Thursday, July 20, 2017

Who is a Bumiputera?

Before we come to our question (as contained in post title of 'Who is a Bumiputera?', let's discuss 'What is bumiputera?'

The word 'bumiputera' is derived from Sanskrit, and translates into English to mean 'prince of the earth' or more figuratively and less pompously as 'son of the land' (or 'soil').

The date of its creation is a bit vague with some saying it arose after May 13 (of 1969) together with the New Economic Policy, while some say Tun Razak coined it in the early 60's, way before May 13.

It describes an indigenous person (a native) of a South-East Asian country like Malaysia and Singapore (prior to the Island's Independence in 1965) - let's leave the lil' bloody-rich beggar Brunei out of our discussion, wakakaka.

In Indonesia there is also an official term of 'pribumi' made up in 1970.

'Pribumi' means 'an indigenous person' (native) and is a short form of 'wong pribumi' (Javanese for 'person') which in turn is derived from 'bumi' (earth from Sanskrit bhūmi) plus a prefix 'pri'.

Thus we can say 'bumiputera' and 'pribumi' have the same meaning. But as we know, the Indonesian are less embarrassed about the Sanskrit or Indian origin of the word in sharp contrast to Arabised Malays who would no doubt love to believe 'bumi' is an Arabic word.

Anyway, we shall take both to be the same. The reason why I have included the Indon 'pribumi' in our discussion is that one Malay-only-exclusive political party has used 'pribumi' as its calling card to show it 'ketuanan' racial supremacist status in a very blatant way.

But Emeritus Professor Khoo Kay Kim, despite him being a Chinese Malaysian who should have known better to spoke his finger into dearly-beloved Malay issues, wakakaka, has just thrown a spanner into the meaning of the word 'bumiputera' as we know of it, or that we think we know of it.

In short, Prof Khoo declared startlingly that Malays are NOT bumiputera.

Whoa, doesn't that just cast a cat among the pigeons? Wakakaka.

He asserted in FMT's Indian Muslims can be Malays, not Bumiputeras that:

... the term 'bumiputera' was coined in 1963 to refer to the non-Muslim indigenous peoples of Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

“Before 1963, Malays in Peninsular Malaysia were just called Malays,” he said, noting that a Malay is defined as someone who is a Muslim, speaks Malay habitually and practises Malay customs.

He added that a Bumiputera who is a Muslim can be considered a Malay.

Khoo said the definition of “Malay” was developed by the British in 1913 when the colonial government introduced the Malay Land Reservation Enactment and needed to provide a definition.

Presumably prior to the British coming to this land, Malays were known as Melayu or more correctly orang Melayu.

The term 'Malay' came from the word 'Melayu' or as it was written in medieval times, 'Malayu'. Some claim it was derived from the name of a river in Sumatra called Sungai Melayu. Sumatra was the medieval homeland of Malays. The name of the river Sungai Melayu came from its supposed characteristic 'melaju', a verb to imply the river was 'flowing very fast'.

Leaving aside Chinese records in the 7th Century which recorded the Kingdom of Mo-Lo-Yu, the term 'Malay' could be traced back to initially the Portuguese word Malaio. The Dutch turned that into Malayo, before it was massaged by the Poms into 'Malay'.

But more importantly for our understanding, the word 'bumiputera' is NOT contained in the Malaysian Constitution, but was a much later creation (much later than the Malaysian Constitution), perhaps by Tun Abdul Razak or someone else.

No doubt Perkasa will come up with an idiotic defence like what it did recently in disputing KJ's query about fully residential schools (SBP). Perkasa insisted SBP are part of special privileges afforded to the Malays, and warned against its abolishment.

Sirajuddin Salleh, Perkasa deputy president, said: “I feel very sorry and sad and angry that minister was the one who said that. He’s a Malay, he doesn’t know history.”

He's right about KJ being a Malay, though I am not too sure about his claim on the second part, wakakaka.

Khairy Jamaluddin (KJ) 

Wikipedia tells us that it was in the book Buku Panduan Kemasukan ke Institusi Pengajian Tinggi Awam, Program Pengajian Lepasan SPM/Setaraf Sesi Akademik 2007/2008 (Guidebook for entry into public higher learning institutions for SPM/equivalent graduates for academic year 2007/2008), the Malaysian Higher Education Ministry defined bumiputra as follows, depending on the region of origin of the individual applicant:

Peninsular Malaysia

"If one of the parents is Muslim Malay/Orang Asli as stated in Article 160 (2) Federal Constitution of Malaysia; thus the child is considered as a Bumiputra"
"If the child was born in Sabah or the father was domiciled in Sabah at the time of birth, and one of the parents is an indigenous native of Sabah as stated in Article 161A (6)(b) Federal Constitution of Malaysia; thus his child is considered as a Bumiputra"


"If both of the parents are indigenous natives of Sarawak as stated in Article 161A (6)(a) Federal Constitution of Malaysia; thus their child is considered as a Bumiputra"

Thus, if we were to ignore the definitions by the Malaysian Ministry of Education, which anyway has no authority to meddle with Constitutional definitions, and accept Prof Khoo's information, the term 'bumiputera' is meant to describe only the natives of Sabah, Sarawak and the aborigines of Peninsula.

Malays were/are Malays and NOT bumiputera.

Malay dance before Arabisation or PAS-isation, wakakaka 

There is no such de jure legislation to say that a 'Malay' is superior to a 'Bumiputera' or vice versa, though in reality, we all know the Malays belong to the politically most superior class of ethnic groups in Malaysia.

Thus Prof Khoo said that Indian Muslims can only be Malays but NOT bumiputera. Technically there will be no significant difference, but politically the Indian Muslims will be better off as Malays rather than bumiputera.

But remember what Prof Khoo said earlier, that the term 'bumiputera' was coined in 1963 to refer to the non-Muslim indigenous peoples of Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

What then of those indigenous peoples of Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia who ARE Muslims?

They are Muslims no doubt, but are they Malays or still bumiputera?

I hate ambiguity as above, wakakaka. 

But what significance does it hold for Mahathir's Pribumi party? Wakakaka again.

if Pribumi changes its name to Parti Melayu I'll have a chance to become a full member



  1. Those days when I did business with Europeans, they considered me a "Malay", and were surprised when I told them I wasn't.
    Their reasoning is simple. If you are a German citizen, you were a German, regardless of your skin colour. Similarly if you were a French citizen.
    So they considered me a Malay....

    Malaysia will never be a united country as long as there is this different classes of citizenship and various special privileges, which are frequently abused as well.

    The original rationale for Residential schools was that Rural children face many disadvantages and obstacles. Those who show academic potential are selected to attend these special schools , with excellent facilities and teaching staff, to give them a leg up.
    How this has mutated into a Racial Special Privilege I don't know.

    There were two broad classes of Residential schools. Those purely for Bumi, and those open to all races.
    I know the 2nd case for a fact, because I knew Chinese and Indian kids from rural areas who had excellent primary school exam results, who attended such schools. That was until the 1980's.

    Nowadays, with almost no Chinese children attending Sekolah Kebangsaan, there are consequently virtually zero Chinese secondary school students attending such fully Residential schools. But they are officialy still open to all races.

    1. The NEP was supposed to have a sunset clause of 15 years but prior to its expiry May 13 occurred. The rest is history which has been aggravated by nearly 30 Mahathirism and BTN

  2. if not incorrect, malays, orang asli & indigenous peoples of east malaysia are grouped as bumiputera. so, all malays are bumiputera but not all bumiputera are malays. if indian muslims are made malays, then they are by default bumiputera.

    1. that's only according to the definitions by the Ministry of Education

      according to Prof Khoo, bumiputera is a term ONLY for natives of Sabah, Sarawak and Aborigines of peninsular who are NOT Muslims

      Malays are Malays

    2. at the formation of malaysia, they are grouped as bumiputera. you may want to (re)-visit the article 153.

    3. as i penned in my post above, Constitution does not have the definition of 'bumiputera' - it was a subsequent creation

      Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia grants the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia) responsibility for “safeguard[ing] the special position of the 'Malays' and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities”

      'Malays' yes
      'natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak' yes

      but there's no such creature as a bumiputera in the Constitution

      but Prof Khoo might have read it somewhere to say it applies only to non-Muslim natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and also to aborigine of Peninsular Malaysia

      I wonder what Muslim natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak would be defined as? still bumi?

    4. forgot to say this; muslim natives of east malaysia & malaya are malays & their non-muslim counterparts are bumiputera so, can i corretly say they are all huannas? becos of the so-called special position gimmick, we now have bumi & non-bumi castes.

    5. that seems to be the case

  3. The pink elephant that everyone refuse to recognize is WHO is the Malay.

    Note that Malay is ONLY a recent creation of the Pommie as mentioned by Khoo that the definition of “Malay” was developed by the British in 1913 when the colonial government introduced the Malay Land Reservation Enactment and needed to provide a definition.

    Prior to that date, there was not Malay as a race who inhabited this region of SEA!

    The Golden Chersonese or Golden Khersonese (Ancient Greek: Χρυσῆ Χερσόνησος, Chrysḗ Chersónēsos; Latin: Chersonesus Aurea), meaning the Golden Peninsula, was the name used for the Malay Peninsula by Greek and Roman geographers in classical antiquity, most famously in Claudius Ptolemy's 2nd-century Geography. No mention about what was the inhabitants called.

    In The Ming Shi-lu 明實錄 (veritable records of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)) as a source for Southeast Asian history, 14th to 17th centuries, only Melaka 滿剌加 was mentioned. No racial group was given to the 滿剌加人.

    In the earliest Dutch map of South East Asia, Insulae Indiae Orientalis, published in 1625 by Samuel Purchas/Jodocus Hondius indicated that region was known as Malacca. Again, no mention about the inhabitants.

    Hence, to give a definite label to some general groups of people, the lazy Pommie just lumped the majority (made up of various tribes) into a manufactured race known collectively as Malay. Why Malay was chosen is an enigma that most probably was a joke (as in me-layu) in the first place!

    The founding fathers knew about this race definition dilemma. Hence, the creation of the article162 in the FedCon to resolve the impasses. But in doing so, they inevitably create a world first artificial racial group defined by very loose pre-requisites - as in practicing custom, religious belief & spoken language.

    1. incorrect, as I wrote above, while the word 'Malay' was indeed created by the Poms, the word 'Melayu' (from which teh Poms derived their 'Malay') had already existed.

      Wikipedia tells us:

      The earliest records of the word Melayu or Malayu came from a Chinese record that reported a kingdom named Malayu had sent the envoy to the Chinese court for the first time in 645 CE.

      It was recorded in the book Tang Huiyao collected by Wang Pu during the Song dynasty.[3] Another Chinese source mentioned the kingdom of Malayu. Two books were written by a buddhist monk I-tsing or I Ching (義淨; pinyin Yì Jìng) (634–713),[4] in his journey from China to India in 671 wherein he reported:

    2. That two pieces of records u mentioned about the kingdom of Malayu r still in academic dispute/research till now!

      The chief argument against these records was/is if the kingdom of Malayu mentioned in Tang Huiyao & I-tsing or I Ching (義淨; pinyin Yì Jìng) was located in the peninsula, then the historians of the Ming dynasty, who compiled The Ming Shi-lu 明實錄 would have used Malayu instead of Melaka 滿剌加.

      In fact, the name kingdom of Malayu was most likely not a proper translation of the place visited by I Ching (義淨) who had spent a lot of time in Sumatra on his seaward journey to India.

      Moreover, these records push the date of the 'Malay' cultural establishment years before the recognized founding date of the Malacca sultanate. Before the Malacca sultanate there was NO recognizable political power in the peninsula.

      The ketuanan freaks will be in multiple hysterical orgasms le.

      Even the wrongly named Sejarah Melayu (originally named Sulalat as-salatin) DIDN'T called the local inhabitants Melayu!

    3. melayu already existed long before the discoveries of 'foreigners'. however, definition of melayu as stipulated in the constitution, to me, sounds weird.

    4. to include "constitutional melayu" including those from Kerala, wakakaka

    5. Anthropologically, many tribes had existed long before the discoveries of 'foreigners' in the peninsula.

      They were NOT Melayu as known today.

      The simplistic grouping of these tribes into Malay by the Pommie was not doing justice to these native tribes, who MIGHT not share similar cultures & traditions.

      It's similar to the mindless act of calling the current various natives of Sabah/Sarawak as a single grouping of East M'sians. They r East M'sians BUT they r Kadazans-Dusuns, Dayak or Penan - each with their individual identity le.

      I like yr subtly behind that 'foreigners'. Wakakakaka..but do remember, at some point in time, we r ALL belonged to that tag!

      Like mentioned before, the definition of Melayu as stipulated in the constitution, WAS a political convenienity. Otherwise, the Pommie/founding fathers would have a similar ethnical mess like India - with her various interested groups bounded by locality, religion & caste!

    6. ck, i think the label "chinese" or "han" is no diff with "malay". 2x5, for diff purpose though.

    7. I think I know from where u r diverting yr thought!

      But suffice to say that at least Han is only one of the 56 tribes of that unified Chinese label le.

      So how is it 2x5 in the context that u r trying hard to infer???

    8. ck, u can read chinese, i wont waste time to elaborate further, just google sun zhongsan, han chauvinism, n y sun introduced the han ethnic concept.

      kt blame mahathir for nep extension, tell me how many wan to voluntarily ceased enjoying privileges? chinese complaints bec we dun enjoy the same privileges, not bec we perceive privileges is wrong. i still dun understand y the genius who drafted the consti believe we can have a so call united msian, n which idiot believe nep would stop after 15 or 20 years, this idiot is a joker.

    9. I have gone through most of those articles u mentioned a long long time ago.

      Suffice to say, I don't buy those writings wholesale, even though there r some elements of truth.

      As I said before, ain't EVERYTHING in life a trade of of some sorts?

      大逆不道 can sometime be the necessity of a game changer for a better future!

      I don't believe in political-correctness approaches in settling complex issues, especially dealing with human nature, religion & ethnicity.

      Only breeding hearts r 'trying' hard to be fair in covering all angles. & at the end, failed miserably & causing even greater hardships. There r tons of historical examples all over the world le.

      Just like I'm NOT in total agreement with Lao Lee's political maneuverability but I accept his approaches for the early days of RedDot founding as the best solution.

      KT has his udangs for doing what he does - a joker not in the mould of the Manchester egomaniac!

    10. "trade of some sort"? like citizenship exhange of privileges? or u only said so when it suit u? sun do away with han chauvinism eventually bec he know this is clearly wrong. however we know we msian have to deal with this race shit issue for the next hundred years, n we could only blame mahathir n btn? funny.

      i still dun see any major diff btw lky n mahathir, just like i dun see any vast diff btw pkr n dap. the similarities of u n kt is both u always argue selectively.

    11. There is NOTHING wrong with "trade of some sort"! One just have to weigh the 公私利益 at hand with a right prospective with proper judgement.

      Like it or not, it's an universal truth in ALL human activities.

      Since u mentioned it, which could has been troubling u no ends, let's drill into this ketuanan crap of citizenship in exhange of privileges.

      Who initiated this pig-can-fly statement le?

      The founding fathers? The colonial Pommie? U? The ketuanan freaks?

      Or something just pluck from the thin air by the ketuanan freaks to justify the current context of contention in governance?

      The creator of NEP, Dr Just Faaland in drafting that formula, DIDN'T include a word to that effect too!

      Then, suddenly that idea gained foothold in a spurious form of 'social contract' that bleeding hearts, like u, r buying deeply into.

      This egregious imagination piece of shit has NEVER suit me in ANY situation. PERIOD.

      Yr bleeding heart intention, coupled with yr trying political-correctness approach to the bolihland sopo chasm, blind u to the reality. Hence yr searching inward to yr root (Han chauvinism?) to give reasons to the dilemma u faced.

      Thus, u can buy that Han chauvinism wholesale yrself. After all chauvinism is the sole claim of the CinaBengs as understood by the ketuanan freaks & zombies alike.

      BUT, don't ever impose it to others, ok?

      Racial issues r not unique to M'sia. All cultures face them daily. The ONLY differences r how well each handles the issues as in live-&-let-live.

      Definitely, u DON'T need bigots like mahathirs, najibs, btns etc etc to highten & add fires!

      Any major diff btw lky n mahathir & or any vast diff btw pkr n dap, trouble me zilch. My guiding criteria NOW is the extinguishing of the current pinklips pestilence, then the eventual demise of the umno hegomony - the ultimate hive of the bolihland bigotry.

      So it's not funny le.

      As with arguing selectively, I'm no master of all issues. In fact, for those issues that I'm well versed, I'm ONLY scanning the surface! Hence, the selectivity in topics. No shame in it! Otherwise, one would be a proverbial fool for opening one's mouth on subject one knows nothing about. Betul tak?

  4. There have been local-born Muslims of ethnic Indian descent in the Malay Peninsular for centuries, dating back before 1511. They had various levels of assimilation into the native ethnic Malay society - ranging from unassimilated , being fully Indians who happen to be Muslims, to fully assuming a Malay identity.

    Abdullah Munsyi - one of the greatest writers of the Malay language, was an Indian Muslim.

    So , at the point of Merdeka, the "Indian-Muslim problem" had to be addressed. The authors of the Constitution wisely or unwisely took a cultural assimilation and religious identity approach, not hereditary ethnicity.
    Article 160 may have looked good on paper in 1956, but 60 years later it is one of the most widely abused clause in the Constitution.

    Various Riff-Raffs and Carpetbaggers used it to gain Special privileges and opportunistic ladder climbing. Some have become the worst of the worst UMNO members or supporters.

    I'm disappointed that Ktemoc has resorted to a sort of racism just because of his hatred for certain people who may fit into that category , namely Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim. Criticise their policies and actions as you may, please stop the overt and covert racism.

    Is Ktemoc a RACIST ?

    1. I like to believe I'm not but if you cherry pick every one of my words to assert I am one, then I have to bear that accusation rather than to fight against your already conceived perception.

      one major reason why I left my organisation in malaysia for a career in oz has been because of similar accusations made against me by my competitors - i found out that one of the easiest attacks against a chinese competitor is to call him a racist - in malaysia that's like shooting him in the back without him even knowing he's shot - there is no cure for someone accused of being a racist especially if he is accused of being anti malay. thus i don't fight such accusations but to live a true life which can be eventually judged