KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 (Bernama) — Various quarters have questioned a top
church leader”s motive of questioning Article 153 of the Federal Constitution,
pertaining to protection of the rights of the various communities in the
Dr Shamrahayu Abd Aziz from the Ahmad Ibrahim Law Faculty of the
International Islamic University Malaysia, when contacted said Article 153 did
not only protect the special rights of the Malays but also the rights of the
She referred to Clause 1 of the constitution which states, “It shall be the
responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of
the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the
legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of
Shamrahayu said: “I fully support the statement by the deputy prime minister
(Tan Sri Muhiyiddin Yassin) yesterday that Article 153 does not bully any
community in this country. This is clear in the constitution.
“But I question the motive of those raising this matter….they are actually
making a provocation that can affect racial harmony in the country.”
Last week at the Christian Federation of Malaysia Christmas hi-tea, National
Evangelical Christian Fellowship chairman, Dr Eu Hong Seng had said that Article
153 of the Federal Constitution was akin to bullying as it only protects the
rights of one group.
To this, Shamrahayu said the government, for instance, did not deny the
rights of the other communities to receiving government scholarships, study
loans such as from the National Higher Education Corporation Fund which were
given to all races, and other educational benefits like training.
“We, the Malays, have become fed-up with the issue being raised time and
again. If it needs to be raised at all, it should be through the proper
channel,” she said.
Malaysian Youth Council president Mohamed Maliki Mohamed Rapiee said Eu”s
statement was sedicious and had caused public uneasiness.
“As a community and religious leader, he should have taken a more rational
approach so that racial unity and harmony will prevail.
“We urge that he withdraws his statement and openly apologise to all
Malaysians,” he said.
National Islamic Youth Association (Pembina) secretary-general, Salman Abdul
Rahman said those who continued to question Malay special rights should look at
the historical origin of Article 153.
“The Malays were given special rights as they were willing to recognise the
immigrant races that came to this country as citizens. This was later known as
the social contract.
“The Malays were kind to share this country and what they had with the other
races. Likewise, if you”re invited to stay at someone”s house, and while you
have your rights, that person has special rights as the host and you cannot take
away his rights,” he said.