However, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claims that the concept is not one of unchallenged dominance of the Malays.
Syed Jaymal Zahiid, FMT
The controversial concept of “Ketuanan Melayu” remains relevant and is needed to help the country’s ethnic majority “develop”, said Umno vice-president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He denied the idea, often translated as “Malay supremacy”, denoted unchallenged dominance of the Malays but said that the concept meant a developed indigenous race capable of being masters of their own destiny.
The defence minister said this was a definition given by then premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi himself at the face of allegations made by opposition leaders that Umno was promoting Malay supremacy.
“Malay supremacy meant that the Malays, as the indigenous people of Malaysia, needed to empower themselves to ensure they are successful and developed.
“If they are not successful and developed, then they are not ‘tuan’ (masters), therefore they will be coolies,” he said, quoting Abdullah, at the launch of a book on the subject here.