I am a Muslim,
In that order of precedent and priority.
If a gun is put to my temple and I am ordered to renounce my Bumiputera status, I will gladly oblige, as I prefer to have my brain in one place rather than for it to be splattered all over.
If afterwards, the command wants me to give up my Malayness, I will also oblige without complaint, being mindful of keeping my brain intact to live another day.
Giving up being a Malay or a Bumiputera is no big deal.
As a Bumiputera, I won’t belong any longer to that privilege class of Malaysian where quotas are reserved, land is preserved and housing allocations are observed.
As a Malay, I won’t be able to eat rice with sambal belacan (hot chili with prawn paste) using my hand, clad in a sarong (loose ankle-length cloth worn on the waist) while watching a Drama Minggu Ini (Malay feature film) on TV. I will certainly miss the joy of using Bahasa Melayu, that most exquisite of languages where the word with its shades and nuances can be used in multifarious modes depending on the context and objective of the speaker.
But if the holder of the gun persists and insists that I renounce my Muslimness, I will recite the Shahadah (solemn oath taken by Muslims attesting to Allah the Almighty, and Muhammad, peace be upon him,as prophet) and play quickly the history of my life from the recesses of memory in time before he pulls the trigger: for to renounce Islam I shall not, as it is my raison de etre, my reason for being, without which I am nothing.
- from The Millennium Malay by D. Ruse
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