by Dr. Chen Man Hin
Malaysians have proven to be patriotic since merdeka in 1957, and are now asking that the Constituion be respected and honoured.
On Saturday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in a speech to the 2007 Youth Patriotism Congress at PutraJaya, called on the people to be patriotic and warned not to play with fire when speaking on sensitive issues.
It can be said that at least half the populatioon are born on and after Merdeka. they form the active adults who have demonstrated loyalty to the country by being law-abiding citizens.
They are questioning why they should be discriminated since Merdeka. Now at the 50th merdeka anniversary they are asking to be treated equally as citizens of the country in accordance with the Constitution.
Article 8 of the constitution states that ‘”all persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of the law”.
Article 153 (1) state it shall be the responsibility of the Yang dipertuan 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 the Article.’
At this important 50th anniversary, Malaysians are asking why they have been divided into bumiputras and non bumiputras, into Ketuanan Melayu and the rest ordinary citizens, why the New Economic Policy which is meant to uplift the economy of Malays are imposing restrictions on the economic rights of other citizens.
They consider themselves as Malaysians or Banga Malaysia, but now they have been demoted to non-Ketuanan Melayu.
These are the worries and questions which loyal patriotic citizens are asking, and in a democracy they have right to express their feelings and ideas, and should not be labelled as non-patriotic nor should they be accused of ‘playing with fire’.