Sandakanboy , 30 July UTC Delisting as "good article"[ edit ] This article clearly needs much improvement, such as sections on historical importance, further explanation on the controversy and counter-arguments against the notion, bibliography etc. In comparison to other articles listed as "good articles", this one stands as one of the poorest even in comparison to articles about very specific notions , so I am delisting it until it reaches a certain level of excellence. In fact, it had been revesed several times throughout the course of history of Malaysia. While this concept of supremacy seemed like a legal form of racism, it was made to harmonise the multiracial population of Malaysia.
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Main article: Early Malay nationalism Early Malay nationalism[ edit ] Malay nationalism as an organised political movement existed since the invasion by foreign powers. However, the ethnic Chinese and Indian immigrants, forming a minority of the population, did not see themselves as Malayans. British High Commissioner Sir Hugh Clifford , demonstrated the British ideology which rationalised colonialism in Malaya  when he urged "everyone in this country [to] be mindful of the fact that this is a Malay country, and we British came here at the invitation of Their Highnesses the Malay Rulers, and it is our duty to help the Malays to rule their own country.
In , the Malayan-born Indian community asked High Commissioner Sir Shenton Thomas to grant them a share of administrative appointments. Thomas rejected the request, referring to the local-born Indians as "foreigners". This policy was maintained in the belief that education of Bengalis in India had led to discontent and rebellion.
Despite the exclusion of non-Malays from positions of ostensible authority, much of the civil service rank and file comprised non-Malays, many of them Indians who were specifically brought in for this purpose. Nevertheless, the Straits Chinese — which comprised the bulk of local-born Chinese — wanted to be given government positions and recognised as Malayans.
One Straits Chinese leader asked, "Who said this is a Malay country? They married and spent their money here, and in this way the Government was able to open up the country from jungle to civilization. A paid mason, they argued, was not entitled to a share in the ownership rights to a home he built. As such, they opposed any attempt to grant the Chinese citizenship or other political rights. In , the Governor of the Straits Settlements referred to the Chinese as "indigenous inhabitants of British Malaya".
It was feared that British policies now seemed geared towards creating a common Malayan nationality inclusive of the Chinese and Indians. Some Malays thus sought to preserve the status quo with the British as a bulwark against the non-Malays. Others began calling for an independent and sovereign Malay nation, such as " Greater Indonesia ". With equal rights guaranteed to all, the Malays became dissatisfied with that. Even their traditional stronghold, the civil service, would be open to all Malayans.
At one gathering, placards declared that "Malaya Belongs to the Malays. We do not want the other races to be given the rights and privileges of the Malays. The Federation restored sovereignty to the Malay rulers, tightened immigration and citizenship restrictions, and gave the Malays special privileges.
After the Federation was formed over their objections, the coalition disbanded. Towards independence[ edit ] Its initial goals achieved, UMNO established itself as a political party to fight for independence.
At the same time, the Malayan Communist Party MCP launched an armed insurgency to form a communist government in Malaya, culminating in the Malayan Emergency which lasted until after independence. The insurgency was marked by a clear racial divide; opposition to the insurrection was almost entirely Malay, while Chinese dominated the communist ranks. The British encouraged the establishment of the Communities Liaison Committee CLC , comprising the top echelon of Malayan politicians from different communities, to address sensitive issues, especially those related to race.
Compromises on a number of issues, including citizenship, education, democracy, and Malay supremacy, were agreed on. Eventually, a "bargain" between the Malays and non-Malays was formulated; in return for giving up ketuanan Melayu, the Malays would be assisted in closing the economic gap between the Malay and non-Malay communities. CLC member E. Thuraisingham later said, "I and others believed that the backward Malays should be given a better deal.
Malays should be assisted to attain parity with non-Malays to forge a united Malayan Nation of equals. Many Chinese Malayan youths drafted into the army to stave off communist attacks fled the country; most participants were English- and not Chinese-educated.
To the Malays, this indicated that the Chinese had no particular loyalty towards Malaya and justified ketuanan Melayu, heightening similar perceptions caused by the apparent racial dichotomy between those in fierce opposition to the communists and those supporting the MCP.
He was succeeded by Tunku Abdul Rahman often known as "the Tunku" , who insisted on initial Malay sovereignty. Expressing concern over a lack of loyalty to Malaya among non-Malays, he demanded they clarify their allegiance before being accorded citizenship, going on to state: "For those who love and feel they owe undivided loyalty to this country, we will welcome them as Malayans.
They must truly be Malayans, and they will have the same rights and privileges as the Malays. During this period, some Straits Chinese began taking interest in local politics, especially in Penang , where there was an active Chinese secessionist movement. Identifying more with the British than the Malays, they were especially angered by references to them as pendatang asing foreigners. One Straits Chinese leader indignantly declared, "I can claim to be more anak Pulau Pinang [a son of Penang] than 99 per cent of the Malays living here today.
To counter this, in citizenship was granted to nearly all local-born non-Malays, and dual citizenship prohibited, forcing non-Malays to choose between their ancestral homeland and Malaya. They are the ancestor of modern-day non-Malay Malaysian. As Malaya moved to self-government, the British initiated the Member System , modelled on the cabinet system ; like the CLC, it drew on members of different communities, and was later described as setting a precedent for the power-sharing multiracial Malayan and Malaysian cabinets post-independence.
At the same time, the British also began laying the framework for a national education system that would create "a sense of common citizenship". The Barnes Report that they commissioned, however, was strongly objected to by the Chinese community for being "saturated with Malay nationalism" and bolstering ketuanan Melayu.
In , a committee headed by Tun Abdul Razak re-evaluated the education system. The "Razak Report" recommended that vernacular primary schools be permitted to continue, but share a common syllabus with national schools. Vernacular secondary schools would not be sanctioned; only national secondary schools would be funded. Possible origins of ketuanan Melayu[ edit ] See also: Income disparity in Malaysia According to many historians, the root cause of ethnic strife and ketuanan Melayu was a lack of mixing between the Malays and non-Malays.
An exception to this were the Straits Chinese, who managed to assimilate reasonably well, despite the assimilation taking years including intermarriage. According to the Ming Shi-lu , the ancestors of the Straits Chinese were "gifts" given to the Sultan of Malacca as a recognition of both bilateral ties between the Ming Dynasty and the sultanate, and of Malay sovereignty. At the time, most were rich merchants during British rule instead of manual labourers and many habitually spoke Malay, dressed in the Malay style, and preferred Malay cuisine.
The Malays, predominantly rural-dwellers, were not encouraged to socialise with the more urban non-Malays. The war "awakened a keen political awareness among Malayan people by intensifying communalism and racial hatred". Japanese policies "politicised the Malay peasantry", intentionally fanning the flames of Malay nationalism.
Two Malay historians wrote that "The Japanese hostile acts against the Chinese and their apparently more favourable treatments of the Malays helped to make the Chinese community feel its separate identity more acutely This took many by surprise, as the MCA had strenuously insisted on equal political rights for all citizens.
Although initially dismissed as a marriage of convenience, the Alliance won 51 out of 52 seats available. The total defeat of non-communal parties led the Alliance to perceive the political atmosphere as inhospitable for multi-racial parties. A coalition government comprising mono-racial parties in which party leaders privately brokered compromise decisions was thought more stable and better suited to Malayan politics.
The Reid Commission , which drafted the Constitution, stated that Article was to be temporary in nature, and should be reviewed by Parliament 15 years after independence. It did declare all Malayans equal under the law, without mention of "Malay sovereignty" or any other ideas related to ketuanan Melayu. Jus soli citizenship — the granting of citizenship to anyone born in the Federation — was also granted, albeit without retrospective effect ; it was a major concession by the Malays, who had vigorously campaigned against jus soli citizenship in the Malayan Union.
This was taken to mean that the Malays were accorded deference as the definitive people of Malaya — i. In any other country where aliens try to dominate economic and other fields, eventually there is bitter opposition from the indigenous people. But not with the Malays. Therefore, in return, they must appreciate the position of the Malays The original Constitution had implicitly followed " one man, one vote ".
The change was denounced as "giving one man one vote, another a number of votes: not on the basis of, say, intellectual ability or geographical accident, but in order to ensure the dominance of a particular group. This could be attributed to acceptance of the social contract , of which one historian wrote: "At the elite level, non-Malays recognized that Malays were politically superior by virtue of their indigenous status and that the Malaysian polity would have a Malay character Malays were to be assured of safe majorities in both the state and federal parliament Malays would control the highest positions of the government and Merger[ edit ] In , when the Malayan government began discussing a possible merger with neighbouring Singapore , Sabah , Sarawak and Brunei , problems of ethnic power relations arose again.
The "Malaysia" proposal sans Sabah and Sarawak went back more than a decade; earlier negotiations had proved fruitless. The Singaporeans themselves were not anxious to be ruled by what they considered a Malay government. Many Malays felt that upsetting the Malay-dominated nature of the armed forces and police might place them in a dangerous situation. It was also argued that the inferior economic position of the Malays would be emphasised by the entry of even more rich Chinese, setting the stage for major discontent.
Under Article of the Constitution , most of them were not Malay; the natives were mainly animists or Christians instead of Muslims as required. To resolve this issue, the government expanded its informal definition of "Malay" to include these people. Many regarded Malaya as being only for the Malays, a group they did not include themselves in.
The spectre of "Malaysia" — the inclusion of the phrase "Malay" being considered frightening — with its official religion of Islam and official language of Malay, did nothing to soothe their fears of "Malay domination". For merger to come about, they insisted the natives of Sabah and Sarawak be awarded the same privileges as Malays. After much negotiation and a show of support from the British for merger, the impasse was resolved. Although natives of Borneo were denied the privileges of Malays, merger was effected on 16 September UMNO politicians actively campaigned in Singapore for the Singapore Alliance, contending that Singaporean Malays were being treated as second-class citizens under the Chinese-dominated, though ostensibly multiracial, PAP government.
The PAP politicians, who saw this as a betrayal of an earlier agreement with the Alliance not to contest elections in Malaya and Singapore respectively , decided to run on the mainland in the general election. Although the PAP attracted large crowds at its rallies, it won only one seat — that by Devan Nair , who represented the Bangsar constituency.
New problems soon cropped up. Therefore it is wrong and illogical for a particular racial group to think that they are more justified to be called Malaysians and that the others can become Malaysian only through their favour. To Malaysians. But who are Malaysians? I hope I am, Mr Speaker, Sir. But sometimes, sitting in this chamber, I doubt whether I am allowed to be a Malaysian.
This is the doubt that hangs over many minds, and Tan Siew Sin called him the "greatest, disruptive force in the entire history of Malaysia and Malaya. To him, the ultras were not the real extremists — it was those who sought a "Greater Indonesia" to "fix" the Chinese that were the real threat.
Syed Jaafar Albar declared that "Wherever I am, I am a Malay", drawing harsh return fire from Lee, who stated in Parliament: "If I had been going round and saying what [he] has been saying — wherever I am, I am a Chinese — where would we be? But I keep on reminding the people that I am a Malaysian. UMNO politicians insisted that a "Malaysian Malaysia" implied total equality, entailing the removal of Malay privileges.
It was given to him.
Ketuanan Melayu: Power and the Deep State in Malaysia
It is the primary tool the power elite have used to justify and cover their actions in pursuing their covert objectives over national policy. The deep state is a guileful legacy of colonial times. The British built up the persona of the sultans — most of them local warlords -- as a buffer to thwart any potential revolt. Any political movement against the British would be construed as a revolt against them. Further, the British knew that Malays would not challenge a ruler due to strong respect for their sovereign Daulat and the mystical aura the monarchs were perceived to possess. Twentieth-Century communist infiltration of the union movement, and the beginning of the communist insurgency after WWII gave rise to the formation of Special Branch within the Malayan Union police force. Special Branch was Malayanized after independence and has ever since carried out a strong political agenda.
Main article: Early Malay nationalism Early Malay nationalism[ edit ] Malay nationalism as an organised political movement existed since the invasion by foreign powers. However, the ethnic Chinese and Indian immigrants, forming a minority of the population, did not see themselves as Malayans. British High Commissioner Sir Hugh Clifford , demonstrated the British ideology which rationalised colonialism in Malaya  when he urged "everyone in this country [to] be mindful of the fact that this is a Malay country, and we British came here at the invitation of Their Highnesses the Malay Rulers, and it is our duty to help the Malays to rule their own country. In , the Malayan-born Indian community asked High Commissioner Sir Shenton Thomas to grant them a share of administrative appointments. Thomas rejected the request, referring to the local-born Indians as "foreigners". This policy was maintained in the belief that education of Bengalis in India had led to discontent and rebellion. Despite the exclusion of non-Malays from positions of ostensible authority, much of the civil service rank and file comprised non-Malays, many of them Indians who were specifically brought in for this purpose.
Muhyiddin used his coup to nullify the non-Malay vote; now he has used his cabinet to silence their voice. His cabinet is the ultimate Ketuanan Melayu cabinet. Every other prime minister, whatever their own prejudices, felt obliged to take into account the fact that Chinese and Indians are a significant minority in Malaysia and must be acknowledged via adequate representation in cabinet. Muhyiddin has now dispensed with this. After GE14, when for the first time, a fairer political representation emerged, they were determined to stop any move towards shared governance. The narrative that Malaysia is for Malays and that Islam does not permit non-Muslims to hold senior positions in the administration of the country took on a life of its own. It also found expression in rumblings that the DAP was controlling the government and undermining Malay institutions like Felda and Tabong Haji, that Christians were trying to change the official religion of the country and that non-Malay terrorist groups like the communist and LTTE were trying to subvert the nation.