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Anti-Malay racism: Wikis


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Anti-Malay racism refers to prejudice against ethnic Malays. This is common in nations where ethnic Malays are the minority, such as Singapore and Thailand, but it also occurs in multi-racial nation of Malaysia, where the Malays are the majority.



Southern Thailand and particularly the province of Pattani is the home of the ethnic Malays in Thailand. In the 18th century after the Thais captured the Malay-dominated provinces in the south, the Thai consciously avoided referring to the people as Malays and instead preferring the term Thai Muslim. [1] For the purpose of integration, Malay identity was discouraged by the Thai state.[1] Due to such policy, young Malay fluency in Malay is decreasing. [2] This had led to prejudice against Muslims in general instead of specifically against the Malays.[2]

At present, there are Malay separatists in southern Thailand demanding that the Malay-Muslim dominated provinces are granted independence. Indiscriminate arrest of Malays has fueled distrust and resentment against the Thai authority among the locals.[3]

Thaksin had declared a militant law in southern Thailand. Former Prime Minister Thaksin has been blamed for action that lead to an incident at Tak Bai that led to the death of a number of Malays. [4][5][6]


The Malays are the dominant indigenous group in multi-racial Malaysia. In the May 13 Incident on May 13, 1969, a major racial riot broke out between ethnic Malays and Chinese in Kuala Lumpur that suspended the Malaysian parliament for 22 months. the May 13 Incident became the worst racial riot in Malaysian history. According to police figures, 196 people died [7] and 149 were wounded. 753 cases of arson were logged and 211 vehicles were destroyed or severely damaged. An estimated 6,000 Kuala Lumpur residents — [7] Various other casualty figures have been given, with one thesis from a UC Berkeley academic, as well as Time, putting the total dead at ten times the government figure. It was caused mainly by Chinese who have been used to being insulted by the malays and took it as an opportunity to insult back.[8][9]


Singapore was once a thriving Malay fishing village prior to British colonisation. According to the Malay Annals, a Malay prince from Srivijaya empire called Sang Nila Utama was known to have founded ancient Singapore in 1299.[10] However, the modern city of Singapore stemmed from 1819 when established by Sir Stamford Raffles. Under the British administration, Singapore experienced an influx of immigrants particularly from China and India. Singapore joined the Federation of Malaysia in 16 September 1963, along with the present Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. Since Singapore's separation from Malaysia in 9 August 1965, She became a sovereign, multi-racial republic of which the Chinese community formed the majority. The Malays are not allowed to work in Ministry of Defence and other public service, if they do, they are being underpaid by 50% and the Malays are always be given servant's tasks such as drivers and strongly discouraged to be professionals.

In the 1970s, Mandarin was promoted over other Chinese dialects.[11] SAP Schools were created to provide Mandarin among the Chinese. This resulted in some Malays feeling that they were alienated. The reference to Confucian society by former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew marked a shift in policy of neutral multiculturalism to Chinese-dominated society.[11] Chinese schools began receiving government aids while other schools were neglected.[11]

The former Prime Minister had once sparked a debate on the loyalty of the Malays to Singapore. He stated that the Malays might have conflict when it comes to loyalty.[12] Earlier, former Indonesian President Habibie's alleged that the Singaporean armed force discriminate against the Malays.[13][14] The Singaporean government has been cautious in issue of Malay loyalty. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is a supporter of this policy. [11] For the same reason, the Malays have been nearly absent from armed force scholarship list. [11] Incumbent Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned that it is unlikely for a Malay or an ethnic minority to be elected as Prime Minister soon (as of 2008)Since then, the status of Malays in Singapore has become no better than their counterparts in Malaysia, where ethnic Malays are given special privileges to improve their lives by getting scholarships to further their studies in university so that they can contribute a lot to the Malaysian economy. Thus, this has demonstrated the Singaporean Malays' inability to contribute much to the Singaporean economy, being the bottom rung of the Singaporean society, and on the average, perform poorer academically than the Chinese, Indian and other ethnic communities.[15].


  1. ^ a b Page 42. Jory, Patrick. From "Patani Melayu" to Thai Muslims. ISIM Review. Autumn 2006
  2. ^ a b Page 43. Jory, Patrick. From "Patani Melayu" to Thai Muslims. ISIM Review. Autumn 2006
  3. ^ South arrests need justifying. Bangkok Post. August 3 2007.
  4. ^ Thai Premier Blamed For Muslim Massacre
  5. ^ Outrage over murder of Thai Muslim demonstrators
  6. ^ THAILAND: Thaksin in the Firing Line After Massacre (ArabNews.Com)
  7. ^ a b Hwang, p. 72.
  8. ^ Hwang, p. 88.
  9. ^ "Preparing for a Pogrom". Time. 1969-07-18. p. 3.,9171,901058-3,00.html.  
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b c d e Barr, M. Michael. The Charade of Metritocracy. Far Eastern Economic Review. October 2006.
  12. ^ A question of loyalty: the Malays in Singapore. Retrieved August 4 2007.
  13. ^ Habibie opens fire on Singapore army. Retrieved August 4 2007.
  14. ^ Richardson, Michael. Indonesia President's Remark Touches a Nerve : Singapore Quickly Denies An Assertion of 'Racism'. International Herald Tribune. February 12 1999.
  15. ^

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