Sunday, May 18, 2008

PAS - a Malay nationalist rather than Islamic party

I wasn’t aware that yesterday Pak Haji Nik Aziz, the Kelantan MB, had urged the Malay Rulers to explain ‘ketuanan Melayu’ to the people because he’s annoyed with some individuals whom he claimed as “bold enough to question ‘ketuanan Melayu’”.

That was until I read Pak Haji Nik Aziz' regrettable words in Malaysiakini, which also reported his fellow Kelantanese Zaid Ibrahim, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, advising that “all quarters must abide by the provisions in the Federal Constitution as they covered all aspects, including the rights of the Malays and other races in this country, adding that if they all demand for rights outside the constitution, it may cause tension and friction.”

I am not sure whether Pak Haji Nik Aziz had meant ‘Malay supremacy’ or as Prof Shamsul Amri Baharudin of UKM's Institute of Ethnic Studies (Kita) had attempted to spin it, ‘Malay sovereignty’.

But from his tone (eg. "… individual bold enough to question ‘ketuanan Melayu’") I would say Pak Haji Nik Aziz would be from the former traditional school which believe in ‘Malay supremacy’. In fact he went on to warn that if the Malay Rulers continue to be silent on this issue, the super (or should it be 'supreme'?) position of the Malays would continue to be questioned by people with an agenda.

But as reader Amor Patriae had said in his letter Social Contract Myth and Scholars' Respond: A Rejoinder, even Prof Shamsul, whom he averred as the engineer behind the new ethnic studies module (following the uproar from the earlier UPM ethnic module), needs to be challenged on that ‘sovereignty’ (instead of ‘supremacy’) assertion, because the professor many 'glaring statements' of ‘social contract’ in the module cast a completely different hue.

I posted in The Ham and Bull of 'Ketuanan Melayu', quoting Profs Azmi Sharom and James Chin, that the concept of 'Malay supremacy' has been a fallacy created by a former deputy minister, Abdullah Ahmad. Abdullah Ahmad's argument flowed on to the so-called 'social contract' that non-Malays, in return for their citizenship, have to acknowledge that the Malays are politically supreme and cannot be challenged, ever.

Prof James Chin said UMNO (and now also PAS in the person of Nik Aziz), in insisting on upholding this non-existent ‘social contract’ of racial supremacy (created by Abdullah Ahmad), have basically implied what the Crown Prince of Kelantan said openly - that non-Malays can never be considered equal citizens nor ask for equality as citizens – that's right, they can never be and won't be accepted as equal citizens to Malays.

It’s a damn shame that Pak Haji Nik Aziz as Kelantan's MB, instead of counselling the young prince on his correct royal duties to all his subjects, has instead added fuel to the flame.

It’s seems that in the final analysis, even for a man like Pak Haji Nik Aziz who has always been preaching about the fairness and compassion of Islam, Islamic fairness must give way to the worst form of Malay nationalism - and I am being very kind in ascribing that as '...the worst form of Malay nationalism' because the real sinister objective of 'ketuanan Melayu' is about exploiting that so-called nationalism for the actual 'feathering of some people's personal beds'.

Whatever, Nik Aziz wants ‘ketuanan Melayu’ to be upheld, and royalty to preach the word.

I wonder whether Pak Haji Nik Aziz realizes that he is actually supporting (directly or indirectly) the continuation of the unfairness and injustice that I posted in Social contract - a vigorously implemented 'fantasy'.


Related: All types of racism


  1. Please write about things u dunno,eg. PAS and Nik Aziz.

    Nik Aziz probably spoke in Malay and what he said may have been lost in translation, or maybe not.

    Where is the Malaysiakini article? You din link it.

    Quite a cheap shot at PAS. Find something substantial to write about them.

  2. The possibility of error in translation or taken totally out of context may be possible. Nik Aziz been consistent on this matter for decades. In fact, more than once he made statements against the 'ketuanan melayu' concept. For benefit of doubt, and for the track record demonstrated by Nik Aziz, its wise for us to prematurely accuse him. In fact, the Malaysiakini report presents it as secondary information.

    Read the original quote below:

    The minister was responding to Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Abdul Aziz Mat's suggestion yesterday that the Malay Rulers explain "ketuanan Melayu" (Malay sovereignty) to the people as there were individuals bold enough to question it.

    Nik Aziz had said that if the Malay Rulers chose to be silent on this issue, it would continue to be raised and questioned by certain quarters for their own interest.

  3. "its wise for us NOT to prematurely accuse him"

  4. Well, you know the writer; As long there's remotely a hint about a statement that's "against" the non-malays by the malays, he'd jump the gun. ;)

  5. Th news originally from BERNAMA purportly from Nik Aziz weekly lecture. BERNAMA can be very careless sometimes. Todays news in BERNAMA that he is not retiring make no mention on it I wonder if their journo was actually attending the lecture.

    Utusan Melayu would have spin the issue in most racist manner if they seriously believe Nik Aziz would have said that. If they are cautious, than better for us doubt the authenticity.

  6. the so called famous jed yoong commented. this must be an important article. LOL.

    well, PKR leaders keep shooting themselves on their feets. what's new?

    Pas's main constituency is Malay. Unless Malay's mentality changed, they have to preached to the crowd who want to listen.

  7. Parties based on race or religion are all the same. What what are see there are definitely two class citizens in Malaysia.

  8. Is Ktemoc really a Chinese racist ?
    I'm starting to wonder if he is showing his real stripes in the last few articles.

  9. In Malaysian Blogosphere there are only 4 real blogs worth reading, to get latest information and cutting edge analysis

    1. Uncle Kit
    2. Raja Petra
    3 Jff Ooi
    4 Rocky

    the other gossipers/hollow empty sounding boards you read if you have nothing else to do/read me now on this bored old man's rantings

  10. "Ketuanan Melayu" is a great label actually. Just like coca-cola, you don't have to describe it. It immediately conjures up a certain attractiveness and without a further word you do get a market sector going for it.

    With the Malays too, for those propounding "Ketuanan Melayu" there is this believe that a vast majority of Malays perceive a sense of certainty about themselves as, not just "Malayu", but "Ketuanan Malayu" gives a preferred descriptive of themselves.

    Obviously within the Malay community itself there is no need for "ketuanan", when in fact that is where the greatest danger to the Malay race itself resides in, in fact.

    The Malay somehow does not fear nor does he say the Trojan Horse within their community with the likes of Mahathir himself who is more Indian than Malay, or Khir Toyo who is a first generation Indonesian who speaks fluent Javanese. And then there are all those KIMMA members who now want to be Malays as well.

    It will interesting to see from amongst the "Malay" population itself how their wealth and opportunities are distributed. For this of course the Malay has to decide to begin dissecting themselves into the Mamas, half breeds, Indonesians etc. This might just reveal the lie that is being hidden where you might be faced with the prospect that maybe the wealth and power is skewed towards the "non-pure Malays" And it may just be that these "non-pure Malays are indeed the ones who propagate more for "ketuanan Melayu" than the pure breeds themselves.

    For PAS maestro Nik Aziz to concern himself with ketuanan Melayu it would seem like he too may have been fooled by the non-pure breeds.

    But Ketuanan Melayu certainly draws a clear line to keep Malays reminded that they are of a privileged class.

    Although one might be led to think that "ketuanan Melyu may have similarities to the caste system practiced in India, the fact is it does not. Ketuanan Melayu is quite happy to see its blood line diluted, hence, as a race it has the least resistance to have its DNA mixed with Indian, Chinese, European or whatever else blood. Only proviso is that the other converts to Islam. This is quite the opposite to the caste system in India where cross caste liaisons often end up in honour killings.

    That being so, this "ketuanan Melayu' is obviously for economic rather than anything cultural as any proponent will have you believe.

    Malay political parties or any party like PKR pitching for the Malay voter would indeed pay a price if they are not seen to be supporting or promoting or protecting this "ketuanan Melayu".

    Ketuanan Melayu itself is supposed to conjure up for the Malay the notion of superiority over his fellow man only because he is of that race. It is supposed to conjure up that he has a divine right to prior access to wealth, education, health whatever. It is supposed to conjure up for him that his believes and culture are superior to any that he has to contend with despite the fact that the most obvious ones he has to contend with, the Chinese and Indian culture are a few thousand years older than his own.

    I have often wondered how it was that in India where often a lower caste Indian might be more wealthy than the Brahmin and often living in opulence and yet in terms of cultural station in life wise within the society each recognises his or her place.

    I have to wonder if by repeating this "ketuanan Melayu" the proponents are indeed trying very much to cultivate a state of contentment amongst the Malays for being fortunate about having a supreme culture despite not commensurating it with a like amount in wealth. In the meantime of course, in their name, and with their support, the few can continue to control the riches, the wealth, the power etc.

  11. aiyoyo, why everyone so upset... and over a post that I feel should, if anything, be criticized for being nothing really new.

    But I think it is a nice opportunity to discuss certain things.

    That Malay nationalism is a significant aspect of PAS' ideology is not really groundbreaking - in fact prior to Nik Aziz's stewardship, PAS was ultranationalistic first, Islamic second. To his credit (I guess...) he transformed the party into one that is generally Islamic first, Malay ultra second. It's worth noting that this is in line with popular notions of identity amongst ethnic Malays: Muslim first, Malay second, Malaysian third (no wonder they don't like "Malaysian first" DAP). These findings on perceptions of identity were the result of a survey conducted by the Merdeka Center, Dr. Patricia Martinez. So PAS is merely reflecting the status quo of mainstream Malay political consciousness.

    As Jed Yoong's reaction has indicated, she is a PAS fan :) She "endorsed" Husam Musa in the election. And presently she is touring Kelantan and she points out that it doesn't look like Afghanistan that we see on CNN. Point being, "Islam first" is merely a perception. Many Malays react sternly to any challenge to Islam, between drinking vodka cruisers. Islam is a religion, but for a lot of people it's about identity rather than faith - hence wearing tudung with tight jeans.

    Sorry to repeat the tired old rhetorical question... can PAS really implement a proper vision of an Islamic state? I don't think so, the majority of Malays won't get behind that. But Malay-first nationalism? Boleh la, especially when, as "old fart" mentions, Islam has become so intertwined with Malay nationalism as to practically become the apparent core of Ketuanan Melayu.

    So what is PAS going to do now? The Malay-nationalism market is quite tight... PAS having a solid foothold on the left, UMNO dominant on the right, PKR not really sure where it is but they are in the mix somehow, YET in some ways also trying to crush the market by creating a new competing market (like how Google is trying to compete with Microsoft Office). So what is PAS' long-term plan?

    Strictly speaking I don't think they have one yet, the election outcome was so unexpected... unexpectedly BAD for them. They were hoping to grab Perlis, which many pundits thought they would, but they did not. That loss by itself would not have been so bad, but the big problem is all they got in Federal Parliament on the opposition side was the bronze! At least a silver to DAP's gold would have been okay, but with PKR taking the gold, DAP silver, and PAS bronze only... PAS is scratching head now. They didn't see that coming - nobody did, full credit to PKR. Although PAS have three menteri besars, PKR and DAP have the "big states" - which for example is the argument that keeps Hillary Clinton in a race that she has otherwise lost. So it is a compelling argument. And Perak can hardly be considered PAS country, the special circumstances there are well known.

    I don't think PAS can afford to just wait for the demographic trends to lift them into power, not with PKR being top dog at the moment. So where does PAS go from here? Maybe it depends on where Jed Yoong's boy Husam Musa wants to go.

    But I will say this... give me PAS' Pseudo-Islamic state over Anwar's fuel-subsidizing bankrupt state any day.

  12. A Rose by a thousand names, smells the same.

    PAS stands for Islamic party and principles. If it wins the next Elections, it would force through Syariah laws and abandon Secularism.

    PAs has got a foot in the door and we must keep it just there or shove it out altogether.

    If you don't think we have anything to worry about, take a look at what's happening in Turkey. The moment the Islamic party came into power, the 1st thing they did was to legally allow scarf for women in schools and Universities. It tells you what their priorities are.

    If PAS takes full control, I suspect that even the Monarchy would be shaky, since PAs followers loyalty is to a much higher divine authority. Right now, they are playing a sly game.

    So, vote with care!!

  13. "The moment the Islamic party came into power, the 1st thing they did was to legally allow scarf for women in schools and Universities. It tells you what their priorities are."

    Well, based on that example, it seems their first priority is to introduce greater freedom of religion. Freedom *from* religion is not the same as freedom *of* religion. Find better example to make your point la...

  14. "Freedom *from* religion is not the same as freedom *of* religion. "

    I phrased that poorly... my point is the freedom to wear headscarf as a symbol of faith seems like it should be a basic right.

  15. I do not disagree with the right to wear the scarf, only what the Govt's immediate priorities were.

    Surely, there were more pressing issues concerning the economy, health, education etc?