Malay Rights not to be questioned.

This is what one of the members of the Royal Family has been saying in his speech to a 1,000 strong crowd.

Tengku Faris: Non-Malays should not seek equality

Kelantan Crown Prince Tengku Faris Petra said today that Malays had given into granting non-Malays citizenship and the latter should therefore not seek equality or special treatment.

He said this during his keynote speech at a forum titled “Malay unity is the core of national unity” organised by the newly formed Barisan Bertindak Perpaduan Melayu in Kuala Lumpur today.

Speaking to a crowd of about 1,000 people, Tengku Faris said the Malay rulers would be an umbrella to foster unity among all Malaysians, based on the Federal Constitution and the Rukun Negara.

“Therefore, the rakyat must unite and never raise issues regarding Malay rights and special privileges because it is a quid pro quo in gratitude for the giving in of citizenship (beri-paksa kerakyatan) to 2.7 million non-Malays into the Tanah Melayu federation.

“Thus, it is not appropriate for these other ethnic groups to have citizenship, only (later) to seek equality and privileges,” said Tengku Faris, who read from a 11-page prepared text.

However, the crown prince stressed that in an effort to unite the Malays, non-Malays also have rights that must be protected, such as in areas of religion.

As an example, Tengku Faris said non-Malays are allowed to practice their respective religions in peace. They must however do so in accordance with the law and “not be provocative towards Islam”.

“The Malay rulers are the head of the Islamic religion and Malaysia is a Islamic country (negara Islam), not secular. We have our own formula (as a country) which is different from others,” he added, drawing thunderous applause from the crowd.

‘Dominance’

He added that the effort to instil Malay unity and defend Malay special rights does not mean that other races would be ignored.

“In fact, if Malay rights and special privileges are taken care of and is not disturbed, it would ensure national harmony. It does not just benefit the Malays but all ethnic groups,” he said.

In his speech, Tengku Faris said the 12th General Election results have shown that the Malays are being “challenged” and thus Malays unity is of the utmost priority.

“The election results have shown that the Malays are disunited and facing other ethnic groups who are more dominant politically and economically,” he said.

As the constitution provides that the Malays are the natives (penduduk asal) of Malaysia, Tengku Faris said every Malay must defend the constitution and Islam and this can only be achieved through Malay unity.

“We have to make an effort to unite. Don’t spilt up. Avoid polemics that can distance us. Ideology (and) having different interpretations does not contribute to Malay unity.

“Discussing about polemics such as Islamic state, secular state, welfare state… confuses the people… Resulting from this confusion, Malays are becoming more disillusioned,” he added. – Malaysiakini, 12 April 2008

Read original article plus comments here.
Also read here.

******

I have to say, this caught me by surprise. Who would have thought that the Royal Family would give such a speech? It almost shows that he had given no thought to the rakyat in general. By saying that non-Malays do not deserve equal rights compared to the Malays, he must have been up there sitting in his palace for so long, and got himself absolutely detached from the rakyat.

To give him the benefit of the doubt, he was reading from a “prepared” text. So what I can assume is that his Royal Highness probably didn’t even have time to read through the entire 11 pages, and stepped up onto stage to read something that wasn’t really what he believes in. This thought helps console me slightly.

Sure, Malay Rights may still be relevant, but not to the extent that as non-Malays, we shouldn’t question it because we “owe” it to the Malays for giving us the citizenship in the first place. That is both a racial comment, and one that obviously didn’t go through the brain at all.

I looked into the Star Online, and found this article on the same issue:

Tengku Faris: Don’t question Malay rights

KUALA LUMPUR: The special rights and privileges of Malays should not be questioned but the community should make every effort to improve and stay united, the Tengku Mahkota of Kelantan said.

Tengku Mohammad Faris Petra Sultan Ismail Petra reiterated that nobody should challenge Malay rights and privileges, adding that these developments were becoming apparent following the recent general elections.

“The Malay Rulers will act as a source of unity and loyalty among all the people as stated in the Constitution and Rukunegara.

“As such, the people should be united and no one should question the special rights and privileges of the Malays because it is quid pro quo in return for providing citizenships to 2.7 million people of other races who joined the Malay Federation.

“It is not appropriate for the other races to demand equal rights and privileges after they had already acquired their citizenships,” he said in his opening address at a Malay unity gathering held in conjunction with the Maulidur Rasul celebration at the Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.

The theme of the event, organised by a group of Malay NGOs named Barisan Bertindak Perpaduan Melayu (BBPM), was “Malay Unity is the Core of National Unity.”

The NGOs included the National Writers Alliance (Gapena), Federation of Peninsula Malay Students, Pekida and the Malaysian Islamic Consumers Association.

Tengku Mohammad Faris, however, reminded them that while they pursued stronger Malay unity, they should not ignore the rights of other races, such as freedom to practise their religions.

Original article found here.

*****

It is still reporting on the same issue, but I dare say, with a totally different flavour to it. In fact, if someone was to read this article on this issue, and not the one in Malaysiakini, I’m sure this person would end up with totally different views of what it was that happened.

Even the quotes in the article are slightly different. I’m now beginning to wonder, what was it that the Tengku had originally read? This article by the Star Online is so mild, that it is difficult to presume that he was talking about ketuanan Melayu.

I think I’m starting to really feel the full blast of degradation of journalism in MSM. It’s sad, to say the least.

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