Friday, 4 March 2011

Gan Ping Sieu comment on Dr. Mahathir's Tanah Melayu remark drew a comment from the Grand Old Man himself

MCA's Gan Ping Sieu has been quite in the news lately and he has made some quite interesting statements on current events besides labelling some people who he disagrees with  quite flowery adjectives:

MCA VP wants all prayer volumes regulated

MCA Veep Gan Ping Sieu: Govt should impose strict controls on the gaming industry – A social impact study on the gaming industry must be conducted immediately

People who express unproductive remarks are enemies of the state-MCA Veep on ongoing Valentine’s Day controversy

Though Gan's statements may come across as quite controversial he has so far escaped the radar  until he came up with a statement on Dr. Mahathir's Tanah Melayu remarks:

MCA Vice President Gan Ping Sieu’s statement response to Tun Dr M

On February 4, 2011, in Statements & Commentaries
Tanah Melayu was a geographical name for Peninsular Malaysia in its historical context. No reason to argue otherwise, just like the independence of this country was fought by all ethnic communities’ leaders.
History cannot be rewritten. Any overzealous reading into history to suit one’s own pride and prejudice is an affront to intellectual honesty.
Similarly, 1 Malaysia must necessary be read within the instrument of our federal constitution. The inclusiveness and mutual respect enunciated in one malaysia are the key spirit of our federal constitution.
No one country in the world is identical, there are also countries in the world using more than one language as official language. Such argument leads us nowhere.
We should preserve and value the social order that our forefathers fought hard to build. Our nationality is Malaysian , and Malaysians that I have met love Malaysia.
But when a foreigner asks me whether I am a Chinese, I will say yes, as I am an ethnic Chinese. Just like if a Malay is asked whether he is a Javanese, Sumantran or Bugis, it doesn’t make him any less Malaysian.
I very much regret reading Tun Mahathir’s remarks on Tanah Melayu.
As a senior stateman, the rakyat expects Tun to be a fatherly figure whose stature and remarks should be more unifying and constructive.
Any selective and unproductive remarks only serve to divide the people.
YB Senator Gan Ping Sieu
MCA Vice President
One does not make a press statement criticising former PM Dr. Mahathir without expecting a scathing comment from the grand old man in return which I have reproduced in full (without permission) for my record, we practise free speech here don't we:


1. Was I rewriting history when I said that Peninsular Malaysia is historically Semenanjung Tanah Melayu? If Mr Gan Ping Sieu 
(MCA Vice President) cares to read the history of this peninsular, he would know that officially the Malayan Union was replaced by Persekutuan Tanah Melayu. The English name "Federation of Malaya" was not official. I ought to know because I lived through this period.

2. But when the federation was enlarged to include Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak, the Malays, led by the Tunku agreed to the name "Malaysia" for the enlarged federation. Historically therefore the Malays agreed to the renaming of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu. But historically the peninsular was Tanah Melayu, made up of Malay States ruled by their rulers, the Malay Sultans. All agreements with the British were made by the Malay Sultans of the Malay States of the Peninsular. Malaya or Malaysia never entered into agreements with the British simply because they did not exist as sovereign states.

3. These are the facts of history. I was speaking about the origins of Malaysia. Can we say the origin of Malaysia was Malaysia. Historically there was no Malaysia.

4. I talked about this in response to certain people who claim that the Malays are as much immigrants as the Chinese and Indians.

5. Some Malays are obviously descended from people who came to the Malay Peninsular from the Indonesian islands, India and the Arabian Peninsular.

6. Having come here they were assimilated after they identified themselves completely with the Malays by adopting the Malay language, their customs and traditions and by being Muslims.

7. This is a common phenomenon. In America, Australia, Latin America, the later immigrants accepted the languages of their adopted country as their mother tongue as well as the culture.

8. After doing this they no longer think of themselves as being of their original country. They are Americans, Australians and Argentinians period. We don't hear them claiming to be German Americans, Portuguese Australians or Italian Argentinians, even though they or their ancestors came from these countries.

9. Malays are Malays and it is mischievous to suggest that when asked about their race they would say they are Bugis or Javanese. It is only if they are asked where their ancestors came from that they would say Celebes or Java. Otherwise they are just Malays.

10. If you ask me I would reply that I am a Malay. I would not say I am a Malay or Malaysian of ethnic Indian origin. My mother tongue and home language is Malay, my culture and tradition is Malay and I am a Muslim. The constitution defines a Malay as a person who habitually speaks Malay, practices Malay custom and tradition and is a Muslim.

11. However I am told that IC cards in Singapore ignore Malays and state that the person is Bugis or Javanese. The intention is clear; to kill the Malay identity and create the impression that they are foreign immigrants.

12. Malays are caught in a dilemma. When challenged by the opposition on any racial issue, they are unable to respond because if they do then they would be accused of being racist even by members of the Barisan Nasional. When they do not reply then UMNO in particular would lose Malay support for not defending them. This will lead to UMNO being rejected by them. The Chinese have openly declared that they will not support Barisan Nasional. (read here)

13. Without Malay support and deprived of Chinese support UMNO would lose. Barisan Nasional would also lose.

14. Preventing Malays from defending themselves is not much different from supporting the opposition. When I rebut the anti-Malay racism of the opposition I am only trying to ensure that at least the Malays would support Barisan Nasional. I am no racist. Those who support racist statements by the opposition are the real racists.

15. For almost 52 years the Alliance and Barisan Nasional coalitions had worked well together. The prosperity that we enjoy during those years is the result of inter-racial cooperation through the Barisan Nasional.

16. In multiracial Malaysia no one can have everything that they consider they are entitled to - neither the Malays, nor the Chinese nor the Indians nor the different tribal groups in Sabah and Sarawak. The moment anyone demands that he be given everything that he thinks he is entitled to then there can be no inter-racial cooperation. Without inter-racial cooperation this country would go to the dogs.

17. We have read the fable of the thief who shouted "thief"! The racists are the same. They shout racist at others to distract from their own racism

I have learned a few things tonite from Dr. Mahathir, I hope Gan and those like minded has also. Anyway it would be interesting if the opinionated Gan has a comment in return. Not expecting anything though, I think Gan has have had an earful on Tanah Melayu from Dr. Mahathir already.

Certainly MCA's political strength and for that matter Gerakan in the BN now  is thru' the support of the Malays who supports BN thru' UMNO and of course the unquestioned willingness of the UMNO leadership to share power with their BN component parties. This I think is  is the real political landscape since the tsunami of March 2008 when the Chinese abandoned the MCA and BN in droves.

1 comment:

fantastic4 said...

How can Tun Dr. Mahathir say this which is not true at all? "11. However I am told that IC cards in Singapore ignore Malays and state that the person is Bugis or Javanese. The intention is clear; to kill the Malay identity and create the impression that they are foreign immigrants."