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Mar 15, 2016

3/3/16 HOW MUCH HAS THE SARAWAK MALAYS GAIN SINCE INDEPENDENT?

The topic that I'm going to dwell now can be very controversial in the light that people seem like to imply thing that has inclination to racial matter as racist. Mahathir is seen as racist for he fought extremely hard to make especially the Malayan Malays to stand to their feet. Lim Kit Siang is also a racist for he fights for the Chinese to be given an  equal central position as the rightful citizen of the Nation. Probably only Samy Velu never sound to be racist for he took most of his time having to fight his internal battles within the Indian communities. To me, within an independent Nation, there is nothing racist about working for one's race right if such fight doesn't hinges on the others. In a plural societies as Malaysia, there seem nothing to talk about if such wouldn't hinges onto the other ethnic right or feeling. Even to talk on petai would need to consider the feeling of the Semang or Jakun. Nonetheless, let look at Allah's Law of Nature. Go deep into the crocodiles' or alike ecosystem. Is there any problem with the crocodiles attacking a group of wild bore swimming across the river where such river is their natural ecosystem? Can we blame the crocodiles for attacking the crossing wild bore? If, say the wild bore choose not to be attacked, they should then need to travel along the river bank, and not into the river, which therefore they won't be facing any threat at all from the hungry crocodiles. Thus, for one's to safeguard his community right, will never be amounting to racism as long as his struggle should be confined to the Natural Law as Allah had established. In the Law of Nature, Allahy had clearly shown every creatures that He created is entitles on its basic right. For instance, a group of lions can always has good meal over a killing from a herb of buffaloes, and etc. But in the Malaysian plural societies such, many would see as impossible. Nonetheless I believe Allah had set His Natural Law on how to dwell on such. Here, I'm working to my piece of such belief.

(2) The Malays, the Sarawak Malays, as the rest of the Malaysian Malays, all of them are Muslims. No Sarawak Malays is not a Muslim. Even the converted Melanau, Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulus, Chinese, Indians they love to be closely associated with the Malays. As far as the Malaysians are concern, the Malays is the benchmark for Islam. Most will chose to be Malays especially when come to the second or third generation. They are even more Malays than the Malays. Nonetheless, how honest and compliance is one's Islamic deed, that will be subjected to lots of considerations. I'm not interested to dwell on those, as one's deity is of oneself responsibility. In regard to Islam, I believe, the community responsibility is to lay the best facilitating and nurturing environment for one to choose his own theological destiny. It is just like going into a forest, it is a matter of one's decision of what one is looking for to take home. Allah indeed had set such notion verily in the Al Quran in what He means by "What is yours is yours, and what is Mine is Mine".

(3) In this article, I would like to narrow my definition of the Malays to those ethnic that originally practiced Islam as their deed much earlier that the others even the converted Malays. I'll dwell on the Malays from a strict political perspective. My focus would be those that I classified as the Kuching Malays, the coastal Malays and the Brunei Malays ie the Kadayan. The Kuching Malays, I would presume is a fusion of the early Brunei Malays and those of the Sambas or some from Java immigrants that had embraced Islam in the 7th to 13th century. The Coastal Malays most probably are immigrants in the 15th to 19th century from all over Indonesia or even Sulu and Cham. These later Malays definitely they had embraced Islam way back in their home birth place even as early as in the 7th century. Of course the Brunei Malays whom also had embraced Islam probably in the 12th to 13th century, are mostly found on the coast of Miri and Limbang, are those to this day that had kept to their Brunei Malays customs. Indeed there is not much customary differences among the Malays. What differ is their worldly outlook. Some may feel superior over the others which to me was the deep ingrained of the Buddhism and Hinduism feudal heritage.

(3) Be they Kuching, Coastal or even Kedayan, the Malays seem to be akin living in the coast and or riverine area.  These Malays, by reason of their geographical affiliation, had exposed themselves to be segregated for so long even ways after the Independent. The rivers, large tract of mangrove and peat swamp forest really had disunite the Malays into their sub-ethnic colonies. Knowledge and skill transfusion among them was very limited. Such physical and mental segregation had created high superiority and inferiority complex among them. In the 1960s for instance, the Kuching Malays had always treated the Coastal Malays as the backward Orang Laut literally meaning the backward people of the sea. During Brooke's time, the Kuching Malays had always been given the upper hands over the others. Such had created the so called elitist Abangan, the big brothers syndrom within their cycle. The Kedayans were never known to majority of the other Coastal Malays even into the 1970s. Their pride lies for being associated with the olden day Brunei Sultanate. Thus the Coastal Malays had drifted between the elitist big brothers and the proud Kedayan to settle in the enclave of the harsh mangrove and peat swamp areas. Indeed in the Natural Law, the Sarawak Malays exist in non-cohesive manner since the beginning of their existence. But to Allah blessing, such indeed is  having its own justification and advantages, and things had changed fast in the 1990s.

(4) Indeed, the Coastal Malays whom occupies the Lower Batang Sarawak, Lower Samarahan, Lower Sadong, and Lower Lupar-Saribas-Kalaka had contributed well in the early economic exploration of the Independent Sarawak, except such significant role had never been seen as such. In the 1960s-1970s, timber was the backbone of Sarawak economy. These were the very population that had made themselves the lumber jack slaves to the booming logging industry. In those days, the vast peat swamp forest in Samarahan, Simunjan, Simanggang, and Kalaka-Saribas before the larger exploitation in the Rajang Basin,  all were fell not by chain saws but axes and gergaji buaya. Indeed the early hard dirty sweat of the Coastal Malays had contributed to the State main earning to develop Sarawak. With the booming of the logging industry then bringing about the spurring of the sawmilling industry in Kuching, and again the Coastal Malays were the very prime labour market to such industries. Colonies of Coastal Malays Kongi were established in Padungan-Bintawa-Pending areas. These Malays were then becoming the sources for the establishment of the greater services industries which then spurred into the growth of the construction and utilities sectors for the so called much educated Kuching Malays to take up. While the entrepreneur Chinese took charge of  the capital provision and trading, the Coastal Malays were indeed the main prime mover to the whole early economic system development of Kuching. Unfortunately, when the timber industries in Kuching collapsed in 1990s due to the emergence of Sibu and Bintulu as a much resourceful bases, the Coastal Malays whom had been the source of cheap exploited labors; had no other choice but to stay on as squatters in lots of colonies on the fringe of the then prosperous Kuching especially in Tabuan, Gita, Pending, Padungan, Bintawa, even in the present the Ithmus. They then switched to the real hard lives of kuli works in Kuching. Indeed the Coastal Malays were trapped into an nonrenewable industry that gave them no other skills and knowledge that could take their immediate lives to the other better sectors. Their kids indeed never attend proper education, so much so even the second and third gteneration of them were very much subject to non-skilled uneducated job markets.  Today, these population of the urbanised Coastal Malays is making the majority of the Kuching's Malays despite their still backward socio-economic status and living condition in Gita, Samariang, Bako, Tabuan, Bintawa Hilir and those in Demak-Pending industrial areas. I would say, since 1990s to 2010s, this portion of the Malays population are still struggling for their basic living and dignity.  Indeed these Coastal Malays had contributed so much, yet today they are still lagging to where they should never had been. The biggest mistake probably not many had ever realized, without them coming out of those coastal area and being slaves to the early State Timber Industry development; Kuching probably would had never prosper to what it is today. I strongly believe, in those days, the Government was too engrossed into the economic growth forgetting the long term wellbeing of the hard labor citizens. Capitalism succeeded well into the the lives of the newly Independent State of Sarawak.  To me, it is my duty now to take these heroes to the stage to show play that the way they had been treated should not to be repeated especially by the current so called Malay Chief Minister. To me the Malays are looking forward to Adenan Satem, so much so, politically they are now rallying in full force with him, hoping Adenan to take them along to a better footing in at least his tenureship as the Chief Minister. (The Melanaus, whom are strongly associated to the Malays living environment and socio-standing, I would believe, are expecting the same).

(5) In the 1960s, indeed the Coastal Malays were among the most supportive for the formation of the Sarawak Coalition Government with their total backing of the Parti Pesaka. To this day, they had thrown their undivided support to the Governing Party, yet they had not risen to their potentials and or sacrifices. It is well known, the Chinese had gained the most. Economically, the Chinese dominated the urban economy, while the Malays remain as consumer. Even the Iban are on the rise up over their right. The Government progressive initiative over Native Customary Land Right and Development, in 5-10 years time will place the Malays in the very skewed socio-economic position. The Malays be they the Kuching's, Coastal or Kedayan that had all the way being the close ally of the Government all these while, had they been given their fair share? I stand to cast my doubt.

(6) With regard to these, urbanised Coastal Malays, I would suggest Adenan, (Abang) Johari and (Awang) Tengah to seriously relooking into the settlements and employments development for these population. The notion of urban land must be kept for high cost investments should no more be our approach. The transmigration  approach of the past must be reviewed. People must not be displaced to give way to industrialization and urban development. Let industrialization and urban expansion be the integral to settlement development. In the past, the poor urbanised rural migrants were being pushed out of the city circle to as far as Mile 12th of the Penrisen, to Malihah of Matang, Samariang and even Bako low cost housings. They were pushed out of the Pending, Demak, and Bintawa Industrial development areas. So much so, these new locations with all sort of social deficiencies had turned these Malays (and others) into a pariah within their rich mother land. They need long lag period to get back to their baseline economic footing. We should now be seeing the way we should manage our people from the reverse of the past practices. Keep the people to where they are unless their living conditions are too environmentally disastrous, and improve upon them appropriately, while the industrial and or urban expansion should go for the green areas to accommodate for more efficient alignment and management. Both settlements and industrial development should be seen as an integrated development. Both should play the central place in the development management. Serious consideration must be made in such social affinity of the people must be kept intake and their social cohesiveness be maintained for the capitalization of the better racial unity. Pushing the Malays out of town indeed had created lots of social and political polarization which to the end is not healthy for the State. Definitely there are so many argument can be put forward to justify what ever action taken, yet I would believe, as in the Law of Nature, nothing created by Allah is without to fulfill the human need. It is unfortunate, when human managing another human, the very fundamental of his governance duty clouded by non-Insaniah matters.

(7) Let look at the Western economic managment system, why did say the American or Western industries come to ASEAN or any third world high population areas? Why didn't they shifted the population say into Mongolia and keep the industries to the West? While the bigger economic system is behaving more friendly to the labour market, we had made to the contrary. It must be very interesting to relook at our total settlements and industrial development approach.

(8) Indeed accordingly the rural Coastal Malays including the Kedayans had gained nothing much over the long past years. They to this days are still enjoying the natural separation and isolation as they were in those early days. Construction of bridges over the abundant large rivers in Sarawak is making a very slow progress. The State Independent and fast developing status had not able to physically connect the Malays settlements for their greater assimilation in the conquest of the greater future. Accordingly, those logged over mangrove and peatland areas are now being turned into large private plantations, yet they were mere by standers if not still the hard labour participants. These lands are right under their noses yet they are not really getting the best of of those. These Coastal Malays whom had been complacent to be subsistence fishermen and farmers, were not well integrated into the government mass plantation development strategies. I can agree that was their biggest mistake for not aggressive enough to grab the up coming opportunities. While such can be argued as valid excuse but such to me is a mere escapism argumentation. It is an escapism argument for if one looks from the Islamic perspective of the Ummah management. In Islam, the Government is to manage their people on a very just manner. The handicaps must be accommodated accordingly. They can't just be left to where they are, just because they are not able to catch up accordingly. To me it is very unfortunate, the educated Malays whom were and are in the Government don't quiet seeing the Islamic Governance of the Ummah into their daily administration. Half heartedly I would say, those Malays in the Government were and are either the ignorant, indifferent or self-greed kacang lupa kulit types of Malays officials and politicians. Indeed, the pure capitalist approach to the past development had placed the Coastal Malays into a very disadvantage position. Despite they have land by the fringe of these plantation, those lands are merely sekakang kera a frog jump size and with very much lacking of infrastructure. Worst I would say over the past 10-15 years the rural development approach by both the State and Federal Government had changed so much so, that proper infrastructure and economic development are no more in synergy. The infrastructure are there, yet the income growth of the people is not able to take the Malays to be self sustaining. I can say, today State Economic Management should had shifted from Economic and or Income Growth but to ensure the economic and or income growth is able to sustain the rakyat to be able to stand to their own feet in where possible in all of their economic needs. Accordingly, I can see a lots of the past Integrated Rural Development Projects had been abandoned. Politicians, I would say are more keen to implement infrastructure projects instead of income generating projects by reason of quick make. Greed among the Malays' trusted leaders had really becoming their fat leeches.

(9) I dare to say, the Malays be they are Kuching or Coastal origins, they had been and are so loyal to support their leaders to the best position, yet these leaders, I dare to say most of them can't even think or dare to work to their bad sweat to pay back the loyalty of the Malays support. It is a pity, at times of leadership crisis, it was always the Malays that these leaders fall upon for support, yet at time of good days, these very Malays were being neglected to nothing good. Among these leaders, be they in politic, civil services and even in the private sector, they had gain better lives rocking into the sky yet their very people are still left crawling flat to their tummy on the mud. I can't really understand, the very Al Quran that the Malays respected, yet the meaning of The wealth and position that I rest upon you are mere test, and behold the hereafter is always better than the duniah.., they really can't understand as their Ummah management concern. Yes I can agree that things had changed among the Malays, but as I had earlier said, those changes are not to the Malays potentials. The very reason is simple ie the Malays' leaders indeed had not exercise to the potentials of their leadership accountability.

(10) Even in the urban areas, what economic success had the Malays gained or made? How much had they been facilitated to be in business? To me I could say 99 per cents of the Malays are mere consumers. Properties and business ownership among them are very poor. Definitely a lots had been awarded with all sort of Government contracts, but are those really sustainable? Why is there no concerted effort to bring the Malays into the mainstream of business that could support their communities well. Sad to see even within the Malays enclave, the Malays are still not able to project over their best socio-economic standing. Yes I agree, SEDC for instance had some Bumi Entrepreneurship Program, unfortunately to me, SEDC is working in isolation. Indeed almost every agencies are doing their works devoid of the others. Accounting goodness is always being the major concern rather looking at the broader economic considerations. To date I can't see any concerted effort to bring everybody to a pool to work together synergically to do something that is beyond the past. In fact it is saddening to see Governement GLCs had been behaving to the greed of Capitalism without really having the deep long term dunia akhirat sense of accountability over their subjects. The Malays can't be just left on their own. The very people whom they had entrusted to be their leaders must take hard thinking and initiatives to take them to where they should be in tendam with the bigger future socio-economic challenges. The Malays leaders must understand, even Allah didn't leave the Jahilliah Arabs to be on their own. He sent and made Muhammad SAW even to sacrifice his life for the great of the then Arabs as a whole. The Malays and their leaders must understand the spirit of such strategic exemplary that Allah had bestowed in the Islamic history. As Muslim, one should not be hanging to the so called leadership position if one can't contribute well to such institution. The judgement of one's leadership ability and success must not be perceived from the beholders perspective. In the Islamic history, at  least Umar Al Khataab and Umar Abdul Aziz were among the leadership benchmark that Muslims' and or Malays' leaders must be measured upon. Definitely, Muhammd SAW is the best whereby he succeeded in every necessary field of leadership required upon him.

(11) I do pray with Adenan's, the present Chief Minister realization of Allah messages for giving him the second life chance for him to do what he has to do he really could make the Sarawak Malays leaders in all their social strata and especially in politic to really be able to think and sweat for the best of the Ummah. I indeed can't really comprehend that now a day, especially a lots of the Malays civil servant are not able to work hand in hand with their political counter part. In a lots of matters, it seem politic supersede professionalism. There seem to be political distancing among the Malays civil servants. Such politiacl and professionalism clash is not only bad but it is a deviation from the Islamic norms. Islam honors professionalism. Nothing in Islam is ignoring professionalism. To me one must stand to no fear no favor to what is right and what is wrong if one really believe that Allah is the Al Mighty God. I believe, politicians whom are not willing to look at things professionally, and civil servants whom can't stick their head to professionalism, they should never be kept within the Malays leadership institution. These nuts, I would believe are the very people that tarnish the very professionalism of Islam. I hope to see Adenan's best contribution is in moulding a Culture of Professional Islamic Leadership among all strata of the Malays society. I hope to see for an immediate change, Johari to go beyond Satok and Tengah to go deeper beyond Lawas in their leadership exercises. The Malays leaders must adhere to their fullest accountability as caliph of the Ummah, and to leave their duniah wellbeing in the hand of Allah. The Malays leaders must not take their personal interest to supersede over the Ummah accountability. Failing which, I could see, the Sarawak Malays will forever on the trailing position. If such to continue, the Islamic history had clearly shown how the Pharaohs' had neglected their people so much so, even the almighty Pharaohs were banished. I can see so far, indeed the Sarawak Malays are mere in the Menang sorak ajak you you position. Enough is enough, the masses Malays (the masses Malays), their loyalty must be paid off. I hope Adenan will proof I'm wrong. May Allah bless him with great health and Tawfik and Hidayah, In Shaa Allah.

Kuching, Sarawak
17 March, 2016

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