‘Hidup bertuankan tauke Bangla, Rohingya’ was the news headline yesterday in Sinar Harian.
The op-ed article said Bangladeshi and Rohingya market wholesalers are “warga asing [yang] begitu berani mengambil kesempatan”.
Actually Bangla and Rohingya are puak serumpun, as will be explained shortly.
These Bangla-Rohingya tauke are viewed by Sinar to have “menindas petani tempatan” — see below.
Rohingya more successful in business than other Burmese
The business acumen and aggressive trading practice of Rohingya is common knowledge in Myanmar.
In September 2017, no less than Burmese Senior General Min Aung Hlaing “lamented in a speech that the Rohingya had been more successful in business than other ethnic groups”.
General Min Aung Hlaing said the above during his visit to Maungdaw, town in Rakhine bordering Bangladesh, the New York Times reported in a Nov 26 article that year.
He also remarked in the same major speech that “the important thing is to have our people in the region”.
For the general (pix below), “our people” or orang kita included Myanmar’s Kaman ethnic group but excluded Rohingya.
The Kaman ethnic living in Rakhine are Muslim too.
Unlike the Rohingya, Kaman are categorized as one of the ‘national races’, i.e. listed under indigenous Burmese, and have full Myanmar citizenship.
On the other hand, Rohingya as warga asing were not allowed to vote in the Myanmar 2015 and 2020 general elections.
Stressing how necessary it was to have control over Rakhine, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said Myanmar’s national races (which includes Kaman Muslims) must not be pushed aside by the Rohingya foreigners.
He has always considered Rohingya as “illegal immigrants” and “aliens from Bengal”.
A vast majority of the 56.6 million population of Myanmar share his opinion. Burman (from which comes the country name Burma) and Rakhine ethnics together make up 72 percent of the country population.
BELOW: General Min Aung Hlaing explained that ‘Bengali’ means those [whose forefathers] came from Bengal — source: FB notice on his banning
‘Bengali’ a hate word or ‘Rohingya’ a fabricated idea?
Reuters partially quoted some of the senior general’s controversial Facebook statements in their wire despatch three days ago on the coup d’etat.
Note: General Min Aung Hlaing was banned by FB in 2018 and his popular accounts purged.
Nonetheless Reuters could not refrain from adding their own editorial framing that ‘Bengali’ (word the general had used) is a “derogatory term for the Rohingya”.
In doing this, the wire service is merely bolstering the Rohingya false narrative.
A Google search reveals there are some 230–240 million Bengalis in the world today, living predominently in Bangladesh and India across the swathe of territory understood as Bengal.
So why should ‘Bengali’ be considered in any way a derogatory term just because the Rohingya say so?
By the same token, would the liberal media insert a caveat in their news reports that ‘Punjabi’ is also pejorative? What about the equally ‘derogatory terms’ Gujarati, Bihari, Marathi, Kashmiri?
All these words merely indicate its particular ethnic’s place of origin.
The Rohingya are in denial about their mass migration from Bengal. A compliant media too lazy to research British colonial era history are content to play along and insult the ethnicity of 240 million real Bengalis.
General Min Aung Hlaing wrote in his (now disappeared) Facebook:
The usage Rohingya was a word they “fabricated”. Myanmar citizens do not at all accept the usage Rohingya.
Military brass and their army rank-and-file, and the civilian authorities as well as Burmese general public are all agreed that the Rohingya claim to native status is fabricated.
According to historian Jacques Leider, the settled spelling of ‘Rohingya’ – rather than Roewengya or Ruhangya or Rawengya or Royankya or Rohinja or Rowannhya – only came about in 1963.
For political advantage, the Rohingya reconstructed themselves as “not Bengali” only just a few decades ago.
Walk talk like a duck but in denial
Rohingya ideologues stick an invented label on themselves – say ‘ostrich’ – when everyone can see they waddle like a duck and quack like a duck.
But why even pay attention to a terminology dispute whether ‘Rohingya’ or ‘Bengali’ when an ethnic cleansing has been carried out?
One of the elements defining an ethnic is its linguistic grouping. In the matter of their language, Rohingya speak a form of Bengali (see language tree chart above).
Remember — the operative word within the phrase ‘ethnic cleansing’ is the “ethnic” component.
Patriotic Burmese want the Bengali speakers to balik Bengal.
A Burmese PhD think tanker, in his tweet below, expressed this widespread national sentiment.
Like most military, the tatmadaw are big on nationalism.
“The generals are intensely nationalistic and make decisions on the basis of their own and their country’s perceived interests,” commented Andrew Selth of the Lowy Institute two days ago.
General Min Aung Hlaing is one of the most intensely nationalistic and likely believes that the decision by the Aung San Suu Kyi administration to start repatriating Rohingya from Bangladesh is not in Myanmar’s best interests.
‘Rohingya fear another crackdown after Myanmar coup’ — Anadolu Agency, a Turkish media reported in its news headline yesterday.
The fear by Rohingya that the tatmadaw will again crack down is a realistic one.
There is, after all, no one to stop the army from doing whatever they want to do.
From June 2012 until March 2016, Rakhine was under emergency rule following waves of violence. Currently it is the entire country that is under emergency rule.
The military is in charge of the emergency. And General Min Aung Hlaing is in charge of the military.
On 2 Sept 2018, the general wrote in his FB:
“The Bengali problem was a longstanding one which has become an unfinished job despite the efforts of the previous governments to solve it. The government in office is taking great care in solving the problem”.
As the man in control now, General Min Aung Hlaing might wish to finish the job this time around.
BELOW: Aung San Sui Kyi’s political career is ended / President Biden might impose sanctions
There are an estimated 200,000 Rohingya (with UNHCR cards as well as the undocumented) here in Malaysia.
These refugees and illegals cannot be deported given that Myanmar doesn’t want them back, period … unless over General Min Aung Hlaing’s dead body.
More Rohingya will be coming soon in boats. Malaysian liberals will pressure the government to accept the Rohingya boat people.
Our B40 will be pushed further down the economic ladder.
When Malays protest, the NGO activists will condemn Melayu as bangsa tidak berperikemanusiaan, kejam, rasis, sikap benci dan xenofobia, and point to how the Christian charities are lending a helping hand.
BELOW: Pix for illustration purpose only — Rohingya trying to land at Langkawi pretended their vessel was in distress when in fact they had deliberately sunk their boat at sea to force a rescue