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Yoursay: The gap between Article 153 and UN anti-racial discrimination pact

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YOURSAY | ‘Race discrimination is immoral, contrary to Islam and also dishonest...’

'Rights of bumi, other communities not affected by UN anti-racism treaty'

Seladang: The UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination and UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees must both be signed by the Pakatan Harapan government.

There is no conflict of interest because the Harapan government aims to uplift the bottom 40 percent income earners as part of its need-based economic policy.

The current lopsided bumiputera policy has enriched a small cohort of Umno/BN-linked Malays at the expense of the large segments of the rural and urban Malays who have been sidelined by corruption in the name of bumiputera empowerment.

Umno leader Khairy Jamaluddin is a xenophobe who is using this archaic, discredited and bankrupt bumiputera policy to propel his diminishing political career.

This policy of favouritism must be discarded to carve out a modern Malaysia Baru policy to uplift all disadvantaged Malaysians. Khairy must be relegated to the dust heap of history.

Bill Price: I'm not sure why Khairy is getting so much heat for asking a perfectly legitimate question.

The treaty bans racial discrimination yet our Federal Constitution has specific clauses mandating forms of racial discrimination.

His question is: how can this be reconciled? So far, no one has actually provided an answer. All they have done is bash Khairy.

Wira: Article 153 (of the Federal Constitution) should be amended to read: "It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the legitimate interests of all communities in accordance with the provisions of this article."

Anonymous 1470491491148271: This argument has gaps in it. Clause 1 of Article 153 talks about the “special position” of Malays and natives in Sabah and Sarawak. The same words, “special position” does not apply to “other communities”.

The clause merely mentions “the legitimate interest” of other communities, it does not expressly state that the other communities, too, have a “special position”.

It would not make sense if all communities have special positions. Then no one would be special.

Therefore, this clause does seem to point to racial discrimination as it differentiates between the special position of Malays and natives on the one hand, and the legitimate interest of the rest of the communities on the other.

Vijay47: Coming to that accursed Article 153, its original intentions to help the bumiputera, noble as they may have been, have dissipated and are now enhanced with the position that any effort to help non-bumiputeras is an affront to the spirit and letter of Article 153 and the beast called the social contract under which the non-Malays apparently surrendered any claim to just and equal treatment. 

Thus, we have those who valiantly argue for the recognition of Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), an achievement valued everywhere else but (here), but is seen as an attack on the national language and the core of a 500-year-old Malay civilisation. 

As long as we have Umno and PAS that continue to quote chapter and verse on race and religion even as they adroitly make off with the nation’s wealth, the Federal Constitution may as well be replaced with the Magna Carta.

Pakcik Am: Favouring ethnic Malays for jobs and scholarships is race discrimination, even if justification is sought on the grounds that it is affirmative action that has gone on non-stop for 60 years.

Race discrimination is immoral, contrary to Islam and also dishonest if implemented by the favoured race for themselves.

OMG: For the Malays and East Malaysian natives, it is their special position. For the other "communities", it is their legitimate interests. Are these apples and oranges?

To put it in context, let’s say the white people of America were to be given a special position. And all other non-white Americans were to have "legitimate interests".

Would it be okay and acceptable with their Declaration of Independence, which speaks of "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal"?

In this third millennium, it is vile and an obscenity that a bumiputera billionaire can receive special economic assistance via his special position, while a non-bumiputera Chinese rubbish collector cannot, whatever his "legitimate interests" provide him.

The Malays did need help in 1957. They extended it to the East Malaysian natives for good economic reasons after 1963. But it should have been adjusted to benefit only economically-needy Malaysians of all races.

The NEP and all its successors have absolutely no longer any socio-economic legitimacy however many UN resolutions you try to sign.

I hope Malaysia becomes a signatory, and to expose to the world Malaysia's absurd, race-based affirmative action for the majority, including billionaires and millionaires, such as a 10 percent discount to buy a luxury penthouse costing RM5 million which a poor, needy bumiputera simply must have.

Anonymous 1470491491148271: Malaysia has been plagued by the special position in a gamut of government policies and positions for too long, for example, approved permits for cars, construction contracts, infrastructure-related contracts, education vis-a-vis scholarships to study abroad (and loans which many don’t seem to repay), preferential university entrance for certain groups, bumiputera equity requirements in public limited companies, designated bumiputera lots on housing projects.

And the list goes on. This has been the elephant in the room for a long time.

Kahlil Gibran: There are so many important UN resolutions that the government needs to ratify. The one on discrimination has to be ratified. So should the resolution on human rights and minority rights.

Some important International Labour Organization (ILO) resolutions also need to be ratified.

Suhukam has made some very good recommendations because at the end of the day only the people matter.

Malaysia is a country that advocates institutionalised racism and it must be removed.

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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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