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Anti-Malay sentiment refers to negative views and treatment against ethnic Malays in countries such as Thailand and Singapore.
Southern Thailand and particularly the province of Pattani is the home of the ethnic Malays in Thailand. In the 18th century after the Thais captured the Malay-dominated provinces in the south, the Thai consciously avoided referring to the people as Malays and instead preferring the term Thai Muslim. For the purpose of integration, Malay identity was discouraged by the Thai state. Due to such policy, young Malay fluency in Malay is decreasing. This had led to prejudice against Muslims in general instead of specifically against the Malays.
At present, there are Malay separatists in southern Thailand demanding that the Malay-Muslim dominated provinces are granted independence. This has led to killings done by Muslim terrorists. Indiscriminate arrest of Malays has fuelled distrust and resentment against the Thai authority among the locals.
Thaksin had declared a militant law in southern Thailand. Former Prime Minister Thaksin has been blamed for action that lead to an incident at Tak Bai that led to the death of a number of Malays.
Singapore was once a thriving Malay fishing village prior to British colonisation. According to the Malay Annals, a Sumatran prince called Sang Nila Utama was known to have founded ancient Singapore in 1299. However, the modern city of Singapore stemmed from 1819 when established by Sir Stamford Raffles. Under the British administration, Singapore experienced an influx of immigrants particularly from China and India. Singapore joined the Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, along with the present Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. Since Singapore's separation from Malaysia on 9 August 1965, it became a sovereign, multi-racial republic of which the Chinese community formed the majority.
In the 1970s, Mandarin was promoted over other Chinese dialects. SAP Schools were created to provide Mandarin among the Chinese. This resulted in some Malays feeling that they were discriminated. The reference to Confucian society by former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew marked a shift in policy of neutral multiculturalism to Chinese-dominated society. Chinese schools began receiving government aids while other schools were neglected such as Islamic schools.
The former Prime Minister had once sparked a debate on the loyalty of the Malays to Singapore. He stated that the Malays might have conflict when it comes to loyalty. Earlier, former Indonesian President Habibie's alleged that the Singapore Armed Forces discriminate against the Malays. The Singaporean government has been cautious in issue of Malay loyalty. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is a supporter of this policy. For the same reason, the Malays have been nearly absent from armed force scholarship list and top positions in armed forces. Incumbent Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned that it is unlikely for a Malay or an ethnic minority to be elected as Prime Minister soon (as of 2008).
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