Sabah and Malaya are Different part 5 of 5

It is ironic, the people in Malaya is moving towards the traditional Sabah thinking of individualism whilst some Sabahans are moving towards the way the people in Malaya traditionally thinks and perceived the world.  However, trying to change the mindset of Sabahans from individualism to conformity in this modern and inter-connected World is a waste of time.

In Malaya, a combination of affluent and exposure to Middle Eastern way of life and popular mass media are slowly detaching the individuals from society (mass).  Largely living in the urban areas, they are shedding from the society that binds them to their respective kampongs.

Specifically, more and more educated and working Malays in Malaya are becoming independent minded individuals.  Ideology that requires blind conformity does not appeal to them anymore.  They want to know the reason for their obedience to anything or anyone.  As the result, in the 12th general election was a wake-up call of a general shift in the people’s mindset.

This is especially obvious among the Muslims, there are those that wanted to hold to their traditional way of life, there are those who wanted the best of both worlds and there are those who wanted to embrace modernity.  The split votes are indications of the split in the Malaya Malay psyche.

Malaysia is not Malaysia if there is no multitude of people from diverse background putting their sacrifice and efforts to build this nation.  The Malaya Malays cannot have done it alone.  To compare the Malays from Sabah and the Malays from Malaya is insufficient to explain Malaysia as a nation.

The Chinese

In the context of the Chinese, we cannot simply lump all Chinese as Chinese.  This is because similar to the Malays the Chinese also have different dialects.  A Cantonese is not the same as a Foo Chow or a Hakka or a Hokkien or a Hinam.  To a Malay especially Malaya Malay, a Chinese is a Chinese.  This is another big hole in the Malay understanding of societies in Malaysia.

It is interesting to note, there is many Chinese who take the trouble to study the Malays especially Malaya Malays but we seldom hear any Malay studying the Chinese.  This will create a problem when living together in one country and yet not understanding each other.

Often we hear a Chinese concern over a Malay culture or religious restrictions, yet very little do we hear about the Malays concern over the Chinese customs and belief.  The Chinese New Year is an exception, which everybody is aware.

There are many Chinese dialects in Malaysia; Hokkien and Cantonese are the most in Malaya.  In addition, politically, the Hokkien however plays a more prominent role.  Hokkien and Foo Chows have closer relationship compared to other Chinese dialects because they come from adjacent province in China.

There are not many Foo Chows in Sabah, but there are many in Sarawak especially in Sibu and Kuching.  They have very strong links with Hokkien Chinese in Malaya.


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About sifusiber
A husband & a father who wants his children to have a better future

4 Responses to Sabah and Malaya are Different part 5 of 5

  1. alanlo says:

    chinese = people who from china……

    but chinese r mainly divided into “Han people” n “Non Han People”……….

    the most biggest community “NoN han ” people r mainly belong to “Foo Chow “people…

    according to china research, they r origine from mongol.. they r mongolian ….during Ming Dynasty, the Ming emporer give them status n group them under “Han” community n give them Han surname ….Even till today, Foochow still have their own typical look…..

    In swk, they Foochow r mostly very united among themselves.. they have difficulties playing along with other chinese.. As a result, chinese community mostly treat them as alien ..So r they. Especially when they do business, they r more to them selves…Even till today, they even prefer their own dialect marriage …

    Most of chinese dialect language have its similarity .. except Foochow dialect language ..

    eg. Hokkien and teochew language r origin from MiNan language… But Foochow r using Mitung.. Mitung r the mixture between mongol n han language …No one beside foochow themselves r using Mitung Language ………..

    for more detail, pls refer to webside below.. from wikipedia :





    • sifusiber says:

      Thank you Alan Lo, your response create better understanding of the interplay of influence in Malaysia especially in Sarawak. This may as well explain the reason SUPP failed in Sarawak, perhaps due to the “Foo Chow” influence with the elites in SUPP. This may also explain the failure of MCA in Malaya. I strongly believe that generally the “Foo Chow” are the ones resisting change especially in their outlook to the changing world. They still prefer to hold-on to their traditional beliefs of “Clans vs the World”. They may have some influence today because they have progressed economically, however, their failure to adapt may well be the begining of their own downfall.

  2. utohanang says:

    Sifu, why is there concern about the Malay and the Chinese, Malay is Malay and Chinese is Chinese. Each have their role to play in building the Nation. That is what we have been doing all this while in Sabah. The Malay or bumiputra get the project, the Chinese will be the contractor.

    • sifusiber says:

      utohanang, you are talking from the Sabah and the mass perspective. The most important thing is to see beyond what you are seeing. It is not about the Malays or the Chinese. Its about the elites made up of Malays and Chinese who has been taking the nation for a ride. It is our sweat, but all of it is their money. Both the Malay and Chinese masses are equally the victim of these elites. It is the elites that we should be concentrating on, not the government or the oppositions. They are the vehicle for these elites to operate.

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