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Old 12-26-2012, 04:15 PM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,064,184 times
Reputation: 143

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
My father is Malaysian and although I've been to Malaysian many times, and have heard of some tensions, it's interesting to hear about things like that that only someone living in Malaysia would really know. When I visit Malaysia I don't really think of things like that too much, everyone seems to be fairly friendly, although I visit as a foreigner. It's kind of sad parents are teaching their parents hatred...but do you think relations between the different 'races' in Malaysia have improved or worsened since the previous generation? Actually last time I was in KL we had a get-together lunch with some of my dad's old school friends, many of whom were Malay, and they were talking about how everyone just got along better back then. This was in Penang though, which I think has always been a bit different to other parts of Malaysia. My grandmother was Peranakan, which I think was a really interesting culture, it's a pity that traditional culture is dying out. They make some delicious food I hope people keep the tradition alive and well. It's one example of how there was indeed harmony and intermingling between Chinese and Malay
Things were really better back then pre-1980s, although I was not born in that era. It is due to the domination of UMNO (the largest party of the coalition, made up of Malays) and the rise of Mahathir to power (the 4th and longest-serving PM) that huge changes began to take place. The Islamic awakening as a result of the 1973 Oil Embargo in the Middle East, the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the 1979 Iranian Revolution all contributed to a dramatic increase in awareness among Malaysian Muslims towards the Islamic struggle in the Islamic world. This was followed by a systematic Islamization of the education, politics, judiciary, and society imposed and upheld by the ruling party. Muslim women started to don headscarves en-masse (which was rare and largely optional pre-80s), Muslim schools and madrasahs grew exponentially, large mosques being built every now and then, Islamic education being made compulsory for all Muslim students starting from elementary level in all national and religious schools, a heightening sense of Malay and Islamic pride, increasing alienation of non-Muslim eateries within the Malay community and a total abomination on alcohol consumption and other "immoral" activities.

In East Malaysia, things are still better by a margin than West Malaysia today since UMNO is not a strong party in the political scene there, despite the ruling state parties being component parties of the same coalition power. You'll find less racial and religious issues in East Malaysia, and open mixing of Muslim and Christian populations are commonplace, something that is extremely rare over here. Many West Malaysians who visit the East have come back commenting about how much they're surprised and shocked at their coexistence and harmony.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:20 PM
 
6,288 posts, read 6,406,314 times
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So I take it, the Chinese controlled the middle of the international trade since the colonial era, and with that, they are the middle men for high finance from the western world.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:34 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,483,001 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyh View Post
Things were really better back then pre-1980s, although I was not born in that era. It is due to the domination of UMNO (the largest party of the coalition, made up of Malays) and the rise of Mahathir to power (the 4th and longest-serving PM) that huge changes began to take place. The Islamic awakening as a result of the 1973 Oil Embargo in the Middle East, the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the 1979 Iranian Revolution all contributed to a dramatic increase in awareness among Malaysian Muslims towards the Islamic struggle in the Islamic world. This was followed by a systematic Islamization of the education, politics, judiciary, and society imposed and upheld by the ruling party. Muslim women started to don headscarves en-masse (which was rare and largely optional pre-80s), Muslim schools and madrasahs grew exponentially, large mosques being built every now and then, Islamic education being made compulsory for all Muslim students starting from elementary level in all national and religious schools, a heightening sense of Malay and Islamic pride, increasing alienation of non-Muslim eateries within the Malay community and a total abomination on alcohol consumption and other "immoral" activities.

In East Malaysia, things are still better by a margin than West Malaysia today since UMNO is not a strong party in the political scene there, despite the ruling state parties being component parties of the same coalition power. You'll find less racial and religious issues in East Malaysia, and open mixing of Muslim and Christian populations are commonplace, something that is extremely rare over here. Many West Malaysians who visit the East have come back commenting about how much they're surprised and shocked at their coexistence and harmony.
I've been to Kuching and yes, everyone there seems to get a long better. Malays or Muslims are not the majority, but the Malays there seem to get a long with others. The native tribal people of Borneo were really friendly too. So you're saying Muslim Malays don't even socialize much with the other groups? I didn't think it was that bad.

Yeah I think it's a good thing that Singapore was 'kicked out' of Malaysia, despite it's drawbacks. At least everyone in Singapore does seem to get along with each other.

As usual politicians drive further wedges between people for their own ends. You see it everywhere.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:49 PM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,064,184 times
Reputation: 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I've been to Kuching and yes, everyone there seems to get a long better. Malays or Muslims are not the majority, but the Malays there seem to get a long with others. The native tribal people of Borneo were really friendly too. So you're saying Muslim Malays don't even socialize much with the other groups? I didn't think it was that bad.

Yeah I think it's a good thing that Singapore was 'kicked out' of Malaysia, despite it's drawbacks. At least everyone in Singapore does seem to get along with each other.

As usual politicians drive further wedges between people for their own ends. You see it everywhere.
They do, but like the Chinese, that is more of a necessity (business, schooling etc) than of a voluntary conduct. And in the end they still stick back to their own community. Much of a West Malaysian phenomenon than of the East.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:54 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,483,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyh View Post
They do, but like the Chinese, that is more of a necessity (business, schooling etc) than of a voluntary conduct. And in the end they still stick back to their own community. Much of a West Malaysian phenomenon than of the East.
Yeah that's more what I meant, voluntary socialisation. Surely, I mean many school-friends of mixed ethnicities would hang out socially? I suppose inter-faith dating is pretty much out as well.

Are there many Malays who aren't that fluent in English? I've heard the level of English has actually dropped in Malaysia.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:04 PM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,064,184 times
Reputation: 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Yeah that's more what I meant, voluntary socialisation. Surely, I mean many school-friends of mixed ethnicities would hang out socially? I suppose inter-faith dating is pretty much out as well.

Are there many Malays who aren't that fluent in English? I've heard the level of English has actually dropped in Malaysia.
Many would prefer to hang out with their own communities. Chinese that are educated at national schools (missionary schools, the so-called English-educated Chinese - despite Malay being the current medium of instruction) often get along better with the Malays than the vernacular-schooled Chinese. That said, races are still largely segregated in everyday life, and communal visits between the races are still quite rare.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:12 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,483,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyh View Post
Many would prefer to hang out with their own communities. Chinese that are educated at national schools (missionary schools, the so-called English-educated Chinese - despite Malay being the current medium of instruction) often get along better with the Malays than the vernacular-schooled Chinese. That said, races are still largely segregated in everyday life, and communal visits between the races are still quite rare.
I think Singapore is the only example of a true Asian multicultural immigrant society. The others seem to have one dominant ethnic group with all others forever considered 'outsiders' no matter how long they've been there. That applies from anywhere from Japan to Indonesia. Sure you have culturally-ethnically diverse countries like India or Laos but they were that way traditionally. Singapore is the only example of an immigrant society with people from all over Asia living in harmony and all equally Singaporean.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:20 PM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,064,184 times
Reputation: 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I think Singapore is the only example of a true Asian multicultural immigrant society. The others seem to have one dominant ethnic group with all others forever considered 'outsiders' no matter how long they've been there. That applies from anywhere from Japan to Indonesia. Sure you have culturally-ethnically diverse countries like India or Laos but they were that way traditionally. Singapore is the only example of an immigrant society with people from all over Asia living in harmony and all equally Singaporean.
Any nation would do good if they get rid of racial and religious politics, and that every race and ethnic group is treated as equals without any preference of one over another. Singapore shines in this aspect in that a common national identity is emphasised through and through over racial consciousness. In Malaysia, it's always race or religion that comes first. And the repeated verbal threats and intimidations against racial and religious minorities have made the latter to hesitate giving their unconditional loyalty and respect to the country.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:26 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,483,001 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyh View Post
Any nation would do good if they get rid of racial and religious politics, and that every race and ethnic group is treated as equals without any preference of one over another. Singapore shines in this aspect in that a common national identity is emphasised through and through over racial consciousness. In Malaysia, it's always race or religion that comes first. And the repeated verbal threats and intimidations against racial and religious minorities have made the latter to hesitate giving their unconditional loyalty and respect to the country.
Yes, it's detracting from the Malaysian identity. The way I see it, the modern state of Malaysia is as much a creation of the Chinese, Indians, Eurasians, Arabs and of couse the Europeans as the native Malays. Sure, the Malays have a longer history in the peninsula (they displaced the native Negritos a long time ago, the 'Orang Asli' which are mostly confined to reserves and villages) and ironically originated in China as well. I mean didn't the Chinese found a lot of cities like KL, Ipoh, Taiping.etc? Merchants from all over the world created the thriving ports of George Town, Melaka and Singapore. If not for their economic contribution Malaysia would probably be much less developed than it is today. It's easy enough to blame them for hogging the GDP, an outsider might think 'that doesn't sound right, it's not equally distributed' but there are historical reasons for it. I don't know the situation, that much though, and the various factors that led to Chinese economic dominance in SE Asian states.
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