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Don't deny our right to be PM

                        Peter John Jaban

KUCHING, SARAWAK : At a time when there are open calls for Sarawak to have its own currency and its own Foreign Ministry, Global Human Rights Federation Malaysia has issued a warning to Malaysian legislators:” If you can’t be a representative to all Malaysians, then step out…or lose Sarawak’s vote.”

From clothes patrolling to an alleged ban on Christmas greetings on cakes to calls for a Constitutional change to ensure a Malay PM for eternity, the increasing intolerance,  relentless fear-mongering and insane rhetoric on race and religion in Peninsula Malaysia has left people in Borneo stumped, disgusted and wary.

In a press release issued here, GHRFM has questioned whether Malay leaders and their community (in the peninsula) realize that the indigenous people of Sarawak and Sabah are the reason that there is a unity government in place in Putrajaya today.

“We the indigenous people of Borneo share the same special position as  the Malays under the Constitution. We cannot be barred from ever holding the top office. There would be no Malaysia without the Borneo states and their non-Muslim majority populations.

“Right now, there would be no unity government without the Sabah and Sarawak MP and without the vital partnership of the Chinese and Indian MPs,” said GHRFM deputy president Peter John Jaban. 

The majority of Borneo citizens are non-Muslims.

Jaban was commenting on Bersatu Youth Chief Wan Ahmad Faysal Wan Ahmad Kamal’s suggestion that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim table a move to amend the constitution to allow only Malays to hold the post of PM in Malaysia.

Wan Faysal’ call for the constitutional change was backed by Bersatu chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin who claimed that the current unity government would enable a non-Malay to become PM because it was reportedly subservient to DAP.

Following Muhyiddin’s allegations, Anwar had on Dec 15 reportedly said that there was no need for an amendment to the constitution and that “either from the government or opposition block the (PM) candidate will be Malay.”

The volley of comments was triggered by a Nov 29 talk by DAP veteran Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang who has told a group of students in the United Kingdom that “there is no restriction in the Constitution for non-Malays to become Prime Minister.”  He said this right was also upheld in the amended 1963 constitution.

Calling the relentless fear-mongering as “shameful”, Jaban said: “I think it is inevitable that one day Malaysia’s democracy will mature to such an extent that we will stop   electing on the basis of race and start selecting our leaders for their skills and contribution.

“The Constitution, our guiding principle under the Rukun Negara, is clear. The Prime Minister is the person who, in the judgement of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, is ‘likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House.

“If that is a non-Malay, then so be it. If that is where the confidence of a democratically elected and representative house lies, then so be it,“ Jaban said.#

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