04 May, 2008

Malay groups counter with list of demands

What do MCA president Ong Ka Ting, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang, MIC’s Samy Vellu and Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism have in common? Quite a lot, it seems.

Their post Election 2008 statements on the need for the government to protect the rights of non-Malays to worship freely and to get more representation in the civil service and judiciary has upset a powerful coalition of 200 Malay groups and non-governmental organisations.

These groups cobbled together under the banner of the Majlis Muafakat Melayu Malaysia say that if the non-Malay/Muslim groups have their way, the political power of the Malays will become an illusion and the special privileges of the Malays will be dismantled one by one.

Their agitation on the ground will just add another element of uncertainty to a country which has been able to transform itself from an agrarian economy to one of the top trading nations in the world on the back of political stability.

"MIC and MCA are openly asking for many things and the non-Malay NGOs are trying to take advantage," he told Mingguan Malaysia after the meeting, noting that the apology by Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein for his keris act was an example of Malays wilting to pressure from non-Malays.

MIC, MCA, Gerakan and PPP blamed their heavy defeats on March 8 on several reasons including the arrogance of Umno politicians and their submissive approach to politics here. Since then, their leaders have openly championed the interests of Indian and Chinese communities, with Ong saying in Parliament that non-Muslims should not be subjected to Syariah laws. Some political watchers have celebrated this political awakening saying that it would lead to a more just and democratic Malaysia.

But the Malay intelligentsia has been watching these developments with growing anxiety and anger. Datuk Aziz Deraman, the former head of Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka, noted that there should not be any compromise in issues related to Malay rights. "Malaysia is not an immigrant nation like the United States. Therefore the rights of its original occupants cannot be questioned."

In this environment of uncertainty, the Malay groups passed a slew of resolutions for the government to consider. These included:

• Challenging any amendment to the Constitution and judicial system aimed at weakening the sovereignty and position of the Malays.

• Demanding tight control on the building of places of worship for other religions according to size of the community and the location.

• Rejecting any move to bring multilingualism in schools.

• Rejecting the use of English in all tertiary institutions.

• Demanding that Mathematics and Science be taught in Malay.

• Rejecting the notion of multiculturalism.

Malay groups which took part in the meeting on Saturday also made a pitch for the institution of the Malay Rulers to be strengthened. Rosdi Amir, the deputy president of GPMS, noted that only the intervention of the ruler in Perak ensured that a Malay was picked as the menteri besar.

"Currently, any change to the country’s Constitution will still become law after 60 days without the consent of the Malay Rulers. If the state constitution also can be amended like that, maybe in the future the Malay Rulers will not be able to intervene in the appointment of the menteri besar like what was done in Perak," he said.

Quite clearly, it will be difficult for Abdullah to ignore all the demands and wishes of this influential constituency. For that matter, even Parti Islam SeMalaysia (Pas) will have to consider the input from this group – a situation which could cause some tension with the DAP in Pakatan Rakyat.


Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting threw off the shackles when delivering the motion of thanks on the royal address in Parliament.

The MCA president said that non-Muslims should not be subjected to any form of syariah laws. Also non-Muslims who convert to Islam after marriage should be allowed to renounce the religion after the marriage has ended.

Religious issues and the fear that non-Muslims were increasingly being subjected to Syariah laws has been a thorny issue among Hindus, Christians and Buddhists.

The inability of the Abdullah administration to resolve this issue to the satisfaction of the non-Muslim community was one of the reasons why many religious groups urged their congregations to support the Opposition in Election 2008.

MCA, Gerakan and the MIC bore the brunt of the anger from the non-Muslim community. To regain the support of Indians and Chinese, the MCA believes that it must now speak candidly on issues affecting all communities and not just on Chinese education.

Meanwhile, Ong Tee Keat Says MCA Needs To Be Multiracial Or Face Risk Of Eventual Extinction.

"We need to project a multiracial outlook and multiracial approach to handle the people's concerns," he told Bernama in an interview here.

"Of course, I do not rule out the possibility that my agenda will raise the eyebrows of the conservative (members) in the party in the name of preserving the orthodox ways. I am also mindful of the possibility that this might be used by my detractors in the forthcoming party elections and subsequently make me risk losing support within the party.

"(But) I am adamant in my stand. I am strongly convinced that this is the way out for the party if you really want to keep the party relevant," he added.



Blogger Mahathirism said...


Monday, May 5, 2008
Pak Lah Plays the Malays out.

The Council for Malay Solidarity said one thing actually. Pak Lah, you are not defending the Malays. Mahathirism has always beg the question of wether our weak PM is the President of Umno or Pakatan Rakyat? His focus in on non-Malay issues (which only gets to the point of mere sensational announcements anyway) at the expense of the poorer, less skilled and real second class citizens of this country -the Malays. If anything, the Chinese and to a lesser extent the Indians have better quality of lifes than the Malays.
PM wants to talk poverty? He is creating more poverty in a reduction of economic opportunitites and flip-flop policies.
Pak Lah has completely lost the political plot and Najib Razak will inherit a shell of Umno. Umno will be blasted into oblivion. Dont just take it from Mahathirism. Gapena President Tan Sri Ismail Hussein said the Council for Malay solidarity was necessary because Malay-based political parties were too busy running the country to concentrate exclusively on Malay issues.
The judgement is out on this one. Pak Lah has let down the Malays..

Posted by Mahathirism

May 06, 2008 7:25 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home