Step in the right direction, Sir, but not quite far enough

Posted on August 18, 2009



Let’s give credit where credit is due.

The Malaysianinsider reports today that the cabinet has agreed to drop “race” from most official forms and documents.

“It is understood that Malaysians can opt out of stating race in official forms and documents that still have such a requirement. The category has been in all forms since the country achieved Merdeka in 1957”, Malaysianinsider reports.

Good start, assuming this is not just an eyewash and that the civil servants get down to the serious business of implementing this cabinet decision.

However the report also has it that the “forms will continue to have the category in relation to special privileges for Bumiputras”.

The BN government, and Pakatan Rakyat leaders, must have the courage to tell the rakyat, particularly the Malays and those who continue to be categorised as Bumiputra, that there are no special privileges reserved for anyone under the Federal Constitution.

The BN government, and Pakatan Rakyat leaders, must be brave enough to say that Article 153 affords an affirmative program to enable His Majesty to put in place quotas in a limited field with a view to protecting the special position of the Malays and the indigenous people of East Malaysia and to safeguard the legitimate interests of the other communities.

The BN government must be honest enough to admit that thus far, the NEP, which purports to be founded on Article 153 but in fact goes well beyond the limited scope of that Article, has been systematically abused to allow the rich to get richer.

If we accept now that any affirmative program that is founded on public funds, whether premised on Article 153 or ottherwise, ought to reach out to the poor and marginalised Malaysians, without consideration of race or ethnicity, the categorisation of Bumi / non-Bumi also should be done away with and replaced with a section for details of income for those looking to receive aid from such an affirmative program.

Posted in: Bapa Malaysia