Off course the Malays here are being marginalised but before anyone jump into conclusion and misquote me let me continue on to say that, mostly by themselves and among themselves. The temptation to point the fingers at other races over the matter is easy but to admit ones own weaknesses as an individual as well as a society is a bitter pill to swallow. I read somewhere in an UMNO phamplet or was it one of USM's publication the the defination of a Malay today is something like, he who grew up among Malays, know only the one Malay culture that he grew up in and is a Muslim, something to that effect, which incidentally qualifies Tun Mahathir and a host of other Indian Muslims and people like me whose fathers' ancestry in Seri Lankan. But what is a true Malay? Perhaps those who live in the central heartland of Kedah, Perlis and the various other states like Kelantan and Terengganu. However even these when studied deeper into their ethnocentric history will uncover their origins as mostly from the Indonesian, and Thai ancestry. Only the aborigines or orang Asli can claim to be the real 'sons of the earth' as the Malay had claimed themselves to be, and these includes those living in the Sarawak and Sabah.
Malays in Penang were mostly from Indonesia, with the settlement set up before the British made their appearence. Tok Janaton and his brother made the settlement at Batu Uban and afew other places in and around the island, they became the Penang Malays. Later on came the indians and Chinese as indented labourers to the East India Company which latter saw the opportunity to take every bit of advantage especially of ignorance of the the Malay Rulers in Kedah to colonize the Island. The British were like a deadly parasite were always and will always be in human history and they who had nothing to offer in terms of natural resources took everything they could through threats and cunning adventures. What the British own till this day that had placed them as one of the super powers were no less than the product from highway robbery and piracy of which great movies were made to justify these.
The British had no love for the Malays beyond tolerance of the fact that they were an easy race to manipulate and succumb to the least of enticements, like give a Malay a title and he is the rooster in the village. Pay him a little more than the rest and he is one humble and faithful servant ready to serve to the death. But who is the Malay who is one hundred percent blue blood and cannot be denied his right as the sons of the earth? One has to find this character and pin the medal on him to indicate his status as the rightful owner of the land. He is out there make no mistake about it and it is in his nature to make no claims about his rights. those who make the most noises are usually those who has the least of right to this claim. I do not need to spellout who they are today but read and you shall see for yourself.
An so if you ask me are the Malays being marginalised here in Penang, I would have to say yes definitely so and they will keep on being so no matter who runs the government, the opposition or the Barisan Natsional. The original Penang Malays is a rare specie and most can be found deep within the few remnants of kampungs like in Balik Pulau and Telok Bahang areas, a small group fighting for their survival in the Tanjung To'Kong area and the Jelutong and Sungai Pinang areas. These will last till the MPPP decided that it is time to reclaim their rights to the land as handed to them by the British before they left the country. The MPPP is the the real landloards of Penang and everyone in their right mind and right position has their hand in the MPPP coffers in one form or another. The MPPP and the PDC are siblings in business of selling this island a piece at a time to the highest bidder and it is not limited to locals who join in the bidding. Would a true blue son of the earth sell his land and home for a profit? Not likely even if you are a Chinese or a Hindu born and raised here. a true Penangite would rather live in poverty than give up and inch of his land to someone else for any amount of money,at least we still have our own home our own heritage. But Penang is a merchandise today and fetch a top value in price in the international market it is destined to become another Singapore or Hong Kong all in good time.
Who stands to benifit from all these so called developments and sales? The Malays? Who the Malays where the Malays? The true Malays, not the 'half this half that' Malays. The Chinese and the Indians? None of the above as we are all vicitms of our own dellusions whcih comes in the form of Politics! We ares till being colonialized by the few who holds the key to the seat of power and holds a stranglehold on us through their pitching us one against another... if there is no problem lets create one kind of pitch. A lesson learned from the former colonizers... devide and rule only in a more subtle ways hardly recognizable. It is ironic that we hail ourselves a Heritage City while all we are doing is preseving the memory of our Masters, that we once were their indented slaves to the point that we could not have lived had it not for their being our masters.
Our forefathers sold out to the British everything worthy of our cultural and ethnic heritage to embrace theirs, the way of the West. Till this day we are still grovelling our way into trying to immitate their ways, always a step or two behind them in our effort to stay afloat in this world of globalization. Still the mental and physical slaves to their whims in the international scheme of things, beleiving that they have done us good and rightfully deserves to be honored if not respected.
We are a victim or our own dellusion, our own ignorance or who we are and who we could have become. We have sacrificed our nativity for the pittance thrown at us by those who kept us in bondage untill the Japanese decided that we should be freed from our shackles. But we were so engrossed by the so called good life under the colonial power that we would rather forget who we are and become what is expected of us to become. It is too late for what ifs and what could have been for us to ponder as our history has been and is still being written from the Western perspective. We have lost all our refferences other than that which has been set by the West and we ares till trying so hard to become the Malay, the Chinese and the Indians that we believe we are, what more we have become so obssesd with this ethnocentricity. We are back to our tribal ages where one tribe is pitted against another only now in a more politcally savey ways. We are no more free than our ancestors were, our minds are under the yoke of the Neo colonial era. We will always be puppets in the the scheme of life, our strings being pulled by the masters who lived on far distant shores our new masters.
So, Merdeka! lets celebrate our independance,our freedom from colonialism and mental dellusions, let us wake up once and for all and say hey! this is my land, my home, this will be my children's and theirs too, please make your second or third home somewhere else. You are not helpnig our economy but destroying our way of life, the very fabric of our society. Your prescence has made a handful wealthy but deprived the many their rights to live in the land they have called their own. Please look further than just what is there to be had for your comfort and benifit just because you can afford it, but look beyond, look at those your desires has helped to displace. Penang welcomes you and we bid you all the best while you are here, but leave in good faith and come back again dont get sucked into wanting more and more untill it becomes another lucrative investment to own a piece of the action here at the expanse of the people.
What has all these got the do with are the Malays being marginalized? You will have to seive through this blog and asnswer it for yourself as i am writing whatever that comes into my mind in the effort to ward off hunger and thirst in the month of ramadan.