Racial Quotas In Malaysia: Grim Warning For America

Over the course of several trips to
the South East Asian country of

I have been struck by how similar

Malaysia`s race relations
are to

—despite the obvious enormous differences.
The official Malaysian policy of dispensing

privileges by race
may even be a warning of what the
future may hold if our
current policies
and demographic trends continue.



60 percent Malay, 25 percent Chinese, and 8

. In the 19th century, the British

that the native Malays did not want to work in

tin mines or on rubber plantations,
so they imported
people who did:

from India. The
British also worried that smart Chinese immigrants would
dominate the country. They therefore deliberately
steered business to Malays and recruited them for
government jobs. They feared—rightly as it turned
out—that Malays would turn ugly if they thought Chinese
were getting too far ahead.
 The British
wanted Malays to keep getting a leg up even

after independence
in 1957, so when they drafted a
constitution for the new country, they included

Article 153
specifically to

"safeguard the
special position of the Malays and natives"
through relatively mild preferences in education,
the civil service and business licenses.

The races rubbed along without too
much friction until 1969. That year,

Chinese political parties
nearly upset the ruling
Malay coalition and held a victory parade through Malay
neighborhoods in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. The Malays didn`t like Chinese
flaunting their power, and

, killing hundreds of Chinese. [Race
War In Malaysia,
, May. 23, 1969]

Violence works. The government
responded with a new, stronger pro-Malay preferences
program called the

New Economic Policy (NEP)
, designed to increase the
Malay share of national wealth. It is also known as the
Bumiputra Program, from a Malay word that means

"son of the


All Malaysians are officially
divided into
, who get preferences, and non-bumiputras,
who don`t.

must be Muslim Malay stock, though they need not be from
. This means an
immigrant from

gets preferences over Indians or Chinese who have been
in Malaysia for
generations. Some of the specifics of the NEP are that
Malays get a 60 percent quota at universities, discounts
on real estate, and a guaranteed 30 percent of all new
issues on the Malaysian stock market. The civil service
became a bumi reserve, companies owned by non-bumis were
barred from government contracts, and it became even
harder for
Indians and Chinese
to get business licenses. The
NEP set aside millions of dollars to pay for

overseas training for Malay students and executives

The Bumiputra Program does not take
class into consideration, so the children of Malay
millionaires get the inside track on boardroom posts,
overseas scholarships, business licenses and plum
government jobs. Minorities don`t like the system, but
there is little they can do in a country that is
majority Malay.

The Chinese are thriving despite
the quotas. They keep quiet about their wealth but work
harder than ever. Are they shut out of universities?
They send their

children to school in Australia
or the

United States
. Can`t join the

civil service
? They get better-paying jobs as
lawyers, accountants, and doctors in private hospitals.
Have to sell 30 percent of the company to
They still keep control, and use their legendary
commercial skills to dominate the wholesale and
import/export trades.  

The Indians get the scraps. Many
had lost their old jobs as
rubber tappers

oil-palm farmers
, as plantations were converted to
housing estates and golf courses for rich Malays and
Chinese. A few

temples have been torn down to make way for
highways, which makes

Indians furious.
But their biggest complaint is the
quota system that keeps them out of universities.

The general sense among Malays is
that this is their country and this is the way they will
run it; Indians and Chinese are lucky just to be
citizens. As the governing Malay party`s Youth
Information Chief,

Azimi Daim,
famously pointed out in 2003:

"In Malaysia,
everybody knows that Malays are the masters of this
land. We rule this country as provided for in the
federal constitution. Anyone who touches upon Malay
affairs or criticizes Malays is
[offending] our sensitivities."
stirs a hornets` nest
By Ioannis
Gatsiounis, Asia
, October 2, 2004]]

Most of the time, Indians and
Chinese don`t make a fuss. But all whom I spoke to
privately said the system was unfair, and they
look down
on Malays as lazy and spoiled. They have
no kind words for Malays who glide into top schools,
cushy government jobs, discount housing, and cut-rate
car loans just because they are bumis. Beneath the

the country is divided by race
, and Chinese and
Indians do not feel emotionally Malaysian.

What does this suggest about the
future of the United States?
Most Americans can hardly imagine preferences for the
majority and—if they even think about it—assume that

racial preferences
will fade away as the


more diverse

they become a minority

They shouldn`t count on it. As Malaysia proves, groups

don`t have to be minorities
to develop a taste for

The crucial factor no one talks
about—either in Malaysia or in
United States
—is IQ.
The average IQ for the Malays and Indians is about 87
while that of the Chinese is around 103. That is why the
Chinese thrive despite the Bumiputra Program but the
Indians don`t.

Preferences for bumis were supposed
to be temporary—just

as in the United States
—to give them just enough of
a boost so they could

compete with the Chinese
. The trouble with
preferences is that they
don`t raise
a group`s average IQ,
and temporary programs become

, blacks and
Hispanics will not lose interest in preferences just
because they

become the majority
. On the contrary, once they have
political power
, I suspect they will not hesitate to
legislate in favor of themselves. Racial preferences may
seem to be on the wane now, but when the
balance of power shifts
they will be back.

him) is the editor of

American Renaissance.  This article, carefully shorn of all references to IQ, was adapted from
a longer version that appears in AmRen`s

current issue
and submitted as an Op-Ed to over 500
newspapers. Not one accepted.