PETALING JAYA: The Federal Constitution protects the special position and rights of the Malays, but has nothing to do with race supremacy, says Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad.
“The term ‘ketuanan Melayu’ (Malay supremacy) is not in the Constitution. It only cropped up some time during the 12th General Election to discourage the Malays from supporting the non-Malays or the opposition,” he said.
“The special rights of the Malays that have been enshrined in the Federal Constitution include the institution of the Malay sultans and the position of Islam as the Federal religion,” he added.
The Parti Amanah Negara communications director said that it was strange for the Malays to say that they wanted to defend the right to discriminate among races, when, in his opinion, Islam rejected racial discrimination.
Khalid made the comment on Monday (Nov 19) when asked about Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement that implementing the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) would entail amending the Federal Constitution and that a two-thirds parliamentary majority was needed for this to happen.
“The New Economic Policy (NEP) was not a policy that referred to Malay supremacy. It was a ‘social engineering’ effort to correct the imbalance in society and eliminate poverty, regardless of race,” said Khalid.
“The NEP was established to encourage people from all races to benefit from development, as communities in those days tended to stick in certain areas, such as the Malays in villages Chinese in towns and Indians in estates.
“‘Ketuanan Melayu’ is a new term that previously did not exist, but was played up by Umno when they felt threatened,” he said.
Khalid criticised Umno for betraying the Malays by taking advantage of and profiting from the NEP, with the money going into its coffers.
“Umno failed the Malays by making themselves rich and after 60 years, did not help the community reach its ideal level.
“The issue of ICERD going against the Constitution could be a matter of interpretation.
"The Bar Council could be of the opinion that it does not, but Umno would say that it does.
“The highest law in the nation is the Constitution. If ICERD if found to be going against the Constitution, then it would be automatically cancelled,” he said.
On the proposed Harapan Coin, Khalid said he was told that the matter was being studied by Bank Negara.
“The Federal Territories Mufti has said it is haram because there is no regulatory body, but the problem of haram can be looked into,” he said.
Khalid was interviewed after launching a seminar on the enforcement of the Use of biodegradeable Products in the Federal Territories held at Bandar Tun Razak on Monday (Nov 19).
Did you find this article insightful?
100% readers found this article insightful