Perkasa: Better ruled over than walked over

By Melissa Chi, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — Malays would be better off living under colonial rule if Article 153 of the Federal Constitution which safeguards the special position of Bumiputeras is brushed aside, Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali has said.

Firing a warning shot across the Najib administration’s bow on the night the prime minister unveiled the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) annual report, Ibrahim stressed that the national agenda must be driven by Article 153, rather than incorporate the clause in piecemeal fashion.

“A right is a right,” he told reporters at the conclusion of the Perkasa-sponsored Bumiputera Economic Transformation Convention here today.

The outspoken politician said to do otherwise was to abandon all that Malay nationalists fought for when they united to oppose the formation of the Malayan Union, which would have accorded non-Malays greater rights.

“The Federal Constitution must be made a term of reference for any national policy,” Ibrahim said.

“Even though we are now heading towards a transformation by favouring meritocracy and liberalisation to meet the needs of the global economy, still the term of reference must be the Federal Constitution.”

The New Economic Model (NEM) introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak cannot safeguard Bumiputera rights as it was “very loose” and vulnerable to manipulation, Ibrahim suggested.

He added that any economic policy that was not rooted in Article 153 violated the constitution and was a criminal act in his view.

Ibrahim also criticised the government for paying too much heed to recommendations from foreign experts in its pursuit of the NEM as they did not understand the historical complexities underpinning the Malaysian economy.

“They came here to formulate the economy for Malaysia based on foreign considerations and not the socio-economic [needs] of the country,” he said.