PETALING JAYA: Malay pressure group Perkasa has taken Khairy Jamaluddin to task over his remark on “quotas”, saying that the Umno Youth leader should resign if he thinks the government’s quota policy is an insult to the Malay community.
“If Khairy is against the government’s policy, then he should resign,” Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali told FMT today, adding that the same applied to any other cabinet member who felt the same way.
He said the quota system was based on the provision of the Federal Constitution, and that abolishing the policy would undermine national security.
“It will create extremism, terrorism, if they are not treated well. This is what the Oxford graduate does not understand,” Ibrahim said, referring to Khairy.
Speaking to Indian youths at a dialogue session yesterday on the government’s National Transformation Plan 2050 (TN50), Khairy agreed with a participant who questioned the quota policy favouring Malay students for university places.
“We should start seeing this quota (system) as something that is a bit insulting, that we need a quota to get somewhere,” the youth and sports minister said.
“Just as there is a perception of discrimination amongst other communities, we also feel that maybe we are not that good, because other communities are saying that, ‘Hey, you are here only because of the quota’.
“I want the Malay community to compete on a level playing field,” Khairy had said.
But Ibrahim said Malays still lagged behind in many areas, and that the pro-Bumiputera policy was only introduced some 40 years ago.
“You think that is a lot of time?”
Ibrahim said Khairy’s suggestion of a level playing field was not the solution.
“If we keep insisting everything must be based on merit, competition, and on a level playing field, the Bumiputera will be knocked out,” Ibrahim said.
He argued that a merit-based system would result in social strife, and drew comparisons with the Arab Spring, saying the uprising there was due to injustice.
“We want to have war, is it?” he asked. “We want to ensure that everyone is happy.
“That is why I say Perkasa fights for these rights not because we are racist. It is because of the future of national security. It is important for the Chinese, Indians and other races,” the outspoken former MP said.
Ibrahim said the Malays had nothing to feel insulted over as the quota policy was to correct the imbalances that existed between them and the non-Malays.
“For example, if there is no quota system, even the Indians will be left out.
“Affirmative action requires the quota system because that is the only way we can correct the imbalance.”-FMT