Sarawak leaders slam Bersatu Youth chief for his proposal to limit PM post to Malays
“This was never one of the conditions that our forefathers in Sarawak and Sabah agreed to or envisaged.
(MMO) – Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal was slammed by several Sarawak leaders for his proposal to amend the Federal Constitution to restrict the post of prime minister to Malays.
Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Malaysia could only progress and gain international respect if leaders abandon ethnocentric perspectives, Free Malaysia Today reported.
Abdul Karim said that the people and leaders in the country should do away with such rhetoric, especially after more than six decades of independence.
“It is unfortunate to see we still have within our midst leaders who play the racial and religious (card).
“Malaysia is a multiracial and multi-religious country. If we want to progress and be respected within the country and beyond, we need to do away with all this racist outlook.
“We seek leaders who refrain from discriminating against minorities, those who believe in merit-based acceptance to lead Malaysia, rather than being chosen based on race,” he was quoted as saying.
Recently, Wan Ahmad had challenged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to introduce an amendment to the Federal Constitution to ensure that only Malays can become the prime minister.
He argued that the approach would help instil confidence among the Malays towards the government, especially in light of the recent remark by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang that the Federal Constitution does not prohibit a non-Malay from becoming the prime minister.
Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution states that the only requirement for someone to be the prime minister is that he or she must be an MP who, in the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s judgment, is likely to command majority support.
Meanwhile, Article 160 defines a Malay as a person who professes the religion of Islam habitually speaks the Malay language, and conforms to Malay customs. This definition does not cover Orang Asli or natives of Sabah and Sarawak.
Julau MP Datuk Larry Sng said that politicising such issues will only widen the gap between races and would not benefit the country’s progress.
He also questioned whether this meant natives from Sabah and Sarawak would be barred from leading the country in the future.
“Bumiputera from Borneo who are non-Malay should be allowed to lead one day. Therefore, any amendment limiting the premiership to one race is discriminatory in nature,” he was quoted as saying.