Constitution guarantees rights for all

Arianna | Apr 17, 08 3:33pm

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Tengku Faris: Non-Malays should not seek equality.

As a native of Sabah, my position is similar to that of the Malays of Semenanjung. Thanks to the British colonial government for ensuring my native rights that even our Malaysian courts today must respect and uphold. That include my right to own land. I am proud of my native heritage and the privileges that comes with it and I, for one, would jealously guard this privilege. I am certain my Malay brethren feel the same.

So when Tengku Faris made his statements that echo Umno’s, I cannot help but wonder why the Malay leaders are so insecure when other Malaysians start asking for equal treatment. What exactly are the Malay rights that the Malay leaders are so protective about? What exactly are the rights that they are afraid of losing? Housing, education, health care, employment, the rights to own land, free speech and faith freedom?

These are but guaranteed constitutional rights for all Malaysians. And there is no question at all that the government of the day should deny these to all Malaysians especially the downtrodden, irrespective of their race and religion.

For 50 years, the Malays are a privileged lot but why are so many of them especially in the rural areas, still poor despite the NEP? Is the NEP a Malay right that could bring them out of poverty and towards progress? We already know the answer is ‘no’ because it is a proven failed policy. Are the non-Malays responsible for the economic situation of our poor Malay brethren when they are a privileged lot and whose rights are protected by laws just as my native rights are?

Does it means that when non-Malays ask for equality in housing, employment, education, health care and a piece of the country’s economic pie, they are biting into the Malay rights?

So pray, tell what exactly are the Malay rights? And why exactly are the Malays – or for that matter their leaders especially politicians – are afraid of losing them when the Malay rights are protected by law?

The way I see it, the Malay leaders are only afraid of their own shadows. They are just afraid of losing their so-called ‘Ketuanan Melayu’. Leaders who are comfortable in their tempurung under the auspicious of ‘Ketuanan Melayu‘ of the Sultan Melaka and Hang Tuah by-gone eras.

Malay leaders who are desperate to hang on to power and authority would rather invoke Malay rights rather than move with the times (like our non-Malay brethren), accept challenges and compete with the rest of the world.

Sadly, while they are doing this they drag the whole Malay community down with them. Even when they are in power and Malaysia has always been lead by a Malay prime minister for 50 years, they have not helped the Malays much.

And for their failure, they blame it on others and make the non-Malays the scapegoat for even asking for equalities that our constitution guarantees for all Malaysians.


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