what the hell....

Neighbors house is getting renovated.
Its like living on a different freaking planet.
The Noise.
The Vibrations.
The Dirt.

Cant even have a decent sleep-in.



Posted by Raja Petra

Wednesday, 05 March 2008

BY Sheikh Moinudeen Chisti Syed Abdul Kadir

Kurma is an excellent Indian Muslim dish. The diference between a
kurma and a curry is in the chilli.

A curry is reddish because it uses dried red chillies and also dried
chilli powder. A kurma does not use dried red chillies or dry chilli
powder. Instead a kurma is cooked with fresh green chillies. The taste
and the colour are therefore different. Both are excellent methods for
cooking poultry, mutton, beef, duck and even fish.

Kimma is of course the Kongres Indian Muslim Malaysia, which is the
'mamak' version of the Kongres India Malaysia or Malaysian Indian
Congress or MIC which itself is a namesake of the Congress Party of
India. The MIC was founded by Mr John Thivy of Ipoh in the 1940s as
the Malaysian chapter of Nehru's Congress Party of India.

It is really ignorant of the KIMMA members to claim that they are
Malays when their party is still named after the Congress Party of India.
This is a case of extremely serious mamak confusion.

An Indian Muslim can be anyone of Indian ancestry who is a Muslim.
Tamils, Keralas, Punjabis, Sindhis, Mahrattas, Hydrabadis etc are all
Indian Muslims. But in Malaysia a large majority of Indian Muslims are
Tamil speaking. Hence the term Indian Muslim is generally applied to
the Tamil speaking Indian Muslims. In Malaysia, Indian Muslims are also
known as mamaks, DKK (darah keturunan keling), Kelings and Jawi
Peranakan. The last one Jawi Peranakan is a strange misnomer. There is
even a recent book written about the Jawi Peranakan which actually
talks about the Indian Muslims.

In contemporary Malaysia Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhari, Zainuddin
Mydin, Siti Nurhaliza binti "Thaarudeen" , Justice Haidar Mohd Noor,
Ahmad Nawab, Akbar Nawab, P Ramlee, Man Bhai, Tan Sri Elyas Omar, Tan
Sri Ali Abul Hassan are all Indian Muslims or descended from Indian
Muslims. Malaysia's first Speaker of Parliament Tan Sri CM Yusuf was
a mamak. So was the permanent Chairman of UMNO Tan Sri Sulaiman "Ninam"
Shah. 'Ninam' is actually truncated Tamil for 'Naina Mohamed'. Former
Sabah Chief Minister Dato Harris Salleh and present Chief Minister
Musa Aman are all mamaks. They are not Pushtuns, Pakistanis or Yemenis.

Among our Prime Ministers Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the son of an
Indian Muslim. Abdullah Badawi has mamak blood from his father's side.
Toh Puan Sharifah Radziah Syed Alwi Barakbah, the wife of our first PM
Tunku Abdul Rahman, had mamak ancestry. The Tunku himself was of mixed
Thai and mamak parentage. Ex DPM Dato Sri Anwar Ibrahim's father is a
mamak. The intellectuals Kassim Ahmad and Farish Noor have Indian
Muslim fathers while the late Tan Sri Muhammad Noordin Sopiee had a mamak
grandfather. Munir Majid is a Tamil speaking mamak and Tengku Adnan
Tengku Mansor is a mamak too.

Here it is pertinent to note the "Syed" and "Sheikh" name. Among
Indian Muslims the name Syed or Sheikh is common, its no big deal. The
"Shah" and "Khan" are also very common mamak names. Other 'Malay'
names like 'Chik', 'Tamby Chik' and 'Keling' are definitely of mamak

The name 'Shah' is not common among the Malays but strangely enough it
is very common among the Malay sultans, for example Sultan Azlan Shah
and Raja Nazrin Shah. Shah is NOT an Arabic name. It originates from
Persia and comes to Malaysia from India through the Indian Muslim
influence. This is just more indication of the mamak ancestry of our
Malay rulers.

But among kampong Malays the name Syed and Sheikh are supposed to
indicate Arab ancestry, the name Syed being associated with 'keturunan
nabi' or lineage from the Prophet. To the kampong Malays these names
are a really big deal. This is the furthest thing from the truth. Another
common mamak name is 'Maricar'. Actually it is 'Marikiyaar' . This has
evolved into 'Merican'. Hence the thousands of Malays who bear the
'Merican' name today are also of mamak ancestry. They call themselves
Jawi Peranakan. They are actually mamak.

Many smart Indian Muslims realized very early on this Malay liking for
Arabic names and Arab ancestry. So they started passing themselves
off, (or did not object if they were referred to) as Arabs, usually of
Yemeni descent. In Malaysia too many Syeds and Sheikhs from among the
today are actually recycled mamaks. One good example is Tan Sri Syed
Mokhtar Al Bukhari. Among the Malay elite Tan Sri Syed Mukhtar Bukhari
passes of as being of Yemeni descent. His family actually comes from
India. The former mayor of KL Tan Sri Elyas Omar is also of Tamil
mamak origins from Penang.

Among the Malays it is also 'ok' if a mamak is from Pakistani descent.
Perhaps Pakistan is closer to Bollywood. So some clever mamaks claim
to be from Pakistan. The former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh and
present Chief Minister Musa Aman are said to be 'of Pakistan origins'
but in actual fact they are of Indian mamak ancestry, and usually
Tamil speaking.

Mamaks come in all colours and complexions from the dark skinned to
the light skinned, green eyed and brown eyed types. A visit to the Masjid
Kapitan Keling in Pitt Street in Penang or Masjid India in Kuala
Lumpur on a Friday will witness all varieties of mamak.

The Indian Muslims in Malaysia today can be classified as follows :

1. Those mamaks who have inter married with Malays for generations
and have actually become Malays. You can only know their mamak
ancestry by their mamak sounding names like Merican, Shah, Syed, Sheikh
etc, by
their 'Indian' appearances - prominent nose, rounder eyes etc.

2. Those mamaks who have not inter married with Malays but who
have assimilated closely into the Malay culture. They can only speak Malay
and have cut off almost all their links with India. These would
include thousands of mamaks in Penang, Kedah, Melaka and other parts of the

country. Only their DNA remains Indian. But practically, for all
intents and purposes they are Malay.

3. Those mamaks who are still very much Tamil and who can only
speak pasar Malay. They may not have links with India but they watch Tamil
movies and do not read the Malay papers or know much about the Malays.
Despite being born in Malaysia they still would not know a 'kuih
talam' from an 'otak-otak'. Many KIMMA members fall in this category. That
why they still call themselves Kongres Indian Muslim Malaysia after
the Indian Congress Party of Panditji Jawaharlal Nehru.

4. Those mamaks who are still very much Tamil and who cannot even
speak pasar Malay despite being born in Malaysia. They will not know
'nasi lemak' from a hole in the ground. They will have strong family
ties to India. They watch Tamil movies and know more about Tamil Nadu
politics than Malaysia politics. They read Tamil Nesan and Malaysian
Nanban religiously everyday to find out what is happening in Tamil
Nadu and India. Again many KIMMA members also fall into this category.

Before 1970 the last two classes of Indian Muslims above (no.3 & 4)
were usually overtly prejudiced against the Malays. Before 1970 many of
them were not even citizens of the country. Their slang term for Malays was

'valayan-katti' . This is a term invented by Tamil estate workers but
which became widely used by most Tamils including Indian Muslims to
describe Malays.

A 'valayan' means wire. 'Katti' means to tie something. So
'valayan-katti means 'a person who ties a wire'. What does this mean?
In the early days of the rubber industry, the British tried to get the
Malays to tap the rubber trees. However the native Malays had problems
tapping the rubber tree in the proper manner and ended up injuring the
tree, reducing the output of rubber. The British had better luck
getting the trees properly tapped with the Tamils from India. Malays were
delegated the simpler job of using wire (valayan) to tie (katti) the
little latex cups to the rubber tree. Hence the name 'valayan-katti'

Another Tamil term used for Malays is 'naattu kaaran' or 'naattan'
which means 'native'.

Before 1970 the type 3 and 4 mamaks above and everyone else did not
see much in the Malays. But post 1970 and the New Economic Policy the
mamaks realized that they suddenly depended on the Malay for everything,
especially the ever precious 'Entry Permit' to get Permanent Resident
status in Malaysia. Until then few mamaks got married in Malaysia.
They always went back to India to get married. After 1970 and the NEP, the
trend disappeared in a hurry. The Malays refused to give Entry Permits
for mamak brides and grooms from India. All of a sudden mamaks
realized that they were short of wives and husbands. Hence the rate of
marriage between mamaks and Malays increased tremendously after 1970.
After 38 years of the NEP, the mamaks are even more assimilated now
through marriage than ever before. Today there is rarely a mamak
family which does not have a Malay son or daughter in law.

Post 1970, the mamaks realized that real political power and with it
economic largesse had shifted to the Malays. But many mamaks included
in class 1 and 2 above had no problem with this shift in power because
often they were the ones holding high office. For example the first
Speaker of Parliament CM Yusuf, a mamak, was his own power in his day.
It was only the class 3 and 4 mamaks described above who were (and
still are) slow in assimilating into becoming Malaysians. The KIMMA
represents many of these people.

Hence the present scramble among them to be recognized as bumiputras,
to get Malay classification in the Birth Certificate, BIN in the IC etc.

But it is a fact that the Indian Muslims are heavily intermarried with
Malays. This trend started over 600 years ago and continues until
today. They and their offspring have played major roles in the history of
this country. Sang Nila Utama, Parameswara, Tun Ali, Hang Kasthuri, Hang
Tuah, Mani Purindan, Tun Teja, Abdullah Munshi and ALL the Malay
Sultans are descended from Indian Muslims. The Perlis Royal family is
certainly of mamak/Thai mix.

It is also true beyond any single doubt that from their earliest
history here, the mamaks have had extreme affection which the Indian
have had for the Malays throughout history. This could be attributed
to the similarities in religion but there are also other Muslims in the
country (including from India) like Pakistanis, Punjabi Muslims,
Patans and also others like the Chinese Muslims.

Although the Indian Muslims are generally friendly with all races
there is not as much intermarriage between Indian Muslims and other Muslims

compared to the heavy intermixing and intermarriages between Indian
Muslims and the Malays.

And it is an established fact (evidenced by all the names mentioned
above) that throughout history the Indian Muslims have always stepped
forward to defend the rights of the Malays. In the process many of the
Indian Muslims have lost their identity almost completely to the
Malays. Who are the descendants of the Tamil educated Munshi Abdullah
No one knows. A DNA test will reveal Indian DNA among all our Malay
rulers but which Sultan can or wants to retrace his Indian ancestry? These
are the mamaks who assimilated into the Malay community from generations

Fast forward to today : in UMNO there are thousands of mamaks
fighting for Malay rights. In PAS there are mamaks fighting for Islam (aka
Malay) rights. PAS stalwart Hanipa Mydin is a pure mamak while Deputy MB of

Kelantan Dato Husam Musa may have mamak blood. In the old Keadilan
'brother' Abdul Rahman Othman, another mamak tulen, became party
secretary general and then quit later - to join PAS. In the Civil
Service and in the Melayu korporat sector there are thousands of
mamaks helping the NEP 'social engineering' come true.

In Penang pure Malays are a rarity. As late as the 80s, they could
only be found in Sungai Ara, Balik Pulau and other places where there were
no roads. In all other places in Penang, mamak blood is almost a
certainty. Hence words like 'chacha' and 'nana' are a part of Penang Malay.
Kedah and Melaka the mamak 'penetration' of the Malay populace is much
more earlier than in Penang. Which means the mamaks in Kedah and
Melaka have diluted their DNA into the Malay population from much earlier
(from Portugese, Dutch and British times).

In short mamaks are a permanent feature of the Malay 'make up'. It is
the karma of the mamaks that they have become kurma in Malaysia.


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New addition....

Well, lately there was an immigrant, that managed to wiggle its way into our house and somehow we got attached to it. It goes by many names: Tiger, Capsule and Ketat(LOL).

After doing much research on the Internet..haha yea on the Internet..., my housemates and i came to a conclusion that it's about 3 months+ old. We are students turned cat experts.

Then recently, while having a drink at this mamak shop, we saw a larger version of our kitten, and it had similar patterns and same colour. I dont know why but somehow I thought this cat was the mother, Shakir and Bob went along with this idea of mine.

It followed us home (maybe it can smell the kitten on Shakir as he was previously cleaning up after the kitten after it did its business..hahaha). When we reached home, errrr it wasnt exactly a happy reunion, as the cat and our kitten started to hiss at each other. So yeah, this wasnt the mom. LOL!!!

Memory Lane

Wow..I really kinda like Facebook at the moment. Only reason being is that I can finally keep in touch with my friends back in NZ.

Sigh.....New Zealand......i really wanna go back there and probably never come back. Malaysia is just....err.....i shall leave it as "messy".

I was really happy in New Zealand, even though I went there for High School, it didnt feel like high school at all, more like a vacation to me. Coming from Malaysia, NZ is like a total breath of fresh air in every way possible.

Still kinda new to Facebook, with all the extra features and applications and games and what not.

Next: Find more friends!


Mary J....

"If you're gonna dance with Mary J, get ready to get your toes stepped on" - Eric Foreman, That 70's Show.

"Even counterfeiters try to follow a good example" - Comic Section, New Strait Times.

Just for now......2008

Have to start blogging again....

Favorite Youtube Vid of the New Year for me. Cant seem to get enough of it. :)


Random update of life....

My German Chick, also known as my 1969 VW Beetle is sick. On the highway the engine started smoking...so i got scared and stoppped. Was stuck on the highway in the rain for 2 hours. Dad eventually came wqith I was already staring at the "Ayer Keroh 2km" sign when the car died. As you read, it is undergoing an engine transplant (too much Grey's Anatomy). Lowering it frm a 1.6L to a 1.2L but there will be some nice modifications, twin cam and electronic fuel injection....i think thats what the dude said haha...

Back at beloved house in Bkt Beruang...total freedom, no one to answer but the phone, thats even if i am awake.

While Beetle is in the workshop, I am back using old trustee VW Kombi. More comfortable, feels like a bus hehe compared to a small Beetle, but somewhat still nice to drive...