Malaysiakini NEWS

Supreme law with an extreme flaw

Navin-Chandra Naidu  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT Imagine legislating discrimination, and entombing it in the supreme law of the land. The Americans considered each black person as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of apportioning legislators based on population way before gerrymandering came into vogue.

Malaysia is no different when it comes to the legitimate interests of other races. The word "other" presupposes a distinct and unique race set quite apart through constitutional fiat. Passing a law loaded with bias to benefit one particular ethnic race is a serious flaw, especially when it is woven into the fabric of a supreme law called a constitution.

tunku abdul rahman merdeka declaration 261004One can only wonder what the Reid Commission was instructed to do in the early 1950s while drafting and creating a new constitution for Malaya. The thinking behind what constituted Malaya, and later Malaysia, will always haunt Malaysians, especially knowing that no Malayan was invited to sit in the Reid Commission although I know there were several eminent local lawyers in the then fledgling Malaya.

Now available to the public, and occupying a safe spot and space in antiquity in the atmosphere-controlled British Museum, are letters written to Westminster from the colonial secretaries of Malaya, Fiji and other British colonies with fertile soils yielding untold spoils, inundated with tales, illustrations and examples of the ethnic races who are loathe to work under the blazing midday sun...

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