16
Jul
11

 

MALAYSIAN  NATIONALITY

I’m not so ignorant as not to know that the concept of “Malay” as defined in the Federal Constitution is not the biological entity with a DNA profile that distinguishes one group of people from another, but a socio-cultural/ political construct defined by language, culture, religion and lineage of the same. 
 
I’m well aware that “race” as Hitler understood the white Caucasian race or as contained in the discriminating principles of apartheid in South Africa, or even in the Chinese concern with the purity of their clans is being diminished by intermarriage among people of different stocks.

However Milner and later anthropologists and historians chose to trace the roots of the  Malays and the other peoples they studied, you cannot deny that  typologies of race or stock as in Aryan, Caucasian, Mongoloid, Polynesian, Arab etc have existed for a long time and were less diluted in the early days of history.
 
So yes – some Malays have more Malayo-Polynesian genes than other Malays. Those whose ancestors spoke the Malay language which was widely spoken among the local people in the Malay Achipelago and Nusantara would have assimilated better. Some have mixed ancestry coming from the intermarriage between foreign merchants (Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Portuguese, English, Achinese, Bugis etc ) seafarers from the neighbouring lands and colonialists, and the local indigenous groups of mainly Malay stock who had settled earlier. While the Jawi Peranakan (people of Malay/ Indian Muslim ancestry) assimilated completely because of the common religion Islam, the Chinese Peranakan (Baba Nyonya) did not.
 
The Arabs, Chinese and Indians especially came in different waves of migration from the 3rd century right through the 7th and throughout the British colonial period, so there were later migrants whose descendents are now the present Malaysians of Chinese, Indian etc ancestry.
 
I’m proud of my Malay ancestry (Bugis/ Minangkabau), and my mother tongue (Malay), culture and religion. Why shouldn’t I be? There are shared traits of conduct and behaviour via shared customs and traditions among the Malays as there are among the Chinese and Indians. We are all living together in Malaysia, thus share the Malaysian nationality. When Malaysians are abroad they are distinguishable by the way they speak or their accents (each ethnic group influenced by their own mother tongue) just as the Thais or Filipinos are.
 
So if your grandchildren are more racially mixed than your children, your children would be less than them and more so than you or your wife presuming you two also have a mixed ancestry.
 
I’m not denying the dream of an integrated people who call themselves Malaysians but I’m realistic and honest enough to admit we come from different racial mixtures. Perhaps the most racially pure people in any country including Malaysia are the aboriginies, the Orang Asli tribes who have strict taboos concerning intermarriage
 
NB I have left out the other Malaysian groups not because I care less but because I know less about them.

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