutions of higher learning, scholarships and employment opportunities, etc.
Hmmm, I wonder whether as a 3rd generation Penangite, who speaks Malay (admittedly in a dodgy manner, but hey, I am learning Jawi), practises the Malay culture (eat sambal belacan, nasi lemak, wear sarong, shouts at soccer referee “Oi, KNN, lu leflie kayu ah”, loves tapai and stories of Orang Minyak and Pontianak, etc), I could be accepted as a bumiputra? Oh, did I miss out anything? Ah, religion – can do lah, I am just waiting for someone like Siti Nurhaliza or Lisdawati or Raja Farah to propose to me before I ... gulp ...!
Then Kimmia said something at odds with its futile attempts at joining UMNO. It stated that although the Indian Muslims could be UMNO members, many were not keen because they wanted to maintain their Tamil culture and mother-tongue – sour grapes?
I am a bit confused by now, because first, it wanted to join UMNO, then because UMNO didn’t accept them, they don’t because some members want to maintain their Tamil culture and language, but they would still like to be Malays or at second best, at least bumiputeras.
But one thing I know some of their members are good at, they make damn good nasi kandar. In my younger days, nasi kandar to me was just Indian curry rice, wonderful food but still Indian stuff.
When a Tamil friend [and not just a Tamil but a Ceylonese Tamil at that] invited me to have Indian curry rice for dinner at Brickfields, I thought he meant nasi kandar. I told him how much I loved nasi kandar. He stared at me as if I picked up something from the bin of the Hospital TB ward, and sneered, “That’s mamak food!”
Let me tell you I was then very confused, as I am now with Kimmia’s divergent statements