Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sensitive – what is sensitive. Is Hindraf’s articulation of violation of the Federal Constitution sensitive?

najib perkasaLet me begin by quoting two articles of the Malaysian Federal Constitution as I elaborate and explain Hindraf’s position about the recent Sultan of Johore’s statement – what seems to be a veiled support to encourage the neo-fascist movement PERKASA.
8. (1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.
(2) Except as expressly authorized by this Constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority
Reservation of quotas in respect of services, permits, etc., for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak
153. (1) It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
Safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and to ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable
1) of positions in the public service
2) of scholarships
3) of educational or training privileges
4) of permits and licenses.

Here are my comments :
Employment in Government services today is overwhelmingly Malay.
Scholarships are provided almost entirely to Malays
Places in Public Universities are disproportionately for Malays
Permits and licences are awarded almost entirely to Malays.

What about the legitimate interests of the other communities in all these areas? Is this not an issue in this country?

What is the Monarch’s role here? The Federal Constitution is abundantly clear that the Monarch has an equal role in taking care of the legitimate interests of the “others” as he has in safeguarding the special position of the Malays and the people of Sabah and Sarawak. These are the two limbs to Article 153. Two parts to the question of allocation of the national resources. The second limb seems now not to matter.

Is it Ok to say that questioning this ignoring of the second limb is a sensitive matter just because it involves the Monarch.

Is it Ok to say you cannot draw attention on the involvement of the Monarch to safeguard the provisions in the supreme document of the country, that’s a sensitive matter.

The implicit thinking within UMNO circles is that everything in this country is Malay property and it is out of the goodwill of the Malays that the non-Malays get anything at all here in Malaysia. This is a totally unconstitutional position.

But UMNO chooses not to care, they have stolen the whole show and want to keep it that way, by threatening that this is sensitive or that is sensitive and therefore you should not touch it. The constitution has laid out a basis for the allocation of the national resource (vague as it is – still a basis) but nowhere does it say, take it all. UMNO has chosen to ignore this provision and has in the last 40 years taken it all.… However the current day politics prevents UMNO from continuing to mouth this position of “it is our right to take it all” any more, so enter PERKASA as their outsourced mouthpiece.

Then the Sultan of Johore comes out in defence of this outsourced UMNO mouthpiece PERKASA.

Do we just take all this. This convoluted logic of PERKASA has to be eliminated once and for all. Hindraf is just speaking up for all of us who do not subscribe to UMNO’s version of Article 153. So, what has to be said is said. The cat needs to be belled.

let the rakyat decide the truth of the matter.

To continue with this story as there has been an innocuous extension – a few days later Najib in the MCA conference says that the Chinese cannot be described as “pendatang’ and his erstwhile de facto Law Minister Nazri echoes it “"The mothers of Indians born in Malaysia have spilled their blood on the soil of the nation when they delivered them into this world , hence they are the sons of the Malaysian soil, as sung in our national anthem negara ku, tanah tumpahnya darahku. It is the Indonesians who come to our country (legally or illegally) who are the immigrants and not you Indians who were born here."

They have just abandoned the Johore Sultan’s position themselves and are by extension questioning the support of the Johore Sultan for PERKASA. Najib and Nazri are saying the nons are not pendatangs any more, which means now they are all equal to the Pribumis and then there is no more the issue of “this is all ours, why do we need to give it to them” – an intrinsic position of PERKASA that the Sultan supported . Ask Ibrahim Ali – he will tell you more.

Should not UMNO Johor have a demonstration against them as well?

But we know Najib’s and Nazri’ statements are nothing more than useless rhetoric. And we also know that UMNO Johore will not be heard from again on this issue. And we also know this kind of antic has to go and wisdom has to prevail for our nation to emerge as a great nation – trapped in by this syndrome “of us and the pendatangs”.

For our part we will continue to lay out on the table for discussion all those things which maintain this undesirable status quo that keep us in this trap. We will continue to raise those issues which have been considered taboo or “sensitive” for discussion, for it is past due to review and to re-evaluate.