26.11.07

Putting the Tamil in MaLayIsTAn

This weekend I saw a strange scene on my TV screen. Indian Malaysians throwing back teargas cannisters at the Malaysian Police, and a Malaysian policeperson totally fluffing up the return kick. Must have been a female.

Malaysia has a lot going for it, three of the cutest races in one country, the indians, the chinese and the Malays. And thats not including the Orang Asli communties who live in the jungle, ironically they are actually the Bumiputra(sons of the soil). There is a saying which basically sums up Malaysian Multiculturalism at its worst.

Chinaman do all the work, Malay take all the credit, Indian get all the blame.

Anyhow, colonial capitalism dealt a very mixed up deck of cards to Malaysia. Through creation of the 'Myth of the Lazy Native' (Alatas) the malays were reduced to planters, and races deemed capable of industrial work brought in to work the colonial engine. In this light i think their are paralels to the deurbanisation and alienation of the Bengali Muslims to British power.

Call it Firingi Forced Ganjification.

The malay equivalent of the ganj is the kampong. Ethic Malays have been getting a lot of affirmatively intended hands up the ladder over the past few decades, anyone else needs to either mobilise their capital and/or work their tails off and hope.

Anyway, Indians, mainly south indians get the rawest deal and the hardest time from the new malaysia. The coolest malaysians i know are the tamil ones. They wanted to vent their spleens at the British High Commission but were not allowed. That was well out of order. What was intriguing was their demand for restitution ( couple of trillion bucks?!?) for having their ancestors endentured over to Malaya in the first place.

Good luck to the raising of their dignity in the national scheme of things. The potential of Malaysian Multiculturalism is much more powerful and hope inspiring than say the British one, mainly because the numbers and the allsinging alldancing wannabe ummahticness of the place.

In the UK the actual numbers of blacks, browns, jews and what not do not tot upto so much. All little groups know that the WASP is in charge and on whose good will they depend. Malaysia's setting, where the ethnic ballance is more chunkily piechartable. The hope is a whole lot more postcolonial and does a lot more for my imagination.

Sort it out folks!!!!

Farish noor has written about this.

2 comments:

Manas Shaikh said...

fug tumi ki bangali?

if you can't make out, never mind! :)

Fugstar said...

you're not going to cook me upsomething weird and expect me to swallow it in a test of racial fealty are you?