Malaysia has evolved over the last half century to become a country based on a subtle, pervasive and increasingly aggressive form of racism, characterised by the doctrine of “Ketuanan Melayu”, a doctrine that postulates that the Malay Muslims are the tuan (masters) of Malaysia. Other non-Malay non-Muslim Malaysians are supposedly considered “Pendatangs’ (Immigrants) beholden to the Malays for life for granting them citizenship in 1957 in return for a special position (interpreted as privileges) as set out in Article 153 of the Malaysian Constitution.
Article 153 was originally conceived as a temporary measure to uplift the disadvantaged Malay peasantry and address their insecurity vis a vis the other people in the Peninsula. The then leaders of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) gave the Constitutional Commission an undertaking that 15 years would be sufficient for this purpose and thereafter the provision would be revisited.
Article 153 has since been entrenched and has become the source of the racist policies in Malaysia to the disadvantage of the Non- Malay Malaysians. Article 153 is a brand of apartheid which runs counter to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 where about half the population have to experience the daily indignity of being unequals in their own land.
Questioning any matter, rights, status, privileges in Article 153 is considered a challenge to the Malay Muslim Supremacy or as insulting the Royal Institution and Islam and invites the common threat of violence and bloodshed by the leading UMNO political party and its outsourced racist NGO’s-Perkasa and Pekida and the notorious underworld para-military 3 LINE.
After 55 years or Independence it is time to correct this gross violation of fundamental principles of equality and human dignity if Malaysia is ever to rightfully sit in the comity of nations as a modern State.
There just cannot be two classes of citizens.
Further the Malaysian Constitution provides for freedom of religion; however, the government places restrictions on this right in a very definite and oblique manner. The Civil courts which have the constitutional position as the ultimate arbiter and guardian of the constitution in all matters relating to non-Muslim Malaysians is steadily losing this supreme position. The jurisdiction of the Sharia court has steadily encroached upon and eroded this position of the Civil courts in cases concerning religious conversions and in certain areas of family law involving disputes between Muslims and non-Muslims. Whenever there is a conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims, the tendency is for the Sharia court to adjudicate and invariably for the Muslim Law to prevail regardless of the merits of the case and of the provisions in the constitution of the adjudicating legal system.
All this is no-more than direct outcomes of the doctrine of “Ketuanan Melayu” a bigoted doctrine based on the narrow and selfish needs of a small Malay Muslim elite that is robbing all Malaysians of dignity. As the universal principle goes – there cannot be dignity where there is no equality.
WE CITIZENS OF ALL NATIONS CALL ON
1. The Malaysian Government to immediately act to repeal Article 153 of the Malaysian Constitution and to immediately dismantle all racist policies and provisions and provide for equality to all Citizens of Malaysia.
2. The Malaysian Government to immediately table an amendment to Article 121 to clarify the position of the Syariah Law, which is intended to adjudicate upon personal laws involving Muslims only, and take measures to ensure that all contentious matters involving Malaysians of other faith be adjudicated upon in civil courts.
3. The Malaysian Government to form a Royal Commission to inquire and report on all racist policies and violations of religious freedom in Malaysia.
4. The United Nations to make representations on behalf of almost 12.5 million citizens of other faiths to be treated equally with dignity and the removal of all racist and religious supremacist policies by way of Constitutional amendments and these fundamental rights to be entrenched under the Malaysian Constitution to protect the future Malaysian generation and in accordance to the various UN Covenants and Conventions.