It was sad to see a supposed cultural celebration for Malays hijacked by a bunch of political humbugs seeking to disguise a record of theft and abuse of power.

If these issuers of demands for superior status abided by just a few of their own proclaimed principles then there would be no problems of poverty in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, for the sake of the country’s independent future the next efforts should be for all sides to work to celebrate Malaysian Unity – a unity that seeks to respect and uplift all Malaysians, including the most impoverished, who are mostly the indigenous peoples and East Malaysian peoples whose resources have contributed so much to the prosperity of the nation and the lives of urban dwellers.

Bigotted and divisive politics will weaken, corrupt and endanger the country once again. In 2018 it escaped by a whisker total economic catastrophe and resulting subjugation to a nearby super-power with strategic ambitions trampling on its independence, thanks to just such humbug thievery.

Nothing dignified about that.

Malay-only top posts among thorny demands at Malay congress

The Malay Dignity Congress has made a series of explosive resolutions in five general areas, which were handed to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today.

The five areas are in culture, economy, education, religion and politics, and each was presented by various academia and politicians onstage at the Shah Alam Stadium Malawati today.

Among the demands from the congress is for main positions within the government to only be filled by Malay-Muslims, such as the prime minister, deputy prime minister, menteri besar and chief ministers as well as important ministries such as finance, education, defence and home affairs. 

They also want the government to only appoint Malay-Muslims to top positions within the government such as the chief justice, attorney-general, secretary-general to the government, inspector-general of police, chief of defence forces and others.

Meanwhile, the minister in charge of religious affairs has to be someone from within the Muslim community who is “respected, knowledgeable and follows Sunni teachings”, as well as someone who has sterling performance and is not influenced by “confusing or deviant beliefs or doctrines”.

The minister should also not be apologetic towards non-Muslims who do not respect Islam, as well as the religious liberals, according to PAS Youth deputy chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari, who presented the resolutions in the religion cluster today.

The congress also wants the government to pressure Suhakam, Malaysian Bar, liberal NGOs and other such bodies from intervening in Islamic affairs under the guise of human rights, he said.

There should also be “no compromise” against those who insult or disrespect Islam, Fadhli added. 

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) counsellor Muhammad Za’im Rosli, who was presenting on the culture cluster, also stressed that tough action should be taken against those who challenge or threaten the position of Islam as the federal religion as enshrined in Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution.

Any “outside influences” which spreads deviant ideologies or lifestyles against Islam should be barred from entering the country, he added.

Tough action also needs to be taken to protect and ensure the status of Bahasa Malaysia as the national language, he said.

Similarly, the Education Ministry should focus on the Jawi language “to prove the government’s commitment”.

Those who try to stop the inclusion of the Jawi script in official businesses should have action taken against them as well, he added.

This comes after the heated debate in August on whether the Jawi script should be included as part of the Year Four education syllabus. 

Among their demands for the education cluster, which was presented by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (Upsi) student Nurul Fatin Aqilah Rahim, the Congress asked for the gradual abolition of vernacular schools to make way for single-stream national schools.

“Vernacular schools cannot unite the races for the sake of unity,” she said during the presentation.

Narrow the economic gap

Meanwhile, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) student Muhammad Syafiq Jebat who presented the economic cluster, urged for various policies prioritising the Malays.

This is to narrow the economic gap between the Malay and other races, he said.

Lastly, on the political cluster, Abdul Muqit Muhammad from Universiti Malaya (UM) blamed the Malay leaders for the current political situation for the Malays.

“I am placing the fault with the Malay leaders, be it those in power or those who have lost power, be it Umno or not Umno.

“They need to take responsibility for the abandonment of the Malays recently,” he said, giving the example of the small percentage of Malay reserve land remaining in the country.

The five presentations came after Zainal Kling (photo), the chief executive of Congress secretariat, opened the congress with a hardline speech emphasising the sovereignty and special position of the Malay race.

The gathering, which saw more than 5,000 people in the stadium and more outside, was attended by a slew of prominent figures both in and outside of the political world.

They included Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa and former ministers Khairy Jamaluddin, Hishammuddin Hussein and Noh Omar, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and Kelantan Menteri Besar Ahmad Yaakob.

Also present were Bersatu’s Redzuan Yusof, Mustapa Mohamed, Ahmad Faizal Azumu, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Maszlee Malik and Mukhriz Mahathir, as well as PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and Amanah chief Mohamad Sabu.

Other prominent attendees at the congress included Perlis mufti Asri Zainul Abidin and singer Siti Nurhaliza.

Siti also serenaded everyone as Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrived at the congress and walked towards the stage, to the delight of the crowd.

During his speech, Mahathir said the Malays had split themselves into small groups in their fight for power.

Due to this, they have had to rely on non-Malays in order to win the elections.

As such, he said, the sensitivities of the non-Malays also need to be taken into consideration.

In a press conference later, Mahathir said even though the congress has made demands which the government will look into seriously, it does not mean the government is compelled to accept every single resolution. – M’kini

– Sarawak Report