There is A Popular Slogan During The May 5 Election In Malaysia -“” Wu yet wu – wan chen fu” in catchy Mandarin that rythmed. Translated into English it means “MAY THE FIFTH – CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT“. It was a Close call – in popular votes the Opposition has won – but Barisan National won by actual seats count. Though winning by the skin of their teeth, Barisan is still the winner in the final analysis. I am glad for Barisan National although I have never voted for BN. You see, I always voted for DAP in KL. Why do I sound so paradoxical?
The word “Bumiputra” was coined by Malaysia’s First Prime Minister – Tunku Abdul Rahman. It was drafted in the 70s after the racial riots of 1969. Its ultimate intention was to balance out the inequal ownership of wealth among the races. In this case – to give help to the poorer and weaker participants of wealth generation – the Bumiputra of Malaysia.
If the Bumiputra is not given help or aid, they will always fall behind in economic developement. To understand this, we must trace back to our roots. In the late 19th century to the 1st half of the 20th Century, China has been plagued by droughts and famine. (Google: China Famine & Famines in China by Mrs. Howard Taylor}.
The famines before and during Chairman Mao times were so bad that millions literally died of starvation. Those that survived, survived because they ate dead bodies. It was said that passers by were killed and their bodies eaten. A young boy even killed his 4 year old brother and ate him to survive. Tens of thousands of girls were sold by their parents. They were carted from village to village, from town to town to be sold as slaves, or as 2nd wives or sold into prostitution. All these DONE OPENLY in China’s Darkest History. (You only read of the Rape of Nanjing.)
This is the beginning of the Great Chinese Diaspora – millions have left China for foreign lands to seek a better life – and to provide relief for those back home.
Against this background landed our forefathers on Malayan Soil. The mind to work is ingrained into every chinese. Why traverse dangerous ocean in rickety wooden boat if not for survival?
During the Second World War, rubber prices suddenly shot up and doubled in price. The Chinese took this opportunity and work even harder. And with their hard earned savings they invested in gold & property (old prewar shophouse). The Indians also worked hard. However, the Indians went to town to buy a refrigerator. Brought it back to the rubber plantation and found that they don’t have electricity! So they use the fridge to keep clothes and precious sarees.
However, the Malays, it was said to have a different mindset. They reasoned, “Rubber Prices Have Doubled.” Last time, I work each day for a day’s wages. Now I work one day and get two days’ wages. So I only need to work today and no need to come back for work tomorrow. How nice then, to able to work for ONLY 15 DAYS A MONTH & GET FULL MONTH’S PAY. Rubber Prices Have Doubled, The Chinese Worked Even Harder; The Malays In Contrast Work Even Lesser!
Don’t you see – the seeds for extreme poverty & extreme wealth were SOWN LONG AGO. Remember the very poor live from day to day while the very rich invest for decades?
After A Very Long Time Has Passed the Native Inhabitants woke up to see that the Chinese own most of the Commercial Buildings In The City & Also Most of the Wealth In Businesses. This same scenario is repeated in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore , Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines & many other countries where chinese are welcomed, or at least tolerated.
That’s why in 1969 there were racial riots in Malaysia, and also in 1997-98 during the Asian Financial Crisis the Chinese in Indonesia suffered greatly. In Thailand, there is resistance to Thakshin because he, too, is a Chinese.
When Toman fish from Kenyir Dam Trengganu was introduced in Lake Michigan, USA, whether accidently or deliberately, the fish population of Lake Michigan started to be depleted. If the State Authority did not intervene, the entire native fish population will be wiped out!
For the Need of An Economic Safety Net The Malaysian Govt introduced the doctrine of Bumiputra Right in Malaysia. 7% – 15% discount for new houses given to bumiputra. For listed Companies, 30% share alotted to Bumi companies. AP for cars only given to Bumi registered Cos. In turn they can sell the AP for up to RM40,000 to non-bumi. Making money is so easy for those priviledged few.
What was Intended to Be A Help can turn out Otherwise. Let me tell you a true story. One young man was watching a type of nice Big Butterfly as it emerged from the Cocoon. He saw that the poor butterfly must struggle & struggle before he could get out of the cocoon. The process seemed so difficult & excruciatingly painful for the poor butterfly. So he decided to help the butterfly. He took out a pen knife and made incision to widen the exit for the butterfly to make its exit passage easier.
“What A Wonderful Help I have rendered to the butterfly”, he said to himself. Then, to his horror, he saw those butterflies that he had offered help – started crawling all over the floor, instead of flying. The wing muscles were not fully developed, and therefore not strong enough to fly. He found out that the agonising process of struggle through the cocoon was to strengthen its muscle. By helping the butterfly he had killed its chance to ever fly forever!
During The Asian Financial Crisis Dr Mahathir resisted going to the IMF because IMF wants Malaysia to dismantle the Bumiputra Policy. It was THE ONLY SOLUTION, THEN. In later years Dr. Mahathir warned that the Malays must throw away the clutches and learn to stand up on their own and walk.