He say wrong meh? Apartheid was once the rule in South Africa, but today even Chinese in South Africa are considered ‘African Bumiputera’.
From The Star 27 Feb 2009:
Opposition leader Boo causes a stir at assembly
JOHOR BARU: State Opposition leader Dr Boo Cheng Hau caused quite a stir at the state assembly after he equated “bumiputraism” with the South African apartheid policy which discriminated against non-whites.
Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, who was visibly annoyed with Dr Boo’s choice of word, said that the state assemblyman was merely using the comparison to seek public attention.
“To me, his aim is to provoke negative feelings within some of the members of the public by using such terms in the assembly. It is very provocative,” he said.
In his 15-minute speech, the Skudai assemblymen alleged that some banks, in charging different interest rates to bumiputra and non-bumiputras were practising discrimination.
He said that the interest rates were differentiated according to member (bumiputra) and non-members (non-bumiputras).
“The non-bumiputras are charged a higher interest rate without taking into account their socio-economic status,” he said.
Dr Boo, who previously studied in Jamaica for five years, also said that the worse apartheid aspect was that socio-economic, education, cultural and language were based on “ketuanan” or “kebumiputraan”.
Abdul Ghani explained that certain banks such as Bank Rakyat that operated as a cooperative, gave better benefits to members compared to non-members.
“There is some differences there and coincidentally, the bank practises the syariah way of doing business,” he said, adding that there were also Malays who were non-members and they did not enjoy the benefits given to members.
Abdul Ghani explained that “ketuanan” carried the meaning of the owner (tuan) of the land that is the King (Raja Melayu).
“When the British left Malaya, which was their colony, they returned it to the owner (tuan) of the land that is the King,” he said, adding that the term “ketuanan” did not carry political elements.
As for Abdul Ghani’s attempted explanation that is pretty much run of the mill, one can easily see whether or not the term ‘ketuanan’ is emotionally powerful by turning the tables in this exercise:
Does the above hypothetical scenario make you feel offended? Incensed? Upset? That’s how some people feel about the Ketuanan concept, as is apparent from Dr. Boo’s appeal.
I say, if you would be offended by it yourself, don’t do it to others!