Ketuanan Melayu ‘still relevant as agreed by leaders’
A former political leader has defended the concept of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy), saying it is still relevant and in fact has been a rallying call in the country’s struggle for independence. “We may have our ups and down in our country’s politics, but then Malays are one race and will never allow any quarter to challenge the Ketuanan Melayu decree through thick and thin, as through this rallying point, the country has seen a balanced and prudent policy that champions the cause of all citizens in the country,” said former Usno Acting Secretary-General Onn Ariffin yesterday. He was responding to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok’s call to certain quarters not to continually harp on the Ketuanan Melayu issue. “In this country everybody is equal, there is no ‘tuan’ and no ‘kuli’ so this issue should not be brought up anymore ... The last tuan left in 1963,” Dompok, who is also UPKO President, was reported as saying on Sunday. Onn said: “Come August, the Nation will be celeberating our National Day. Any thought which claims to interpret the meaning of Ketuanan Melayu other than what it was intended for will not be popular as the Nation was built on this premise. “Perhaps more so now, although it may not be to the liking of some, the notion of Ketuanan Melayu has retained its fundamental meaning and continues to be a rallying force for the country and has pulled us through various challenges in the past.” Onn said it is important to work from a position of strength rather than “allow ourselves to raise points that can only lead to dismay and might not even work for our betterment. “We should not be bent in trying to dismantle something which has already been established as a workable concept for the country.” To question the basis of Ketuanan Melayu, he said, would only be to negate the social contract that was agreed to by the leaders of the country’s various races during the negotiations for independence. “It is the path that the country chose when it was founded, and there should be no grounds to create anxiety in the minds of our people that this effort is a wasted force All Malays in the archipelago would stand up and defend this struggle as enshrined in the social contract,” he added.