Monday, June 13, 2011

Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia

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Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia grants the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia) responsibility for “safeguard[ing] the special position of the ‘Malays’(see note) and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities” and goes on to specify ways to do this, such as establishing quotas for entry into the civil service, public scholarships and public education.
Article 153 is one of the most controversial articles in the Malaysian constitution. Critics consider it to create an unnecessary and racialist distinction between Malaysians of different ethnic backgrounds, because it has led to the implementation of affirmative action policies which benefit only the Bumiputra, who comprise a majority of the population. Technically, discussing the repeal of Article 153 is illegal[1]—even in Parliament, although it was drafted as a temporary provision to the Constitution. Despite this prohibition on discussion, the article is heatedly debated both privately and publicly among Malaysians. Opposition groups, especially the Democratic Action Party[citation needed], are often against the implementation of the article although ostensibly maintaining support for it. Nevertheless, the article is viewed as a sensitive matter by many, with politicians who are in favour or oppose it often being labelled as racist.
The article is primarily seen as a continuation of previous laws made by the British to protect the indigenous peoples from being overwhelmed by the immigration of Chinese and Indian workers into Malaya. In the years after independence in 1957, the Chinese and Indians were generally rich urban dwellers, whilst the Bumiputra were mostly poor farmers or manual labourers.
The first clause of the article provides that the government should act "in accordance with the provisions of this Article".
Contents
[hide]
• 1 Origins
• 2 Controversy
o 2.1 Early debate
o 2.2 Racial rioting
o 2.3 Additional affirmative action
o 2.4 Meritocracy
o 2.5 Present opposition
• 3 Article 153 in Diagrams
• 4 Full text of Article 153
• 5 Notes and references

[edit] Origins
The Constitution was drafted on the basis of a report from the Reid Commission. The commission, which had been formed to lay the groundwork for a Constitution in the run-up to Malaysia's pending independence, released the report in 1957 as the Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission 1957 or The Reid Commission Report.[2] In the report, the Reid Commission stated that "provision should be made in the Constitution for the 'safeguarding of the special position of the Malays and the legitimate interests of the other Communities'." However, the Commission "found it difficult [...] to reconcile the terms of reference if the protection of the special position of the Malays signified the granting of special privileges, permanently, to one community only and not to the others."[citation needed]
The Reid Commission reported that Tunku Abdul Rahman and the Malay Rulers had asked that "in an independent Malaya all nationals should be accorded equal rights, privileges and opportunities and there must not be discrimination on grounds of race and creed." At that time, Tunku Abdul Rahman was the leader of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which led the Alliance coalition. Eventually the Alliance would become the Barisan Nasional and Tunku Abdul Rahman later became the first Prime Minister of Malaysia. When succeeding to the UMNO Presidency, Tunku had expressed doubts about the loyalty of the non-Malays to Malaya, and as a result, insisted that this be settled before they be granted citizenship. However, he also stated that "For those who love and feel they owe undivided loyalty to this country, we will welcome them as Malayans. They must truly be Malayans, and they will have the same rights and privileges as the Malays."[3]
The Commission found the existing privileges accorded to the Malays included the allocation of extensive Malay land reservations. In addition, the Commission discovered quotas for admission to the public services with a general rule that "not more than one-quarter of new entrants [to a particular service] should be non-Malays." Operation quotas existed in regard to the issuing of permits or licences for the operation of certain businesses "chiefly concerned with road haulage and passenger vehicles for hire." In addition, there existed "scholarships, bursaries and other forms of aid for educational purpose" where preference was given to Malays.[citation needed]
Although the Commission reported it did not find opposition to the continuance of the existing privileges for a certain length of time, it stated that "there was great opposition in some quarters to any increase of the present preferences and to their being continued for any prolonged period." The Commission recommended that the existing privileges should be continued as the "Malays would be at a serious and unfair disadvantage compared with other communities if they were suddenly withdrawn." However, "in due course the present preferences should be reduced and should ultimately cease." The Commission suggested that these provisions be revisited in 15 years, and that a report should be presented to the appropriate legislature (currently the Parliament of Malaysia) and that the "legislature should then determine either to retain or to reduce any quota or to discontinue it entirely."[citation needed]
Originally there was no reference made to other indigenous peoples of Malaysia (then Malaya) such as the Orang Asli, but with the union of Malaya with Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak in 1963, the Constitution was amended so as to provide similar privileges for the indigenous peoples of East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak), grouping them with the Malays as Bumiputra.
The scope of Article 153 is limited by Article 136, which requires that civil servants be treated impartially regardless of race.
[edit] Controversy
Although the Bumiputra have always been the largest racial segment of the Malaysian population (about 65%), their economic position has always tended to be precarious. As late as 1970, 13 years after the drafting of the constitution, they controlled only 4% of the economy, with much of the rest being held by Chinese and foreign interests. As a result, the Reid Commission had recommended the drafting of Article 153 to address this economic imbalance.
But there continued to exist substantial political opposition to the economic reforms designed to aid the Malays. Some contended that Article 153 appeared to unduly privilege the Bumiputra as a higher class of Malaysian citizenry. Many Chinese and Indians also felt unfairly treated since some of them had been there for generations - since the mid-19th century - and yet until the late 1950s, they still had not been awarded Malaysian citizenship. However, a majority of the Malays during that time believed that the Chinese and the Indians came to Malaya for economic purposes only, working at plantations and mines.
In the 1970s, substantial economic reforms were enacted to address the economic imbalance. In the 1980s and 1990s, more affirmative action was also implemented to create a Malay class of entrepreneurs. Public opposition to such policies appeared to wither away after the rioting of May 1969, with parties running on a platform of reducing Bumiputra privileges losing ground in Parliamentary elections. However, in the first decade of the 21st century, debate was revived when several government politicians made controversial statements on the nature of Malay privileges as set out by Article 153.
[edit] Early debate
The article has been a source of controversy since the early days of Malaysia. In particular, it was not entirely clear if Article 153 was predicated on the Malays' economic status at the time, or if it was meant to recognise Bumiputra as a special class of citizens. Some took the latter view, like Singaporean politician Lee Kuan Yew of the People's Action Party (PAP), who publicly questioned the need for Article 153 in Parliament, and called for a "Malaysian Malaysia". In a speech, Lee bemoaned what would later be described as the Malaysian social contract:
"According to history, Malays began to migrate to Malaysia in noticeable numbers only about 700 years ago. Of the 39% Malays in Malaysia today, about one-third are comparatively new immigrants like the secretary-general of UMNO, Dato' Syed Ja'afar Albar, who came to Malaya from Indonesia just before the war at the age of more than thirty. Therefore it is wrong and illogical for a particular racial group to think that they are more justified to be called Malaysians and that the others can become Malaysian only through their favour."[4]
Lee also criticised the government's policies by stating that "[t]hey, the Malay, have the right as Malaysian citizens to go up to the level of training and education that the more competitive societies, the non-Malay society, has produced. That is what must be done, isn't it? Not to feed them with this obscurantist doctrine that all they have got to do is to get Malay rights for the few special Malays and their problem has been resolved."[5] He also lamented "Malaysia—to whom does it belong? To Malaysians. But who are Malaysians? I hope I am, Mr Speaker, Sir. But sometimes, sitting in this chamber, I doubt whether I am allowed to be a Malaysian."[citation needed]
Lee's statements upset many, especially politicians from the Alliance. Then Finance Minister Tan Siew Sin called Lee the "greatest, disruptive force in the entire history of Malaysia and Malaya."[6] The Tunku considered Lee to be too extremist in his views, while other UMNO politicians thought Lee was simply taking advantage of the situation to pander to the Chinese Malaysians.[7] PAP-UMNO relations were chilled further when UMNO officials publicly backed the opposition Singapore Alliance Party in Singapore's 1963 general election and PAP responded in turn by fielding several candidates in the Malaysian federal elections in 1964. These acts were seen by each party as challenges of the other's authority in their respective domains, and in violation of previous agreements made by the PAP and UMNO before merger not to contest each other's elections until Malaysia had matured enough.[8] The tension led to the 1964 racial riots in Singapore that killed 36 people. Eventually, the Tunku decided to ask Singapore, through Lee and some of his closest confidantes, to secede from Malaysia. Eventually, Lee (reluctantly) agreed to do so, and Singapore became an independent nation in 1965, with Lee as its first Prime Minister.[citation needed] The Constitution of Singapore contains an article, Article 152, that names the Malays as "indigenous people" of Singapore and therefore requiring special safeguarding of their rights and privileges as such. However, the article specifies no policies for such safeguarding.
[edit] Racial rioting
On 13 May 1969, a few days after the 10 May general election, a race riot broke out. In the preceding election, parties like the Democratic Action Party (DAP, formerly the Malaysian branch of the PAP) and Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, which opposed special Bumiputra privileges, had made substantial gains, coming close to defeating the Alliance and forming a new government. The largely Chinese opposition Democratic Action Party and Gerakan later secured a police permit for a victory parade through a fixed route in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. However, the rowdy procession deviated from its route and headed through the Malay district of Kampung Baru, jeering at the inhabitants. While the Gerakan party issued an apology the next day, UMNO announced a counter-procession starting from the head of Selangor state Dato' Harun bin Idris on Jalan Raja Muda. Reportedly, the gathering crowd was informed that Malays on their way to the procession had been attacked by Chinese in Setapak, several miles to the north. The angry protestors swiftly wreaked revenge by killing two passing Chinese motorcyclists, and the riot began. The official death toll was approximately 200, although some would later estimate it to be as high as 2000. The riot was later attributed to the underlying discontent among Malays due to poverty.[9]
UMNO Parliamentary backbencher Mahathir Mohamad soon became the face of a movement against the Tunku, arguing that he had been too accommodative towards the non-Malays. In a letter to the Prime Minister, demanding his resignation, Mahathir argued that the Tunku had given the Chinese "too much face" and that the responsibility for the deaths of the people in the riot rested squarely on the Tunku's shoulders. Mahathir was expelled from UMNO not long after, and Home Affairs Minister Ismail Abdul Rahman warned that "[t]hese ultras believe in the wild and fantastic theory of absolute dominion by one race over the other communities, regardless of the Constitution".[10]
The government suspended Parliament and the executive branch governed on its own through the National Operations Council (NOC) until 1971.[11][12] The NOC proposed amendments to the Sedition Act that made illegal the questioning of, among others, Article 153. These amendments were passed by Parliament as law when it reconvened in 1971.[13]
During the period of NOC governance, the Malaysian New Economic Policy (NEP) was implemented. The NEP aimed to eradicate poverty irrespective of race by expanding the economic pie so that the Chinese share of the economy would not be reduced in absolute terms but only relatively. The aim was for the Malays to have a 30% equity share of the economy, as opposed to the 4% they held in 1970. Foreigners and Chinese held much of the rest.[14] The NEP appeared to be derived from Article 153 and could be viewed as being in line with its wording. Although Article 153 would have been up for review in 1972, fifteen years after Malaysia's independence in 1957, due to the May 13 Incident it remained unreviewed. A new expiration date of 1991 for the NEP was set, twenty years after its implementation.[15]
[edit] Additional affirmative action

Under the terms of the affirmative action policies implemented in line with Article 153, Bumiputra are given discounts on real estate.
Mahathir, who had been a strong supporter of affirmative action for the Malays since the late 1960s, expounded upon his views in his book The Malay Dilemma while in political exile. The book argued that stronger measures were needed to improve the Malays' economic lot.[16] It also contended that the Malays were the "definitive" people and thus "rightful owners" of Malaysia, which also entitled them to their privileges.[17] Mahathir was rehabilitated under the second Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak, and was appointed as the Deputy of the third Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn. When Hussein Onn resigned, Mahathir became Prime Minister.[18]
During Mahathir's tenure as Prime Minister, the NEP, after its expiry, was replaced by the National Development Policy (NDP), that sought to create a Malay class of entrepreneurs and business tycoons.[15][19] However, allegations of corruption and nepotism plagued Mahathir's administration, and Mahathir's goal of creating a new class of Malay tycoons was criticised for ignoring the rural Malays, who comprised the majority of the Malay population.[20] Under Mahathir, quotas for entry into public universities were enforced, with some universities such as Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) admitting only Bumiputra students.[21][22] In 1998, then Education Minister Najib Tun Razak (son of Tun Abdul Razak who implemented the NEP) stated that without quotas, only 5% of undergraduates in public universities would be Malays. Najib argued this justified the need for the continuance of quotas.[23]
These policies also mandate that publicly listed companies must set aside 30% of equity for Bumiputras; discounts that must be provided for automobile and real estate purchases; a set amount of lots set aside for Bumiputras in housing projects; companies submitting bids for government projects be Bumiputra-owned and that Approved Permits (APs) for importing automobiles be preferentially given to Bumiputras.[24] The equity in the publicly listed companies is disbursed by the Trade Ministry, and sold to selected Bumiputras at substantial discounts. However, the recipients frequently sell their stake in the companies immediately.[25] The policies continued the Bumiputra advantage in higher education. In practice, however, most of these privileges went to Malays, and non-Malay Bumiputras, like the Orang Asli or aboriginal peoples, did not appear to have benefited much from Article 153 or policies such as the NEP.[26]
[edit] Meritocracy
In 2003, Mahathir began stressing that Malays needed to abandon their "crutches," and implemented a policy of "meritocracy". However, this policy by and large streams Bumiputras into what is termed matriculation, as a prelude to university admission, whereby students take a course and later sit for a test set by the instructor. The non-Bumiputras generally sit for the Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) standardised examination in order to enter university. Although it is possible for non-Bumiputras to enter matriculation, and Bumiputras who prefer to take the STPM may do so, in practice, it is difficult for non-Bumiputras to gain entry into the matriculation stream.[27]
The meritocracy policy itself came in for criticism from both sides of the political divide, with some quarters of UMNO calling it "discrimination," leading to an "uneven playing field," and asked for the restoration of the quota system that set the ratio of Bumiputra to non-Bumiputra students in public institutions at 55 to 45.[28] Others, however, branded meritocracy as a sham due to its division of students into the two different streams.[29]
In 2003, Mahathir was succeeded by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who, like his predecessor, warned the Malays that overreliance on their privileges would be fatal. "A continuing reliance on crutches will further enfeeble [the nation], and we may eventually end up in wheelchairs."[30] However, within UMNO, some, such as Education Minister Hishamuddin bin Hussein - Hussein Onn's son, and UMNO Deputy Permanent Chairman Badruddin Amiruldin, appeared to disagree and in turn argued for the protection of Malay privileges.
In 2005, several Malays, led by Hishamuddin at the UMNO Annual General Meeting (AGM) argued that the 30% equity target of the NEP had yet to be met and called on the government to restore the NEP as the New National Agenda (NNA).[31] At the past year's AGM, Badruddin had warned questioning Article 153 and "Malay rights" would be akin to stirring up a hornet's nest, and declared, "Let no one from the other races ever question the rights of Malays on this land." The year before, UMNO Youth Information Chief Azmi Daim had also said, "In Malaysia, everybody knows that Malays are the masters of this land. We rule this country as provided for in the federal constitution. Any one who touches upon Malay affairs or criticizes Malays is [offending] our sensitivities."[32]
At the 2005 AGM, Hishamuddin brandished the traditional Malay dagger, the kris, while warning the non-Bumiputras not to attack Malay rights and "ketuanan Melayu" (translated variously as Malay supremacy or dominance).[33] His action was applauded by the UMNO delegates. Then Higher Education Minister Shafie Salleh also stated that he would ensure the amount of new Malay students admitted would always exceed the old quotas set, and that UiTM would remain an all-Bumiputra institution.[22]
[edit] Present opposition


Anwar Ibrahim has been critical of the New Economic Policy since his recent release from prison.
At present, the Bumiputra privileges both enshrined in Article 153 and as set out by other acts of law, remain in force. Many opposition parties including, the DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), have pledged themselves to undoing the NEP. The DAP has argued that it does not have anything against the special position of Bumiputras as set out in Article 153, but seeks to undo the government's policies such as the NEP that they believe discriminate unfairly against the non-Bumiputras.[34] The PKR, which was founded to fight for the release of former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who had been detained for charges of corruption and sodomy after he publicly opposed Mahathir's policies, also has criticised the NEP. After Anwar's release in 2004, he criticised the NEP as having failed the Malays and stated that he would seek its replacement by a more equitable policy.[35][36]
The NEP and other privileges accorded to the Bumiputras or Malays under Article 153 have been noted for not explicitly seeking to eradicate poverty among the Malays, but instead largely aiming to improve the Malays' overall share of the economy, even if this share is held by a small number of Malays.[37] However, the NEP has also been defended as having been largely successful in creating a Malay middle class and improving Malaysian standards of living without compromising the non-Bumiputra share of the economy in absolute terms; indeed, statistics indicate that the Chinese and Indian middle classes also grew under the NEP, albeit not as much as the Malays'. It has also been contended that the NEP defused racial tensions by eradicating the perception of the Chinese as the mercantile class and the perception of the Malays as mere farmers.[38]
Article 10 (4) of the Constitution permits Parliament to make it illegal to question, among others, Article 153 of the Constitution. Under the Sedition Act, questioning Article 153 is indeed illegal—even for Members of Parliament, who usually have the freedom to discuss anything without fear of external censure.[39] The government can also arbitrarily detain anyone it desires theoretically for sixty days, but in reality for an undetermined length of time, under the Internal Security Act (ISA). In 1987 under Operation Lalang (literally "weeding operation"), several leaders of the DAP, including Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh, were held under the ISA. It is widely believed this was due to their calling for the NEP and other Malay privileges to be reviewed.[40] Others have questioned the constitutionality of the NEP.[41]
In 2005, the issue of the Constitution and its provisions was also brought up by several politicians within the government itself. Lim Keng Yaik of the Gerakan party, which by now had joined Barisan Nasional, the ruling coalition, asked for a re-examination of the social contract so that a Bangsa Malaysia (literally 'Malaysian race' or 'Malaysian nation' in the Malay language) could be achieved.[42] The social contract is a term used to describe the Constitution's provisions with regard to the different races' privileges—those who defend it and Article 153 often define the social contract as providing the Indians and Chinese with citizenship in exchange for the Malays' special rights or ketuanan Melayu.
Lim was severely criticised by many Malay politicians, including Khairy Jamaluddin, the Prime Minister's son-in-law and Deputy Chairman of the UMNO Youth wing, and Ahmad Shabery Cheek, a prominent Malay Member of Parliament from the state of Terengganu. The Malay press, most of which is owned by UMNO, also ran articles condemning the questioning of the social contract.[43] Lim was adamant, asking in an interview "How do you expect non-Malays to pour their hearts and souls into the country, and to one day die for it if you keep harping on this? Flag-waving and singing the 'Negaraku' (the national anthem) are rituals, while true love for the nation lies in the heart."[42]
A year earlier, Abdullah had given a speech where he mentioned the most "significant aspect" of the social contract as "the agreement by the indigenous peoples to grant citizenship to the immigrant Chinese and Indians". Although Abdullah went on to state that the character of the nation changed to "one that Chinese and Indian citizens could also call their own,"[44] the speech went largely unremarked.
In the end, Lim stated that the Malay press had blown his comments out of proportion and misquoted him. The issue ended with UMNO Youth chief Hishamuddin Hussein warning people not to "bring up the issue again as it has been agreed upon, appreciated, understood and endorsed by the Constitution."[45]
[edit] Article 153 in Diagrams
The two diagrams below summarise the provisions of Article 153. The first shows how Article 153 deals with the special position of Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak (collectively, "bumiputras") and the second shows how it deals with the legitimate interests of the other communities.

Diagram 1: Special Position of Bumiputras



Diagram 2: Legitimate Interests of Other Communities

[edit] Full text of Article 153

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Constitution of Malaysia

1. It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
2. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, but subject to the provisions of Article 40 and of this Article, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall exercise his functions under this Constitution and federal law in such manner as may be necessary to safeguard the special provision of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and to ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable of positions in the public service (other than the public service of a State) and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government and, when any permit or licence for the operation of any trade or business is required by federal law, then, subject to the provisions of that law and this Article, of such permits and licences.
3. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may, in order to ensure in accordance with Clause (2) the reservation to Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of positions in the public service and of scholarships, exhibitions and other educational or training privileges or special facilities, give such general directions as may be required for that purpose to any Commission to which Part X applies or to any authority charged with responsibility for the grant of such scholarships, exhibitions or other educational or training privileges or special facilities; and the Commission or authority shall duly comply with the directions.
4. In exercising his functions under this Constitution and federal law in accordance with Clauses (1) to (3) the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall not deprive any person of any public office held by him or of the continuance of any scholarship, exhibition or other educational or training privileges or special facilities enjoyed by him.
5. This Article does not derogate from the provisions of Article 136.
6. Where by existing federal law a permit or licence is required for the operation of any trade or business the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may exercise his functions under that law in such manner, or give such general directions to any authority charged under that law with the grant of such permits or licences, as may be required to ensure the reservation of such proportion of such permits or licences for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable, and the authority shall duly comply with the directions.
7. Nothing in this Article shall operate to deprive or authorise the deprivation of any person of any right, privilege, permit or licence accrued to or enjoyed or held by him or to authorised a refusal to renew to any person any such permit or licence or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of a person any permit or licence when the renewal or grant might reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events.
8. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, where by any federal law any permit or licence is required for the operation of any trade or business, that law may provide for the reservation of a proportion of such permits or licences for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak; but no such law shall for the purpose of ensuring such a reservation-
o (a) deprive or authorise the deprivation of any person of any right, privilege, permit or licence accrued to or enjoyed or held by him;
o (b) authorise a refusal to renew to any person any such permit or licence or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of any person any permit or licence when the renewal or grant might in accordance with he other provisions of the law reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events, or prevent any person from transferring together with his business any transferable licence to operate that business; or
o (c) where no permit or licence was previously required for the operation of the trade or business, authorise a refusal to grant a permit or licence to any person for the operation of any trade or business which immediately before the coming into force of the law he had been bona fide carrying on, or authorise a refusal subsequently to renew to any such person any permit or licence, or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of any such person any such permit or licence when the renewal or grant might in accordance with the other provisions of that law reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events.
4. (8A) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, where in any University, College and other educational institution providing education after Malaysian Certificate of Education or its equivalent, the number of places offered by the authority responsible for the management of the University, College or such educational institution to candidates for any course of study is less than the number of candidates qualified for such places, it shall be lawful for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by virtue of this Article to give such directions to the authority as may be required to ensure the reservation of such proportion of such places for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may deem reasonable, and the authority shall duly comply with the directions.
9. (9) Nothing in this Article shall empower Parliament to restrict business or trade solely for the purpose of reservations for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak.
0. (9A) In this Article the expression "natives" in relation to the State of Sabah or Sarawak shall have the meaning assigned to it in Article 161A.
10. The Constitution of the State of any Ruler may make provision corresponding (with the necessary modifications) to the provisions of this Article.
[edit] Notes and references
^ Terms used in Article 153 to categorize people (‘Malays’, ‘natives’) are defined in Articles 160 (English • Malay) and 161a (English • Malay). Perhaps unintuitively, only “a person who professes the religion of Islam” may be a ‘Malay’ (orang Melayu) in the sense of the constitution (for other contexts, see the article at Malays (ethnic group)). This restriction, if not those about “conform[ing] to Malay custom” and “habitually speak[ing] the Malay language”, would seem to affect many Orang Asli, a group defined in Article 160 but not mentioned in Article 153. The term bumiputera is neither used nor defined in the constitution.
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3. ^ Putra, Tunku Abdul Rahman (1986). Political Awakening, p. 31. Pelanduk Publications. ISBN 967-978-136-4.
4. ^ Ye, Lin-Sheng (2003). The Chinese Dilemma, p. 143. East West Publishing. ISBN 0-9751646-1-9.
5. ^ Lee, Kuan Yew (2000). The Singapore Story (abridged edition), pp. 327–328. Federal Publications.
6. ^ "'Impossible to co-operate with Singapore while Lee is Premier'". (2 June 1965). Straits Times.
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8. ^ Goh, Cheng Teik (1994). Malaysia: Beyond Communal Politics, pp. 36–37. Pelanduk Publications. ISBN 967-978-475-4.
9. ^ Means, Gordon P. (1991). Malaysian Politics: The Second Generation, p. 7, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-588988-6.
10. ^ Means, pages 9, 10.
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12. ^ Ye p. 183.
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15. ^ a b Ye p. 95.
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17. ^ Musa, M. Bakri (1999). The Malay Dilemma Revisited, p. 3. Merantau Publishers. ISBN 1-58348-367-5.
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19. ^ Ye p. 156.
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22. ^ a b Quek, Kim (4 December 2004). "Unveiling the truth of Malay 'Special Rights'". Malaysia Today.
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24. ^ Shari, Michael (29 July 2002). "Mahathir's Change of Heart? ". Business Week.
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26. ^ "History of South East Asia". Retrieved 13 December 2005.
27. ^ Yeoh, Oon (4 June 2004). "Meritocracy: The truth must be well told". The Sun.
28. ^ "Johor Umno Says Meritocracy A Form Of Discrimination". (9 July 2005). BERNAMA.
29. ^ Lim, Guan Eng (2004). "Will qualified non-bumi students be sacrificed by Shafie for his defeat in UMNO?". Retrieved 11 November 2005.
30. ^ Badawi, Abdullah Ahmad (2004). "Moving Forward — Towards Excellence". Retrieved 11 November 2005.
31. ^ Ooi, Jeff (2005). "The 30% solution". Retrieved 12 November 2005.
32. ^ Gatsiounis, Ioannis (2 October 2004). "Abdullah stirs a hornets' nest". Asia Times.
33. ^ Jalleh, Martin (9 January 2005). "UMNO: Maturity or mutation?". Malaysia Today.
34. ^ Liu, Ronnie Tian Khiew (10 December 2004). "UMNO should stop claiming Ketuanan Melayu". Malaysia Today.
35. ^ "Anwar: Time to suspend NEP". (28 October 2005). Malaysiakini.
36. ^ "Malaysia's Races Live Peacefully — But Separately". (28 August 2005). AFP.
37. ^ Bennet, Abang (2005). "UMNO: A threat to national prosperity". Retrieved 11 November 2005.
38. ^ Ye pp. 85, 92, 94, 156.
39. ^ Means, pp. 14, 15.
40. ^ Lim, Kit Siang (2005). "Hisham – gonna say sorry for UMNO Youth keris episodes?". Retrieved 11 November 2005.
41. ^ Kamarudin, Raja Petra (26 September 2005). "Article 153 of Malaysia's Federal Constitution". Malaysia Today.
42. ^ a b Ooi, Jeff (2005). "New controversy: Social Contract and Bangsa Malaysia". Retrieved 12 November 2005.
43. ^ Yusoff, Marzuki & Samah, Nazeri Nong (14 August 2005). "Kontrak sosial: Kenyataan Keng Yaik bercanggah Perlembagaan Persekutuan". Utusan Malaysia.
44. ^ Badawi, Abdullah Ahmad (2004). "The Challenges of Multireligious, Multiethnic and Multicultural Societies". Retrieved 12 November 2005.
45. ^ "Don't Raise Social Contract Issue, Umno Youth Chief Warns". (15 August 2005). BERNAMA.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_153_of_the_Constitution_of_Malaysia"

The social contract in Malaysia refers to the agreement made by the country's founding fathers in the Constitution. The social contract usually refers to a quid pro quo trade-off through Articles 14–18 of the Constitution, pertaining to the granting of citizenship to the non-Bumiputera of Malaysia (particularly Malaysian Chinese and Indian), and Article 153, which grants the Malays special rights and privileges. The term has also been used occasionally to refer to other portions of the Constitution.
In its typical context related to race relations, the social contract has been heavily criticised by many, including politicians from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, who contend that constant harping on the non-Malays' debt to the Malays for citizenship has alienated them from the country. Such criticisms have met with opposition from the Malay media and the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the largest political party in Barisan Nasional. Many Malays, typically from UMNO, have used the social contract to defend the principle of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy).
Contents
[hide]
• 1 33-page report of William Reid
• 2 Contractual terms
• 3 Early criticism
• 4 Present debate
• 5 See also
• 6 Notes and references
o 6.1 Other references
• 7 External links

[edit] 33-page report of William Reid
On 22 October 2010, Malaysian exiled popular blogger RPK (Raja Petra Kamarudin) revealed page by page of the 33-page document (a report by Lord Reid in year 1956 to Queen Elizabeth II) which he retrieved from the archiving library in England. RPK claimed that the Malaysian government has since distorting the content of Lord Reid's report into what is called the 'Social Contract of Malaysia'. [1]
[edit] Contractual terms
The Constitution does not explicitly refer to a "social contract" (in terms of citizenship rights and privileges), and no act of law or document has ever fully set out the social contract's terms. Its defenders often refer to the Constitution as setting out the social contract, and the Malaysian founding fathers having agreed to it, although no reference to a "social contract" appears in the Constitution. Instead, the social contract is typically taken to mean a quid pro quo agreement that provides the non-Malay and other non-indigenous peoples of Malaysia (mostly the Malaysian Chinese and Malaysian Indian) with citizenship, in return for their granting special privileges to the Malays and indigenous people of Malaysia, collectively referred to as the Bumiputra (sons of the soil).[1]
A higher education Malaysian studies textbook conforming to the government syllabus states: "Since the Malay leaders agreed to relax the conditions for citizenship, the leaders of the Chinese and Indian communities accepted the special position of the Malays as indigenous people of Malaya. With the establishment of Malaysia, the special position status was extended to include the indigenous communities of Sabah and Sarawak."[2]
Another description of the social contract declares it to be an agreement that "Malay entitlement to political and administrative authority should be accepted unchallenged, at least for the time being, in return for non-interference in Chinese control of the economy".[3]
The Constitution explicitly grants the Bumiputra reservations of land, quotas in the civil service, public scholarships and public education, quotas for trade licences, and the permission to monopolise certain industries if the government permits. In reality, however, especially after the advent of the Malaysian New Economic Policy (NEP) due to the racial riots of the May 13 Incident which occurred in 1969 when Malays held only 4% of the Malaysian economy, Bumiputra privileges have extended to other areas; quotas are set for Bumiputra equity in publicly traded corporations, and discounts for them on automobiles and real estate ranging from 5% to 15% are mandated.
The Constitution also included elements of Malay tradition as part of the Malaysian national identity. The Malay rulers were preserved, with the head of state, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, drawn from their ranks. Islam would be the national religion, and the Malay language would be the national language. These provisions, along with the economic privileges accorded by Article 153 of the Constitution, made up one half of the bargain, and have been referred to as the Malay Agenda. The nature of these provisions is disputed; although many Malays refer to them as "rights" – a term common in UMNO rhetoric – critics have argued that the Constitution never refers to special rights for the Malays:
“ There is no such thing as a racial "right" to be given special treatment. And that is not me being argumentative, it's the Constitution. You won't find "Malay rights" in the supreme law of our land, instead, you will find terms such as "special position" of Malays. The difference is more than semantics. A right implies something inalienable. A privilege on the other hand is a benefit, presumably given to those who need it. ”
Such critics have used this basis to argue that the social contract was meant "to protect the Malays from being overwhelmed economically, administratively and politically from the immigrant ethnic groups of the time", instead of granting particular special rights to the Malays.[4]
Some suggest that this bias towards Malays in education and politics is, in part, a response to the ability of the Malaysian Chinese to secure most of the country's wealth. The Indian Malaysians, as with the Indian Singaporeans, can make a case for being those that lose out the most, although this may be disputed.[citation needed]
The government did roll back the quota system for entry to public universities in 2003 and introduced a policy of "meritocracy". However, this new system was widely criticised by the non-Bumiputras as benefiting the Bumiputras by streaming them into a matriculation programme that featured relatively easy coursework while the non-Bumiputras were forced to sit for the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM, or Malaysia Higher School Certificate). Although in theory non-Bumiputras may enter the matriculation stream, and Bumiputras may sit for the STPM, this rarely occurs in reality. Meritocracy was also criticised by some quarters in UMNO as being discriminatory, as it caused the rural and less-prepared Malays to fall behind in university entrance rates.
The Reid Commission which prepared the framework for the Constitution stated in its report that Article 153, the backbone of the social contract, would be temporary only, and recommended that it be reviewed 15 years after independence. The Commission also said that the article and its provisions would only be necessary to avoid sudden unfair disadvantage to the Malays in competing with other members of Malaysian society, and that the privileges accorded the Malays by the article should be gradually reduced and eventually eliminated. Due to the May 13 Incident, after which a state of emergency was declared, however, 1972, the year that Article 153 was due to be reviewed, passed without incident.
According to the social contract's proponents, in return for the enactment of these originally temporary provisions, non-Malay Malaysians are accorded citizenship under Chapter 1 of Part III of the Constitution. Except for the Bumiputra privileges, non-Bumiputras are otherwise generally regarded as equal to their Bumiputra counterparts, and are accorded all the rights of citizenship as under Part II of the Constitution. In recent years, some have sought to provide Malay citizens with more political rights as per the ketuanan Melayu philosophy. However, most of these ketuanan Melayu proponents argue that their additional rights are already written as law and thus only seek to "defend" them from their opponents.
When he assumed the Presidency of UMNO, Tunku Abdul Rahman (later the first Prime Minister of Malaysia) stated that "...when we (the Malays) fought against the Malayan Union (which upset the position of the Malays' rights) the others took no part in it because they said this is purely a Malay concern, and not theirs. They also indicate that they owe their loyalty to their countries of origin, and for that reason they oppose the Barnes Report to make Malay the national language. If we were to hand over the Malays to these so-called Malayans when their nationality has not been defined there will be a lot of problems ahead of us." However, he continued that "For those who love and feel they owe undivided loyalty to this country, we will welcome them as Malayans. They must truly be Malayans, and they will have the same rights and privileges as the Malays." [5]
[edit] Early criticism
Article 153, and thus by extension the social contract, has been a source of controversy since the early days of Malaysia. Singaporean politician Lee Kuan Yew (later the first Prime Minister of Singapore) of the People's Action Party (PAP; its Malaysian branch would later become the Democratic Action Party or DAP) publicly questioned the need for Article 153 in Parliament, and called for a "Malaysian Malaysia". Questioning the social contract, Lee stated: "According to history, Malays began to migrate to Malaysia in noticeable numbers only about 700 years ago. Of the 39 percent Malays in Malaysia today, about one-third are comparatively new immigrants like the secretary-general of UMNO, Dato' Syed Ja'afar Albar, who came to Malaya from Indonesia just before the war at the age of more than thirty. Therefore it is wrong and illogical for a particular racial group to think that they are more justified to be called Malaysians and that the others can become Malaysian only through their favour."[6]
Lee criticised the government's policies by stating that "[t]hey, the Malay, have the right as Malaysian citizens to go up to the level of training and education that the more competitive societies, the non-Malay society, has produced. That is what must be done, isn't it? Not to feed them with this obscurantist doctrine that all they have got to do is to get Malay rights for the few special Malays and their problem has been resolved." [7] He also lamented, "Malaysia — to whom does it belong? To Malaysians. But who are Malaysians? I hope I am, Mr Speaker, Sir. But sometimes, sitting in this chamber, I doubt whether I am allowed to be a Malaysian."
Lee's statements upset many, especially politicians from the Alliance, Barisan Nasional's predecessor. Then Finance Minister Tan Siew Sin of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) called Lee the "greatest, disruptive force in the entire history of Malaysia and Malaya." Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, considered Lee to be too extremist in his views, while other UMNO politicians thought Lee was simply taking advantage of the situation to pander to the Malaysian Chinese.
PAP-UMNO relations were chilled further by the PAP running several candidates in elections on the Malay peninsula, with UMNO retaliating by trying to run candidates on its ticket in Singapore. Eventually, the Tunku decided to kick Singapore out of Malaysia. Lee was seen crying in national television and Singapore became an independent nation in 1965. The Constitution of Singapore contains an article, Article 152, that names the Malays as "indigenous people" of Singapore and therefore requiring special safeguarding of their rights and privileges as such. However, the article specifies no policies for such safeguarding, and no reference to a "social contract" has ever been made by the political establishment in Singapore.
[edit] Present debate
In 2005, the social contract was brought up by Lim Keng Yaik of the Gerakan party in Barisan Nasional. Lim, a Minister in the government, asked for a re-examination of the social contract so that a "Bangsa Malaysia" (literally Malay for a Malaysian race or Malaysian nation) could be achieved. Lim was severely criticised by many Malay politicians, including Khairy Jamaluddin who is Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's son-in-law and Deputy Chairman of the UMNO Youth wing, and Ahmad Shabery Cheek, a prominent Malay Member of Parliament from the state of Terengganu. The Malay press (most of which is owned by UMNO) also ran articles condemning the questioning of the social contract. Lim was adamant, asking in an interview "How do you expect non-Malays to pour their hearts and souls into the country, and to one day die for it if you keep harping on this? Flag-waving and singing the Negaraku (the national anthem) are rituals, while true love for the nation lies in the heart."
A year earlier, Abdullah had given a speech where he mentioned the most "significant aspect" of the social contract as "the agreement by the indigenous peoples to grant citizenship to the immigrant Chinese and Indians". However, Abdullah went on to state that "the character of the nation" changed to "one that Chinese and Indian citizens could also call their own". However, the speech went largely unremarked.
In the end, Lim stated that the Malay press had blown his comments out of proportion and misquoted him. The issue ended with UMNO Youth chief and Education Minister Hishamuddin Hussein warning people not to "bring up the issue again as it has been agreed upon, appreciated, understood and endorsed by the Constitution."
Earlier that year, Hishamuddin had waved the keris (traditional Malay dagger) at the UMNO Annual General Meeting, warning non-Malays not to threaten "Malay rights" and to question the social contract. This was applauded by the UMNO delegates, but widely ridiculed in the Malaysian blogosphere.
Other politicians, mostly from opposition parties, have also criticised the NEP and its provisions, but refrained from directly criticising the social contract or Article 153 of the Constitution. Former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) promised he would roll back the NEP if he ever gained power, and many from the Democratic Action Party (DAP) have also spoken out against the NEP. They criticised the NEP as benefiting only a small portion of Malays, mostly well-connected and urban, while ignoring the rural and poor Malays, and noted that the NEP's avowed goal was to give the Malays a 30% share in the country's economic equity, regardless of whether only a few or many Malays held this share. The DAP has been particular in arguing it does not question Article 153 or the social contract, but merely seeks to abolish inequitable policies such as the NEP.
Article 10 (4) of the Constitution permits the government to ban the questioning of Article 153, and thus the social contract; indeed, the Sedition Act does illegalise such questioning. The Internal Security Act (ISA) also permits the government to detain anybody it desires for practically an infinite period of time, and many, including politicians from the DAP such as Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh have been held under the ISA; it is widely believed this was because of their vehement criticism of Malay privileges.
More recently, some commentators have remarked on younger Malaysians chafing at the terms of the social contract. One wrote that "half a century on, younger non-Malays especially feel they were not parties to deals and contracts (at the time of independence) and should not be beholden to them."[8] In 2006, several non-Malay parties in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition called for a reexamination of the social contract; Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's refusal to do so reportedly triggered "much consternation". Abdullah was quoted in the Malay media as saying: "If we change this balance and if we are forced to meet all over again on the rights of every group, it will not be the same as now. It would be far from satisfactory. Whatever the new formula, it will not succeed because the old formula is enough, is already maximum. As everyone had agreed to this before, why do we want to disturb this and meet again?"[9]
That year, at the UMNO General Assembly, several delegates criticised other members of the government coalition for criticising the social contract and ketuanan Melayu. One stated that "If they question our rights, then we should question theirs. So far we have not heard the Malays questioning their right to citizenship when they came in droves from other countries."[10] Others argued that the Bumiputra communities continued to lag behind the rest of the country economically, and called for stronger measures in line with the social contract.[11] One delegate, Hashim Suboh, made headlines when he asked Hishammuddin, who had brandished the kris again, "Datuk Hisham has unsheathed his keris, waved his keris, kissed his keris. We want to ask Datuk Hisham when is he going to use it?" Hashim said that "force must be used against those who refused to abide by the social contract", provoking criticism from the DAP, which accused him of sedition.[12]
In response to what it termed "[t]he veiled threat of violence ... made explicit during last year's UMNO conference", The Economist criticised the social contract, calling it "absurd and unjust to tell the children of families that have lived in Malaysia for generations that, in effect, they are lucky not to be deported and will have to put up with second-class treatment for the rest of their lives, in the name of 'racial harmony'", and called policies based on the social contract "official racism".[13]
[edit] See also
• Indophobia
• Sinophobia
[edit] Notes and references
1. ^ Chow, Kum Hor (2007-08-25). "Keng Yaik against racial 'bullying'". The Straits Times. http://malaysia-today.net/blog2006/newsncom.php?itemid=7540.
2. ^ Shuid, Mahdi & Yunus, Mohd. Fauzi (2001). Malaysian Studies, p. 50. Longman. ISBN 983-74-2024-3.
3. ^ Abdullah, Asma & Pedersen, Paul B. (2003). Understanding Multicultural Malaysia, p. 59. Pearson Malaysia. ISBN 983-2639-21-2.
4. ^ Sharom, Azmi (Nov. 28, 2006). Fear-mongers drown out genuine issues. Malaysia Today.
5. ^ Putra, Tunku Abdul Rahman (1986). Political Awakening, p. 31. Pelanduk Publications. ISBN 967-978-135-6.
6. ^ Ye, Lin-Sheng (2003). The Chinese Dilemma, p. 43. East West Publishing. ISBN 0-9751646-1-9.
7. ^ Lee, Kuan Yew (2000). The Singapore Story, Abridged edition, pp. 327–328. Federal Publications.
8. ^ Arifin, Zainul (Nov. 15, 2006). Umno could look out for others, too. New Straits Times.
9. ^ Bose, Romen (Nov. 17, 2006). Racial tensions on rise in Malaysia. Al Jazeera.
10. ^ Ahmad, Reme (Nov. 17, 2006). Race tensions not worrying: Abdullah. Malaysia Today.
11. ^ Ahmad, Reme (Nov. 17, 2006). Race tensions not worrying: Abdullah. Straits Times.
12. ^ 'Hisham and his keris' remark shocks Karpal. (Nov. 18, 2006). Malaysiakini.
13. ^ "Tall buildings, narrow minds". The Economist. 2007-08-31. http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9724393.
[edit] Other references
• Adam, Ramlah binti, Samuri, Abdul Hakim bin & Fadzil, Muslimin bin (2004). Sejarah Tingkatan 3. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. ISBN 983-62-8285-8.
• "Anwar: Time to suspend NEP". (Oct. 28, 2005). Malaysiakini.
• Badawi, Abdullah Ahmad (2004). "The Challenges of Multireligious, Multiethnic and Multicultural Societies". Retrieved Nov. 12, 2005.
• "Don't Raise Social Contract Issue, Umno Youth Chief Warns". (Aug. 15, 2005). Bernama.
• Goh, Cheng Teik (1994). Malaysia: Beyond Communal Politics. Pelanduk Publications. ISBN 967-978-475-4.
• "'Impossible to co-operate with Singapore while Lee is Premier'". (June 2, 1965). Straits Times.
• "Johor Umno Says Meritocracy A Form Of Discrimination". (July 9, 2005). Bernama.
• Khaw, Ambrose (1998). "This man is making too much noise". Retrieved Nov. 11, 2005.
• Lim, Kit Siang (2002). "Liong Sik and Keng Yaik also suffer from the 'Mudah Lupa' syndrome, forgetting the clear and unequivocal calls by Tunku Abdul Rahman and Hussein Onn and MCA founding fathers not to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state". Retrieved Nov. 12, 2005.
• Lim, Kit Siang (2004). "2004 general election will be a critical test of the reaffirmation or abandonment of the 46-year Merdeka 'social contract' of Malaysia as a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State". Retrieved Nov. 12, 2005.
• Musa, M. Bakri (1999). The Malay Dilemma Revisited. Merantau Publishers. ISBN 1-58348-367-5.
• Ooi, Jeff (2004). "Meritocracy: Naked Lies or Partial Truth?". Retrieved Nov. 11, 2005.
• Ooi, Jeff (2005). "The 30% solution". Retrieved Nov. 12, 2005.
• Ooi, Jeff (2005). "New controversy: Social Contract and Bangsa Malaysia". Retrieved Nov. 12, 2005.
• Ooi, Jeff (2005). "Perils of the sitting duck". Retrieved Nov. 11, 2005.
• Ooi, Jeff (2005). "Social Contract: 'Utusan got the context wrong'". Retrieved Nov. 11, 2005.
• Ye, Lin-Sheng (2003). The Chinese Dilemma. East West Publishing. ISBN 0-9751646-1-9.
• Yeoh, Oon (June 4, 2004). "Meritocracy: The truth must be well told". The Sun.
• Yusoff, Marzuki & Samah, Nazeri Nong (Aug. 14, 2005).

"Kontrak sosial: Kenyataan Keng Yaik bercanggah Perlembagaan Persekutuan". Utusan Malaysia.
Kontrak sosial di Malaysia merujuk kepada perjanjian oleh bapa-bapa kemerdekaan negara dalam Perlembagaan, dan merupakan penggantian beri-memberi atau quid pro quo melalui Perkara 14–18 yang berkenaan dengan pemberian kewarganegaraan Malaysia kepada orang-orang bukan Melayu, dan Perkara 153 yang memberikan hak istimewa rakyat kepada mereka daripada kaum bumiputera. Istilah ini juga kekadang digunakan untuk merujuk kepada bahagian-bahagian yang lain dalam Perlembagaan, seperti Perkara yang mengatakan bahawa Malaysia adalah sebuah negara sekular.
Dalam konteks biasa yang berkaitan dengan hubungan ras, kontrak sosial telah kerap kali dibidaskan, termasuk juga oleh ahli-ahli politik dalam kerajaan campuran Barisan Nasional yang menegaskan bahawa tidak habis-habis bercakap tentang hutang orang-orang bukan Melayu kepada orang-orang Melayu terhadap kewarganegaraan yang diberikan telah merenggangkan golongan-golongan bukan Melayu daripada negara mereka. Kritikan-kritikan seumpama ini telah ditentang oleh media Melayu dan Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu (UMNO), parti politik yang terbesar dalam Barisan Nasional. Banyak orang Melayu, biasanya daripada UMNO, telah mempergunakan kontrak sosial ini untuk mempertahankan prinsip Ketuanan Melayu.
Isi kandungan
[sorokkan]
• 1 Syarat-syarat kontrak
• 2 Kritikan awal
• 3 Penggunaan dalam konteks lain
• 4 Pelbagai bantahan
• 5 Subjek Kontrak Sosial
• 6 Nota dan rujukan
o 6.1 Rujukan lain
• 7 Pautan luar

[sunting] Syarat-syarat kontrak
Perlembagaan Malaysia tidak merujuk kepada sebuah "kontrak sosial" (dari segi hak kewarganegaraan dan hak istimewa) secara ketara, dan tidak terdapat sebarang undang-undang atau dokumen yang pernah menjelaskan syarat-syarat kontrak sosial secara penuh. Pembela-pembelanya sering merujuk kepada Perlembagaan sebagai mengemukakan kontrak sosial, dan bapa-bapa kemerdekaaan juga bersetuju dengannya, walaupun rujukan kepada kontrak sosial tidak dibuat dalam Perlembagaan. Sebaliknya, kontrak sosial biasanya dianggap sebagai suatu persetujuan yang memberikan kewarganegaraan kepada orang-orang bukan Melayu dan bukan orang asli (kebanyakannya orang Malaysia Cina dan Malaysia India) sebagai ganti untuk pemberian hak keistimewaan kepada orang-orang Melayu dan orang-orang asli (dirujuk secara kolektif sebagai Bumiputera). Sebuah buku teks kajian Malaysia pendidikan tinggi yang menepati sukatan pelajaran kerajaan mengatakan: "Oleh sebab pemimpin-pemimpin Melayu bersetuju untuk melonggarkan syarat-syarat kewarganegaraan, pemimpin-pemimpin komuniti Cina dan India telah menerima kedudukan istimewa Melayu sebagai penduduk asli Malaya. Dengan penubuhan Malaysia, status kedudukan istimewa itu diperluas untuk merangkumi komuniti-komuniti penduduk asli Sabah dan Sarawak." [1]
Perlembagaan secara ketara memberikan tanah rizab Bumiputera, kuota dalam perkhidmatan awam, biasiswa dan pendidikan awam, kuota untuk lesen perniagaan, dan kebenaran untuk memonopoli industri-industri yang tertentu, jika kerajaan membenarkan. Bagaimanapun pada hakikatnya, khususunya selepas pengenalan Dasar Ekonomi Baru Malaysia (NEP), akibat rusuhan kaum pada 13 Mei 1969 ketika kaum Melayu hanya memiliki 4% daripada ekonomi Malaysia, hak-hak istimewa Bumiputera diperluas kepada bidang-bidang yang lain; kuota-kuota ditentukan untuk ekuiti Bumiputera dalam perbadanan awam, dan diskaun-diskaun sebanyak 5% hingga 15% untuk membeli kereta dan harta tanah diberikan.
Setengah-setengah orang mengatakan bahawa kecondongan terhadap orang-orang Melayu dalam pendidikan dan politik sebahagiannya merupakan tindak balas terhadap keupayaan orang-orang Malaysia Cina untuk memperoleh kebanyakan kekayaan negara itu. Bagaimanapaun, orang-orang Malaysia India boleh mengemukakan hujah bahawa merekalah yang mengalami kerugian yang paling banyak, walaupun ini boleh dipertikaikan.
Kerajaan ada mengundurkan sistem kuota untuk kemasukan ke universiti-universiti awam pada 2003 dan memperkenalkan dasar "meritokrasi". Bagaimanapun, sistem baru ini dikritik secara meluas oleh orang-orang bukan Bumiputera kerana hanya memanfaatkan kaum Bumiputera yang ditempatkan dalam rancangan matrikulasi yang menonjolkan kerja kursus yang agak mudah sedangkan orang-orang bukan Bumiputera terpaksa mengambil Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). Walaupun secara teori, orang-orang bukan Bumiputra boleh masuk aliran matrikulasi, ini jarang berlaku pada hakikatnya. Meritokrasi juga dikritik oleh sebilangan pihak dalam UMNO sebagai berdiskriminasi kerana ia mengakibatkan orang-orang Melayu luar bandar terkebelakang dalam kadar kemasukan universiti.
Suruhanjaya Reid yang menyediakan kerangka Perlembagaan menyatakan dalam laporannya bahawa Perkara 153, tulang belakang kontrak sosial, adalah bersifat sementara, dan menyesyorkan bahawa ia dikaji semula 15 tahun selepas kemerdekaan. Suruhanjaya juga menyatakan bahawa perkara itu dan peruntukan-peruntukannya hanya diperlukan untuk mengelakkan keadaan tiba-tiba yang tidak menguntungkan kepada orang-orang Melayu dalam persaingan dengan ahli-ahli masyarakat Malaysia yang lain, dan hak-hak istimewa yang diberikan kepada orang-orang Melayu oleh perkara itu harus dikurangkan secara beransur-ansur dan akhirnya dihapuskan. Bagaimanapun, disebabkan Peristiwa 13 Mei yang menyebabkan pengisytiharan darurat, tahun 1972 yang merupakan tahun kajian semula Perkara 153 berlangsung tanpa sebarang peristiwa.
Menurut penyokong-penyokong kontrak sosial, sebagai balasan untuk enakmen peruntukan-peruntukan yang pada asalnya bersifat sementara, orang-orang Malaysia bukan Melayu diberikan kewarganegaraan di bawah Bab I Bahagian III dalam Perlembagaan. Perlu diingatkan bahawa hak-hak istimewa orang-orang bukan Bumiputera juga telah diberikan apabila negara mendapat kemerdekaan, antaranya penubuhan sekolah-sekolah vernakular seperti sekolah cina dan tamil. Hak-hak ini juga bersifat sementara apabila di dalam Perlembagaan, iaiya mesti dimansuhkan 10 tahun selepas merdeka. Walaubagaimanapun, ianya sudah termaktub di dalam Akta Pelajaran 1996 bilamana kewujudan sekolah-sekolah vernakular dibenarkan untuk diteruskan.
Justeru, kecuali hak-haki istimewa Bumiputera, orang-orang bukan Bumiputera dianggap sebagai sama saja dengan orang-orang Bumiputera dan diberikan semua hak kewarganegaraan di bawah Bahagian II dalam Perlembagaan. Pada tahun-tahun kebelakangan ini, sebilangan orang telah mencuba untuk membekalkan warganegara-warganegara Melayu dengan lebih banyak hak politik menurut falsafah ketuanan Melayu. Kebanyakan penyokong ketuanan Melayu memperdebatkan bahawa hak-hak tambahan ini telah ditulis dalam undang-undang dan hanya perlu dipertahankan daripada pembangkang-pembangkang.
Apabila mengambil alih jawatan presiden UMNO, Tunku Abdul Rahman (kemudian menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia pertama) menyatakan bahawa "...apabila kami (orang-orang Melayu) menentang Malayan Union (yang menjejaskan kedudukan hak-hak orang Melayu), kaum-kaum lain tidak mengambil bahagian kerana mereka mengatakan ini hanya merupakan masalah Melayu, dan bukan masalah mereka. Mereka juga menunjukkan bahawa kesetiaan mereka adalah kepada negara-negara asal mereka dan oleh itu, menentang Laporan Barnes yang bertujuan untuk menjadikan bahasa Melayu menjadi bahasa kebangsaan. Jika kami menyerahkan orang-orang Melayu kepada orang-orang yang dikatakan orang Malaya ketika kerakyatan mereka masih belum ditakrifkan, kami akan menghadapi banyak masalah pada masa hadapan." Bagaimanapun, dia menambah bahawa "Bagai mereka yang mencintai dan berasi bahawa mereka terhutang kesetiaan yang tidak berbelah bagi, kami menyambut mereka sebagai orang Malaya. Mereka harus merupakan orang Malaya yang benar, dan mereka akan mempunyai hak-hak dan hak-hak istimewa yang sama dengan orang-orang Melayu." [2]
[sunting] Kritikan awal
Artikel 153, dan diterangkan oleh kontrak sosial, telah merupakan satu sumber kontoversi semenjak hari-hari mula bagi Malaysia. Ahli politik Singapura, Lee Kuan Yew (kemudian menjadi Perdana Menteri Singapura) Parti Tindakan Rakyat (PAP; cawangannya di Malaysia kemudiannya menjadi Parti Tindakan Demokratik atau DAP) secara umumnya mempersoalkan keperluan Artikel 153 dalam Parliamen, dan menyeru satu "Malaysian Malaysia". Mempersoalkan kontrak sosial , Lee telah menyatakan: "Merujuk kepada sejarah, orang Melayu telah mula untuk berhijrah ke Malaysia dalam bilangan yang banyak hanya kira-kira 700 tahun yang lalu. Dalam 39 peratus orang Melayu di Malaysia hari ini, kira-kira sepertiga secara perbandingan hanya imigran seperti setiausaha agung UMNO, Dato' Syed Ja'afar Albar, yang datang ke Malaya dari Indonesia sebelum perang ketika berumur lebih tiga puluh tahun.
Namun begitu kita juga perlu sedar bahawa penghijrahan orang melayu adalah dari Gugusan Kepulauan Melayu (Tanah Melayu,Indonesia,Brunei,Filipina,Singapura dan Thailand) ketika itu yang mempunyai agama, bahasa dan adat yang seakan sama seperti orang melayu di tanah melayu. Justeru perkara ini tidak boleh dipertikaikan berbanding kaum lain seperti cina dan india yang dibawa oleh penjajah ketika itu datang dari negara China dan negara India yang mempunyai agama,bahasa dan adat yang jauh berbeza.

[sunting] Penggunaan dalam konteks lain
Kontrak sosial kadangkala digunakan untuk merujuk kepada konteks yang tidak melibatkan hubungan kaum. Dalam pilihanraya umum Malaysia 2004, DAP bertanding atas dasar untuk mempertahankan "kontrak sosial" dengan menentang teokrasi Islam, yang dilarang oleh Perlembagaan, tetapi disokong oleh bekas Perdama Menteri,Mahathir bin Mohamad, Lim Keng Yaik dan PAS, parti politik Melayu yang kedua terbesar dalam negara.
[sunting] Pelbagai bantahan
Menteri Tenaga, Air dan Komunikasi Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik yang juga Presiden Gerakan dilaporkan meminta supaya formula itu diketepikan kerana ia membuatkan kaum Cina dan India 'kecil hati'. Beliau merasmikan Konvensyen Anak Malaysia anjuran Pergerakan Pemuda Gerakan pada 13 Ogos 2005.
[sunting] Subjek Kontrak Sosial
Pada 22 Oktober 2008, Sultan Perak Sultan Azlan Shah mencadangkan supaya subjek kontrak sosial diperkenalkan di di institusi pendidikan supaya generasi muda di negara ini memahaminya dengan lebih mendalam.
Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin menyarankan kontrak sosial menjadi subjek ko kurikulum di universiti-universiti kerana bukan semua faham dengan kontrak sosial ini. Isu kontrak sosial sebenarnya sudah lama selesai dan ia harus diterima oleh semua pihak.[3] Beliau berkata demikian semasa menyampaikan ceramah 'Politik Melayu-Islam Kemelut dan Penyelesaian' di Dewan Budaya Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) pada 21 Oktober 2008.
Memanglah semua kaum ada rasa tidak puas hati sedikit sebanyak. Kita akui hakikat ini tetapi jangan cuba persoalkan hak orang Melayu melalui cara yang tersirat .Kita harus berpijak di bumi yang nyata. Lagipun kontrak sosial sudah termeterai dan dipersetujui bersama sejak sekian lama.[4]
Menteri Pelajaran Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein menegaskan subjek ini / penekanan topik dalam subjek Sejarah hanya boleh diperkenalkan pada 2010. Ini kerana ia perlu kajian menyeluruh , tenaga pengajar, peralatan, dan prasarana yang mencukupi. Jika tidak , ia akan dipolitikkan dan menjadi polemik berpanjangan.
Pada 16 Ogos 2008, Menteri Besar Johor Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman menegaskan formula kontrak sosial yang berteraskan Perlembagaan Malaysia bukanlah diskriminasi kaum. Sebaliknya ia terbukti menjamin perpaduan antara kaum.[5]
[sunting] Nota dan rujukan
1. ↑ Shuid, Mahdi & Yunus, Mohd. Fauzi (2001). Malaysian Studies, p. 50. Longman. ISBN 983-74-2024-3.
2. ↑ Putra, Tunku Abdul Rahman (1986). Political Awakening, p. 31. Pelanduk Publications. ISBN 967-978-135-6.
3. ↑ Universiti Disaran Wujudkan Ko-kurikulum Jelaskan Isu Kontrak Sosial
4. ↑ Senator Tidak Setuju Akhbar Tabloid Bangkitkan Isu Kontrak Sosial
5. ↑ Kontrak Sosial Kekal Relevan Sampai Bila-bila, Kata Ghani
[sunting] Rujukan lain
• Adam, Ramlah binti, Samuri, Abdul Hakim bin & Fadzil, Muslimin bin (2004). Sejarah Tingkatan 3. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. ISBN 983-62-8285-8.
• "Anwar: Time to suspend NEP". (Oct. 28, 2005). Malaysiakini.
• Badawi, Abdullah Ahmad (2004). "The Challenges of Multireligious, Multiethnic and Multicultural Societies". Retrieved Nov. 12, 2005.
• "Don't Raise Social Contract Issue, Umno Youth Chief Warns". (Aug. 15, 2005). Bernama.
• Goh, Cheng Teik (1994). Malaysia: Beyond Communal Politics. Pelanduk Publications. ISBN 967-978-475-4.
• "'Impossible to co-operate with Singapore while Lee is Premier'". (June 2, 1965). Straits Times.
• "Johor Umno Says Meritocracy A Form Of Discrimination". (July 9, 2005). Bernama.
• Khaw, Ambrose (1998). "This man is making too much noise". Retrieved Nov. 11, 2005.
• Lim, Kit Siang (2002). "Liong Sik and Keng Yaik also suffer from the 'Mudah Lupa' syndrome, forgetting the clear and unequivocal calls by Tunku Abdul Rahman and Hussein Onn and MCA founding fathers not to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state". Retrieved Nov. 12, 2005.
• Lim, Kit Siang (2004). "2004 general election will be a critical test of the reaffirmation or abandonment of the 46-year Merdeka 'social contract' of Malaysia as a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State". Retrieved Nov. 12, 2005.
• Musa, M. Bakri (1999). The Malay Dilemma Revisited. Merantau Publishers. ISBN 1-58348-367-5.
• Ooi, Jeff (2004). "Meritocracy: Naked Lies or Partial Truth?". Retrieved Nov. 11, 2005.
• Ooi, Jeff (2005). "The 30% solution". Retrieved Nov. 12, 2005.
• Ooi, Jeff (2005). "New controversy: Social Contract and Bangsa Malaysia". Retrieved Nov. 12, 2005.
• Ooi, Jeff (2005). "Perils of the sitting duck". Retrieved Nov. 11, 2005.
• Ooi, Jeff (2005). "Social Contract: 'Utusan got the context wrong'". Retrieved Nov. 11, 2005.
• Ye, Lin-Sheng (2003). The Chinese Dilemma. East West Publishing. ISBN 0-9751646-1-9.
• Yeoh, Oon (June 4, 2004). "Meritocracy: The truth must be well told". The Sun.
• Yusoff, Marzuki & Samah, Nazeri Nong (Aug. 14, 2005). "Kontrak sosial: Kenyataan Keng Yaik bercanggah Perlembagaan Persekutuan". Utusan Malaysia.

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