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(Melaka, Monday): DAP express regrets at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s emotional re-enactment of the anti-Malayan Union marches 60 years ago in Batu Pahat yesterday, with shouts of “Hidup Melayu” without shouting also “Hidup Malaysia”. Shouting “Hidup Malaysia” instead of “Hidup Melayu” would be more helpful to achieve national unity and Wawasan 2020 objective of forging a Bangsa Malaysia.
Slogans of “Hidup Melayu”, which appeals only to one race, may be part of the struggle of opposing British colonial rule 60 years ago. However “Hidup Melayu” is neither relevant nor appropriate in the 21st century to achieve Wawasan 2020 objective of forging a Malaysian race/community towards national unity.
Further, the whole struggle of Malayan Union was as much a struggle against British colonial rule as a struggle against granting fundamental rights to non-Malays, particularly citizenship rights. Under our present Merdeka constitution, citizenship of jus soli (birth in a state’s territory) is granted for anyone born in Malaysia after Merdeka 31.8.1957 by operation of law.
This fundamental principle of citizenship of jus soli, an important part of the social contract towards Merdeka, was opposed by anti-Malayan Union activists 60 years ago. DAP believes that the Prime Minister does not adhere to this approach towards citizenship of non-Malays.
Accordingly apart from shouting “Hidup Melayu” for historical purposes, the Prime Minister should also shout “Hidup Malaysia”. He can be easily questioned why not shout “Hidup Cina” or “Hidup India” to show his commitment towards the principles of justice and fairness characterizing his administration. Pak Lah should remember he is the Prime Minister not only of the Malays but also the non-Malays such as Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans and orang aslis.
If he is serious about forging a Malaysian race, then he should be looking forwards the next 60 years in focusing on reducing racial identification instead of going back 60 years to retreat into our respective racial and religious shells. Shouting “Hidup Malaysia” would cover all Malaysians. Better still would be to ban all racially-based parties and a first step would be to open UMNO to all Malaysians regardless of race and religion.