Don’t go against the constitution, Rais warns Chua

By Free Malaysia Today

JELEBU: Information Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim has described the call by MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek, for the gradual reduction of Bumiputera equity, as running contrary to the constitution.

He said Article 153 of the Federal Constitution guaranteed the special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interest of other communities.

“When he called for the gradual reduction of the 30% Bumiputera equity in all sectors of the economy, he was going against the constitution of Malaysia.

“Maybe he did not realise this but I would like to remind that Article 153 is not a simple provision; in fact, it cannot be amended by any party unless with the consent of the Conference of Rulers and subject to provisions in Article 159 of the Federal Constitution,” he told reporters here.

He said that although Chua might have tailored his remark to the political sentiment of his party, the Malays especially could not accept it.

“If the call were to be implemented, firstly we would be going against the Federal Constitution and secondly, we would be undermining the position of the Malay rulers, especially the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who is responsible for safeguarding these interests.

“This is not a mere practice but something that has been accepted by parties involved in the social contract in 1956-57 when the Reid Commission was formed, and when the constitution of the Federation of Malaya, and later the Federal Constitution, was formulated,” he said.

Undermining the struggle

Rais said he hoped that in future, political leaders would refrain from saying things as they please, and should recognise things that had become pillars of the country.