Pribumi supreme council member Rais Yatim sees similarities between Rohingya and the Chinese immigrant influx into Malaysia in the 1920s.
The British during their period of colonial rule drastically changed the demography of Burma and Malaya by importing foreign workers who later decided not to return to their country of origin.
RAISYATIM (@DrRaisYatim) May 01, 2020
Rais Yatim cites the “1920s” era – see his tweet above – because it was the decade when the Malays were beginning to panic looking at the tsunami of Chinese immigrants flooding Tanah Melayu.
In fact, the Malays were so panicked that in 1928, the British in order to placate them enacted the Immigration Restriction Ordinance to curb the inflow of Chinese.
In the year 1920, the net migration of Chinese into Malaya was 57,694. In that year, 126,077 Chinese newly came to Malaya whereas 68,383 Chinese who were already here left Malaya to return to China. Thus a net migration figure of 57,694 is obtained after subtracting 68,383 from 126,077.
Below are the substantial net migration numbers of Chinese to Malaya for the rest of the 1920s.
- 1920 — 57,694
- 1921 — 92,057
- 1922 — 36,017
- 1923 — 80,898
- 1924 — 93,681
- 1925 — 136,772
- 1926 — 228,285
- 1927 — 204,065
- 1928 — 146,346
- 1929 — 153,200
(The figures above are compiled by statistician Prof. Saw Swee Hock and can be found in his book The Population of Peninsular Malaysia.)
Tanah Melayu became one-third Chinese by 1930
Let’s put things into perspective. The British had conducted a census of the Malay peninsula in the year 1931 and found its total population to be 3.79 million. Of these, 34 percent were Chinese.
In the mere ten years spanning 1920 to 1929, the net migration of Chinese to Malaya was 1.23 million (1,229,015). Meaning a quarter of the Tanah Melayu population now consisted of newly arrived Chinese.
The Malays had been living in a predominantly monoracial Tanah Melayu before. The population of the peninsula by the turn of the decade (1930) was less than four million but in just the previous ten years, more than a million Chinese pendatang from Tongsan suddenly popped up in their midst!
Out of the blue, the Malays found their society had been diversified … and this “diversity” imposed without any consent or acquiescence of the existing natives. The Burmese too had a same traumatic experience imposed on them through the Bengali Muslims.
Fast forward a hundred years to 2020 and Rais Yatim is warning – “Kita sama-samalah belajar dari sejarah” – about history repeating itself.
DAP two faced and forked tongued
Conservatives with pro-establishment views are clear with regard to their principled stance on the Rohingya, refer to collection of ‘Thanks but no’ statements below. DAP on the other hand is neither principled and nor do they possess any committed ideological stand.
DAP politicians will simply say one thing to their usual receptive audience and quite the opposite thing to another (belonging to different a race and religion) thus resulting in mixed signals on the Rohingya.
Does DAP want them to stay or to go? The evangelical party’s split personality even has Deputy Federal Territories Minister Edmund Santhara confused as to duplicitous DAP’s real belief and intent.
Last week (Apr 16), the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the Royal Malaysian Navy foiled a bid by people smugglers to land “Rohingya-are-human-too” on our shores. TLDM ship KD Lekiu escorted the Rohingya boat away from our waters.
Some Malaysians supported this action by the authorities while others condemned it.
TEAM A: No, we can’t take anymore in
Supporting the government to turn away the Rohingya are the following authority figures, among others:
• “The government does not recognise their status as refugees. [They’re] illegal immigrants who are holders of the UNHCR card. — Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin (Apr 30)
• “Akhir-akhir ini terlalu banyak berita-berita melalui media sosial, video dan sebagainya yang dikeluarkan yang menimbulkan kemarahan rakyat kepada mereka.” — Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Apr 27)
• “We have far exceeded our capacity to host refugees.” — Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan (Apr 19)
• “Situasi pelarian Rohingya sekarang adalah berlainan berbanding dahulu. Bot-bot pelarian ini bukan berasal dari Myanmar dan ianya bukan kerana pertempuran yang berlaku sekarang. Bot-bot pelarian pada ketika ini berasal dari kem pelarian Cox Bazar di negara Bangladesh.” — Najib Razak (Apr 27)
• “MCA does not agree that the government should continue to accept Rohingya migrants.” — MCA spokesman Mike Chong (Apr 28)
• “As all efforts are being exercised to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, we must temporary deny all entry of refugees.” — MCA vice president Dr Tee Ching Seng (Apr 27)
• ”We can’t take in any more refugees” — Sin Chew editorial (Apr 27)
• “When it comes to the Rohingya, my heart was never bleeding.” — Malaysiakini columnist-retired navy commander Thayaparan (Apr 29)
TEAM B: Masuk, masuk lah … we welcome you
Opposing the government decision to turn away the “Rohingya-but-their-blood-is-red-too” are the following virtue signalers, among others:
• Human rights advocates
• “Inhumane to turn away Rohingya refugees” — Mahathir Mohamad (Apr 29)
• Marina Mahathir retweet(er) storm because The Daughter apparently lacks an ability to express on Twitter her own original words
• “It is we who should be apologising to them.” — 2009 US International Women of Courage Award winner Ambiga Sreenevasan (Apr 27)
• Various young wannabe bourgeoisie culture warriors