Life is strange.
For instance, the Jews would be the last people the Malays would believe. The Malays do not recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel. They call it the illegitimate State of Israel. They don’t call their authority the Government of Israel, but the Zionist Regime. They consider the Jews the cursed nation. Their leader accuses the American Government being the proxy to the Jews, wreaking havoc to the world.
Yet, when some strange idea to their liking is mooted, some Malays are quick to point out that the Jews have said it.
Thus, one anonymous reader comments:
Don’t belittle our own race [meaning Malay]. The outsiders especially the Jews have come up with many theories about our race. Search google "malay land of promise theory." Why do they include Malay Peninsula in that theory? Because the prophecy in their scripture talks about the great race that will come from the promise land towards the end of the world…
I have briefly responded to that comment, and I’m not going to repeat it here. The comment with my response appears in The Jewish and Malay Connection: The Lost Tribe of Israel.
The only thing worth mentioning here is that the alleged “Malay Hypothesis” theorist is not a Jew, but a Mormon, whose name is Ralph Olsen. He doesn’t talk about the Jewish Promised Land, but the tales in the Book of Mormon, in order to prove the veracity and authenticity of that book. This I have covered in Ralph Olsen on Mormon Events: Malay Hypothesis and the Lost Tribes of Israel.
Now, if the Jews are supposed to be the cursed nation, the last to be believed, the Malays should have taken what they say with a large dose of salt. Stranger still is that the Malays are supposed to be the very nation to crush the Jews. Which Jew in his right frame of mind would say such a thing?
The truth is that the Malays and the Jews are poles apart. We don’t need them to point out to our “alleged greatness” to feel good about ourselves.
In many ways, we are better than they are. We are Muslims, they are not. We are polite, they are haughty. We care about others’ feelings, they don’t seem to care about the plight of their Arab neighbors. We are very accommodative by nature, they never stop demanding. We revere our Prophet, even their prophets whom we consider our prophets as well, but they killed many of their prophets.
In other ways, they are better. Their lives are ruled by clockwork. They are disciplined, diligent, resourceful, punctual. During the meeting, they would stick to the subject matter and will not tolerate if people digress too much. Consequently, they become very efficient nation.
We tend to regard time philosophically. It flies, and we fly with it. We approach time as if it does not exist. As if it is just a machine with a “ticking finger” known as clock, something to “watch.” That is why we always come late for meetings, and we often spend seventy percent of our time in meeting discussing something out of topic. Consequently, we become mediocre nation.
In spite of being poles apart in most aspects, however, we share two things in common with them. One is the God-given right, and two is the association of religion with race.
Other than the Jews and the Malays, I know not of any other race so obsessed with the special privilege given by God, or by Providence. This is very much a Malay as it is a Jewish question.
The Malays had come and populated the Malay Peninsula as early as 3,000 years ago. Some even came as early as 6,000 years ago. Being the first civilized inhabitants of the Peninsula, the Malays believe that they have special rights to the land, as if given by God or Providence.
The later immigrants, namely Chinese and Indians, who were brought here by the British to work in the rubber estates and tin mines, circa 100 years ago, are deemed to be unqualified to enjoy such privileges. These special privileges are enshrined in the Constitution. The Chinese and Indians accepted these special privileges outwardly, but inwardly, they always have grudges.
The Jews too have always been obsessed with the Promised Land. They believe the land they now occupy was promised to their forefather, Prophet Abraham, about 4,000 years ago. This was their land before they migrated and lived in Egypt during the time of Prophet Joseph. When they were held bondage by the Egyptian Pharaoh, they longed to come back to their Promised Land. Moses delivered them from Egypt, heading to their Promised Land, but due to their haughty and disbelieving behaviors, they were made to wander in the desert of Sinai Peninsula. It was King David who effectively made them the master of that land, about 3,000 years ago.
Their fortune in the Promised Land was up and down for about 1,000 years later, until the Romans drove them out in 135 AD. They remained a nation without a country for about 2,000 years, until they finally established the State of Israel in 1948, the land they believed promised to them.
Like the Jews, the Malays associate themselves with religion. Historically, being a Jew also means that one is adhering to Judaism. To covert to Judaism means that one has also to become a Jew. Religion and race for the Jews are inseparable. It is for this reason that, although they were eagerly waiting for the new prophet, when he finally showed up, they disbelieved in him. They refused to believe in the Prophet Muhammad because Muhammad, upon him be peace, was an Arab.
The Malays too associate themselves with religion, namely Islam. Constitutionally, a Malay is defined as someone who speaks the language of Malay, lives a Malay culture, and professes an Islamic faith. Technically, even an Arab can be of any faith, but not the Malay. If a Malay apostates, constitutionally he is no longer a Malay. Conversely, if a Chinese or an Indian reverts to Islam, then he is said to have “become Malay.”
This has been their cultural norm. For that reason, the current Malaysian tycoon, Syed Mokhtar al Bukhary, is considered a Malay, although it appears that there is no single “Malay blood” in him. This is because he is a Muslim who speaks the Malay language and lives in a Malay culture, although both his parent are “practically Arabs.”
For this reason, the debate on who the Malay really is has been raging on for as long as one can remember. With the advent of the Internet, this debate heightens. One anonymous reader has cut and pasted an article from an unnamed person on this matter in my The Jewish and Malay Connection: The Lost Tribe of Israel. The cut and paste article is longer than my original entry.
It is not my intent to fall into this debate, for it is beyond the scope of my blog. At most, I would only touch on it in passing. But the point to make is that because of these two similarities that are shared between the Jews and the Malays, namely, (1) the special right given by God or Providence (the special privileges in the case of the Malays and the Promised Land in the case of the Jews), and (2) the association of religion with nation or race, these have become issues of contentions that are vigorously debated and challenged.
In these respects, it seems to me that the Malays have fared better than their Jewish counterpart. Perhaps because of their accommodative nature, these issues have become only national issues in the case of the Malays, but international issues in the case of the Jews. The whole world is condemning the Israeli Jews for what they have done to the Arab Palestinians, but what has been happening to the Malaysian Chinese and Indian hardly receive any murmur from the world community. In fact, the world community largely praises the Malaysian Government for being able to delicately handle the issues.
Whether the Jews are better than Malays or otherwise is a matter of contention. Obviously both have good and bad points. What is certain is that we the Malays do not need to look to the Jews, or any people for that matter, to tell us that we were descended from great ancestors.
Right or wrong, the Malays are already associated with Islam constitutionally. Our current and future greatness would depend on how far we live by it, not by how great our alleged ancestors had been.
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