May 13? What May 13?
Posted by chaanakyan on March 18, 2008
1969 was different. In 1969, opposition meant Chinese and Indians and ruling party meant Malays. So, if you separate Malaysia into opposition and ruling party, then the country gets separated into non-Malays and Malays as well. Therefore, when the ruling party loses and the opposition wins this also means that the Malays lose and the non-Malays win. This is a perfect formula for racial conflict.
Today, ruling party and opposition can no longer be separated by race. It was the non-Malays who suffered most in the recent general election when the ruling party got trounced in many states. And the opposition that trounced it is a mix of Malays, Chinese and Indians. The ruling party loss was not a Malay loss and the opposition win was not a non-Malay win. In fact, four of the five opposition led states have Malay Menteris Besar. How can you say that the Chinese won these states? Furthermore, in states like Selangor and Perak, Chinese votes alone could not have delivered the states to the opposition. The Malays and Indians helped as well. It was either a partnership of all races or nothing at all.
The Malays realise that with the fall of the five states they have lost nothing. The Chinese and Indians also realise that the Malays are very important to the cause and that a unity of all races is crucial to an opposition win. Furthermore, Malays, Chinese and Indians all realise that state governments can only be formed and kept in place if PAS, DAP and PKR stay united and don’t break up. It is not to the interest of the Malays, Chinese and Indians to start anything. Anyway, there is no reason to start anything because no one has lost out in the new formula.
And this is where the Mamaks come in. Mamaks are Indian Muslims. Some years back, the Indian Muslims and India Hindus in Penang clashed over the proximity of a temple and a mosque which both sides alleged was ‘disturbing’ them. Resulting from this misunderstanding, some bloody clashes erupted which threatened to turn into a blood bath such as what we have frequently-enough witnessed in India. Anwar Ibrahim was forced to personally go down to the ground to prevent what was about to turn into another ‘May 13’.
Last Friday, 1,000 or so Mamaks organised a demonstration in front of the Penang State Government headquarters. They were upset that a ‘Chinese’ Chief Minister had announced the end of the New Economic Policy in Penang. The Malays were not upset. The Malays did not come out to protest. In fact, PAS even endorsed the announcement and said that it agreed with the proposal. But the Mamaks were upset and they demonstrated their displeasure last Friday.
The Mamaks want the government to pass a law that makes calling them ‘Mamak’ illegal. They want laws passed so that those who continue calling them Mamaks can be sent to jail. And they want a new law passed to declare all Mamaks as Malays and to call them Malays and not Mamaks from thereon.
The Mamaks, therefore, have to demonstrate that they are more Malays than the Malays and more Muslim that the Arabs. And to prove this they came out to demonstrate against Lim Guan Eng’s announcement that the NEP in Penang would end even if the Malays themselves could not be bothered and even if PAS supports Guan Eng’s announcement. In a nutshell, the Mamaks are ashamed that they were born as Indians and insist they be classified as Malays.
But the Malays will not respond to the Mamaks’ call to take to the streets, in particular the PAS and PKR Malays. In fact, the only reason the PAS and PKR Malays come out is to ensure that the Mamaks do not run riot and start spilling Chinese blood. Yes, May 13 can never happen again in spite of the rise of the Mamaks. The Malays will ensure that that no wannabe Malay Mamaks will upset the peace, stability and tranquillity that exists between the Malays, Chinese and Indian Hindus.
As for the Indian Muslims…..well, they need to earn their Malayness so allow them this little sideshow to enable them to go to the government and say, “Are we Malay enough for you now?”