Whither Malaysia now?


THE Kongres Maruah Melayu, or Malay Dignity Congress, held in a stadium near Kuala Lumpur on Oct 6 raised a furore among Malaysians. Organised by four public universities – including Universiti Malaya, the nation’s premier institution of higher learning – the congress was attended by about 5,000 people, mostly students but also leading politicians from Umno and PAS.

Rather than a forum to discuss issues faced by Malays and ways to overcome them, the congress has been widely condemned as a racist gathering. In his speech, Zainal Kling, the chief convener of the conference, declared that Malaysia belonged to Malays and reminded other races of their “social contract” with Malays, claiming it was the basis for granting them citizenship rights which could be revoked if they breached the agreement (bit.ly/dignity_congress).

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