This article first appeared on the Sun daily on 19 August 2019.
PETALING JAYA: Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, which clearly states the special position of the Malays and bumiputra in Sabah and Sarawak, has to be clearly defined due to the emotional attachment by the Malays and bumiputra to this clause.
Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin said the Malays must decide on the interpretation of Article 153, in which the Yang Dipertuan Agong has the right to reserve certain scholarships, or is it carte blanche whereby all types of bumiputra privileges can be sought.
“Only then can the nation move forward to ensure some sense of equality,” he told a forum titled, ‘Beyond 2020: Fresh Views, New Vision’, at Sunway University today.
By resolving that dilemma, Khairy said, Malaysia can then chart a course and put out policies based on the clear definition of Article 153 to ensure that all citizens enjoyed some semblance of equal access.
“I would like the Malays to stop thinking that ‘the state is there for me’, rather, they can also succeed without the help from the state, while other races can get the chance they deserve,” he said.
On another matter, Khairy also clarified that his statements on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd) was merely a reminder to Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah to consult all stakeholders before proceeding to ratify the instrument.
“I think the Icerd was not problematic in principle, but I find the government had no humility when it comes to engaging all stakeholders on what are the implications of ratifying that convention,” he said.
The Icerd was supposed to be ratified last year but was stopped because of the huge opposition, with many expressing fears that it will eliminate bumiputra privileges.
Source: the Sun daily