KUALA LUMPUR, 20 Aug 2008: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz today refuted claims that the government practised a discriminatory policy that has divided the Bumiputeras and non-Bumiputeras.
Instead, he said what the government has done since the country’s independence was provided for in the Federal Constitution.
“I urge all the Honourable Members to respect the sanctity of the Federal Constitution, which is one of the principles of the Rukunegara, and accept the special rights of Bumiputeras as well as the protection of the basic rights of all citizens as contained in the Constitution,” he said in reply to Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping) in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Nazri said Bumiputera rights was the foundation of the social contract between the different ethnic groups, and was the main pillar of national unity.
Later, speaking to reporters at the parliament lobby, he suggested that any group that was dissatisfied with whatever was contained in the Federal Constitution with regards to Bumiputera rights, table a motion for amendment in parliament.
“If there is anyone, whether a Bumiputera or non-Bumiputera and from the government or opposition, who does not want these special rights to continue, that person should raise a motion in the Dewan Rakyat…and we’ll see.
“Any amendment must have a two-third majority. I want to see the Malay members from the opposition show whether they are for or against the special rights of the Malays,” he said.
Earlier, he said the government’s policy, particularly using the growth-with-equity approach and its emphasis on poverty eradication regardless of ethnicity and economic restructuring was carefully drawn up and implemented to ensure preservation of people’s rights and national unity.
“The government believes that protecting Bumiputera rights should not be in conflict with protecting the fundamental rights of all Malaysians.
“What is important is justice for all citizens, taking into consideration the background and situation, including the history of the region and the respective ethnic groups that make up Malaysian society.”
Nazri also urged the people not to question the rights and position of the various ethnic groups anymore, to avoid incidents that could destabilise the country.
“If we know and respect each other’s rights, I believe Malaysia will remain a peaceful country,” he said. — Bernama