Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I took my family out to the Zoo Negara; our National Zoo, which it isn’t at all but that, is another story. It was a Sunday and it was crowded. Malaysians all out to enjoy a day out with friends and family at one of the cheapest and most enjoyable public facilities in the city of Kuala Lumpur. And what a fine example of Malaysia was there at the Zoo that Sunday. At the ticket lines there were Malaysians of all races queuing in an orderly manner. Smiling. Friendly. Happy. Being a Sunday there were busloads of school children with their chaperoning teachers and parents. All dressed in their crisp, colorful school uniforms. From the expectant looks on their faces and their barely conceal-able enthusiasm I deduced that they were out-of-towners on a visit to the capital city. When we were lining up to enter the turnstiles we were joined by other equally enthused Malaysians. Inside the zoo we walked in the company of tudung clad school children. Indian Malaysians clad in sarees in all the vibrant colors of the rainbow. Whole Chinese communities chattering away in almost all the dialects of the Chinese language. It was like a reenactment of the Tower of Babel but with a healthy dose of friendly diversity. When we stopped for a picnic lunch. We had sandwiches and sausages and salads next to a table where a Malay family was enjoying their picnic lunch of curries and nasi and ayam goreng and petai. When we rode the zoo tram a tudung-ed Malay lady and her little boy offered my 6-year-old daughter, Laura a chocolate cookie which she accepted with a polite “Terima kasih” and a smile of friendship. Totally unprompted. When we left the zoo for home I had this warm, gushy feeling. It’s good being Malaysian and living in this multi-racial, multi-cultural paradise. Sigh. We are SO lucky.

This feeling of almost euphoria lasted for almost an hour. We got home. Showered. Looked at the photos we took at the zoo. The smiles. The colors. The togetherness.

I sat down to read the Sunday newspapers. Then…POOF! Reality kicked in.

There on page 2 of The New Sunday Times the headline, “Najib wants Koh to prove he is CM for all races”. Apparently, the Penang Chief Minister had been criticized for allegedly not doing enough for the Malays. Our Deputy Prime Minister in an apparently display of true Malaysian spirit had come out and openly played a racist card by making the call to a Chief Minister of a state! Strangely enough nobody seems to have identified exactly what “not doing enough” for a particular community means. The message that comes across is just that a Chinese chief minister isn’t doing enough for the Malays in his state. Phwa! Sure goes a long way in promoting racial harmony and tolerance, right? If someone had actually come forward and said that this kampung needed a school or a hospital or a new road or a new bridge or clean running water or something and that the state government should look into it right away and make sure that what is planned is carried out – GREAT! Get it done. But no. It’s always Malays, Chinese, Indians lain-lain. It is always the politicians sowing seeds of misunderstanding, distrust. It is never a case of “Hey we are all in the same coalition government. We try our best to do what is best for ALL Malaysians.” Instead it is the same song and dance. We are fighting for the Malays. You are favoring Chinese. Indians.

Tell us la. What is the problem? In detail. And if it is true that a community is being treated unfairly all the electorate, Malays, Chinese, Indians and lain lain will make sure the CM or whoever is responsible answer for it.

But to me what is actually happening just sounds like “Hey, we are politicians and we are fighting for ourselves to stay in power so that we can milk this country for what it’s worth.” Keranamu Malaysia? KeranaKU, Malaysia seems more appropriate.

I know. Maybe I am just being naive. But I think that on the ground or what is popularly referred to as grass root levels Malaysians are a happy lot. Sharing. Caring. Able to discuss and resolve issues peacefully among themselves. Add keris-waving, shoe leather-loving politicians into the mix…Malays, Chinese, Indians, Lain-lain.


On the same page of The New Sunday Times just above the DPM story is a quote by our Prime Minister which, depending on how you want to take it, provides a ray of hope or is just another pile of bovine manure.

“Keep your promises to people, PM tells reps.” Pak Lah was ordering assemblymen to be committed in serving the people. A commitment which surely must include preserving racial and cultural harmony, right?

Funnily, this order from the PM was read out by his deputy! And in the presence of the Chief Minister of Penang!

But then, these days we rarely take utterances by our Pak Lah seriously anymore. Or do we?


M. Asdil said...

well Mr. Teoh,
referring to your last statement;
i guess it's true...
pak lah is a good leader but he lacks respect from other people...
it's not the case for 'Tun' because people respects him, because they know what he is capable of doing...
i share ur opinion on the subject matter...

MaoBi said...

People who live in glass houses should not drop their pants....

Najib is in a party who's entire basis is racial. Any party that defines it's membership by race is ipso facto racist. You can't have it both ways where you want others to be race blind and help other races when you yourself is a racist.

Even easier, let's ask Najib what the government he is number two of has done for races other than his own.

Anonymous said...

If the CM is not doing enough for the Malays, what does Najib do for others who are in the 'lain-lain' category?

Manny said...

I don't believe its a matter of whether Pak Lah 'lacks respect' from the people. I think they respect him well enough, the problem is that he seem to dwell on keeping a good name. Hence, he takes nor makes bold decissions. Compare him to Tun Mahatir, he had his highs and he had his lows but he mostly will be remembered as the guy who us on the map. It's like the age old saying 'Fortune favors the bold'. If your not willing to risk pissing of other politicians with bold decissions that brings benefits to all races whilst you are the PRIME MINISTER, what good are you? or as the Malays say 'Raja Boneka'.

“Keep your promises to people, PM tells reps.”

Haha, thats almost a cliche' now in bolehland politics.

Anonymous said...

Najib is an ass.
These people are there becos their father and so on were in politics.
Look at all the politicians..they are children of past `leaders'.. just out to make moolah for themselves

Anonymous said...

as a Malay Penangite, I'm just too dissapointed with the current issue. I live in island and I see developement everywhere in equality, and there is no problem at all until some bunch of asshole starts the protest to Cm because THEY GILA KUASA!! face it. all Malay politician wants to veto everything. CM is doing just fine. if you look at other states, comparatively, Penang as small island stands up.

our country is just messed up, from Boss-Tukang Ikut Kata, to Son-in-law, to Close-one-eye, to Bigfoot from Kinabatangan. also the Cucu-of-the-tokoh-cum-menteri-sekolah. these are just a few. there are more perosak bangsa who claims to perjuangkan bangsa. what they do? musnahkan harmoni so they can get more cash and support.

I would love to convert myself from Malay to "colourless" if I ever have the chance. unfortunately i shall not name myself because i fear the goverment as well. silap hari kena masuk ISA. dah la belum habis sekolah lagi. iskh. nama saja multicultural country tapi apa? fikirkan lah.. hanya indah khabar dari rupa

Dean Arif said...


You're right, it's nice and colourful at our level. People smile, respect and tolerate each other (or they try to, but still good la!).

Sad to see that those circus clowns in the oversized kitchen cabinet do not share the rakyat's view. Pulling some strange stunt to garner a brief moment of fame. I reckon that they are magicians more than they are clowns! Like magicians, they divert attention long enough to swindle the daylight out of you, long before you actually realised what was going on. Neat trick, huh?

Don’t point fingers at non-Malay CM la. Can any of the UMNO flers vouch that they are ministers for ALL races. Always talk as if they have a blahdy plonker in their mouth...

adriantai said...

wat else is new la... sometimes, when i wanna read something funny in the papers, i read the (local) politics section.

on one hand, we say we do not want to segregate by race. on another, u have political parties based on race... and they keep talking about nothing but race, race, race... Malay. Chinese. Indian.

can't they stop it and start ro use "FOR MALAYSIA". nothing more.

ah, i can always dream, can't i? love it or hate it, this is still my home... our home... Malaysia. :)

The Unladen Swallow said...

You know, I don't think the races have had any problem with each other, other than the usual spats. It's just the government making it difficult for everybody, for what reason, no one can truly fathom. Maybe they're pushing for eventual deportation.

JT said...

errr....well not trying to play the racist card (considering that most of my very close friends are of different races)...can we do the same and ask a Malay CM to proof that he's the CM for all Races or Pak Lah, show us that you are the PM for all Races!

Mel T said...

If you read the book "Crossroads" by Jim Baker, he provides a clear perspective on why the Malay politicians will always continue to promote racial disharmony and manipulate religion to suit their own selfish ends. It is truly quite disheartening.

mob1900 said...

Glad you and family had a taste of good ol' muhibbah spirit Malaysia on a Sunday morning. This is the strength and spirit of a multi-cultural society which needs to be examplified and exercise, constantly. We don't need no politicians to taint and tear our goodwill to every Malaysian, if possible we don't need these celaka and bodoh MPs at all, afterall 'they' are suppose to serve the people. They will be out of jobs if we live with a little less greed and bigotry towards each other everyday.

Maverick said...

keke.. i love ur kids photo.. :P anyway I hope the government dont screw up thiz country.. man things are getting worst each day.. some more tis kinds of things happenin..

Kenny Ng said...

I'm enjoying to live in multiraces country. I have no problems with other races as I work with Malays and stay with Indians. But I really hope our leaders don't screw up everything. We are just a normal citizen and we manage to have a harmony life, why not the leaders? It's a shame to our country.

Anonymous said...

Wonder why NOTHING is ever said when the Malay CMs are doing NOTHING for the Chines , Indians and lain-lain?????

Cuddly Family said...

To refer to the last comment:
Nothing can be said cos if someone said a similar thing, oh it b/c like "Perkauman! Perkauman!"

or they r allowed to say such things.. but if a non-member of certain party says something similar, HABIS! It's all right to criticise others but in turn you get all het up if someone critises you (with validity)...

Hasnt the whole race card etc etc thing b/c more and more prominent lately? Sigh.. Would love to see just all malaysians equal (at least on paperlah) and then maybe they could actually help themselves, no?

I really do sometimes wonder what society are my kids going to grow up in... oh well, hopefully we can give them a strong foundation and take each day as it comes..

but as others say, on a daily basis, you can see muhibbahness for the most part, everyone enjoy together.. ya know? Like I remember growing up (although I grew up in penang, I dont ever remember the "we malay, u chinese, u indian, never the twain shall meet" thing).. sigh..

Keep on Blogging, Pat, love reading it!

Ah Chong said...

Malaysia is actually a beautiful country with her beautiful multi cultural multi religious people. If you need any assistance, I am sure everyone will be willing to help you out without even enquiring which race are you from. Race has never been a factor when we want to assist our friends but politicians in this country will always want to create racial sentiment among us to be seen as hero or champion. We in Malaysia can say that we have the largest group of goons and idiots in our Parliament. We have only few who really understand and perform in Parliament but the rest is just for clowning around.

Is racial harmony under threat in Malaysia? Yes, the threat comes from the politicians and sadly from the one in power mostly.

the legend said...

As a Malaysian, or someone who has lived in Malaysia long enough, you probably have a funny story or two about our quirky habits and the funny things that happen in daily life.

Unwilling to stand back and watch these gems pass, Perdana Leadership Foundation and MPH Bookstore have taken the initiative to immortalise all these wonderful tales and funny incidents in a book titled 'A Collection of Malaysian Anecdotes', the first ever book of its kind. Now everyone can have a good laugh at ourselves and enjoy our unique brand of humour.

If you are a Malaysian, or have lived in Malaysia, and you have an amusing tale to tell, send it to us now. And, if we like your anecdotes, we'll publish it. Contributors will receive a copy of the book and MPH book vouchers. And who knows, maybe others will be telling your stories to others.

Rules and Regulations

* Open to all Malaysians and foreigners currently living or who have lived in Malaysia. All ages are welcome.
* Maximum length is 2 A4 pages. All entries must be type written using Times Roman, size 12 point, double spacing with 1 inch margin width on both sides.
* PLF, MPH and 95% The Writers Academy reserve the right to select submitted stories. Stories accepted may be edited for content and amusement factor.
* Entries must be accompanied by a release form which can be downloaded from the PLF website:

Deadline for entries is on the 31st October 2006. Download the form here.


* E-mail your entries to: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it or
* You may upload your entry directly to our Server here or
* snail mail them to:

Malaysian Anecdotes,
Perdana Leadership Foundation,
No. 1, Jalan P8H, Precinct 8,
62250 Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan,

Selected entries will be published and a free copy of the book plus MPH book vouchers will be given to the author!

human book said...

List of racial discriminations in Malaysia, practiced by government as well as government agencies. This list is an open secret. Best verified by government itself because it got the statistics.

This list is not in the order of importance, that means the first one on the list is not the most important and the last one on the list does not mean least important.

This list is a common knowledge to a lot of Malaysians, especially those non-malays (Chinese, Ibans, Kadazans, Orang Asli, Tamils, etc) who were being racially discriminated.

Figures in this list are estimates only and please take it as a guide only. Government of Malaysia has the most correct figures. Is government of Malaysia too ashamed to publish their racist acts by publishing racial statistics?

This list cover a period of about 49 years since independence (1957).

List of racial discriminations (Malaysia):

(1) Out of all the 5 major banks, only one bank is multi-racial, the rest are controlled by malays

(2) 99% of Petronas directors are malays

(3) 3% of Petronas employees are Chinese

(4) 99% of 2000 Petronas gasoline stations are owned by malays

(5) 100% all contractors working under Petronas projects must be bumis status

(6) 0% of non-malay staffs is legally required in malay companies. But there must be 30% malay staffs in Chinese companies

(7) 5% of all new intake for government army, nurses, polices, is non-malays

(8) 2% is the present Chinese staff in Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), drop from 40% in 1960

(9) 2% is the percentage of non-malay government servants in Putrajaya. But malays make up 98%

(10) 7% is the percentage of Chinese government servants in the whole government (in 2004), drop from 30% in 1960

(11) 95% of government contracts are given to malays

(12) 100% all business licensees are controlled by malay government e.g. Approved permits, Taxi permits, etc

(13) 80% of the Chinese rice millers in Kedah had to be sold to malay controlled Bernas in 1980s. Otherwise, life is make difficult for Chinese rice millers

(14) 100 big companies set up, owned and managed by Chinese Malaysians were taken over by government, and later managed by malays since 1970s e.g. MISC, UMBC, UTC, etc

(15) At least 10 Chinese owned bus companies (throughout Malaysia, throughout 40 years) had to be sold to MARA or other malay transport companies due to rejection by malay authority to Chinese application for bus routes and rejection for their application for new buses

(16) 2 Chinese taxi drivers were barred from driving in Johor Larkin bus station. There are about 30 taxi drivers and 3 are Chinese in October 2004. Spoiling taxi club properties was the reason given

(17) 0 non-malays are allowed to get shop lots in the new Muar bus station (November 2004)

(18) 8000 billion ringgit is the total amount the government channeled to malay pockets through ASB, ASN, MARA, privatisation of government agencies, Tabung Haji etc, through NEP over 34 years period

(19) 48 Chinese primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(20) 144 Indian primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(21) 2637 malay primary schools built since 1968 - 2000

(22) 2.5% is government budget for Chinese primary schools. Indian schools got only 1%, malay schools got 96.5%

(23) While a Chinese parent with RM1000 salary (monthly) cannot get school-text-book-loan, a malay parent with RM2000 salary is eligible

(24) 10 all public universities vice chancellors are malays

(25) 5% - the government universities lecturers of non-malay origins had been reduced from about 70% in 1965 to only 5% in 2004

(26) Only 5% is given to non-malays for government scholarships over 40 years

(27) 0 Chinese or Indians were sent to Japan and Korea under "Look East Policy"

(28) 128 STPM Chinese top students could not get into the course that they aspired e.g. Medicine (in 2004)

(29) 10% place for non-bumi students for MARA science schools beginning from year 2003, but only 7% are filled. Before that it was 100% malays

(30) 50 cases whereby Chinese and Indian Malaysians, are beaten up in the National Service program in 2003

(31) 25% is Malaysian Chinese population in 2004, drop from 45% in 1957

(32) 7% is the present Malaysian Indians population (2004), a drop from 12% in 1957

(33) 2 million Chinese Malaysians had emigrated to overseas since 40 years ago

(34) 0.5 million Indian Malaysians had emigrated to overseas

(35) 3 million Indonesians had migrated into Malaysia and became Malaysian citizens with bumis status

(36) 600000 are the Chinese and Indian Malaysians with red IC and were rejected repeatedly when applying for citizenship for 40 years. Perhaps 60% of them had already passed away due to old age. This shows racism of how easily Indonesians got their citizenships compare with the Chinese and Indians

(37) 5% - 15% discount for a malay to buy a house, regardless whether the malay is rich or poor

(38) 2% is what Chinese new villages get compare with 98% of what malay villages got for rural development budget

(39) 50 road names (at least) had been changed from Chinese names to other names

(40) 1 Dewan Gan Boon Leong (in Malacca) was altered to other name (e.g. Dewan Serbaguna or sort) when it was being officially used for a few days. Government try to shun Chinese names. This racism happened in around year 2000 or sort

(41) 0 churches/temples were built for each housing estate. But every housing estate got at least one mosque/surau built

(42) 3000 mosques/surau were built in all housing estates throughout Malaysia since 1970. No temples, no churches are required to be built in housing estates

(43) 1 Catholic church in Shah Alam took 20 years to apply to be constructed. But told by malay authority that it must look like a factory and not look like a church. Still not yet approved in 2004

(44) 1 publishing of Bible in Iban language banned (in 2002)

(45) 0 of the government TV stations (RTM1, RTM2, TV3) are directors of non-malay origins

(46) 30 government produced TV dramas and films always showed that the bad guys had Chinese face, and the good guys had malay face. You can check it out since 1970s. Recent years, this tendency becomes less

(47) 10 times, at least, malays (especially Umno) had threatened to massacre the Chinese Malaysians using May 13 since 1969

(48) 20 constituencies won by DAP would not get funds from the government to develop. Or these Chinese majority constituencies would be the last to be developed

(49) 100 constituencies (parliaments and states) had been racistly re-delineated so Chinese voters were diluted that Chinese candidates, particularly DAP candidates lost in election since 1970s

(50) Only 3 out of 12 human rights items are ratified by Malaysia government since 1960

(51) 0 - elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (UN Human Rights) is not ratified by Malaysia government since 1960s

(52) 20 reported cases whereby malay ambulance attendances treated Chinese patients inhumanely, and malay government hospital staffs purposely delay attending to Chinese patients in 2003. Unreported cases may be 200

(53) 50 cases each year whereby Chinese, especially Chinese youths being beaten up by malay youths in public places. We may check at police reports provided the police took the report, otherwise there will be no record

(54) 20 cases every year whereby Chinese drivers who accidentally knocked down malays were seriously assaulted or killed by malays

(55) 12% is what ASB/ASN got per annum while banks fixed deposit is only about 3.5% per annum

There are hundreds more racial discriminations in Malaysia to add to this list of "colossal" racism. It is hope that the victims of racism will write in to expose racism.

Malaysia government should publish statistics showing how much malays had benefited from the "special rights" of malays and at the same time tell the statistics of how much other minority races are being discriminated.

Hence, the responsibility lies in the Malaysia government itself to publish unadulterated statistics of racial discrimination.

If the Malaysia government hides the statistics above, then there must be some evil doings, immoral doings, shameful doings and sinful doings, like the Nazi, going on onto the non-malays of Malaysia.

Civilized nation, unlike evil Nazi, must publish statistics to show its treatment on its minority races. This is what Malaysia must publish……….

We are asking for the publication of the statistics showing how "implementation of special rights of malays" had inflicted colossal racial discrimination onto non-malays.

kiez said...

I once wrote an article for a global Asian online newsletter about multiculturalism in Malaysia, because I truly believe Malaysia is very multicultural. On the surface, anyway. People tolerate and respect, and live together in harmony. But it is true what you said, though, Patrick, that the politicians are the ones causing all the racial problems. It is the politicians that always use racial issues to win votes.

Being a Malaysian Chinese, I have never truly seen the problems we have until I came overseas. It wasn't till then that I realised how bad the discrimination that goes on in Malaysia truly is. The government here never differenciates races - every permanent resident or citizen is given equal treatment. No one race is more privilleged than the next. The Malaysian government is outrightly discriminating against non-Malays/Bumiputra, but doing it in such a way that most people cannot really see it. That way, they keep the Malay votes, and the unsuspecting non-Malays happy.

Things are getting worse; the politicians are getting out of hand. Abdullah is a nice and respectable man, but perhaps too nice to be in this position.


I wonder how people like me in the category of "lain-lain" fare eventhough we are contributors to this country we call home.With all the benefits the Malays(bumis) are getting..yet they still have great difficulties in being successful.Sometimes i wish that the government would spread out these benefits evenly to all Malaysians....then see how this country will rise to such a level previously thought not possible.Just my 2 cents Patrick.

Anonymous said...

The one thing I could never understand is, why the Bumis get 5% discount for all the new housing but not the rest of the races?? It also never stipulate that the 5% is specially for poor Bumis who earn less than RM1,000. So all the rich Bumis can get discount???? So unfair!!!

Anonymous said...

Najib is clearly burning up yet, another racial issue. Since when our CM doesn't do his job for Malays? Probably it's just because he's the only NON-MALAY CM in Malaysia, and Mr. Najib wants him out of the picture. When u talked bout racial equality, look at the statistics posted by Human Book. Again, we're not suppose to question back our Government as it's HAK KEISTIMEWAAN of Malays. Take a good look at the indegenous people, has the HAK KEISTIMEWAAN benefited them? The answer is difinitely no.

Chinese, Indians and lain-lain are suppose to figure out themseives to survive and to earn. BUt not the Malays. Scholarships are still given by racial identity, government contracts are often written UNTUK BUMIPUTERA SAHAJA. And probably the poor ones are considered below poverty line only if u r a Malay. Coz i never seen any direct actions from the government to help the poor from other races.

Open your eyes, see the racial segreration that has been put upon the minorities. No wonder so many Chinese, Indians and Lain-lain are fleeing out to search for a better and fair future outside Boleh-land.

leo said...

Oh well... Another political issue that has got the racial torch burning again... When will the politicians ever learn? By inciting issues like this they can only fish for votes from the Kampung folk... I'm sure city folks won't even bother... I don't read the Malaysian newspapers anymore because of this... There's simply not enough substance... Only stories about people getting robbed, raped, mugged, certain races getting sidelined, etc...

3/4 of the newspapers are dedicated to these stories and only 1/4 to economic news.

Sad but true...

mob1900 said...

The 'List' commented by Human Book above is disturbing but not far-fetched.

Are we being systematicaly 'marginalised'
or just me being paranoid?

afiq said...

Yes, you are naive. It is a bare fact that malays needs ehem, extra encouragement to move. Its because they'd accepted their own attitude, of being able to MOVE only when POKED.

So yes, bearing this in mind, the Penang CM is not POKING around so that's the problem for Malay Politicians who wants to be in power in chinese dominant state.

Maybe they should abolish our status as Malays. I mean it's not that hard. Remove the Y and replace it with an S.


Blueheeler - the dog that sniffs out fishy news said...

Your blog and mine have serious undertones of sarcasm and muted frustration over a system that's supposed to work! Blog on...cyberspace will rein!

idham's directory said...



Cuddly Family said...

Haze.... What is going on there..

hey PT, miss ur posts..

Calvin's Girl said...

Wow, Human Book sure do have a looong list there.... but you know what... It is sooo true. This is so sad. It should not have happened, the "HAK KEISTIMEWAAN of Malays"s agreement back then. Look what it has done to this country.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post !!!

I guess many malays staying in Penang dun feel 'betrayed' at all...only some asshole UMNO bastards with their political agenda try to make something out of nothing!

Gosh...such UMNO leaders will only destroy the multiracial harmony in our country!

Anonymous said...

You shd visit the Zoo more often, Patrick.

Jack said...

well, it seems to be true that "N"ajib will be the last Prime Minister of Malaysia. He seems to be the most brainless minister that the Malaysian ever had. Alway talk without thinking properly the consequences. But, it may not be a totally bad thing for Malaysia...

Anonymous said...

study so much and became head of Syariah in Takaful but thinking still like a kid!
Cannot send greetings to Hindu - not Islamic wor!
Then, don't practise Deepavali Public Holiday lah! Work on that day lah!

Anonymous said...

in school, i'm taught to love my country,my leaders,etc...i am but still a naive youth...after being enlightened by human book's list of statistics, i can't help but feel the urge to move out of this country i was born in...i'm very sad and immensely disappointed to know that the government who's supposed to care for ALL people, regardless of race, is doing this..i could even feel tears pool in my eyes when i think of how our future will look like...i've seriously lost all respect for the so-called government of this country..i'm terribly ashamed of my country's government...