Exploding two myths


— Mohd Nazim Ganti Shaari
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 08, 2012

DEC 8 — Myth No.1: “Malays are guaranteed to receive all kinds of benefits, advantages and special treatment from the government (using taxpayers’ money) simply on the basis of their membership to the Malay tribe.”

It should be clear to anyone who has actually read Article 153 of the Federal Constitution that that particular view remains a myth. In fact, Article 153 focuses on both “special position of the Malays/natives of Sabah and Sarawak” together with “legitimate interests of other communities”. Anyone reading further than the constitution itself could and would discover that the framers of the constitution back in 1957 did not have any intention to enshrine it into permanency.

Furthermore, it was Umno who proposed for Article 153 to be reviewed after some time, the same opinion that was also shared by the Conference of Rulers. When one goes back to the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948, which gave birth to our present Article 153, one would similarly discover that the focus was both on the “special position of the Malays” AND (this writer’s emphasis) “legitimate interests of other communities”.

Closer to this century, one could similarly open the government’s White Paper entitled “Towards National Harmony”. The aim of this White Paper that was prepared and published in 1971 was to inform and educate Malaysian citizens regarding the intention of the ruling political party to amend Article 153 in enlarging the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong therein.

It is very interesting to note that in this White Paper, that was prepared and published by the government of the father of our current prime minister in 1971, the Tun Abdul Razak government emphasised that the purpose of Article 153 was simply to address the economic imbalances among the different races back then, as opposed to the supposed manifestation of the supremacy of the Malays.

In fact, the Razak government disagreed giving scholarships to all Malay university students on the basis that it would be an unjust enrichment to the rich Malays, thereby supporting the idea under social theory that one must always guard against giving benefits to the wealthy especially so when giving special treatment to any marginalised community.

Myth No.2: “We (the Malays/public servants) must be loyal to the government.”

In a country that practices democracy, the government is formed by the ruling political party, who is voted to be in power by the citizens. As much as the citizens have the right to elect whomever to be in the government is as much as the citizens have the right to disagree with the government, or even to vote for a different political party to be in power. A Malaysian citizen owes his/her loyalty to the Federation of Malaysia, not to the government, and certainly not to any political party, ruling or otherwise. In Lim Lian Geok vs Minister of the Interior, Federation of Malaya [1962] MLJ 159: per Thomson CJ:

“What we are concerned with here is disloyalty or disaffection which would justify depriving a citizen of his citizenship and on that it is I think clear that at least one essential element in such disloyalty or disaffection must be something more than mere disapproval of existing constitutional arrangements or of the policy of those who for the time being are in control of the Government. After all the Constitution is not something that has been brought down from the heights of Pisgah nor do the persons who for the time being constitute its Government and lay down its policy enjoy political immortality any more than they enjoy personal immortality. The Constitution itself contains in gremio the means by which it may itself be changed and the means by which what is popularly called the Government can be changed easily and without any fundamental damage being done, if such be the will of the citizens. Clearly, then, if a citizen merely dislikes and wishes to change any of the provisions of the Constitution or dislikes and wishes to change the Government of the day in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution designed to facilitate such a change or dislikes and wishes to have changed any part of the policy of Government and if he states his views publicly with a view to persuading his fellow citizens to operate the machinery of the Constitution in such a way as to bring about the changes he would wish to see them, to my mind, there can be no question of disloyalty or disaffection.

“If, however, he acts and speaks in such a way as to excite his fellow citizens to disobey the laws rather than to change them; if he behaves in such a way as to endanger the domestic peace and tranquillity or the enjoyment of law and order which the Federation must assure to its citizens if it is to continue to exist; if it is the natural and probable consequences of what he says and does that some citizens may be moved to effect changes in the persons making up or in the machinery of Government otherwise than in the way provided for by the Constitution itself; then and in any one of such cases it would, to my mind, be open as a matter of law to say that that individual’s conduct showed disloyalty or disaffection.”

Further, public servants are required to be neutral. A long time ago, an infamous vice-chancellor of a certain university tried to pontificate that his university staff must be loyal to Umno/Barisan Nasional since Umno/Barisan Nasional formed the government, and that the same rationale applies if PAS/DAP/PKR were to form the government. This opinion is devoid of substance since loyalty to the ruling political party which is cloaked with the veil/label of “government” takes away the neutrality of the public servants.

This neutrality/impartiality is the bedrock of good governance in which the doctrine of separation of powers demands that public servants are not agents/servants to the politicians. Even if the government were to pass any legislation demanding public servants to be loyal to the “government” (ruling political party), such a law would be unconstitutional and thereby null and void, and surely in the year 2012 everyone would know by now that there is no “parliamentary supremacy” or even “governmental supremacy” in Malaysia in which the government cannot rule the country according to its whims and fancies since Article 4 of the Federal Constitution declares that it is the constitution that is supreme in Malaysia.

Therefore it is strange to hear complaints from some public servants that they had been found guilty of “anti-government” activities just by attending a ceramah by DAP/PAS/PKR. It is even stranger to hear complaints from some university students that they had been asked by the student affairs department to spy on their fellow students and lecturers for any “anti-government” sentiments/activities.

With all of these myths exposed bare, why do the majority of mainstream politicians, a certain number of public servants, a certain number of lecturers and professors and politicians-masquerading-as-academicians still regurgitate these same myths? Are they ignorant? Could it be that the ones who still spout such nonsense are shameless sycophants?

I pray for the former, since I could make an attempt to educate them. If they were sycophants who only care to protect their own personal interests and the interests of their political masters, contempt does not even begin to describe how I feel towards them since these are the real traitors to the Federation of Malaysia.

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  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Monday, 10 December 2012 - 5:52 am

    We have gone through these myths again and again since they were started decades ago. The facts may be true but the argument cannot be won if they control the debate.

    The only way to win the argument is to break the control of the debate. The only way to break the control of the debate is to offer something the audience wants and not getting from the moderators. What is it the audience want they have not gotten and want all this time – the REAL promise of freedom and independence.

    The Malays are like anyone else – they want real freedom and independence – from UMNO or anyone else. They want to the bosses of their politicians. What they don’t want more is chaos and losses from having to take control of the system rigged to keep UMNO/BN as lord and master over them..

    So the real argument against they myth are that if they are true, getting rid of UMNO/BN does not change those facts – in fact it will only confirm it. IF they myths are not true, then all the more they have to burst as soon as possible for the Malays to move on faster and better..

  2. #2 by Winston on Monday, 10 December 2012 - 9:31 am

    After everything is said and done, the only sane option is to kick out UMNO/BN!
    Just do it!!!!!

  3. #3 by monsterball on Monday, 10 December 2012 - 11:35 am

    Our elected politicians to govern are not behaving as elected politicians at all.
    Malaysian politics is low class and full of hypocritical acts.
    Starting from that famous crying by Mahathir….announcing his retirement some 6 years have passed and he has not retired at all.
    Decades passed and these actors succeeded to fool millions are now believing they are supernatural beings chosen by God.
    The myth starts…mentalities..behaviors are almighty.
    All corrupted actions and evil deeds done are never wrong….on and on and on.
    Malaysians are sick of these hypocritical crooks…outwardly behaving so gentlemen like…and secretly…all have plans to make Malaysians kow tow to them as slaves.
    The myth has become reality. They do believe they are supernatural beings…where no harm can come to them….and the soldiers are sent out to battle traitors…on streets or in court cases.
    To conclude…we can say 13th GE has to be a battle between Patriots and Traitors correctly labelled by Najib.
    The problem with Najib…he does not know he belongs to the Traitors.

  4. #4 by Loh on Monday, 10 December 2012 - 11:41 am

    The government and particularly the Transport Ministry claim that AES deters motorists from breaking traffic rules. Yes, traffic rules should be upheld by whatever means. But the opposition to AES is that it enriches the two private companies through government enforcing the law, and the court is being used to collect fines for the benefit of the two AES-developers.

    Many motorists have appeared in court and have argued why they should not be fined. I hope to hear some motorists tell the court that they are not willing to pay fines above what the government receives. Let the court jail them for the portion of the fine which is to be accrued to the two AES-developers. The would not be enough jail spaces for AESied motorists.

    It would be interesting for the court to decide whether it is the agent of the two AES-developer to collect fines for them. It should also be interesting to have the court decide whether the citizens are responsible for the contract entered between the government and the AES-developer. Is it legal for the government to sub-contract law enforcement activities to the private sector, and having them making profits on law enforcement?

  5. #5 by monsterball on Monday, 10 December 2012 - 1:49 pm

    Myth continues ….
    Umno b has changed from a political party to do business and make millions every month.
    Govt. sells land to Umno b for RM1 per sq.ft which is worth RM100 at market price…putting out buildings …renting out space lots…or building houses for sale.
    This is not Govt. making the profits.
    This is Umno b making the profits.
    Like I said…the myth continues…where Umno b politicians thinks Malaysians are all fools and can be fooled.

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 - 10:39 am

    MMK veri proud his GET RICH QUICK scheme still works, kaya raya lor

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