Civil rights movement, Hindraf Makkal Sakti has called on Putrajaya to abolish all racial-based policies and laws, and end discrimination in Malaysia in conjunction with the country’s 59th Merdeka Day next week.
As Malaysians in Peninsular, formerly Malaya, would celebrate their 59 years of independence on Aug 31, Hindraf national chairman P. Waytha Moorthy said the Borneo people would also celebrate their 53 years of independence from the British colonial rule in September.
“It’s time for the government to stop all discriminative policies.
“While the world is rapidly moving towards larger democracy and openness, Malaysia is regressing with discrimination and rule of the fittest over the weaker community.
“Hindraf calls on the end of racial discrimination and end to all racial policies and laws in place as Malaysia reaches another milestone with its 59th Independence Day,” said Waytha in a statement today.
Though the Federal Constitution appeared to give the right to equality, he pointed out that the provision under Article 8 was vague.
On one hand, he said Article 8 had stated that all citizens were to be treated equally while on the other hand it stated that “except expressly authorised by the Constitution, there shall be no discrimination”.
The Federal Constitution is the highest piece of legislation of the land, and after 59 years and more than 500 constitutional amendments made over the years, he said the country leaders did not find it fit to amend this most fundamental provision to ensure there was equality, a basic right of every citizen.
“There is no dignity without equality,” said Waytha.
He said this most fundamental provision was made and designed to be weak as a result of the manipulation of the recommendations made by the Reid Constitutional Commission by the country’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.
Succeeding country leaders, he claimed had continued to abuse this provision to implement racial based policies discriminating its citizens.
“Policies aside, even the laws of the state tend to discriminate,” claimed Waytha.
He said the government should re-look at the Constitution and ensure its provisions guaranteed the fundamental rights of all citizens, adding that particular concern should be given to avoid racial policies and laws.
He said the government should take the bold action to openly say and admit its past policies had been racial and make amends.
He said economic share of the nation had to be shared equitably among all races as opposed to enriching one particular community or group.
He alleged that it was an undeniable fact that under the name of elevating the bumiputras, the Sabah and Sarawak non-Muslim Bumiputras were denied their fundamental rights and had faced discrimination.
In the Peninsula, he claimed that non-Muslims faced racial discrimination in their daily lives, yet the government does nothing to stop it.
He pointed out that almost a million Indian Malaysians, who formed the bulk of labour workforce and who were displaced from the estates, had been sidelined from the mainstream economy.
“No specific plans were drawn for this sidelined local Indian workforce despite requests from the World Bank,” claimed Waytha.