Over the course of several trips to the South East Asian country of Malaysia I have been struck by how similar Malaysia`s race relations are to America`s—despite the obvious enormous differences. The official Malaysian policy of dispensing privileges by race may even be a warning of what the future may hold if our current policies and demographic trends continue.
The races rubbed along without too
much friction until 1969. That year,
Chinese political parties nearly upset the ruling
Malay coalition and held a victory parade through Malay
neighborhoods in the capital city,
Violence works. The government responded with a new, stronger pro-Malay preferences program called the New Economic Policy (NEP), designed to increase the Malay share of national wealth. It is also known as the Bumiputra Program, from a Malay word that means "son of the soil" or "native."
All Malaysians are officially
bumiputras, who get preferences, and non-bumiputras,
must be Muslim Malay stock, though they need not be from
The Bumiputra Program does not take class into consideration, so the children of Malay millionaires get the inside track on boardroom posts, overseas scholarships, business licenses and plum government jobs. Minorities don`t like the system, but there is little they can do in a country that is majority Malay.
The Chinese are thriving despite the quotas. They keep quiet about their wealth but work harder than ever. Are they shut out of universities? They send their children to school in Australia or the United States. Can`t join the civil service? They get better-paying jobs as lawyers, accountants, and doctors in private hospitals. Have to sell 30 percent of the company to bumiputras? They still keep control, and use their legendary commercial skills to dominate the wholesale and import/export trades.
The Indians get the scraps. Many had lost their old jobs as rubber tappers or oil-palm farmers, as plantations were converted to housing estates and golf courses for rich Malays and Chinese. A few Hindu temples have been torn down to make way for highways, which makes Indians furious. But their biggest complaint is the quota system that keeps them out of universities.
The general sense among Malays is that this is their country and this is the way they will run it; Indians and Chinese are lucky just to be citizens. As the governing Malay party`s Youth Information Chief, Azimi Daim, famously pointed out in 2003:
Most of the time, Indians and Chinese don`t make a fuss. But all whom I spoke to privately said the system was unfair, and they look down on Malays as lazy and spoiled. They have no kind words for Malays who glide into top schools, cushy government jobs, discount housing, and cut-rate car loans just because they are bumis. Beneath the surface, the country is divided by race, and Chinese and Indians do not feel emotionally Malaysian.
What does this suggest about the
future of the
They shouldn`t count on it. As
The crucial factor no one talks
Preferences for bumis were supposed to be temporary—just as in the United States—to give them just enough of a boost so they could compete with the Chinese. The trouble with preferences is that they don`t raise a group`s average IQ, and temporary programs become permanent.
Jared Taylor (email him) is the editor of American Renaissance. This article, carefully shorn of all references to IQ, was adapted from a longer version that appears in AmRen`s current issue and submitted as an Op-Ed to over 500 newspapers. Not one accepted.