Hypocrisy Meter from theblogprof.
Ahmad Ismail recently made some deragatory remarks aimed at the Chinese population of Malaysia. He called them pendatang (immigrants or squatters) in reference to the alleged status of Chinese as latecomers to Malaysia.
Despite being chided and even suspended from UMNO for 3 years, he refuses to apologize – he claims that he is not in the wrong.
As a direct result of this, Sin Chew reporter Tan Hoon Cheng was arrested under the ISA simply for reporting on what Ahmad Ismail said. She was recently released, while Ahmad Ismail wasn’t so much as issued a stern warning.
Well, here I present to you an argument that shows up Ahmad Ismail as a hypocritical pendatang himself!
The following is an excellent article, translated in full from Kuda Ranggi (Syed Imran)‘s original post in Malay, ‘Antara pendatang dan penumpang’.
Antara pendatang dan penumpang
(Between immigrants and squatters)
At first, I was reluctant to comment on the hoo-hah that resulted from the statements made by the UMNO division head of Bukit Bendera, Penang named Ahmad bin Ismail. Whether what he said about Malaysian of Chinese descent is true or false is not the question, because the issue is already spreading and the situation flaring up.
Unless the issue is addressed carefully, conscientiously and wisely, it can be exploited by those who wish to see this nation crumble, as well as by foreign powers. In this era of the borderless world and instantaneous international coverage via electronic media, whatever happens within a nation cannot be hidden or denied.
The main issue that was brought up by Ahmad Ismail involves the question of ‘squatting’; that is, that Malaysians of Chinese descent are squatters in this nation. He later clarified that this refers to the pre-Merdeka (pre-Malayan Independence) era. Nevertheless, the sensitivities of Chinese Malaysians were offended.
I do not know Ahmad Ismail personally, but I am quite close to Allahyarham, his brother Abdul Rahim Ismail, owner of the Rahim Construction Company which was once quite renown as the best Bumiputra-owned construction firm in Penang. I do not know what has happened with the company since Abdul Rahim passed away.
Personally, I (Syed Imran) disagree with what Ahmad Ismail claims for several reasons.
To me, almost 90 percent of Malaysians, especially those in the Peninsular, are immigrants and all of us are actually squatting on God’s land. We are not permanent owners, but merely squatting.
As an example, I myself am descended from immigrants who squatted on this blessed land. My grandparents on my father’s side immigrated from Mecca (in Saudi Arabia) and Brunei, whereas my maternal grandparents came from Hadhramut in Yemen. We are immigrants and squatters just like almost all of this nation’s citizens, especially those in Penang.
As for Ahmad Ismail, he too comes from an immigrant family and is squatting in this nation. Ahmad Ismail cannot deny the fact that his grandparents are immigrants from India who came in search of a better, more comfortable life in this blessed land.
Prime Minister Abdullah bin Ahmad is also included in the same category. His maternal grandfather was an immigrant from the Guangdong province in China. To cut a long story short, Pak Lah’s grandfather and Allahyarhamah Kailan’s father known as Hassan Salleh or Hah Su Chiang was an immigrant. He immigrated to Malaya from Guangdong (Kwangtung) in the mid 19th-century and settled in Bayan Lepas as a rubber planter, paddy farmer and later a diamond trader.
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak also comes from an immigrant family, that is from Sulawesi in Indonesia, or to be simply he is a Bugis. Meanwhile, Hishamuddin Hussein cannot deny from his Turkish bloodline.
The grandparents of former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad are also immigrants from Kerala, India while Almarhum Tunku Abul Rahman’s mother originated from Siam (Thailand).
Even the Malay Sultanate of Malacca was founded by an immigrant from Sumatra (in Indonesia) named Parameswara, a prince or noble of the Hindu religion.
In the history of the Malay sultanates, we find that some were founded by immigrants from Bugis and others by immigrants from Hadhramut (in Yemen) and Minangkabau (in Indonesia).
Almost all Malays here originated from outside Malaya, but are recognized as being of ‘Malay ethnicity’ by the Federal Constitution. We are ‘Malays according to Constitutional definition’, that is of the religion of Islam, practising Malay customs and speaking the Malay language. Unfortunately, the Malay language was killed by the Malay people themselves (UMNO) when it was renamed ‘Bahasa Malaysia’ (Malaysian language).
Thus Arabs like Syed Hamid Albar and myself, Acehnese like Sanusi Junid, Indians like Kader Sheikh Fadzir and Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Bugis like Najib, Minangkabau like Rais Yatim, Javanese like Mohamad Rahmat and others who originate from Madura (Indonesia), Boyan (Bawean in Indonesia), Siam, Burma, Yunnan (China) and the southern Phillipines are recognized as ‘Malay’ with little hassle.
They are accepted as Malay people regardless of whether they speak Malay in the home or not, for example the Arab-speaking Arab, the Javanese-speaking Javanese, the Minangkabau-speaking Minangkabau and the Tamil-speaking Mamak (Indian Muslim).
The aforementioned languages are not Malay languages, and if judged from the viewpoint of the Federal Constitution, their speakers cannot be accepted or recognized as part of the Malay race. Nevertheless, due to political factors and concerns, they are all accepted as Malays and Bumiputras.
Therefore, it is unfair to point fingers at the Chinese who are immigrants just the same as Arabs, Indians, Acehnese, Minangkabau, Batak, Mandailing, Javanese, Madurese and Bugis are squatters in this country. We cannot deny that a large number of the ancestors of the Chinese immigrated to this country during the time of the Malay Sultanate of Malacca and the Malay sultanates of Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan when Francis Light conned the Sultan of Kedah into giving him Penang Island in 1786.
We are immigrants who live squatting in this country. The groups which truly can be recognized as indigenous or ‘bumiputra’ are those we know as Negrito, Jakun, Semang, Jahut, Orang Laut, Orang Darat, Senoi and the other Orang Asli groups who still live in these lands.
We must not forget the contributions and sacrifices of all races and sub-races in developing Malaysia, be it in economy, society, security and most important of all, alliance and unity. We all pay taxes and do so without regard to race or descent, whether immigrant or squatter.
We are all Malaysians.
Above from Pendatang.
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