SEMENYIH: If the appointment of the several non-Malays to top government positions is against the Federal Constitution, then Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, who’s a lawyer, should drag the Pakatan Harapan government to court, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said this in response to Nazri’s campaign speech on Saturday (Feb 23), where he reportedly questioned the appointment of non-Malays as Attorney General, Chief Justice and Finance Minister, saying that Malay rights should be defended at all costs.
Denying that government had “sold” off the rights of Malays, Muhyiddin stressed that Pakatan was committed to ensuring the preservation of four Articles in the Federal Constitution pertaining to Malay rights and Islam.
The four which Muhyiddin referred to are articles concerning the preservation of the Special rights of Malays, the position of Rulers, Islam and Bahasa Malaysia.
“The four articles are the Pakatan government’s commitment. So, whatever decision made by the Prime Minister, such as appointments, isn’t against the Constitution.
“Nazri is a lawyer, so if he said we have gone against the Constitution, he can bring us to court. So, please drag us to court,” he said during a ceramah at Bukit Mahkota on Tuesday (Feb 26).
“But I know, and he knows, that there isn’t an issue (here),” he added.
Meanwhile, the Home Minister said the appointment of Lim Guan Eng as the Finance Minister wasn’t an issue because a Minister wasn’t appointed based on race.
“The issue here is integrity. Whoever is given the job and responsibility must have integrity, such as our Mentri Besar here, Amiruddin Shaari,” he said of the Selangor Mentri Besar who was present at the same event.
Muhyiddin added that decades ago, Barisan Nasional, then known as “Perikatan”, had appointed a non-Malay, Tan Siew Sin, as finance minister.
At the same time, Muhyiddin took the opportunity to take a swipe at former premier and finance minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is facing multiple graft charges.
“Is he a Chinese? Is he an Afghan? He’s a Malay. The issue here is not about race.
“If he becomes a finance minister and he sapu habis (eats all), I think even if he is a totok (pure) Malay, he has committed a crime against the Malay race,” he said.
Muhyiddin urged the crowd to give Lim a chance, while reassuring that the Finance Minister’s powers were bound by the advice and decisions of the Cabinet.
“That power isn’t an absolute power. He must have the guidance and the decision of the Cabinet before implementing anything, especially those regarding national finances.”
Nazri, who is the Barisan secretary, received brickbats from all quarters, including from coalition partner MCA, after his controversial remarks.
On Tuesday (Feb 26), Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Mohd Fuzi Harun said that Nazri was currently being investigated under the Sedition Act 1948.
Later on Tuesday, Nazri claimed that the controversy surrounding his speech was a “desperate attempt” by certain quarters to win the looming Semenyih by-election, which will take place on Saturday (March 2).