Several parties question motive of questioning article 153 of Constitution

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

this Article.”

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.



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