KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 — An analyst from Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) suggested today that ethnic Malays have always been “bullied” since colonial times by non-Malays, especially ethnic Chinese.
In an article on the group’s website, the analyst also suggested that Chinese mine owners in the 18th century were in cahoots with British invaders to “loot the riches” from Malays.
“When did the Malays bully the Chinese? Furthermore, from the facts above, it is reasonable to say that it was the Malays who were bullied from then until today.
“The question is, who are the bullied, and who are the bullies?” asked Mohd Zul Fahmi Md Bahrudin, an analyst of Malaysian history and constitution under Isma-linked Institut Kajian Arus Baru Malaysia.
The article comes ahead of the group’s president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman’s court case this Monday for sedition, after labelling the country’s ethnic Chinese as “intruders” who had been brought by British colonialists to oppress Malays.
Abdullah wrote on Isma’s website on May 6 that the influx of Chinese migrants into Tanah Melayu had been “a mistake” which must be rectified.
Last week, the Islamist group urged the public to gather in front of the Kajang Sessions Court in the morning of the first day of the trial, “in the name of religion and race”.
Citing literature on the subject, Zul Fahmi claimed today that Chinese mine owners had been influential with the triads, and had masterminded the intervention of British colonialists in Malay states.
He alleged that Chinese mine owners had forcibly seized mines from Malay owners, citing examples of Taiping, Kuala Lumpur and Lukut.
Zul Fahmi claimed the British had “allowed” Chinese communities to form “armed groups” to “defend” themselves from the Malays—groups of triad members who terrorised, robbed and extorted the Malays.
He also claimed the Malays were in turn forced by the British to accept non-Malays as citizens in order to get independence, and the Malays had yielded on the condition that the positions of Islam, the Malay language, the Malay rulers, and Malay’s special rights were protected.
“Today, there are some non-Malays especially their political representatives who are unashamedly challenging the social contract,” Zul Fahmi alleged.
“Did they forget the history of their ancestors? Or do they know but are ungrateful for the sacrifice suffered by the Malays?” he asked.
The Malays and Bumiputera make up the majority of Malaysia’s population at an estimated 67.4 per cent of the 28.3 million population, followed by the Chinese at 24.6 per cent, according to the most recent census at 2010.
The Chinese in Malaysia were mostly brought into Malaya from Southern China provinces such as Fujian and Guangdong by British colonists during 19th and 20th century to work in tin mines and rubber plantations.
However, Chinese settlers have also been recorded as early as the 15th century during the times of the Malacca Sultanate, even forming friendly diplomatic relations.