If Singapore had merged with the Federation of Malaya when British colonial rule ended, there would have been more Chinese than Malays in total (see table below).
The Malays really had to be persuaded to accept so many Chinese suddenly becoming citizens and even then, Singapore was excluded as her entry in 1957 would have been too destabilizing.
The next table shows the putative racial composition of Malaya, Singapore and the Borneo Territories if all five entities had successfully come together to create Malaysia, an idea then in the works.
The census of Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei was taken in 1960.
The co-operation between Umno and MCA obtained for a great number of Chinese their Malayan citizenship.
In 1958 – the year following Independence – altogether 822,567 persons were granted citizenship. This huge and sudden number (13 percent), considering that the total population in Malaya the year before was only 6,278,758 – drastically altered the ethnic demography.
If there had not been enough inter-racial trust brokered by the Alliance parties and particularly Bapa Kemerdekaan Tunku Abdul Rahman who led the delegation to London, Malaya could not have come into being.
The Chinese and Indians in the Federated Malay States at that time were transient labour, much like the Bangladeshi and Burmese workers in our country today.
In 1960, the population of Brunei was 83,877.
Of this figure, 45,135 were Malay, 21,795 were Chinese, 14,068 were non-Malay indigenous peoples and 2,879 were categorized as ‘others’.
At the time the census was taken, Chinese residents in Brunei were slightly less than half the number of Malays. Brunei in 1960 was still under the British. Malays however were subjects of the Brunei Sultan.
Upon gaining independence, Brunei did not give away citizenship as easily to the Chinese.
It is estimated that the ethnic breakdown in Brunei (2004) is Malay 66.3 percent, Chinese 11.2 percent, indigenous 3.4 percent and others 19.1 percent.
Today the Chinese electorate in Malaysia prefer the DAP-PAS combo.
What do you think this evangelist Christian-political Islam pairing will bring us?
Should they make Kelantan more like Penang or make Penang more like Kelantan?
A few months ago, the Kelantan Buddhist Association was told that the architecture of its building in Kota Bharu should incorporate domes — read ‘Kelantan: Islamic designs a must‘ (The Star, 25 May 2012).
Perhaps under a future Pakatan federal government, any building plan for an Islamic Centre in Penang would stand of a better chance of approval if it was to look like this.
The soon-to-be completed complex in Bukit Jalil (artist’s impression, below) reflects the architectural aesthetics of today’s Malaysian Christian. The Pakatan sehati sejiwa pious leaders would do well to show a pluralistic religious leadership by example.