Sunday, May 31, 2015

Constitution being twisted to further interests, says Negri prince

BY ANISAH SHUKRY

Negri Sembilan Prince Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz condemns attempts to twist the Federal Constitution. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 30, 2015.

Negri Sembilan Prince Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz condemns attempts to twist the Federal Constitution. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 30, 2015. 
There are attempts to twist the Federal Constitution to advance certain interests above others, and such efforts should be condemned as treacherous, Negri Sembilan Prince Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz said today.
He said the first prime minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, had made it clear what sort of country the founding fathers envisioned, yet Malaysia had now strayed away from that.
“As we have seen in recent years, certain articles of the Constitution have been subject to different interpretations. The objective of these different interpretations is to strengthen claims of what, or who, the constitution is for,” said Tunku Zain at a conference organised by non-governmental organisation Harmony Malaysia in Petaling Jaya.
“Words have been taken out of context to make it is possible to argue that the purpose of this country, and the mission of its institutions, is to advance certain interests – divergently defined – above others.
“These attempts should be condemned as treacherous and nonsensical, and if there was a strong understanding of both our institutional narrative and the Federal Constitution. I believe they would be.”
Tunku Zain, who is chairman of think-tank Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas), said for Malaysia to move forward, the country must understand its founding fathers' intentions for the country, and use that as a starting point.
Global Movement of Moderates Foundation Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, who was also present at the conference, said people tended to exaggerate the extent to which Article 153 of the Federal Constitution granted special privileges to the Malays.
“People overstretch the meaning of 153. I think people forget that 153 doesn’t cover everything,” he said.
As an example, he cited the popular 10% Bumiputera discount on homes, which he said was problematic on several levels.
“First of all, if a Bumiputera is buying a house that costs RM3 million, surely he doesn’t need a 10% discount? Second, is there any part in Article 153 which includes this? I don’t think so,” said Saifuddin.
The former Umno Supreme Council member added that civil servants often wrongly believed that Article 153 gave them special privileges in their careers.
“Once you enter the civil service, there should be no discrimination. Appraisal is based purely 100% on meritocracy as soon as you are in the civil service,” said Saifuddin. – May 30, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/constitution-being-twisted-to-further-interests-says-negri-prince#sthash.0q1u6TnX.dpuf

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