Ketuanan Melayu

Ketuanan Melayu (Jawi: كتوانان ملايو ;Malay for Malay supremacy or Malay dominance) is a political concept emphasizing Malay preeminence in present day Malaysia. The Malaitys of Malaysia claimed a special position and special rights owing to their long domicile and the fact that the present Malaysian state itself evolved from a Malay polity. The oldest political institution in Malaysia is the system of Malay rulers of the nine Malay states. British colonial government transformed the system and turned it first into a system of indirect rule, then in 1948, using this culturally based institution, they incorporated the Malay monarchy into the blueprints for the independent Persekutuan Tanah Melayu. The term Tanah Melayu in its name which literally means "Malay homeland", assumes proprietorship of the Malay states. In this way Britain strengthened Malay ethno-nationalism, Malay ethnicity and culture and Malay sovereignty in the new nation-state. Though other cultures would continue to flourish, the identity of the emerging political community was to be shaped by the "historic" political culture of its dominant Malay ethnie. The Chinese and Indian immigrants who form a significant minority in Malaysia, are considered beholden to the Malays for granting them citizenship in return for special privileges as set out in Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia. This quid pro quo arrangement is usually referred to as the Malaysian social contract. The concept of ketuanan Melayu is usually cited by politicians, particularly those from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the most influential political party in Malaysia.

Although the idea itself predates Malaysian independence, the phrase ketuanan Melayu did not come into vogue until the early 2000s decade. Historically, the most vocal political opposition towards the concept has come from non-Malay-based parties, such as the Malaysian People's Movement Party (Gerakan) and Democratic Action Party (DAP); in the 2000s decade, the multiracial Parti Keadilan Rakyat also positioned itself against ketuanan Melayu, advocating instead ketuanan rakyat (supremacy of the people). The idea of Malay supremacy gained attention in the 1940s, when the Malays organized themselves to protest the Malayan Union's establishment, and later fought for independence. During the 1960s, there was a substantial effort challenging ketuanan Melayu led by the People's Action Party (PAP) of Singapore — which was a state in Malaysia from 1963 to 1965 — and the DAP after Singapore's secession. However, the portions of the Constitution related to ketuanan Melayu were "entrenched" after the racial riots of 13 May 1969, which followed an election campaign focused on the issue of non-Malay rights and ketuanan Melayu. This period also saw the rise of "ultras" who advocated a one-party government led by UMNO, and an increased emphasis on the Malays being the "definitive people" of Malaysia — i.e. only a Malay could be a true Malaysian.

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 favouring the Malays, the New Economic Policy (NEP). The National Culture Policy, also introduced in 1970, emphasized an assimilation of the non-Malays into the Malay ethnic group. However, during the 1990s Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad rejected this approach, with his Bangsa Malaysia policy emphasising a Malaysian instead of Malay identity for the state. During the 2000s decade politicians began stressing ketuanan Melayu again, and publicly chastised government ministers who questioned the social contract.

Read more about Ketuanan Melayu:  Malaysian Malay

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Early Malay Nationalism - The Malayan Union
... A limited form of opposition to ketuanan Melayu and UMNO during this period came from the All-Malaya Council of Joint Action (AMCJA) which initially opposed the Malayan Union because of its exclusion of Singapore, lack ... Although the MNP had insisted on ketuanan Melayu as a "National Birthright" of the Malays, PUTERA forged a compromise with the AMCJA to work together towards, among other things, "Equal ... Malaya, directly challenging the concept of ketuanan Melayu ...
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... facto leader of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition, chose to instead reject ketuanan Melayu in favour of "ketuanan rakyat" (people's supremacy) ... what the people want to see," urging instead the adoption of ketuanan rakyat ... Shortly thereafter, Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek insisted that ketuanan Melayu did not imply a master-slave relationship in any sense ...
Early Malay Nationalism - Towards Independence
... democracy, and resolving the impasse on ketuanan Melayu ... the Malays and non-Malays in return for giving up ketuanan Melayu (referred to as the Malays' special position), the Malays would receive assistance from the non-Malays in closing the economic gap ... this indicated that the Chinese had no particular loyalty towards Malaya and justified ketuanan Melayu, heightening similar perceptions caused by the apparent racial dichotomy ...
Ketuanan Melayu - Pre-independence - The Malayan Union
... Limited opposition to ketuanan Melayu and UMNO during this period came from a coalition between the All-Malaya Council of Joint Action (AMCJA) and the Pusat Tenaga Rakyat (PUTERA) ... Although one of PUTERA's constituent organisations had insisted on ketuanan Melayu as a "National Birthright" of the Malays, PUTERA joined the AMCJA ... Malaya amongst the non-Malays seemed to justify ketuanan Melayu — Malay self-rule ...