Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bangsa Malaysia???

Bangsa Malaysia only refers to the "state of mind" of being a Malaysian and is not a policy spelled out in the Constitution, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"It cannot be defined because there is no such thing as Bangsa Malaysia in the Constitution," he said.

However, the Prime Minister’s Office on its website makes a mention of Bangsa Malaysia in outlining the definition of Malaysia as a fully developed country by the year 2020. These are the characteristics aimed for, according to the statement at www.pmo.gov.my:

"A united nation, with a confident Malaysian society, infused by strong moral and ethical values, living in a society that is democratic, liberal and tolerant, caring, economically just and equitable, progressive and prosperous, and in full possession of an economy that is competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient."

It added there could be no fully developed "Malaysia" until the country overcame nine strategic challenges that have long confronted the nation.

"The first of these is the challenges of establishing a united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny.

"This must be a nation at peace with itself, territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership, made up of one Bangsa Malaysia with political loyalty and dedication to the nation."

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was behind the Bangsa Malaysia policy, which emphasises a Malaysian instead of Malay identity for the country.

"It is a step backwards to reject the concept of Bangsa Malaysia," according to two ministers whose portfolios are relevant to the issue.

Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim described it as back-pedalling, while Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of national unity Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said it would amount to a backtrack of national integration efforts.

"We would be back-pedalling to say Bangsa Malaysia is unacceptable," said Rais. "It has worked well for years.

Rais said: "I fail to see why the word was raised politically. It is not a political or constitutional issue. It is more to unite Malaysians under one umbrella".

Rais also disagreed with Ghani who said advocating Bangsa Malaysia was going beyond the legal powers of the Constitution.

"Firstly, the word Bangsa Malaysia is not found in the Constitution. It is a way to address Malaysians as one. It is to bring us together," he said.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had used the word to address Malaysians irrespective of race and religion.

"It has helped to unite and encourage openness within different races in Malaysia," he added.

Rais also disagreed with Ghani’s contention that the term should only be applied in the context of all peoples of Malaysia with Malays being the pivotal race.

"Bangsa Malaysia represents the spirit of Malaysians of different races and culture. It has nothing to do with one race given a pivotal role over others," he said.

Rais said he would continue advocating Bangsa Malaysia as it had helped his ministry to unite different cultures.

"There is nothing wrong with being rojak. It has helped my ministry to organise various cultural activities under the banner of a Malaysian race," he added.

"It does not impinge on the rights of Bumiputeras or other communities. It is a natural evolution of being in a multi-cultural and multi-religious nation," Maximus Ongkili said.

Maximus said the view expressed by Ghani could be a private one.

Private one? Is the Sultan of Johor's plea for the demolition of Johor Causeway also a private one?

Is Bangsa Malaysia unconstitutional?

Why did the Prime Minister's website preached Bangsa Malaysia when UMNO is against it?

Malaysians had to ponder over the possibilities and consequences hereof.


Lin Peh said...

Bangsa malaysia same as mangsa malaysia ? LOL!

Kenny Ng said...

It will be sound better if change to Bangsar di Malaysia. LOL

O2Deprivation said...

One thing that is so common in Malaysia politics nowadays is the governing parties are issuing contradicting statements with the PM's. Something fishy? Just wondering there might be those who wanted to bring down the PM, another conspiracy theory?