PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in the 61st UMNO general assembly, that the Barisan national component parties have agreed not to raise sensitive issues that are enshrined in the constitution like the Malay special rights. A mere mention about the legitimate rights of non-Malays will rile up UMNOPUTRAs into hysteria and turn them aggresive. To top it all, we saw the jingoism and provocative statements from UMNO delegates with regards to the presence of non-UMNO parties in BN. UMNO suffers from inferiority complex unlike PAS which seem to be more confident in dealing with non Malay Malaysians. If the non-UMNO parties can stomach what was insinuated and derided by UMNO delegates and still remain in BN, then they certainly cannot claim to have the courage and moral authority to represent the other races. It is pure opportunism; cowardice and ignorance of the non-Malay party leaders that make them remain in BN.
UMNOPUTRAS are so indignant and intolerant towards any mention of race relations and legitimate interest of other communities. But it is implicit in Article 153(1) that “It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) to safeguard the special position of the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interest of other communities”. However ambiguity arises when one realizes that the scope and meaning of the words “legitimate interest of the other communities” which are not defined in the federal constitution. UMNO and its running mates never allowed the parliament or the courts to decide on its scope and meaning of the “legitimate interest of the other communities”. To redress this legal ambiguity an effective and well drafted Race Relations Act is advocated.
This proposed legislation concerning race relations is to address the issue of racial discrimination in award of job opportunities, scholarships and business opportunities in both public service and private sector. This proposed legislation can also promote good race relations amongst the different races. The Race Relation Act (RRA) will provide the balance that the original drafters of the federal constitution had intended when they inserted the words “legitimate interest of the other communities” into Article 153 of the federal constitution. Countries like US, UK, Canada and India with different ethnicities have similar legislations to regulate, guide, manage and promote the race relations. Unfortunately after 53 years the BN government has done nothing towards promoting and integrating the different races.
UMNO and BN cannot promote Malay interest exclusively and close one eye with regards the legitimate right of other Malaysians and expecting the non-Malays to embrace 1Malaysia blindly. Such narrow parochial enforcement of national policies and practices cannot bring sustainable development and progress.