Do we need to change our Constitution just because Bersatu and PAS do not like it?
If the Constitution had this non-Malay restriction, Mahathir could be barred from becoming PM if he was proven that he was not a Malay. So the final arbitrator is the court, and not the Malays or Agong to decide.
Choo Sing Chye
It is very perplexing to hear politicians making silly demands that our constitution be amended to allow only a Malay to be the Prime Minister.
Any political scientists or politicians worth his/her salt would easily understand why the framers of our constitution did not want to specify any race to be the PM of Malaya.
It is technically difficult to encapsulate the term “Malay” correctly.
Let us ponder a little bit further on this issue, if the framers decided that only a Malay could be PM and framed it into our constitution, we would then see former PM Mahathir whose paternal grand father came from Kerala, India, could be called upon to prove that he is a Malay and not an Indian Muslim before assuming the PM post.
I could still remember the main campaign trajectory of Semangat 46 in the 1990 General Elections was that Mahathir was not a Malay, but an Indian Muslim. Photostat of alleged Mahathir’s ICs with the word “Anak Lelaki” (Son Of) instead “Bin” were disseminated throughout the campaign.
Thus, if the Constitution had this non-Malay restriction, Mahathir could be barred from becoming PM if he was proven that he was not a Malay.
So the final arbitrator is the court, and not the Malays or Agong to decide whether he is to be PM or not, just to satisfy the condition set by the our Constitution.
Therefore, this was the main reason why the framers did not want the Constitution to decide who would be PM based on his race.
They wanted the Malays who form the majority in the country and the Agong with his Royal Prerogative to decide who would be PM. They wanted the person who would be PM be elected through the ballot box by the Malays themselves.
The recent opinion on this Malay-only PM by Muhyiddin Yassin is a very dishonest one.
He knows that there will never come a day that Malay MPs even though they are from different parties could be forced by non-Malays into choosing a non-Malay PM.
Don’t forget, the Agong with his Royal Prerogative has the final say in this whole episode, period.
So the rakyat is not so naive to fall for Muhyiddin Yassin’s bluff, perhaps members from Bersatu and PAS could.
Another silly comment made by PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man who said that this amendment should be carried out to ensure the country’s “stability and harmony”. (Free Malaysia Today)
I do not know where Tuan Ibrahim been living for these past 80 years. Surely it is not Malaysia he is talking about, for we have been living in peace and harmony all these years without the Malay-only PM etched into our constitution.
Now look at Lebanon which had a somewhat straight-jacketed convention where the appointment of its president and the whole cabinet is based on religion and race.
In Lebanon, conventionally the President is a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister is a Sunni Muslim and the Speaker a Shia Muslim. (1)
A total of 99 deputies were elected to a unicameral legislature in 1960 with Maronite Christian securing 30 seats, Sunni Muslims 20, Shia Muslims 19, Greek Orthodox 11, Uniate Greek 6, Druses 6, Armenian Orthodox 4, Uniate Armenian 1 others 2. (2)
Based on Tuan Ibrahim logic, Lebanon must be a very stable and harmonious country, but the fact is that the people of Lebanon had been fighting and killing each other to this very day.
1) A Dictionary of Politics, Florence Elliott, Micheal Summerskill, Penguin Books, 1966.