Tuesday, 29 April 2008

What "Ketuanan Melayu" means to Pak Lah

The phrase "Ketuanan Melayu" (Malay Supremacy) does not mean Umno or the Malays are out to dominate other groups.
The Prime Miniter Datuk Abdullah Badawi said Malay supremacy meant that the Malays, as the indigenous people in Malaysia, needed to strengthen themselves to ensure they were successful and developed.

“If they are not successful and developed, then they are not tuan (masters), therefore they will be coolies. I am sure we do not want to become coolies who do not play any role in development because we are weak and not able.

“So when we talk about that (Malay supremacy), we mean we must be successful in many fields. It is never about ruling over others, or forcing our power upon them,” he told reporters after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting last night.

Abdullah, who is also Umno president, was asked about Malay supremacy being weakened due to Barisan Nasional’s losses in the general election and because the Malays were split between Umno, PKR and PAS.

He added that there were still matters related to the Malays that needed to be further improved and enhanced, although their successes were evident.

“We are not going to be a race that dominates others. We want to be a party that represents the Malays and that is ready to co-operate for the future of Malays and the people, as Malays will also succeed when all Malaysians are successful.

“That is Malay supremacy and I hope people will understand it,” he said.

On Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s apology for wielding the keris (Malay dagger) at the party’s annual assembly that had upset non-Malays in the country, Abdullah said it was a brave act by the Youth chief.

“He wanted to put the issue to rest. I must say it is a brave move because he knows that many Malays might get angry with him.

“At least by his action, he has also made non-Malays understand about the function and position of the keris in Malay society. It would also no longer cause others to be frightened or worried.”

He said that Hishammuddin also wanted to clear the misunderstanding with the other component parties.

“We must acknowledge that we are friends in Barisan. This is Umno’s assurance to the other component parties,” he said.

Source: The Star


novice101 said...

“So when we talk about that (Malay supremacy), we mean we must be successful in many fields. It is never about ruling over others, or forcing our power upon them" “We are not going to be a race that dominates others."

So said the PM.. THat's right, Pak Lah, tha's is exactly what the non-Malays want all along. Just turn it into the Malaysian reality for us. That's all we ask for!

Anonymous said...

This is what Malay supremacy means as defined by wikipedia.


"Ketuanan Melayu (Malay for Malay supremacy or Malay dominance[1]) is the racialist belief that the Malay people are the "tuan" (masters) of Malaysia.

The Malaysian Chinese and Indian-Malaysians who form a significant minority in Malaysia, are considered beholden to the Malays for granting them citizenship in return for special privileges as set out in Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia.

This quid pro quo arrangement is usually referred to as the Malaysian social contract.

The concept of ketuanan Melayu is usually referenced by politicians, particularly those from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the most influential political party in Malaysia.

Michelle said...


What Pak Lah is saying feels slightly like what Dr M wrote in "The Malay Dilemma" so many years back. In his book, he mentioned about how the Malays as the definitive people in Malaysia need to excel in more areas than just pertanian and in rural areas. I'm guessing that this is what Pak Lah is also trying to say.

In a way, it's not bad. Just, I don't think UMNO is doing it very well anymore.

anak malaysia said...

I take my hats off to Anwar Ibrahim for rejecting the notion of Ketuanan Melayu and replacing it with Ketuanan Rakyat.

It take guts to say it out loud.

It is indeed a move in the right direction in our efforts to build a truly Malaysian Nation.

a layman said...

Thank you Pak Lah for trying to explain your understanding of what "Ketuanan Melayu" is.

But I still dont get it. :(