Perem Segar demands a fair and equal Malaysia.
You guys must be aware of the social contract apparently made between leaders of the Alliance party back during Merdeka, which consisted of UMNO, MCA and MIC on behalf of three different communities (Malay, Indian, Chinese ). Whether they had the legal power to do so we don’t know, but they definitely had the support of the community back then. This social contract basically gave non-Malays citizenship and the Malays’ special privileges were maintained. This social contract is reflected in the now Article 153 of the Constitution which protects the special position of the Malays, while also contradicting Article 8 which ensures Malaysians equal protection of the law.
I am not going to dwell on whether it was right to make such a social contract in the past or whether it was correct in terms of the Rule of Law to do such thing, but the question to consider is whether this social contract should still be implemented in this day and age.
This apparent social contract was made by our leaders in the past, so should such an old decision be still be valid? The answer is NO, it shouldn’t because of one simple word, and that is ’equality’. This ancient, archaic social contract has provided the government with the power to discriminate under the excuse of ‘affirmative action’ and this is evident in the scholarship policy for Bumiputera students, the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) plan allocated for poor Bumiputera , housing reductions for Bumiputera such as a 7%discounts for Bumiputera who want to buy a house, as well as quotas favouring the Bumiputera in public service, among other benefits. This all seems very generous of the Government, but we the non-Bumiputera wonder, what do we get ? It appears to be that being provided the luxury of being a citizen of this beautiful Malaysia is all the luxury we get, no extras.
The non-Bumiputera in majority knows this but merely keeps it to themselves or whispers their dissatisfaction to their fellow non-Bumiputera. There are of course some who are brave enough to question this social contract in the past, such as Karpal Singh and several others.
When questioned, some politicians reply with ”Kalau tak suka negara ni, keluar lah” and some other statements along those racist lines. Sometimes, I ponder whether these people are part of a secret ‘Ku Klux Clan ‘of their own race.
Today’s generation, and I can vouch for this, does not view race as a factor for anything — at least the majority of them don’t. However, the government takes race into every consideration as is evident in our laws.
The government’s attempt to maintain this social contract is also hugely contradictory to our Prime Minister’s Datuk Seri Najib’s attempt of promoting the slogan 1Malaysia. The question then arises: How do we attain a true 1Malaysiawhen there are different rights and benefits given to the Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera?
Do we need another Martin Luther King Jr or another Gandhi to start a campaign to abolish institutionalised racism in our country? I think we do, as this continuous institutionalised racism, entrenched in some our laws and applied under the pretence of affirmative action, must be stopped.
We must realise that although no racism is displayed by the people of Malaysia in the majority, these laws and affirmative action carried out by the government will subconsciously promote racism between the Malaysian people.
Must the non-Bumiputera collectively beg to be given an identity or will the government realise this atrocity and abolish this social contract? I don’t know, but I’ll tell you one thing: Me and my non-Bumiputera friends love our country and are not leaving it, but we want the sense of belonging that our Bumiputera friends enjoy in Malaysia.
Institutionalised racism has been abolished in many other countries, but only Malaysia has not embraced this fight against institutionalised racism and this is evident in Malaysia not ratifying the International Convention of Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Give us a true 1Malaysia.
Featured image sourced from the Malaysian Parliament online portal.
What is the main motivation of the Bar Council and Malaysian Bar when issuing statements or taking action?