The Malay Mail Online
February 26, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — A minister’s suggestion to remove “race” from official forms was the first step to convince Malays to surrender their Bumiputera benefits and other privileges afforded to the community, an Utusan Malaysia editor wrote today.
Alleging that the call by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup last week was the result of pressure from rights groups, Datuk Zaini Hassan warned the Malays that the efforts were opposition-driven to erode the community’s rights.
“Already there are voices that dare question the origins of the Malays. They claim that Malays are immigrants, just as they are immigrants. That we are all the same,” he wrote in an editorial piece titled “Orang Melayu sudah tidak peduli dengan bangsa sendiri?” (Malays no longer care for their own race?).
In it, he drew parallels between Kurup’s suggestion and the efforts by the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) that was heading local human rights efforts in the recent Universal Periodic Review (UPR) under the auspices of the United Nations last year.
Zaini said these included the attempt to get the government to endorse sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) rights, which he claimed was meant to force the acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) practices and sexual deviance.
Comango was also demanding that the ongoing Christian-Muslim tussle over “Allah” — the Arabic word for God — be mediated in Geneva and pressing for freedom of religion that would allow the rise of deviant sects of Islam, Zaini said.
“As such, if the Malay-Muslims agree to these, we would be the first Islamic country to do so,” he added.
“Additionally, the Malays may then agree with a pressure group seeking the elimination of policies protecting Bumiputera interests, Malay reserve land and more freedom for Muslim apostasy,” Zaini added.
Questioning why such demands were being made of the community, Zaini alluded to the domination of the businesses in the country by non-Malays that is often used as a justification for continued pro-Bumiputera affirmative action.
He then asked if the Malays were ready for such demands it they remained a people still clamouring for handouts.
“What is certain is that racial strife in the country is worsening. There are many who are brazen in the country now. What is strange is that they remain free to do so,” he continued.
On Saturday, Kurup, who is the minister in charge of national unity, suggested that racial classifications be omitted from official government forms owing to what he described as Malaysians’ preoccupation with racial and religious identities.
His proposal received backing from Barisan Nasional (BN) parties such as the MCA and MIC, with the former saying that racial data was pointless in such documents.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Kurup’s suggestion has not yet reached the Cabinet level, but said it was open to hearing the suggestion.
The Malay and Bumiputera communities enjoy privileges accorded to them under the Federal Constitution, along with affirmative action introduced under the now-defunct New Economic Policy (NEP) that was created following the 1969 race riots.