Archive for August 2010

It’s a mockery and travesty of social justice to transfer racial slur HM

August 26, 2010

The transfer of ‘racial slur’ headmaster Engku Adnan of SMK Bukit Selambau Kedah to another school is an insult to the Malaysian Chinese and Indians.  It shows that the ministry of education is not interested in reprimanding the Headmaster who made derogatory remarks that is completely against the spirit of 1Malaysia, one of the pillars of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s nation building but just to pacify the non Malays that action is being taken against the headmaster. This inert action of Tan Sri Muhyudin Yassin‘s ministry runs counter to the effort of Prime Minister and will not deter others from uttering similar racial slurs. This is where we stand as a nation after 53 years of independence which will be celebrated in a few days time. There is nothing to celebrate about.

Engku Adnan is transferred to another school nearby and it does not matter which school he serves he will do the same. Headmasters and teachers with this mind set in national schools are the culprits who drive away the non Malay students to vernacular schools. Yet the bureaucrats and many UMNO politicians don’t understand why non Malay parents send their children to vernacular schools. Looks like UMNO is totally incapable of fostering unity, tolerance and acceptance among Malaysians.

Those fasting in the month of Ramadan should be calm and develop tolerance and compassion towards others. But Engku Adnan got angry because he was fasting yet others eating and couldn’t accept that. Using his authority he reprimanded and told the non Malay students to go back to china and India. He is defeating the very purpose of fasting and blaming others for his predicament.    

To add injury to insult the school PTA head Kamaruddin says that such easy transfer of headmasters will make headmasters overly cautious in educating their students which will not bode well for the overall development of their schools. If these are the racial bigots managing and outlining policies for education system, how will the education system produce world class students to take this country forward?             

The UMNO led government has deeply segregated and divided Malaysians into race and religion that may take years of concrete effort by a non UMNO led government to put together. The past sins of UMNO and its allies are expediently catching up that they may not last even the next election. UMNO beneficiaries may run away but the people of all races have to work out a practical and workable solution to live in peace and harmony for all Malaysians.

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Tamil Schools need to redeem and reform itself to remain relevant to the aspiration of students and parents

August 21, 2010

Tamil schools student intakes have increased gradually in schools located in towns and at the same time gradually reduced in estate schools. So much so Tamil schools located in towns are over crowed and have outstripped the physical infrastructure. Teachers are conducting classes in cabins and canteens which are congested and narrow for classroom purpose. On the other hand estate schools have been reduced to the minimum where teachers outnumber the students. The ministry of education seems to be reluctant and don’t have the political will to promptly provide the necessary classroom facilities and teaching staffs to these bustling urban Tamil Schools. It was never their priority and Tamil schools were left lurching way behind National schools. It was done deliberately to force Tamils to die off naturally without government being blamed for closing down Tamil Schools. The way UMNO members of parliament speak on Tamil and Chinese schools, in parliament, are the testimony of this claim.

The BN government is caught in a quagmire after the post 2008 political tsunami. They don’t have the wish and will to support Tamil schools but have to address these needs of Tamil Schools for vote bank purpose. Tamil Schools have always been a political issue among the Malaysian Indians. The Selangor State has taken the lead and has been supportive to the welfare of Tamil Schools even though education is under the preview and control of federal government. These monetary provisions of the state government has prompted some Tamil school Parent teachers Associations to demand that the money be handed over to them directly than to give NGOs who undertake curriculum development and under achievers enhancement work. Should the state government support NGOs undertaking educational development or give money to PTAs who use it other general purposes?

Indian students who are economically weaker generally under perform in schools. Big numbers of these students go to Tamil Schools. Because of their weaker economic background they do not get educational support and extra help from parents and they depend solely on teachers to uplift them. Tamils schools do not have the extra resources to give these additional support needed by students. But Tamil school teachers in estates cannot give any excuse for their poor performance. Besides, these students learn their subjects in their mother tongue. Their spoken lingua franca is Tamil and their English and national Language lessons are too little and do not make them proficient in these languages. The mindset of parents, teachers and Tamil politicians are all about how many A s these students can secure in standard 6 examination (UPSR). The students are not at all prepared by teachers to face the new multi racial challenges in secondary schools which are in national language, multi racial and do not bother about welfare and non-achievements about these Tamil students.

The students are left to fend for themselves in secondary schools with severe handicap of spoken national and English languages. They feeling inferior about their economic background and do not have the courage to speak to students of other races or their teachers about their problems. Those few who can overcome these limitations will be left off the hook and they will take care and work hard on their own. But the majority gets stuck to their own Tamil school friends speaking the same language and with the same mind set comforting each other. Teachers with their big classes may not know the underlying problems. Dedicated teachers are far and few left in our schools. From here starts the gap between these students and teachers and as the lesson progresses these students are left way behind. These students become problematic and start picking fights over small issues and in a racial divided country like Malaysia everything has racial connotations. There are secondary schools that call up politicians to talk to these students. Teachers do not take it upon themselves to know the real problem. Everything left to politicians to solve. Schools have degraded to rote learning and not for critical, analytical and problem solving education. Large numbers of Indians students from Tamil school dropout or poorly equipped excel in PMR and SPM examinations.          

Tamil schools need to reform themselves and become relevant to the advancement of students in their career. Their objective should be to make students excel in secondary schools. The irony is Tamil school heads and supervisors are all interested in securing jobs for themselves and pleasing their immediate ministry bosses and their political bosses. Tamil School heads do not speak up against their bosses. They don’t have courage to champion Tamil school problems. This perverse and selfish desire is ruining the future of many Tamil school students. They become casualties in secondary schools. PTAs with political ambitions and inclinations are speeding up this process. It is high time that the educational NGOs, political leaders and community leaders take note of this glaring failure of the education system and work towards instilling skills and values that will inculcate confidence, maturity and broad mindedness to survive in hostile and new environments.

MIC the political party that guarded and championed Tamil Schools for 53 years became irrelevant and lost all confidence and credibility of the Indian community. Tamil schools gained prominence even among English educated parents because of poorer education standards and poor quality of learning and teaching in national schools. These parents may not be keen on Tamil schools but they are all for the learning of mother tongue for their children. Besides national schools have over the years become Islamic religious schools and are indifferent and couldn’t be bothered to the religious sensitiveness of other students. Secondary school headmasters can be intolerant to the presence of other student religious bodies in schools and even pass racial derogatory remarks on non Malays students. It is this external reasons that give support for the increased student intakes in Tamil Schools. But Tamil schools need to add value to their students advancement towards secondary schools and thereafter.   

Tamil Schools are here to stay and therefore educationist, social workers and NGOs need to come together and brain storm the internal reform and transformation needed to it more relevant in the wake of changes taking place both nationally and internationally. Students of Tamil Schools must be broad and open minded to comprehend the changes taking place and make informed decisions to uplift the community along with their advancement.

Speech by Berita Harian editor Guntor Sadali, at the Berita Harian

August 18, 2010

It is a fact known to all that Malays in Singapore is a minority. However this minority is quite different from other minorities in the world.
Similarly, to some, Singapore is just a red dot in this vast Asian region. But it is no ordinary red dot.

It is a grave mistake to equate size with ability, just as it is wrong to assume that being small and in the minority is to be weak and insignificant.

The recent World Cup proved this. While Spain may be the world champion, it was minnow Switzerland that became the only country in the tournament that was able to defeat Spain.

Forty-five years have passed since Singapore left Malaysia, yet every now and then we still hear non-complimentary comments from across the Causeway about the Malay community here.

The latest came from former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who casually reminded Malaysian Malays not to become like Singaporean Malays. He did not make it clear what he actually meant, but the comment was made in the context of the possibility of Malaysian Malays losing their power in Malaysia. Again he did not specify what type of power, but it could safely be interpreted as political power.

Now, what could have happened to the Malays here in the last four decades? What could have driven Dr Mahathir to voice his concern and to caution the Malaysian Malays? I wonder.

The Malay community in Singapore, of course, know what has become of us here. First and foremost, we have become a completely different community from what we were 45 years ago. We have developed our own identity and philosophy of life that are distinct from our relatives across the Causeway.

We may wear the same clothes, eat the same food, speak the same language and practise the same culture. However, the similarities end there.

We are now a society that uphold the philosophy of wanting to stand on our own feet, or what is known in Malay as ‘berdikari’ or ‘berdiri atas kaki sendiri’.

We do not believe in being spoon-fed or being too dependent on government help. In other words, we do not have a crutch mentality.
We definitely do not want to be labelled as a pampered and lazy community. That is why our Malay community here constantly work hard to raise funds to build our own mosques, madrasahs and other buildings in expensive and land-scarce Singapore.

Over the years we have raised millions of dollars to become proud owners of these buildings. Through our own efforts and with the help of other organisations, we have also helped the needy not only financially, but also in equipping them with new skills so that they can earn their living.

For Dr Mahathir, however, all that we have done and achieved so far are not good enough. He takes a negative view of our changed attitudes and different mindset, and has therefore cautioned Malaysian Malays not to be like us.

What about power? For Malays in Singapore, power is not about wielding the keris. For us, knowledge is power. In fact we believe that knowledge is THE real power.

The constant emphasis by the community on the importance of education and acquiring knowledge has led to the formation of institutions such as Mendaki, Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), the Prophet Mohamad Birthday Memorial Scholarship Board (LBKM) and many others. These self-help organisations not only provide financial help to needy students, but also strive to nuture our students to their full potential.

At the same time, these organisations help to tackle various social ills faced by the community. Again, we do these all on our own. Malay children here attend the same schools as other Singaporeans with a shared aim – to obtain a holistic education and, of course, achieve good examination results.

Yes, it is tough. Like all other children, our Malay students have no choice but to work hard. It is a reality of life in Singapore that we have come to accept – that there is certainly no short cut to success.

We do not believe in getting any special treatment, because it would only reduce the value of our achievements and lower our dignity.

The meritocratic system that we practise here is, without doubt, a tough system but it helps us to push ourselves and prevent us from becoming ‘manja’ and ‘malas’. Still, Dr Mahathir and some Malay leaders across the Causeway do not like the way we do things here and have therefore warned Malaysian Malays not to be like us. On our part, there is certainly no turning back.

Meritocracy has proven to be a good and fair system. It pushes us to work hard and makes us proud of our achievements. We can see how it has benefitted us by looking at the growing number of doctors, lawyers, magistrates, engineers, corporate leaders and other professionals among us.

It is the successes and achievements of some of these people that Berita Harian wants to highlight and celebrate when we launched this Achiever Award 12 years ago.

Tonight, we have another role model to present to our community. So, the question is: Shouldn’t our friends and relatives across the Causeway be like us [WINDOWS-1252?]– Malays in Singapore?

It is definitely not for us to suggest or decide. And we too have no intention of asking our own community if we would like to be like them either, because we have already chosen our very own path for the future.

We, the Malays in Singapore, should be proud of our achievements, because we have attained them through hard work.

It is true that what we have achieved so far may not be the best, and that we are still lagging behind the other races. There are large pockets in our community facing various social problems.

We have achieved so much, and yet there is still a long way to go. But we should not despair. We can do a lot more on our own if the community stay united and cohesive. In critical issues, we should speak with one voice.

We need to help and strengthen each other while at the same time reach out to the other communities in multi-racial, multi-religious Singapore. A successful and prosperous Singapore can only mean a successful and prosperous Malay community.

Racist principal should be sacked to discourage others from doing the same

August 18, 2010

Education ministry should act firmly and decisively by sacking the racist principal from Kulaijaya, Johor, to send a clear message to other would be racist, that the government is serious about 1 Malaysia. It is unacceptable for any reason whatsoever for a principal of a secondary school in Malaysia to utter racist innuendos after 54 years of independence. What kind of school heads have the ministry of education trained and employed. Instead of fostering closer relations and encouraging  acceptance of each other students of various races as one Malaysian race, the head mistress has chosen to be otherwise.    

The fact that no UMNO leader has condemned or recommended stern action on the principal shows that they subtly support the utterance of the racist head mistress. DPM and education minister should have called for the sacking of this racist head mistress. He has disappointed and let down the non-Malay communities in this country. UMNO and its leaders have shown their true colour on this matter by remaining silent.   

 DPM Muhyiddin Yassin’s call to Datuk Chuah Soi Lek not make offensive statement that can cause anger or are prejudicial to other races smacks with racism, double standards and hidden agendas. It clearly shows the UMNO leadership has no regards to the struggle and cause of other component parties and is totally ignorant to the fact that these parties have been reduced to irrelevancy due to the racist agendas of UMNO. Government leaders have squandered the strength of ethnic diversity of Malaysia into stumbling blocks for harmony and economic progress.

It is very unfortunate that the secondary which is the molding ground to inculcate tolerance, understanding of communities and acceptance of each other being allowed to instill hatred and distort history. Is this school in Kulaijaya, Johor the tip of iceberg? If insinuations of this nature can take place in school with 2200 students and 150 teachers comprising about 40% non-malays, what more can similar heads utter in Malay populated schools? It is for this reason the ministry must act firmly and decisively by sacking the head mistress. Anything less is totally unacceptable.       

This country grew and developed with the contribution of non Malays too. 85% of tax payers in this country are non Malays especially the Chinese. UMNO leaders have to be more responsible and come out of their siege mentality and accept that Malaysia belongs to every Malaysian and not only to UMNOPutras alone.

Abandonment of unwanted babies needs short and long term solutions

August 18, 2010

There is wide spread reporting in print media regarding unwanted babies being dumped on road sides, drains, garbage bins, places of worship door steps and welfare homes. The ministry of welfare and women affairs has responded with knee jerk proposals to these serious media reporting of dumping of new born babies. It is also surprising that the national council for the protection of children established after the enactment of national child Act 2001 is silence on these serious matter.

These problem of unwanted babies being ditched are faced my many developed countries too. The rapid urbanization and easy availability of phonographic materials in internets have emboldened and exposed the younger people to try what was forbidden by social norms. Once they are trapped by the problem they seem to have no qualms about what to do. Ministries of education and welfare and women affairs have to take the initiative to get rid of this menace from our society.

National council for the protection of children must act proactively both in the short and longer term to eliminate if not reduce this social problem. As an immediate action national council can propose the setting of safe havens in hospital, welfare homes etc for mothers who are caught in this quagmire to hand over unwanted babies rather than abandon. For this proposal to be successful community based NGOs must provide 24 hours hotlines counseling service for distressed mothers to reach out. Mothers who hand over their unwanted babies to safe haven should not be prosecuted but mothers and fathers who abandon their babies other than safe havens should be prosecuted. The short-term goal is to save babies’ lives and to instill confidence and provide hope to mothers who are caught in this predicament. 

But over the longer period the goal is to prevent situations like this from occurring in which babies’ lives would be at risk. Ministry of welfare and women affairs has to probe into the root cause of this social problem in which many youths are caught in. Impartial researches and collection of data on unwanted relinquishment of babies will aid in the development of prevention strategies and long term solutions to the problem abandonment. For a start we need clear definition of what is meant by abandonment of unwanted babies.        

Ministry of welfare and women affairs can come out with laws that provide guidance over the setting up of safe havens, anonymity to mothers to relinquish an unharmed baby at a designated location without fear of violating the law and empower the safe havens to provide certain basic services to the child like adoption, protection from any liability for safe havens etc. Successful implementation of the law and its enforcement depends on financial, human resources and legal expertise in handling this social problem.

Since many high school students have been subjected to unwanted pregnancies, ministry of education must respond to the call to introduce sexuality education. This may mean preventing pregnancy or providing services and counseling to students experiencing unwanted pregnancies to ensure that they have someone to talk to and share their predicament.

Was Masjid India little India?

August 14, 2010

Any person with an ounce of knowledge about Kuala Lumpur knows that for as long as people have lived and worked in the Masjid India area, it has been the heartbeat of locals and outsiders refer to as Little India. To be sure, there are other parts of the city that have, and continue to have a distinct Indian flavour and historical influence. There is the Sentul  area or the predominantly Indian part of Brickfields, to note just a couple of prominent examples.
 
Whilst there is – and always has been – only one Little India in the city, that is the Masjid India, it seems certain elements within the government are in the process of orchestrating another slight of reality and to rewrite history. Perhaps this may not be of the same magnitude of erasing the references to Yap Ah Loy in our children’s history books as the founder of Kuala Lumpur, but it sure would rank right up there among the more graphic examples of just how such campaigns to rewrite history continue to work right here in our own back yards.

In a reply to my supplementary question in dewan Negara on 19th july 2010, the minister for Wilayah Persekutuan and township (Perbandaran) Senator Datuk Raja Nong Chik bin Raja Zainal Abidin replied that as far as he knows Masjid India was never referred to as Little India. The area was referred as Masjid India because the mosque there was managed by Indian Muslims but the traders in that area were from various races mainly Malay traders and a few small Chinese businesses. Therefore Masjid India and its surrounding were never known as little India.

Well Mr Minister for your information, Malaysian tourism board and all tour operators have all along highlighted and promoted Masjid India as little India all over the world. Little India located in Masjid India is one the many tourism spot in kuala Lumpur city tour all these while. The other tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur are Chinatown, Central Market, local bazaars and the many luxurious shopping malls.

(http://allmalaysia.info/msiaexplore/travel/cities/default.asp?s=see)

In these website guess what is available in Masjid India? “Fancy seeing yourself in a lovely Indian saree? Then come by Little India located along Jalan Masjid India. Little India is exciting and vibrant and the place is absolutely alive with colours! Visitors to the place will feel as if they are in a bazaar. The streets are lined with an array of goods that will capture any shopper’s eye – from colourful sarees to jewellery, food to fabrics. Here you can also sample a variety of Indian cuisine, from fresh milk to Indian breads to snacks. The food and the culture are something any tourist should experience. It is a whole new world.” The address of this place is also clearly spelled out that little India located along Jalan Masjid India, 50100 Kuala Lumpur. Where are Malay and Chinese traders mentioned? They were spartanly present but Jalan Masjid India was predominantly Indian.

Even in google.com, little India is all about Masjid india. You take any website on tourism Malaysia, little India is all about Masjid India. That being the case, how is that the minister for federal territory is ignorant about Masjid India being little India? 

So it appears that some concerted efforts are well underway to now prop up Brickfields – and of course, the government surely only means just the short strip of Indian shops in Brickfields as the “real” Little India, in contrast to the Masjid India area. Now, do you suppose this is simply due to the apparent claim made by Dato’ Raja Nong Chik above?
 
 You don’t suppose it has especially to do with the fact that Masjid India, which of course has been for decades now subjected to a systematic strategy of watering down of the Indian presence, is perhaps one of the historically most distinct and centrally located Indian presence in central Kuala Lumpur? You don’t suppose this has anything to do with the fact that despite the watering down of Indian presence in Masjid India, this distinctly and historically India-flavoured enclave is perhaps one of the most valuable plots of land in the city?

Surely it must raise a few concerns in some quarters that continuing to have a prominent (by size, flavour, and name) Little India in the very heart of the city – seems contrary to the designs for the “new” image of Kuala Lumpur that they might like to impose.
 
 In the process – and no disrespect to the people of Brickfields – to conveniently and officially displace Little India to a less central, less prominent, smaller, and more confined neighbourhood seems like a necessary part of this agenda. Now, I would be the first to admit that change is an inevitable part of any community or neighbourhood. As with most parts of the Kuala Lumpur, Little India – otherwise known as Masjid India – has undergone changes. But this preoccupation with wanting to have Masjid India disassociated from also being known as Little India strikes me as going deeper than what the good Dato’ said above seems to imply.

 So whilst the MIC take their PM-endorsed latest dog-and-pony show known as the ‘1Malaysia People-Friendly Programme’ on the road to woo voters back to the MIC, the government seems simultaneously bent on a not so people-friendly programme of rewriting historical facts. What a slight of the political hand indeed. Quite typical, isn’t it?
 
 I for one am inclined to think there is more to come about this matter. And let’s just say, for now, there is something real fishy in this spicy episode about Little India.

Proposal made to introduce RACE RELATIONS ACT in Malaysia.

August 12, 2010

QUESTION: “Bahawa Dewan ini mendesak agar pihak kerajaan mengubal undang-undang Perhubungan Kaum (Race Relations Act) bagi menyinkirkan  diskriminasi perkauman  di sektor  awam, di  sektor swasta ,  di dalam bidang pelajaran di peringkat universiti dan matrikulasi, di dalam proses pengambilan  ‘tender’ kerajaan persekutuan, kerajaan negeri  dan kerajaan tempatan.   Tujuan utama undang-undang ini adalah  untuk mempromosi perhubungan perkauman yang baik dan sihat diantara semua kaum di Malaysia dengan menyinkirkan ketidakseimbangan perkauman dan diskriminasi. Oleh itu, disarankan supaya Kerajaan prihatin dan memandang serius terhadap gejala diskriminasi dan ketidakseimbangan perkauman di dalan sektor-sektor ini. Undang-undang ini boleh dikuasakan dan diberi mandat untuk memastikan bahawa agensi-agensi kerajaan negeri, kerajaan persekutuan, kerajaan tempatan,  syarikat-syarikat swasta, syarikat-syarikat ‘GLC’ kerajaan  dan institut pengajian tinggi tempatan (IPT) memperkenalkan program ‘race equality’  yang berdasarkan ‘merit’ di dalam semua aspek pekerjaan terutamanya  di dalam aspek pengambilan tenaga kerja dan pengambilan pelajar, promotion, latihan, dan peluang pembelajaran di dalam negeri dan diluar negara. Dalam masa yang sama Kerajaan perlu menubuhkan satu Suruhanjaya Perhubungan Perkauman di bawah undang- undang ini bagi memastikan penguatkuasaan dan implimentasi undang-undang perhubungan perkauman”.

Tan Sri Koh tsu Koon replied this question as follows

Yang Berhormat Senator Dr. Ramakrishnan mencadangkan agar satu undangundang perhubungan kaum digubal bagi menyingkirkan diskriminasi perkauman. Tuan Yang di-Pertua, sebenarnya cadangan untuk menggubal Akta Hubungan Kaum di negara ini telah timbul semasa persidangan Dewan Rakyat selepas pilihan raya umum tahun 2008. Apabila beberapa orang Ahli Parlimen pada waktu itu telah membangkit dan membahaskan isu-isu yang dianggap sensitif, yang menyentuh perkara-perkara tertentu yang dikhuatiri boleh menjejas perhubungan antara kaum. Isu-isu ini termasuk hak keistimewaan Melayu dan kepentingan sah kaum-kaum lain, institusi Raja, status agama Islam dan kebebasan beragama, isu kehakiman, isu kebebasan bersuara dan sebagainya.

Ada ketikanya bahasan dalam Dewan Rakyat pada waktu itu berlangsung dalam suasana yang agak tegang dan menyentuh emosi. Perbahasan isu-isu ini telah mendapat liputan luas di dalam media cetak dan elektronik. Hasilnya para pemimpin politik dan masyarakat, ahli akademik dan orang awam turut memberi pandangan masing-masing. Salah satu cadangan yang dikemukakan ialah satu akta perhubungan kaum perlu digubal bagi mengawal golongan mahupun individual yang tertentu. Supaya tidak mempolitikkan dan memutarbelitkan isu-isu dan peruntukan-peruntukan yang termaktub di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Serta membahas atau melaksanakan perkara-perkara dengan cara yang boleh menjejas atau merenggangkan perhubungan antara kaum di negara ini.

Memandangkan bahawa pelbagai reaksi, pandangan dan cadangan yang disiarkan di media masa telah menjadi agak hangat. Maka Jemaah Menteri di mesyuaratnya pada 10 September 2008 ,telah mengarahkan Jabatan Perpaduan Negara dan Integrasi Nasional (JPNIN) yang pada ketika itu di bawah Kementerian Perpaduan, Kebudayaan, Kesenian dan Warisan menyusur pandangan tentang perlunya digubal satu Akta Perhubungan Kaum. Lanjutan daripada itu kerajaan melalui Institut Kajian Etnik atau dengan ringkas KITA, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) di bawah Profesor Shamsul Bahrin telah mengadakan satu perbincangan meja bulat sehari mengenai usul penggubalan akta perhubungan ras di Malaysia, nilai murni atau perundangan sebagai asas kawalan.

Pada 30 Oktober tahun 2008 perbincangan ini disertai oleh para ahli akademik, para wakil badan-badan bukan kerajaan, sektor awam dan sektor swasta. Perbincangan ini bertujuan untuk mendapatkan pandangan awal, cadangan untuk menggubal akta tersebut. Hasilnya hanya terdapat sekumpulan kecil yang menyokong penggubalan akta yang berkenaan, manakala yang lain tidak bersetuju. Kumpulan yang tidak bersetuju berpendapat bahawa:

(i) Perlembagaan Persekutuan adalah bersifat nasional, yang mengambil kira kepentingan semua kaum di negara kita ini. Di samping itu undangundang yang sedia ada adalah mencukupi untuk menangani isu-isu

perkauman. Hanya pelaksanaan dan akta tertentu mungkin perlu dititikberatkan. Jikalau perlu undang-undang yang sedia ada boleh diteliti dan dibuat penambahbaikan di mana yang perlu;

(ii) akta baru yang dicadangkan itu dikhuatiri mungkin akan bercanggah dengan fasal-fasal tertentu yang terdapat dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan;

(iii) undang-undang tidak boleh memaksa seseorang untuk menyukai orang lain. Sebaliknya mengutamakan penerapan nilai-nilai perpaduan melalui pendidikan dan proses pemasyarakatan atau socialization, dianggap akan memberi kesan yang lebih positif;

(iv) lazimnya hanya beberapa ahli politik dan media masa yang tertentu yang menjadikan isu perkauman itu begitu sensasi. Bukannya rakyat jelata yang sering tidak begitu terlibat, walaupun kadang kala mereka rasa risau; dan

(v) isu hubungan kaum pada amnya melibatkan Semenanjung Malaysia dan tidak begitu ketara dan serius di Sabah dan Sarawak. Kumpulan yang bersetuju supaya akta digubal berpendapat bahawa:-

(i)                 kerajaan perlu menubuhkan satu suruhanjaya perhubungan kaum bagi menangani isu-isu perkauman;

      (ii) akta perhubungan kaum boleh mengelakkan berlakunya diskriminasi antara kaum dan mencegah tingkah laku yang tidak diingini;

(iii)             akta ini boleh dijadikan sebagai panduan kepada semua kaum supaya tidak membangkitkan isu-isu yang boleh menjejaskan hubungan kaum.

Berdasarkan kepada hasil rumusan perbincangan ini Jemaah Menteri pada bulan Januari 2009 telah membuat keputusan bahawa adalah tidak perlu untuk menggubal satu akta baru. Ini kerana akta-akta yang sedia ada seperti Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri, Akta Hasutan, Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan adalah memadai untuk mengawal mana-mana pihak yang membangkitkan isu-isu yang boleh menjejaskan perhubungan antara kaum. Kerajaan berpendapat adalah lebih baik akta-akta yang sedia ada itu disemak, diteliti, diperjelas, diperkukuhkan mana yang perlu dan dilaksanakan dengan lebih berkesan dan lebih adil lagi.

Sebagai langkah untuk mengekang, memelihara dan memperkukuhkan perpaduan nasional, kerajaan telah memperkenalkan beberapa inisiatif yang terkandung di dalam Gagasan 1Malaysia dan Program Transformasi Kerajaan serta Model Ekonomi Baru yang menegaskan perpaduan dalam kepelbagaian atau unity in diversity yang dipandu oleh teras-teras perpaduan dan penerapan nilai-nilai aspirasi serta konsep keterangkuman atau inclusiveness supaya semua kaum mendapat manfaat daripada dasar-dasar yang dilaksanakan oleh kerajaan, dan tidak ada mana-mana golongan warganegara yang dipinggirkan atau dinafikan hak mereka. Di samping itu, kerajaan akan terus mempertingkatkan lagi program-program yang sedia ada dan memperkenalkan program baru untuk memupuk persefahaman dan perpaduan seperti

Rukun Tetangga dan Skim Rondaan Sukarela dalam kawasan-kawasan perumahan di bawah JPNIN, Rancangan Integrasi Murid-murid untuk Perpaduan atau RIMUP antara sekolah-sekolah rendah pelbagai aliran, Program Latihan Khidmat Negara untuk remaja serta pelbagai program sukan dan interaksi sosial untuk belia dan wanita. Galakan dan sokongan juga diberi kepada syarikat swasta dan pertubuhan bukan

kerajaan untuk memainkan peranan yang positif dan membina dalam menganjurkan aktiviti untuk menggalakkan interaksi antara etnik. Oleh itu kerajaan berpendapat bahawa tumpuan hendaklah diberi terhadap langkah-langkah konkrit seperti tersebut supaya menjadi lebih berkesan berbanding dengan menggubal satu akta yang baru buat ketika ini. Sekian, terima kasih.