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who are the real bumiputera? is there such a thing as bumiputera?
(pic by witsO)
The debate as to the status and rights of the Orang Asli was triggered after Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz told Parliament yesterday that the defintion of ‘bumiputera’ included the Malays, the natives of East Malaysian and also the Orang Asli of the Peninsular.
However, while federal constitution does not mention the term ‘bumiputera’, Article 153 of it says that ‘special privileges’ are to be extended only to the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak.
so what does that means? that means though the orang asli may qualify as bumiputera but they are not qualified for special privileges!! but wait… bumiputera? how and where does bumiputera comes in? it was stated that bumiputera was not found in the constitution.
The term ‘bumiputera’ is absent in the constitution. It’s recognised to be a social-politcal invention of the BN government to place the Malays and other ‘sons of the soil’ in a category separate from other Malaysians.
aha! just as i thought. it’s all the work of BN, particularly umno of course.
anyway one interesting comments at malaysiakini is this one from kaykay. according to him, to classify the orang asli as bumiputera is an insult because just about anybody can be bumiputera!! you just masuk islam, and hey presto!… you are a bumiputera. he mentioned even pakistani, bangladeshi, etc are bumipuera. here’s what kaykay has to say:
Legally speaking, it’s not possible to place the Orang Asli in the same category as the Bumiputera since that would be downgrading them. Even in Sabah & S’wak, the Natives there prefer to be known as Natives rather than Bumiputera. They know that any Tom, Dick, Prick & Harry can become a Muslim, call himself a Malay & be considered a Bumiputera. This has seen Indians, Pakistanis & Bangladeshis in Sabah being classified as Malays & Bumi. In S’wak there is an Indian Muslim Minister in the Taib Gov’t. He’s a member of PBB (Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu) which is meant only for Bumis. Daud is in because he’s considered Malay & therefore a Bumi. Back to Sabah, there was the infamous case recently of Salman the Pakistani who was even born in Pakistan. Yet he managed to apply for a MyKad where he was listed as being born in Ranau. He’s considered Malay & a Bumi & no less than former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh himself turned up in court to vouch for him. So, the court had to release him.
anyway, i was thinking as bumiputera means ‘sons of the soil’, then since we were born in malaysia, so aren’t we all sons of the soil?? so there shouldn’t be bumiputera at all OR if there is a bumiputera, it should mean ALL of us!!
funny. this reminds me of our national anthem, the line which goes “tanah tumpahnya darahku”. all of us were born in malaysia, all of us were sons of the soil in malaysia, all of us feel this is our ‘tanah tumpahnya darakhku’ – then why is it that only malays are classified as bumiputera? ok ok i know… all because of umno’s doing.
before i go, here’s another part of the comment in malaysiakin, which i would like to share with all because this is what i feel too but as i said being cautious not to say it out! (something in what i said that i met some orang asli face to face and what they told us straight from their mouth, which i find unprintable!).
from anak malaysia:
Sadly, the only thing the Govt seriously pursued all these years is the systematic Islamization of the Org Aslis. Villagers are tempted with carrot of development to convert to Islam. Those villages which refuse to convert are denied development. This is governance by bad faith! There is even a policy to Islamize all OAs by a certain year! Suraus are built in villages with no Muslim population. Churches in Christian majority villages are torn down. Thousands of imams are placed in non Muslim villages so that the OAs “are not deprived of Islamic education”. Not that they wanted or asked for this in the first place! JHEOA is staffed with Malay Muslims to the exclusion of OAs themselves, and they become govt tools of religious propoganda, instead of working for advancement of this poverty stricken community. Such is the aggressive Islamization efforts of the Govt. Same story amongst the natives of rural Sabah & Sarawak. Wake up people to the truth of what is going on in this land!