Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald surveys the situation in "tolerant," "progressive" Malaysia:
Malaysia is, quite incorrectly I'm afraid, always adduced as an example of a progressive, forward-looking, prosperous Muslim state. In fact its prosperity would be considerably diminished but for its Chinese and Hindu population. All Malays are required to be counted as Muslims, and all Muslims benefit from a disguised jizyah tax on non-Muslims which is called the "Bumiputra" or "Sons of the Soil" system. Most Westerners are unacquainted with the "Bumiputra." But anyone living in Malaysia who is unaware of the "Bumiputra" system has not yet sunk beneath the surface of Malaysian life. Although the word means "sons of the soil," it is not the indigenous Malaysian tribes that benefit from the "Bumiputra" policy, but Malay Muslims alone.
According to this "Bumiputra" idea, all economic undertakings, all examples of entrepreneurial flair, must have Muslim Malays as their full partners. Two Chinese who wish to open, for example, a computer consulting company, or an architectural firm, are required to take on a Muslim Malay (but not a Hindu, nor another Chinese) as a full partner, with an equal financial stake -- even though he need not contribute a thing. This is simply a way to ensure that the Muslims can continue to live on the backs of non-Muslims, which is part of the traditional status of dhimmi, including the payment of the jizya (and kharaj, or land-tax).
The real "Sons of the Soil" -- the real indigenous tribes of Malaysia -- in fact are almost entirely Christian, where they are not pagan. These tribes of course, benefit not at all from the Bumiputra system.
Some indication of the nature of Muslim dreams in Malaysia can be gauged from the speech of Mahathir Mohammed, the former "moderate" president of the country. In his notorious address several years ago to assembled heads of Muslim states, he seemed to be advocating "reform" when he called for the harnessing of science and technology -- not in order to investigate the structure of DNA, or the Eight-Fold Path, or De Sitter space, or how to preserve biodiversity in both Wilsonian (Woodrow and E.O.) senses. No, no, what he had in mind, and what he called for, was a Muslim "reform" that would permit Muslim countries to catch up with the West almost entirely in one area and one area alone -- weapons technology. For that he was wildly applauded. This tells us a lot about him, and about the country which he ran, as does the Bumiputra system.
If Malaysia, that supposedly "advanced" and "tolerant" Muslim state, brimful of Western computer companies having their components made or put together there, imposes a disguised tax on non-Muslims, and if the best it can do by way of "moderate" Muslim is Mohammad Matathir, what does that tell us about the state of this “advancement” and “tolerance”?
For Malaysia -- Muslim-ruled Malaysia -- also displays contempt for the free exercise of the individual conscience. In Islam, once a Muslim, you are seldom allowed out. You are akin to a soldier in the Army of Islam. Changing your faith, or abandoning it, is equivalent to deserting from that army. And that is why, when it comes to Muslims and apostasy -- All Dare Call It Treason. So don't try to become a non-Muslim if you are born into Islam; keep it to yourself. And if you are a famous non-Muslim, such as the famous mountaineer M. Moorthy, a Hindu, your relatives may discover that unbeknownst to themm, the state will after your death claim that you are a Muslim and insist on giving you a Muslim buerial. And this posthumous "islamization" will take place despite the protests of friends and family, possibly the result either of your fame (which must be claimed for Islam) or your property (to be inherited now by that relative who did convert to Islam and who apparently swears up and down that just before his death, so did the prominent relative in question.
Malaysia is well-endowed with natural resources, and it would be hard to be poor with such resources. Still, resource-poor but largely Infdiel Singapore has run economic rings around Malaysia ever since they bloodily parted ways. And all those manufacturing jobs which made Malaysia a center for Western companies -- assembly-lines for computers, that sort of thing -- will likely move China-wards, where labor costs are lower, and workers more skilled. China -- Infidel China -- offers a much better place for those Western businessmen who are currently in Malaysia, but may find that they no longer wish to fund, however indirectly, the jihad being waged worldwide by Muslim economies and Muslim peoples. Meanwhile, the real talent will move to Singapore, which has no natural resources but has a talented and motivated citizenry that keeps careful tabs, through a whole series of legal measures, on the spread of Islam in the country.
It is also our choice, the choice of the Infidels, whether to invest in Malaysia. There is nothing like Muslim violence to discourage investment, tourism, trade, as the Arab states are finding out. Other than oil, there is no major economic activity with them, and what there is will be severely curtailed, including that easy money-maker, mass tourism. Sorry, Malaysia, for a while we indulged you. But unless you end the Bumiputra system, unless you cut your ties to the Arabs and especially the Saudis, we're afraid the business of Infidels more and more will have to go elsewhere. Nothing personal; it's just that our executives feel a bit uneasy in your country. All that kidnapping, and those bloody videos, and so on. All of that may hasten the day when it becomes time for non-Arab Muslims in Malaysia and elsewhere, to reconsider the Arab cultural and linguistic imperialism, an Arab imperialism about which the apostates (such as Anwar Shaikh) have often written, and a problem that resonates in Kurdish and Berber hearts and minds, for they have had to endure that imperialism directly from the Arabs, and not from a distance, as do the Muslims of East Asia. And there are, here and there, signs that some Malaysians who have traveled to Arab lands, and especially to the oil states, did not feel an immediate oneness with these arrogant Arab fellow members of the umma al-islamiyya, and in fact, were distinctly uneasy at what they saw, especially in Saudi Arabia. And that unease could lead to a greater consciousness of Islam as the vehicle for forcible, or voluntary, arabization, that it always was. And an independent Kurdistan, of course, would do much to raise the consciousness of non-Arab Muslims about this matter of Arab supremasist ideology within Islam, and such a raising (raise that mental roofbeam high, carpenters!) can only increase the desire of at least the most morally aware non-Arab Muslims to distinguish themselves from from the Arabs.
Meanwhile, Badawi follows Mahathir, and Malaysians keep thinking that their economy shows what can be done by a Muslim country, not what can be done by a Muslim-ruled country that is half-populated by energetic non-Muslims, who work not only for themselves, but for the Muslim half of the population. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, keep on tapping those rubber-trees, and supplying those spices. They will last, long after the computer companies have packed up and moved to China or to India. And remember to keep supplying that special wood for what trade remains in those Penang lawyers that S. J. Perelman was so fond of mentioning. That should keep your economy afloat.