Kelantan Crown Prince Tengku Faris Petra said today that Malays had been coerced into giving non-Malays citizenship and the latter should therefore not seek equality or special treatment.
He said this during his keynote speech at a forum titled “Malay unity is the core of national unity” organised by the newly formed Barisan Bertindak Perpaduan Melayu in Kuala Lumpur today.
Speaking to a crowd of about 1,000 people, Tengku Faris said the Malay rulers would be an umbrella to foster unity among all Malaysians, based on the Federal Constitution and the Rukun Negara.
“Therefore, the rakyat must unite and never raise issues regarding Malay rights and special privileges because it is a quid pro quo in gratitude for the giving in of citizenship (beri-paksa kerakyatan) to 2.7 million non-Malays into the Tanah Melayu federation.
“Thus, it is not appropriate for these other ethnic groups to have citizenship, only (later) to seek equality and privileges,” said Tengku Faris, who read from a 11-page prepared text.
However, the crown prince stressed that in an effort to unite the Malays, non-Malays also have rights that must be protected, such as in areas of religion.
As an example, Tengku Faris said non-Malays are allowed to practice their respective religions in peace. They must however do so in accordance with the law and “not be provocative towards Islam”.
“The Malay rulers are the head of the Islamic religion and Malaysia is a Islamic country (negara Islam), not secular. We have our own formula (as a country) which is different from others,” he added, drawing thunderous applause from the crowd.
He added that the effort to instil Malay unity and defend Malay special rights does not mean that other races would be ignored.
“In fact, if Malay rights and special privileges are taken care of and is not disturbed, it would ensure national harmony. It does not just benefit the Malays but all ethnic groups,” he said.
In his speech, Tengku Raris said the 12th General Election results have shown that the Malays are being “challenged” and thus Malays unity is of the outmost priority.
“The election results have shown that the Malays are disunited and facing other ethnic groups who are more dominant politically and economically,” he said.
As the constitution provides that the Malays are the natives (penduduk asal) of Malaysia, Tengku Faris said every Malay must defend the constitution and Islam and this can only be achieved through Malay unity.
“We have to make an effort to unite. Don’t spilt up. Avoid polemics that can distance us. Ideology (and) having different interpretations does not contribute to Malay unity.
“Discussing about polemics such as Islamic state, secular state, welfare state… confuses the people… Resulting from this confusion, Malays are becoming more disillusioned,” he added.