Believing that present day Malays are quite capable to succeed on their own without need for legislative “crutches”, Gerakan Youth deputy chief Andy Yong opines that it is time to reconsider Article 153 of the constitution which accords them such.
He said that in our day and age, it may be high time to implement “a fair multiracial meritocracy assessment in our social, educational and economic aspects”, instead of race-based affirmative action.
“I agree that the Malays at one point were in need of such protection to alleviate their disproportionate and weak positions (especially in economy and education), but such provisions are no longer relevant today.
“Do the Malays today really need or depend on their special rights or privileges in order to succeed? I don’t think so. Many are very capable and hardworking to excel in our competitive environment,” he said in a statement.
Yong argued that historically the intention of our forefathers was to have the Federal Constitution be egalitarian in nature.
And while Article 153 exists to assist the Malays who needed it during the time the constitution was drafted, most interests and rights of other communities are also safeguarded and protected.
“But over the years it has acquired an adverse reputation as the legal root of all kinds of racial inequalities especially when it is manipulated and taken advantage by some politicians.
“Inevitably this will hinder a truly progressive developed nation. Often inherited wealth, educational advantages, nepotism and benefits from discrimination against other groups created a false impression that does not truly reflect the talent and hard work of all individuals,” said Yong.
The Gerakan Youth leader was commenting on the political cooperation inked between Pakatan Harapan and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia on Tuesday, for the purpose of gearing up to face BN in the coming national polls.
He noted that the first of their seven point agreement was to uphold Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
“Evidently this has again proven no political parties or leaders are progressive enough to lead the country forward into a non-discriminatory nation. That is to say even if Pakatan Harapan or Bersatu were to lead the federal government, discriminatory policies will remain under the so-called compromise of Article 153,” concluded Yong.
Article 153, which guarantee special rights for the Malays and bumiputera, is a sore point in Malaysian politics as those advocating meritocracy believe it is time for all Malaysians to be given assistance based on needs instead of race.
Others believe that the majority race in Malaysia must continue to have the protection of the constitutional provisions to ensure that they continue to have a place in the country or else risk being displaced.