January 20, 2013
Ex-Don: BN parties and Rulers should respond to Dr Mahathir
UMNO, MCA, MIC, and the Conference of Rulers should respond to former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Muhamad’s statement yesterday because it undermines the social contract between Malaysia’s three main races, said constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari.
He said that when Mahathir mooted a Royal Commission of Inquiry on first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s granting of citizenship to a million immigrants in pre-independence Malaya, it was tantamount to saying that they had obtained citizenship illegally.
“Funnily enough, Mahathir, in his attempt to save his skin has somehow shot UMNO’s own foot. When he said that Tunku has committed the same crime he has actually undermined the notion of social contract which among others include the acceptance of the Malay special privilege position on the part of Chinese and Indians in return for the citizenship status. UMNO, MCA and MIC should not keep quiet. They must state their position. Mahathir has virtually said that the Chinese and Indians got their citizenship through immoral and illegal means,” he said in a statement today.
The former law professor also pointed out that there is a huge difference between what Tunku did and what Mahathir allegedly did. Therefore, he said there is no need for the RCI that Mahathir suggested because, “unlike Tunku, what was done by Mahathir in 1994 looks like a crime and worse, treason against the nation”.
He explained that this is because Tunku (right) was merely following the recommendations of the Reid Commission report, which were later incorporated in Part III of the Federal constitution.
“Several schedules have also been included (in the Constitution) to explain them further. The Conference of Rulers had been tasked to oversee that. Thus they must break their silence on this issue, just as the Rulers did in 2009 when UMNO began to spin the issues pertaining to monarchy, Islam and the privileged position of the Malays,” he said.