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No Special rights for any race under the Federal Constitution. All are equal before the law except that due to the special position of the Malays and the natives of the states of Sabah and Sarawak needing help it will be constitutional to reserve such proportion as may be deemed reasonable in 5 areas or matters to assist them.
by Ngeh Koo Ham
): It is with deep regret that the UMNO Johore and the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak continue to harp on the special rights of the Malays which do not exist under our Federal Constitution. Due to its political dominance UMNO has blatantly disregarded the provisions of the Federal Constitution. UMNO is embolden in its Malay racial supremacy policy due in part by the cowardice of the other Barisan National component parties especially MCA, MIC and Gerakan.
Article 8 of the Federal Constitution provides for equal treatment of all persons irrespective of race or religion while Article 153 of the Federal Constitution recognizes the special position of the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak needing help and therefore, allows the Government to render special assistance to Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak by reserving such proportion as may be reasonable in 5 areas namely positions in public service, scholarships, exhibitions, educational or training privileges and permits or licences for operation of trade or business to assist them.
Art 153 was intended to help the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak who were poorer and in need of help rather than the creation of a ¡®Bumiputra¡¯ privilege class. Our Government was vocal against aparteid in South Africa but has been practising it in our own backyard. What is most disheartening is that many poor and needy bumiputras do not benefit from Article 153 but the rich and well connected bumiputras.
The following are Government policies which are in contravention of Article 8 and not under the areas of positive discrimination allowed under the Article 153 are as follows:-
i) Awarding Government contracts exclusively to Bumiputras
ii) Insisting that Bumiputras be given 5% to 10% discount in the purchase of
houses and business premises
iii) Giving book loans to children of parents earning less than RM2,000-00 in Malay or Religious medium schools while children in Chinese and Tamil medium schools are entitled to book loan only if their parents earn less than RM1,000-00.
iv) Giving income tax rebate for Zakat ,Fitrah and other Islamic dues but this rebate is not extended to religious and charitable donations/givings of other religions.
Awarding Government contracts based on race is totally prohibited by Article 8 and is not one of the areas of positive discrimination allowed under Article 153
Awarding contracts to bumiputras does not mean helping the general Bumiputra population. It only benefit the well connected bumiputras. It is also an open secret that many of these contracts are awarded to bumiputra companies which are unable to do the job and are passed down from one hand to another which translate into higher costs for the Government which in turn must be borne by the people.
With regard to the employment of workers in the public service, the Government has also breached Article 153 in failing to observe ¡®such proportion as may be reasonable¡¯ for the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak.
There is now 83.7% Bumiputra, 8.2% Chinese, 5.2% Indians and 3.3% others in the Federal Government¡¯s Public Service. At the Perak State Level there is 87.83% Malays, 0.97% Chinese, 8.37% Indian and 0.23% others in the State Public Service. These figures are reflective of a racially discriminatory policy in the recruitment of public servants of the Federal and State Governments.
The people must be united behind DAP to ensure that all Malaysian citizens are treated equally irrespective race or religion. DAP advocates special assistance to only those who are poor and needy which was the spirit behind Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and also the basis of our party¡¯s social policy.
The DAP stands out distinctively as a party that advocates equality for every Malaysia citizen irrespective of their race or religion. I call on the people to support the stand advocated by the DAP if we want to see a united and progressive Malaysia. History is a testimony to us that a nation ruled by racial and religious discrimination will only end in strife and ruin.
Ngeh Koo Ham,
Ngeh Koo Ham,
DAPDeputy Secretary General Cum Chairman of DAP Perak