Those who are weak or perhaps ignorant about the history on how Persekutuan Tanah Melayu was born should spend more time reading and researching on it instead trying to comment on subjects they have little or limited understanding.
Ignore Dr M’s pre-Merdeka citizenship claims, says KJ
Ahmad Fadli KC • Jan 22, 13 2:22PTG
There is no need to focus on Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s allegations on the awarding of citizenship in the country prior to Merdeka, at least until the completion of the ongoing royal commission of inquiry (RCI) in Sabah, says Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar.
Instead, attention should be given to the ongoing RCI on illegal immigrants in Sabah as it unfolds, for it could reveal more witnesses providing a more rounded description of the issue, the Umno Youth chief said.
“We need not answer any comments on the RCI, including comparisons between this RCI and the pre-independence citizenship programme, until the inquiry is complete and the RCI is done with its work,” Khairy said.
He said this when asked to comment on former prime minister Dr Mahatir Mohamad’s suggestion that a commission be set up to investigate the granting of pre-Merdeka citizenships to illegal foreign immigrants.
This evening, MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek too joined Khairy in shooting down Mahathir’s call for an RCI to be established on citizenships awarded prior to Merdeka.
Chua said the the pre-Merdeka decision was arrived at consensus among Umno, MCA and MIC of the then Alliance Party, and there was no need to revisit it.
“No, why should there be a (royal) commission of inquiry when this was a consensus?
“And I don’t think Dr Mahathir was serious when he said that. What he was trying to say was that the government had given citizenship to people who are legally entitled to it.”
“So this is a very old issue, we should not revisit, it’s a past, it’s a historical fact, well documented,” Chua told a press conference after the party’s presidential council meeting.
‘Be more sensitive’
Constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari has said Mahathir’s proposal could affect the social contract between races as it presumes the awarding of citizenship to the Chinese and Indians by the first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman was illegitimate.
As for the call by Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali for Muslims to burn the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible that uses the word ‘Allah’ to refer to ‘God’, Khairy urged all parties, regardless of race or religion, to be more sensitive when issuing statements.
All Malaysians, he said, possess deep feelings when it comes to the sanctity of their religion.
“My advise is that we must be cautious of our statements so that we do not hurt the feelings of any party.
“There are some who say Malaysians are too sensitive but all Malaysians, regardless of religion, love their respective beliefs.
“Therefore, I urge that we be careful and this (advice) is directed at all quarters,” he said.
Khairy, who is also Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB) chairperson, was speaking to reporters after the ‘PUNB Biz Plan Challenge 2012′ prize-giving ceremony in Kuala Lumpur this morning.
UMNO Youth Leader Khairy Jamaluddin should understand his role in UMNO, the party which was instrumental to fail the Malayan Union in 1946 and was an integral part of the negotiations that resulted to the Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu signed between HRH Malay Rulers and British High Commissioner Sir Edward Gent on 21 Jan 1948. Persekutuan Tanah Melayu was born and the first constitution was put to force.
Article 12 of the Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu outlined the definition of ‘subjects of HRHs’ and those who are eligible to apply for citizenship of the Federation.
Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad related that in the past, only the Malays were ‘subjects of HRHs’ and majority of the Non Malays, particularly the Chinese and Indians who were at the time regarded by the British as ‘Statesless Persons’.
Never the less, even though Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu of 1948 was about the agreement between HRH Malay Rulers, UMNO and Menteri Besars (representing the rakyat) and Britain, and in the 1955 Federal Legislative Assembly election was about 84% of the 1.6 million voters were Malays, Tunku Abdul Rahman and UMNO made concessions against the Chinese where as 11% of the eligible voters, MCA was allocated with 29% of seats contested.
The formation of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu government saw Tunku Abdul Rahman agreeing to issue citizenship for 980,000 Non Malays, especially they were not process according to the ruling that has been stipulated under Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu Article 12. It should be seen as a ‘goodwill’ to the Non Malays, especially the Chinese.
Khairy has the duty to explain the details of what happened before, during and the outcome of the Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu signed 21 Jan 1948 which is the basis of the Federation of Malay Constitution that came into force on 31 August 1957. All of the ‘Special Provisions for HRH Malay Rulers and the Malays’ are reflected in the Federation of Malaya Constitution.
It is because the Khairy’s predecessors were integral part of the fight against Malayan Union, Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, 1955 Federal Legislative Assembly election and the ‘social contract’ process and negotiation, which resulted to the 980,000 Non Malays given the citizenship to the Federation and provisions in the Federation of Malaya Constitution which came to force on 31 August 1957.
The Rembau MP’s call to ignore what Tun Dr Mahathir asked in Permatang Pauh last Saturday is an attempt ‘to sweep things under the carpet’ rather than take action, carpe diem. This is the best time for him as UMNO Youth Leader to engage and explain to younger Malaysians of the nation’s formation history and how and what the concessions the Malay Rulers and Malays made for the Non Malays.
Going forward with a liberal frame of time and tone, pandering to the younger Malaysians’ popularity especially Gen-Y should not at the expense of the history as how it happened. Malaysian history the past two hundred years are about series of treaties and agreements. Agreements in the past are demonstration that Malayans, especially the Malays went through a process of consultation and negotiations before agreeing to any proposals.
It is a message for younger Malaysians to emulate if they want to express themselves and change anything, without antagonizing any parties or being overtly aggressive. Malaysian Prime Ministers since 1955 have shown examples that they are open for consultation on any issues, even for the interest of minorities.
Khairy should use this opportunity as a challenge to expand and deepen his popularity, by engaging the youth and make them the advocate of the Federation of Malaysia formative history in the tone of the compromise and concessions given via series of consultation and negotiations, not intimidation and aggression.
A lesson for all. It is still relevant, present day included.