“All the Chinese need to do is to finance an Islamic party that supports the evangelists, promotes liberalism and accommodates a Prime Minister who is a sodomite and tells you that Islam tolerates LGBT. Once that happens, the younger generation of Malays may even start doubting the Qu’ran and the values their parents imparted to them. Should it come to that, then, the Malays in Barisan Nasional who’re still trying to cut deals here and there in hopes that they become the next generation of government leaders can find a spot together with their children, sit down and cry like babies”
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
During the early part of the 19th century, the Chinese from a first wave of arrivals became so industrious and hardworking that they quickly became owners of the plantations they worked in. That left the British with little choice but to allow single males from India and Sri Lanka to replace Chinese planters through a de facto form of slavery known as “indentured servitude.” Many who came in were either laborers, sepoys or convicts and brought along with them the Indian caste system. Over the years, some of the Indian males succeeded in bringing their families into Malaya while others married Indians from an earlier wave of arrivals.
Needless to say, the caste system led to an untold number of family feuds that almost always ended with brutality. For instance, a girl from one caste would have risked herself getting butchered were she to have eloped with a boy from another. But the younger generation was emboldened by a new set of values that did not seem to exist in India. The young Indian observed that the caste system was not practiced by the soft spoken and mild mannered Malay who worked in the farm adjacent to the estate. Over the years, the discrimination of one Indian by another due to differences in castes didn’t seem that good an idea after all. This led to the younger generations abandoning some of the core values their elders were willing to guard with their lives.
The caste system lingers on to this very day in India. In Malaysia, however, the practice is almost non-existent, probably because the younger Indians began observing the Malays and realised that it made no sense whatsoever to isolate one Indian from another. If large numbers of Malays could live together in harmony in small kampungs, why couldn’t a handful of Indians in one estate coexist peacefully? Such were the questions that seeped into mainstream Indian culture, that so much so, temples that once disallowed members of certain castes to pray within their confines began to open their doors to all devotees.
That’s cultural assimilation for you, or the process by which a group’s language, attitude and (or) culture comes to resemble that of another. Suffice to say, when two groups of people are separated geographically, they begin to develop certain peculiarities with time and gradually learn to identify themselves with these peculiarities. When these groups meet, they are bound to observe the differences in each other’s peculiarities and will try to accommodate as many of them as they can. In the process, something almost always rubs off, and it’s usually the cultural peculiarities of the majority that rubs on to the minority. In a sense, there is some Malayness in the Indian today as there is in the Chinaman on the street.
But changes are gradual. There was a time when the Chinaman thought waging wars with members of other clans was necessary to showcase the might of his own. Someone needed to be the grand master, and if two clans lived near each other, they needed to fight to decide who was in charge of wealth in the broader territory. That gradually fizzled out as the British entered deals with clan leaders and triad heads. As for the Malays, whenever the clan leaders tried to encroach on their territory, they showed them who was in charge and made it clear that the Malays too had their boundaries.
This led to the widespread Chinese belief that as long as the Malays were united, they would pose restrictions on how far a Chinaman could go. So, apart from scheming with the British to acquire large chunks of unclaimed land around the tin mines, the Chinaman focused on economic domains he knew the Malay had no control of. Still, he did end up familiarising himself with the peradaban Melayu dan Islam to better acquaint himself with the Malays. Go to Hong Kong or China, and see for yourselves how common it is to see people wear shoes inside their homes. You don’t see the Chinaman doing that here now, do you?
It never fails.
When you’re the majority, it is your culture that ultimately rubs on to the minority no matter how hard you try to avoid it. The younger generation always tends to reassess values preserved by the older generation and question the merits to each of them. That automatically opens the door for each generation to learn and improve on many of the value systems it adheres to. When you have a generation of non-Muslims surrounded by a large number of Muslims, the nons will begin to realise that Islam places no emphasis on arbitrary value systems that make no sense whatsoever. In Islam, there is no such thing as doing something because everyone else is doing it. You must be in full control of your own senses and comprehend how the things you do relate to the Supreme.
And because a Malay is necessarily a Muslim, the Islamic value system is reflected in the majority given that the Malays are the majority. As long as the majority remains united, the value system will rub on to the minority with the passage of time without the need for political intervention or what have you. Ideally, all the Malays would have to do to is to go on with their lives without worrying about who is in charge of government. The day will come when their numbers grow so large, they will find Chinamen behaving more and more like them and even those willing to accommodate an Islamic form of governance. It is estimated that by 2050, there would be seven Malay individuals for every Malaysian Chinaman on the street.
But if the seven Malay individuals do not think alike and start professing different value systems, not only will they end up behaving like minorities, the Chinaman will end up rubbing his own value system on to them. Should that happen, then, even if you were to have ten Malay individuals for every Chinaman, you’d end up with “The New Republic of China” in no time at all. All the Chinese need to do is to finance an Islamic party that supports the evangelists, promotes liberalism and accommodates a Prime Minister who is a sodomite and tells you that Islam tolerates LGBT. Once that happens, the younger generation of Malays may even start doubting the Qu’ran and the values their parents imparted to them. Should it come to that, then, the Malays in Barisan Nasional who’re still trying to cut deals here and there in hopes that they become the next generation of government leaders can find a spot together with their children, sit down and cry like babies.