(MalaysiaKini) The time has come for Umno members to act firmly against those who openly question Malay special privileges, said an Umno delegate today.
Hasnoor Sidang Hussein, a delegate from Melaka, stressed that it was not just the duty of Umno members but also of all Malays to protect their interests.
He added that the party and Malays should not be passive and defensive towards groups who question the Malay special privileges.
"Why should Malays and Umno be passive and defensive? It’s time to raise our voices and defend the Malays and Islam," he said.
"Umno is willing to risk lives and bathe in blood in defensive the race and religion. Don’t play with fire. If they mess with our rights, we will mess with theirs."
These groups, he added, were also questioning the role of Islam as the official religion and the syariah court's position as enshrined in the country.
Hasnoor said that these groups were undermining the social contract which had been agreed upon since independence.
“The tolerant attitude of the Malays towards groups who dared to challenge the rights of the Malays and Islam's sanctity prompted the latter to be even bolder as they felt no action would be taken against them,” he said.
He was debating Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s presidential speech at the Umno annual assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre this morning. About 2,500 delegates are attending the three-day meeting which started yesterday.
According to Hasnoor, the Malays had been passive for far too long and had tolerated attempts by certain non-Muslim groups to dispute the rights of the Malays and tarnish Islam's image.
“Since the tragic racial riots in 1969, Umno and the Malays have been too patient and tolerant,” he said.
In his debate, he mentioned non-Muslim groups such as Chinese education movement Dong Jiao Zong, religious freedom advocacy group Article 11 and non-Malay cabinet ministers, among others, who had been raising these sensitive issues.
"Umno faces challenges from DAP who are Chinese chauvinists, the ignorant PAS and threats from overseas. Friends in Barisan Nasional too have questioned us," he said.
Hasnoor’s remarks today followed a similar warning from party veteran Mohamed Rahmat yesterday that the Malays will not remain patient if their rights are continued to be questioned.
‘What have you done?’
Mohamed, a former Barisan Nasional and Umno secretary-general, said ruling coalition partners should not test the patience of the Malays by questioning various efforts by the party to enhance their economic well-being.
“Please don't test the Malays; they know 'amok'. We don't want to reach that level. In the present situation, the Malays can still take it but efforts to enhance the Malays' economy need to be intensified," he said.
Mohamed said that Umno as the only Malay party would continue to fight for the Malay agenda and this should not be questioned by others.
The BN components, he said, must clearly know of the sacrifices by the Malays and Umno since independence.
The Malays' sacrifices, he said, must be paid back with sacrifices of the same magnitude by the non-Malays, particularly in questions involving the economy.
“Don't let it reach a situation where the Malays start questioning 'with the sacrifices we have made, what have we got?'. That's also the question that is very important to be answered,” Bernama quoted him as saying.
He said several quarters were questioning the rights of the Malays because of the enthusiasm of two Chinese-based parties within the BN that wanted to show which of them was the hero among that community.
“We hope MCA and Gerakan adopt the BN spirit. There is no need for us to champion racial interests and be extremely racist, because they will not bring profits,” he said.
Adhere to social contract
In his speech yesterday, Abdullah said the level of open debate on issues relating to race and religion was worrying.
He said that sensitive topics should be discussed rationally and in a responsible manner.
“We have to adhere steadfastly to the social contract and what is enshrined in the federal constitution to which all the major communities and the different states agreed...
“It will be all too easy to undermine these sensitivities by making extreme and unreasonable demands and questioning the basic fundamentals of one community,” he said.
“If there are those who want to overhaul this agreement or continue disputing it, then we run the risk of adversely affecting our stability and harmony.”
“We cannot allow this to happen. I will not allow it to happen at any cost,” added the party president and prime minister.
tags : tun mahathir mohamad malaysia pm abdullah badawi umno general assembly