Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Anwar defends rejection of ‘Malay supremacy’
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim defended his rejection of “Malay supremacy” today, explaining its highly-criticised terminology propagates the concept of “master and slave” in society.
The PKR de facto leader slammed criticisms by certain individuals made against his party’s rejection of the concept, arguing that they had “twisted” it to mean that they had disrespected the Federal Constitution.
Anwar also censured the leaders for being overly inaccurate and harsh in their statements made against PKR leaders.
“I hope that if they want to politicise this issue, whether Umno or Utusan Malaysia, it is their prerogative but I hope they would not cheat or twist the truth to make it seem as if we are less Malay just because we reject the concept.
“I think their statements are inaccurate and overly harsh,” he told a press conference in Parliament this afternoon.
Anwar was likely referring to the insult flung at his wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on Tuesday, by Perkasa Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah, who had called the PKR president a “political prostitute” for rejecting “Malay supremacy”.
In his statement, Arman had also likened Dr Wan Azizah’s remarks to an attack on the constitutional position of the Malays.
“On the statement by the party president, which is not new, we have explained earlier in the PKR congress and the Malaysian economic agenda about how we reject the New Economic Policy because it protects only a segment of society and the poor Malays, Chinese and Indians are still sidelined.
“So if we look at the meaning of ‘tuan’ in ‘ketuanan Melayu’ (Malay supremacy), ‘tuan’ means a person in power, a person who owns, a person in top priority, so if ‘Melayu’ is ‘tuan’, then what about the positions of the other races; the Ibans, Chinese, Indians?,” he said.
He further explained that ‘tuan’ was a direct reference to the positions of the Malay Rulers, pointing out to how they were given titles like “Yang Dipertuan” or “Yamtuan” to indicate their positions of power.
The antonym to the word “tuan”, added Anwar, was “hamba” or slave.
“So when you say ‘ketuanan’ for the Malays, my question is this — what about the other races?” he asked.