Institutional Racism and Religious freedom in
Institutional racism is the process by which people from ethnic
minorities are systematically discriminated against by a range of public and private bodies. If the result or outcome of established laws, customs or practices is racially discriminatory, then institutional racism can be said to have occurred.
(Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice and Director of Criminological studies in the
In this paper we postulate that
religious extreme state on the following foundation;
a) The Federal Constitution basically establishes 2 classes of citizens, vide
Article 153, the root of the racist system.
b) The State sanctions racist and religious extreme laws and policies
c) The State controls the Government Administration through one racial
and religious group
d) The State channels most funds for economic/education/social
development programs and licenses, permits etc., to one race
e) The State controls Religious freedom to the disadvantage of non-
Muslims, imposes of Muslim religious laws on non- Muslims and extends
the jurisdiction of the Syaria Courts onto non-Muslims.
f) The State sponsors violence and threats of violence both directly and
indirectly (outsourced) on the citizens to create fear among the nonMalay
g) The State sanctions draconian, punitive laws and gives blank cheques to
the Police to make arbitrary arrests of dissenters.
h) The State explicitly and implicitly declares that the Malays are the
masters (Malay Supremacy) and the sons of soil.
Ethnic composition of
11.8%, Indians 7.7%, others 1.2%. Religions: Islam (60.4%), Buddhism (19.2%),
Christianity (9.1%), Hinduism (6.3%), other/none (5.0%). -
In the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, a Malay is one who is defined as one
who is a Muslim, speaks the Malay language and habitually practices Malay
culture, customs and traditions.
In reality as long as a person is a Muslim he can be a Malay, even an illegal
immigrant and a foreigner who is a Muslim can be Malay.
Non-Muslims represent approximately 40 % of the population – approximately
12.5 million people and include Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and nature
worshipping communities. The Indian population and other non-Malay and
native races are clearly a minority community.
The treatment received by the minorities in
private bodies clearly establishes that Institutional racism is occurring in
country based on a subtle, pervasive and increasingly aggressive form of
The conflict that lies just below the artificial calm, is so well concealed, that
someone with not more than a cursory knowledge
believe that there exists anything significant otherwise . The current discourse
holds that even what is termed racism here is no more than an outcome of a
failing and incompetent bureaucracy. Everything else is just affirmative action.
The various state policies have been creatively crafted and carved into a jigsaw
of a reinforcing racist system.The state system operates with the protection of
official secrecy and a tight hold on the various apparatus of the state that
whosoever dares to cross the line runs the risk of detention and malicious
prosecution. This effectively renders the phenomenon of racism in
opaque and gives racism in
The Malay supremacy or Malay dominance narrative holds that the Malay
people are the tuan (masters) of
who form a significant minority are beholden to them for granting them
citizenship. In return for which the special position of the Malays as set out
in Article 153 of the Malaysian Constitution is freely interpreted to mean special
privileges – no holds barred. The Article was initially intended to be reviewed 15
years after independence (1957), however it has become a permanent feature.
In subsequent amendments to the Constitutions, Article 153 was entrenched
further which requires the consent of the Malay Rulers before it could be
Article 153 is a deep-rooted racist provision in the Constitution which sanctions
implementation of all racist policies in
minority non-Malay/Muslim population. Questioning any matter, rights, status,
privilege etc of Article 153 is considered a challenge to the Malay Supremacy,
insulting the Royal Institution and Islam. It is also deemed a threat to National
Security, an offence under the Internal Security Act which gives powers of
arrest for unlimited period without trial and under the Sedition Act which
provides for imprisonment between 3-5 years.
The current Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers have on previous occasions
openly threatened non-Malays with violence (blood) should this provision be
The rise of Malay "ultras " who advocated a one-party government led by
UMNO, and an increased emphasis on the Malays being the "definitive people"
apparent after the race riots in 1969.
The riots caused a major change in the government's approach to racial issues,
and led to the introduction of an aggressive affirmative action policy strongly
favoring the Malays, the New Economic Policy (NEP).
The Malaysian New Economic Policy (NEP or DEB for Dasar Ekonomi
Baru in Malay), was a determined and divisive socio-economic
restructuring affirmative action program launched by the Malaysian government
in 1971 under the then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak. In practice it was a
social engineering project to enrich a particular race – the Malay Muslims.
Though the NEP ended in 1990, it effectively continued as the National
Development Policy in 1991. The NEP has reduced non-Malays and natives of
citizens through the ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacist) policies. The nonMalay/Muslim
minority will never be able to call themselves Malaysians in
equality and would remain a permanently colonized people.
The entire range of government administrative policies, annual budgets,
economic programs, education, job opportunities in public sector, grant of land,
business opportunities, permits or licenses for any business or trade are tilted
to favor Malay Muslims and are meant to segregate just like the apartheid
maintain the UMNO led political party hegemony.
This paper establishes the facts and joins the dots and hopes to clarify the
reality of this institutionalized racism and religious extremism. The phenomenon
will be established by laying out the experience of the minorities. In this paper
we try to give as many facts and as much data as are available to us to
corroborate our claims. It continues to be an uphill battle getting necessary and
reliable statistics from the Government as it does not put out such statistics as
this is part of their scheme to keep under wraps the numerical representation of
the uncomfortable facts.
We will segment the various experience as follows:
1. Treatment in State Policies
2. Treatment by the Malaysian Police
3. Treatment in and by the State Administration
4. Treatment by the Judicial System
5. Treatment by the Media
6. Treatment in the Education system
1. Treatment in Government Policies
The New Economic Policy (NEP) of the Malaysian Government from the 1970s
had the stated objective of eradicating poverty irrespective of race and of
eliminating identification of race with occupation. However in reality NEP and its
subsequent economic programs have seen the channeling of hundreds of
billions (the exact figure remains a state secret) to enrich and uplift the Malay
Article 153 of the Malaysian Federal Constitution states that:
153. (1) It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the
Malaysian King) to safeguard the special position of the Malays and
natives of any of the States of Sabah and
interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this
The phrase special position has been interpreted to mean special privileges
and the entire government policy frame has been hijacked in favor of the
Malays and the innate racist tendency of the Constitution was given a fillip by
Dr.Mahathir from the 1980s. This hijacking has been made possible by the
muzzling of any and all dissenting views by the various draconian laws of which
the Internal Security Act of 1960 is the most notorious. The Sedition Act (1969),
the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, and the Official Secrets Act
1972 are some of the other acts.
The above two factors – the NEP driven by the distorted interpretation of Article
153 and the muzzling of dissension of Government policy has in effect made
NEP the policy vehicle for the institutionalization of the racism. The NEP
accelerated the formation of the largely Malay Administration which for its part
then worked hand in glove with the dominant Malay political party – UMNO and
the other key institutions and consolidated the institutionalization in the ways
described above to become what it has become.
Outsource of UMNO policy implementation to NGO’s and the Para-Military
Since the Democratic uprising of Indians led by Hindraf in 2007 and the
subsequent loss of its 2/3 Parliamentary mandate in the March 2008 elections,
UMNO has outsourced its overt racist agenda to NGO’s in particular PERKASA.
This is an NGO led by a Pro UMNO Parliamentarian who promotes the Malay
supremacy agenda and has the explicit support of top UMNO leadership
including the former Prime Ministers, ex Army officials and ex Inspector General
PERKASA works intimately with a more militant group known as Pekida
And another underworld
perpetuate racial hatred and cause fear among the non-Malays.
3 LINE is believed to have existed from after the 1969 racial riots and its
members pledge their loyalty to the serving UMNO Prime Minister. It is said
they have sworn to protect the Malay UMNO hegemony at any cost and
believed to be armed and work closely with the Police and Armed forces. Many
Malaysians know the existence of 3 LINE but dare not speak about this
underworld movement for the obvious reasons.
3 LINE members are mainly former and current members of the Royal Police
force and Armed forces. They move freely and are not subjected to Law and
often their threat of violence is given tacit approval by the government.
We have reliable information that the 3 LINE para-military members were
involved in the Kg Medan Racial attack in 2001 where hundreds of ethnic
Indians were attacked unprovoked and 5 killed.
All 3 groups are sanctioned to perpetuate racial / religious hatred and fear
towards the Non-Malays.
Government budgetary allocations
Government budgetary allocations have largely been slanted towards Malay
Muslims in the following areas as a matter of unashamed policy. Various arms
of the Government act in support:
1. All Government projects are primarily given to Malay Muslim individuals
and organizations. All government procurement requires involvement of
or outright Malay equity participation in the supplying organization.
2. All Government contractors have to be licensed by the Finance Ministry
before being given any Government projects. The Finance ministry
ensures that only Malay contractors are licensed such.
3. Malays have been promoted in the Civil service to assure that the
highest policy-making positions will be filled by Malays regardless of
objective performance standards. Almost all Secretaries-General of
ministries and Directors-General of professional departments are Malays.
The same is true of their deputies. And it cannot escape notice that
virtually all senior officials in public universities, from school deans
upwards to Chancellors are Malays.
4. Thus, the Malay to non-Malay recruitment ratio of 4:1 for the elite
Malayan civil service (MCS) was instituted, which ensured that “at
least 80 per cent of the service will be filled by Malays, far above
their proportion in the total population”
5. As of June 2005, more than 85% of the Civil Servants were Malay
This was an increase of close to 25% from 1971.
Malay Chinese Indian Others
1971 60.80% 20.20% 17.40% 1.60%
Jun-05 77.04% 9.37% 5.12% 8.47%
6. Development programs such as Entrepreneur, Technoprenuer
development programs, Land development Programs, Small and
Medium Industry development Programs, Financial Aid programs,
Womb to Tomb business development programs are almost
entirely for the Malays.
The HRF full report to Washington is in the net. Check it out.english.cpiasia.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2272:hindraf-report-to-washington-institutional-racism-in-malaysia&catid=78:Human%20Rights
Then maybe some brave soul can stand before UMNO Assembly to ask the bangsat leaders to explain this report of underground thugs and racism practice in the party. No wonder MCA and MIC wet their pants when UMNO leaders stand beside them.