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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nazri says Malay supremacy wrongly interpreted

Nazri says ‘ketuanan Melayu’ is not about the Malays, it is about the Malay Rulers. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz attempted today to silence arguments on “Malay supremacy”, claiming it has been grossly interpreted to propagate the supremacy of the Malay race by leaders with “cow dung in their brains”.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department told The Malaysian Insider that the famous phrase, often used by Malay right-wing leaders to push for Malay rights, was coined to protect the sovereignty of the Malay Rulers.

As such, Nazri stressed that “Malay supremacy” did not in any way mean that the Malays were more superior than the other races.

“It is not about me as a Malay or about (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) as a Malay. It is not about the Malays, it is about the Malay Rulers. For as long as they are around, we respect them.

“These people do not understand what it means. How can we have a race more supreme than the others? It is ridiculous,” the Padang Rengas MP said when met at his office in Parliament yesterday evening.

The straight-talking politician explained that the phrase had been coined long ago before the country achieved independence in 1957 and was created to give due recognition to the special position of the Malay Rulers in the Federal Constitution.

“It has been enshrined in the Constitution. When the Constitution says that there is a special place for the Sultans in the states where there are Rulers, that is the ‘ketuanan Melayu’ (Malay supremacy). It is not about Najib or Nazri being more Malay and thus, more supreme than others,” he said.

Nazri acknowledged that the phrase was oftentimes used by politicians across the political divide when referring to the special position of Malays under Article 153 of the Constitution but insisted that they were leaders with “cow dung in their brains”.

“They are rubbish leaders. They have cow dung in their brains. You want to put that in? Please do. They have cow dung in their brains. They do not know what it is all about.

“How can you say that just because you are a Malay in this country, that means you are supreme. What is that?

“How do you measure the supremacy of one race over another? In every community, there are those who are smart, clever, stupid.... you find this in all races so what are they talking about? Those who think this way have cow dung in their brains,” he said.

Nazri was responding to statements made by PKR leaders over the weekend, including its president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and newly-elected deputy president Azmin Ali, both of whom rejected the concept of Malay supremacy and pushed instead for “ketuanan rakyat” (supremacy of the people).

Dr Wan Azizah had described Malay supremacy as a slogan used by a small group of Malay elites to cheat others.

She also called on the Malay community to become a dignified race and not to be obsessed with being a “master”.

In his speech at the PKR congress, Azmin had ridiculed Najib’s 1 Malaysia concept and accused Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) of continuing to condone racist policies in its administration.

“If we want our country and people to march forward then we must ensure the end of racist policies brought by Umno and BN. The national agenda should be based on needs not on race. This is very important.

“We must not be defensive when we want to reject the concept of Malay supremacy. Even though the media have relentlessly attacked us that we are traitors because we want to reject Malay supremacy but I want to proclaim today that we will reject Malay supremacy. We will carry people power to become the basis of the party’s struggle,” he had said.

Nazri accused Dr Wan Azizah of being “ignorant” for failing to understand the true meaning of “Malay supremacy” and questioned if she believed that the country was a republic instead of a constitutional monarchy.

“She is really ignorant. She does not know what she is talking about. We are not a republic so there is no ketuanan rakyat. We have Rulers here and it’s about them that this Malay supremacy was created.

“When she says ketuanan rakyat, is she saying she wants a republic? Because that is not what is said in the Constitution,” he said.

Nazri also agreed that those who fanned their “false” interpretation of the phrase “Malay supremacy” were only succeeding in creating unrest among the people.

“That is why people need to start learning. Do not talk without thinking and studying the facts. Do not simply pass on what others tell you... and you just repeat it without thinking.

“Trouble about people is that they talk too much and they do not even know what they are talking about,” he said.

When asked why the term was so often misinterpreted by groups to mean the supremacy of the Malay race, Nazri said: “It was started by those who have cow dung in their brains.”

He then urged the people to be wary of such leaders when voting for them during elections.

“I hope the people will not elect leaders with cow dung in their brains. Yes, I have repeated it many times. They have cow dung in their brains,” he said.

Earlier today, Perkasa Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah had described PKR leaders as being desperate for the non-Malay votes and had called Dr Wan Azizah a “political prostitute” for rejecting the concept of Malay supremacy.

He also likened Dr Wan Azizah’s remarks to an attack on the constitutional position of the Malays. - Malaysian Insider

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