Muhyiddin: Umno will always protect Malay rights

(Bernama) – The special privileges of the Malays as enshrined in the Federal Constitution will continue to be protected for as long as Umno is in power and the party is aware of its responsibility to champion the cause of the Malays, said Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

"That has been our cause in the past, present and in future, insya-Allah. This is most important and we cannot ignore it," he said when opening the Padang Rengas Umno divisional delegates conference at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tun Perak, Padang Rengas near here today.

He said the claim by certain groups that the move taken by the government to liberalise the economy to attract foreign investments into the country would affect the position of the Malays was a misconception and should be corrected.

Muhyiddin, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, said the thrust of Umno’s struggles all this while had never changed, and stressed that the party would never abandon its responsibility to champion the cause of the Malays in terms of the economy, politics, culture, education, social and matters specified in the constitution.

"There are quarters who allege that the present leadership is no longer interested to defend the rights of the Malays. We are opening too much space to the extent that the Bumiputeras are not in a position to face the competition.

"For how long must the Bumiputeras depend on aid and not make any effort to be self-reliant just because of the protection provided by the government to them?" he asked.

As such, Muhyiddin said the approach taken by the leadership in terms of the national economy as well as in protecting the Bumiputera interests must be understood by Umno leaders as well as members themselves.

He said the move to liberalise the economy was taken after taking into consideration the world economic situation which was most challenging where Malaysia would be lagging far behind if it did not revamp its economic structure.

"I want to stress that we will not abandon or ignore our responsibility… that we will continue to defend the policy and the spirit of the New Economic Policy (NEP)," he said.