Is PM Najib Serious Enough to Launch a New Social Contract?

Khoo Kay Peng

PM Najib Razak said the Chinese should not be seen as kaum pendatang (migrant folk) and have been loyal citizens of Malaysia for the past three to five generations.

I would like to applaud the PM for saying the obvious. However, it is a shame for a head of government to recognize the status of Chinese Malaysian after more than five decades of independence.

If the Chinese were seen as ‘kaum pendatang‘ it is because the only ruling government in Malaysia has denied them of rightful place in the Malaysian constitution as citizens of this country with equal rights.

If PM Najib is serious about his statement, he should be ready to announce a new social contract acknowledging that all citizens are born equal and should be treated equally by the government and political groups.

It is ridiculous for him to suggest that he has no control over certain individuals in Umno, Perkasa and BTN who had incited racial hatred and displayed bigotry in their speeches. The government has shown that it is in control when comes to detaining cartoonist and banning books which are critical of the government.

Is the PM willing to walk his talk to correct the politically motivated ‘social contract’ his party was adamant that the Chinese should observe with respect? A social contract should be inclusive and not divisive.

At the same MCA event, Najib said there was a need to develop the economy equitably to have a fair distribution of wealth depending on the size of the community.

“It is a conventional wisdom and rational thinking that if the majority of a country has a very small percentage of the wealth, that is not equitable. I think MCA would also agree.

“So, we need to have a nice balance that the Malay feels they have a bigger share in economic wealth but the Chinese also feel they are growing economically in our system,” he said. His statement does not show that he understands the current malaise. He might as well declare Malaysia a socialist country.

Yes, the nation wealth should be distributed more equitably to all citizens. The fact that the bottom 40% of the nation owns less than 13% of the nation’s wealth is unacceptable. The disparity in the country is growing.

Equitable wealth distribution cannot be seen from only the Malay versus the others perspective. There is a gross income and wealth disparity among the rich and poor Malays.