MALAY PKR leaders have been urged to state their stand pertaining to the latest reiteration by retired DAP supremo Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang who maintained that there is no provision in the Federal Constitution which bars non-Malays from becoming the Prime Minister (PM).
This is because the late Karpal Singh during his tenure as DAP chairman had in 2012 also raised a similar argument but was somehow ‘shot down’ by PKR leaders when both parties were allies in the then Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition (which also included PAS).
PAS Selangor information chief Zurk Ahmad who made such call attributed this to then PKR leaders Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin who were both deputy higher education minister and PKR Youth chief as cited by the MStar news portal back then.
“In his comments, Saifuddin said the issue shouldn’t have been raised by Karpal when the Opposition leader (now Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) himself is a Malay,” contended Zurk in an opinion featured in HarakahDaily. “Shamsul also agreed with him (Saifuddin) when he remarked that Karpal’s statement was just his personal view.”
In fact, Shamsul pointed out that as Malaysia practices a system of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, “people of Malay descent have special rights compared to other races in Malaysia and that Malays need not worry about the views of the veteran parliamentarian”.
To further fortified his argument, Zurk recalled that national historian laureate Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim had once lashed out at Malaysians who disputed Article 153 in the National Constitution which recognises the position and special rights of Malays and Bumiputera.
“The government at that time already had its own people namely the Malays and those subjects of the Malay King (should) possess special rights compared to people who came and settled in the then Malaya and only having the opportunity to apply for citizenship when the Federation of Malaya was established on Feb 1, 1948.”
Henceforth, although there is no clear record for a particular race to be Malaysian PM, Zurk remarked that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution clearly shows that “the interests of the Malays as well as the natives of Sabah and Sarawak need to be protected as the indigenous people of this land”.
“If we talk about this issue, we cannot escape from Article 153 which if viewed from the historical perspective of the Malay rulers in the 1948 Federation of Malaya Agreement, have since committed to the Malays in the field of education, economic progress, social welfare and participation in government services,” asserted the Hulu Langat PAS Youth chief.
“It is clear here that any matter involving the interests of the Malays is placed under the purview of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA). Nevertheless, the rights of other races are also protected because through the 1948 Agreement, the Malay Rulers also allow foreign races to be admitted as citizens.” – Dec 7, 2023