I am a Chinese living in a predominantly Malay country. The country is Malaysia. I was born here, but I was told that after more than 50 years of national independence, I must still accept that I am a guest in this country, while the Malays are the Lords called “Bumiputra” – meaning “Prince of the Earth”. The Malays are Muslims, constituting 60% of the population, whilst the Chinese, Indian and other makes up the balance.
The civil service including the top academic institutions, employs and promotes the Malays more often than the other races, thats because the Malays want to be bosses. Ability and productivity is disregarded, as long as they are the “bosses”. If you happen to work for a Government Linked Company (GLCs), whereby most are listed companies on the stock exchange it would be similar to working in the civil service. Opportunities of non Malays are controlled and relegated to achieving “national interest”.
If you fall in love and marry a Malay, you have to convert to Islam, and follow the Syariah for all matters concerning, family, divorce, death and distribution of wealth. The Government and the judiciary makes it very difficult for one to leave the religion, even after a divorce and you could very well forget about getting custody of your children. Some non Malay families have converted to Islam, just to get custody of the children, regardless of whether you are the father or the mother, or whether you are a fit parent.
For the sale of new residential properties, Bumiputras are given a discount, while the others have to pay market price to subsidize the Malays. Government scholarships are not given based on merit and academic excellence. Companies wanting to list on the stock exchange must allocate 30% of their shareholding to Bumiputras. And the list goes on, and all this has been happening for more than 20 years.
It is in our constitution that we are given rights and the freedom to live, make a living and practice our religion as we pleased. However, as you can now see, our rights are not equal to the rights of the Malays. Churches and temples are controlled to tiny pieces of land, in the outskirts, where nobody lives, or in shop-lots, while mosques are built on strategic locations and are given ample land even for parking.
Unfortunately for the Malays, after over 20 years of “assistance” they are still lagging behind the other races! Furthermore, the non Malays are still the economically dominant citizens of this country. Its just amazing how resilient the non Malays are, kudos to them for being handicapped deliberately, but still coming up on top, economically, academically, physically in international sports, and in many other areas.
This is what it means to be a non Malay in Malaysia, but we are not afraid, neither are we bitter, as we find it rather amusing to keep the Malays, in their obsolete thinking of 20 years past. We have no choice but to collude with the Government, and to put them in their “idealised world”, without competition and challenges, while we non Malays forged on, internationally to greener pastures, and become even more successful Malaysians.