Community, Featured, General, Govt, Politics

Bumiputera status, UMNO’s political commodity

UMNO has always projected itself as the champion of Malay-Bumiputera rights.

Thus this piece of news demonstrates clearly UMNO’s own contradiction.

Last weekend, in the morning, the President of UMNO, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, an UMNO blue blood, being himself the son of a former UMNO President, was conferred the heroic title “Sri Tri Buana Gangga Simanjakani Chula Sakti” by the Pertubuhan Seni Silat Pusaka Gayong Malaysia (a school of traditional malay martial art). The title was supposedly to present the Prime Minister as a defender warrior of the Malay-Bumiputera.

Then, on the same day, the very same Malay warrior announced to the Thai community at a Thai temple in Kedah that the Malaysian government recognised them as bumiputera and accorded them with the rights of bumiputera just like that of the Malays. They were able to purchase the Amanah Saham Bumiputera shares designed to increase the economic wealth of the Malay Bumiputera through government-guaranteed mutual fund investments as well as to enrol in UiTM and were eligible for Mara loans. Najib also said that not only the Federal Government recognised the status of the Thai community as bumiputeras, but UMNO as a political party also acknowledged them, even to the extend of allowing the Thai community in Malaysia to set up UMNO-branches.

This clearly demonstrated that to UMNO, and to the Prime Minister, “bumiputera” is not as sacred as UMNO would like the Malays to believe it is. “Bumiputera” literally “Sons of the Soil”, meaning the indigenous people guaranteed with special privileges by the Constitution, is only a political commodity to UMNO. It can be traded or exchanged for political interest.


Full report by the Star below:

PENDANG: The Thai community has been assured that they are entitled to bumiputra benefits and privileges.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the community had long been recognised as bumiputra, adding that their loyalty to the country was unquestionable.

The Prime Minister said even Umno recognised them as bumiputra and allowed Malaysians of Thai descent to set up party branches.

“I would like to state that the Thais here are regarded as bumiputras and I will ensure that they are truly recognised and enjoy the bumiputra privileges.

“They have been loyal to the country. Former prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had declared the Thai community as bumiputra and today, I reiterate this.

“They are entitled to purchase Amanah Saham Bumiputra shares, enrol in Universiti Institut Teknologi Mara and can apply for various Mara loans, among others,” he said when meeting the Thai community at Wat Titi Akar and Wat Nanai yesterday.

He said when the political tsunami hit the country and the state in 2008, the community’s support for Barisan Nasional remained strong.

Najib also said that when he introduced the 1Malaysia concept, it was to further elevate the spirit of tolerance to acceptance.

“To realise this, there must be a change in mindset and attitude. The time has come for us to accept the diversity rather than just tolerate it,” he said.

Najib said aside from globalisation, the process of localisation was also being pursued by the people.

He cited the setting up of the Thai language school by the community as part of efforts to preserve their culture and tradition as example of localisation efforts.

The Prime Minister announced an allocation of RM500,000 to the Thai language school in Wat Titi Akar and RM9,000 each to the 48 wats in Kedah.

Earlier in Gurun, he said unity among Malays was the key to national unity.

Najib said Malay unity could be reflected in many ways, including through associations such as silat groups.

Najib said the struggle for the country did not end with Malaysia achieving independence but should continue until the country and Malays achieved excellence.

The Prime Minister was bestowed the “Imam Khalifah Agong Gayong” award by the Seni Silat Pusaka Gayong Malaysia organisation.

His wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, was presented with an award which carries the title “Sri Pelangi Srikandi Utama”.

2 thoughts on “Bumiputera status, UMNO’s political commodity”

    1. Dear Sir,

      Do Malays in Malaysia have rights and special privileges?

      Malays (Malay: Melayu Jawi: ملايو) are an ethnic group of Austronesian people predominantly inhabiting the Malay Peninsula including the southernmost parts of Thailand and island of Singapore, coastal Indonesian including east of Sumatra, coastal Borneo, including Brunei, coastal Sarawak and Sabah, and the smaller islands which lie between these locations. These locations today are part of the modern nations of Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Southern Thailand and Western Indonesia.

      Article 160 of the Constitution of Malaysia defines various terms used in the Constitution. It has an important impact on Islam in Malaysia and the Malay people due to its definition of a Malay person under clause 2. It took effect after August 31, 1957 (“Merdeka Day” or “Independence Day”) in West Malaysia, and took effect in Singapore and East Malaysia when they merged with Malaya in 1963. The article no longer applies to Singapore, as it declared independence from Malaysia in 1965; however, it does affect the legal status of Malay Singaporeans when they enter Malaysia.

      Definition of a Malay

      The article defines a Malay as a Malaysian citizen born to a Malaysian citizen who professes to be a Muslim, habitually speaks the Malay language, adheres to Malay customs, and is domiciled in Malaysia or Singapore. As a result, Malay citizens who convert out of Islam are no longer considered Malay under the law. Hence, the Bumiputra privileges afforded to Malays under Article 153 of the Constitution, the New Economic Policy (NEP), etc. are forfeit for such converts.

      Likewise, a non-Malay Malaysian who converts to Islam can lay claim to Bumiputra privileges, provided he meets the other conditions.

      In Mingguan Malaysia yesterday (12.2.2012), Tan Sri Mazlan Nordin wrote: “In old maps of the Malay Archipelago names like : Aceh, Minangkabau, Rawa, Makasar, Kerinci, Madura, Jambi, Palembang, Bidayuh, Kampar, Sulawesi, Maluku, Pekan Baru, Sumatera, Jawa Borneo , etc. appears.

      He further said: “Profesor Anthony Milner dari Universiti Kebangsaan Australia also contributed towards some historical records and among others he wrote theat the role of the Governor of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles changed the name of Malay History (Sejarah Melayu) to give prominence to common Malays who were not from the royal families.
      He further stated: “Whenever he (Raffles) made a speech or he wrote he said ‘Malays’ and ‘the Malay race’ and he influenced the writer/historian Abdullah Munshi.”

      In another document, Abdullah Munshi, who was from another race, considered himself a Malay. The Malay language became the language of his choice and he was acknowledged as an expert in Malay culture and the Malay language.

      Professor Milner in his inference among others wrote about the separation aspect and how the Malayan independence was achieved – Malaysia (West dan East), Indonesia, Brunei , etc.

      Also mentioned was the migration of the Malay people to Sri Lanka and South Africa.

      Malays as a racial identity and the Malay language in the Far East comprised of people of various groups. Malays, therefore, were not a tribe.

      In our country Malaysia, there are people from different races and tribes (communities), especially in Sabah and Sarawak, as follows:

      1. Malays
      2. Chinese
      3. Indians
      4. Babas and Nyonyas
      5. Kadazandusun
      6. Bajaus
      7. Muruts
      8. Momogun Rungus
      9. Brunei Malays
      10. Bisayas
      11. Iranuns
      12. Suluks
      13. Idahans
      14. Tidongs
      15. Tombonuos
      16. Kedayan
      17. Bagahaks
      18. Lundayehs
      19. Ibans
      20. Melanaus
      21. Bidayuhs
      22. Kenyahs
      23. Kayans
      24. Penans
      25. Klemantans
      25. Lu Bawang, etc.

      The Orang Asli communities in Malaysia comprise the following:


      Semoq Beris
      Jah Huts
      Che Wong

      Melayu Proto
      Orang Kuala
      Orang Kanaq
      Orang Seletar

      I believe if the people from the various communities above such as 1, 5 – 19 and the Orang Asli communities, if they profess to be Muslims, habitually speak the Malay language, adhere to Malay customs, they are Malays, as per the definition of ‘Malays’ as stated in the Malaysian Constitution.

      They are also Bumiputeras and bumiputras have rights and privileges. But do Malays have rights and privileges? The rights of Malays are not stated anywhere!

      And, if a person who is a Malay renounce his Islam and becomes an apostate, besides remaining a Malaysian, what race does he belong to?


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