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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Malay parties come together in dialogue on state of Malays

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Several Malay and Malay-majority parties, namely Umno, PAS, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), PKR and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), today came together in dialogue on the state of Malays.
However, a common ground at the forum titled "Malaysian Politics: Where are the Malays at?", organised by Sinar Harian remained elusive, as the respective parties parroted their own stances.
The representatives at the discussion were Federal Territories Umno Youth chief Razlan Rafii, PAS information chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari, PKR Srikandi chief Siti Aishah Shaik Ismail, Amanah Youth vice-chief Shazni Munir Mohd Ithnin and Bersatu pro-tem committee member Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, while Astro Awani editor Nazri Kahar acted as moderator.
Umno's Razlan, at the dialogue, said the struggle to defend Malays lies in affirmative action originating from the New Economic Policy (NEP) and should be continued indefinitely.
He added that the special privileges of Malays should be maintained to help the race advance.
"This is our struggle, we should press on without stopping. When do we stop? When the NEP achieves 30 percent (equity for Malays).
"This is our country, if we want to talk about the struggle for Malays, then the special privileges should not be questioned and it should be granted to Malays indefinitely," he stressed.
Meanwhile, PAS' Ahmad Fadhli said Islam allowed for its followers to take up the struggle for their race but not at the expense of other races.
"Upholding one's race in terms of helping each other (within the race) is allowed in Islam," he said.
However, he said it was unfortunate when a race oppress its own people.
PKR's Siti Aishah raised what she described as "Malayphobia", which she said was a situation where Malays cannot move forward as vague issues were used to create fear among them.
Siti Aishah said among the issues often played up were Malay honour and religious sensitivities, which she said were really just an attempt to garner votes.
"There are many things that were used to frighten the Malays. Malays are sensitive when it comes to issues of race and honour but certain people use this to gain votes," she said.
Meanwhile, Bersatu's Syed Saddiq said there needs to be a revival of the Malay identity and some Malays are even ashamed to be identified as a Malay.

"Malays are often labelled as corrupt, always needing aid to advance, incapable of being independent and others," he said.
Syed Saddiq said in order to overcome this, a new political environment was necessary.
He said such an environment would allow Malays to retain their identity while at the same time reform the democratic institutions.
Some 100 people were present at the dialogue in Shah Alam. - Mkini

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