Monday, June 30, 2008

Social Contract and Malay Dominance or Kontrak Sosial dan Ketuanan Melayu.

Alhamdulillah I am back in office after one entire week of leave. Leave is good. It refreshes a person and recharges his energy and batteries. Nonethless, after three days at home, I must say I got a bit fed up and miss my office. So her am I back in the comfort and ambience of my belovewd place of work, Faculty of Law, UiTM!!!! Yes we ar3e the pride of the MALAYS AND BUMIPUTRAS...and the envy of the nons.
On this note I must relate and convey here for all of you bloggers and readers about my experience attending a particular forum organised by Bar Council of Malaysia on 28th.June,08 last Saturday. The venue: Auditorium, Bar Council Malaysia, Leboh Pasar,K.L. Time: 9:00 am
Title: The Social Contract.
The speakers ( in order of appearance) : 1)Dr.Marvis Puttucherry ( inter alia, a Fellow at IKMAS,UKM ) ; 2) Dr. Kua Kia Soong ( former opposition party MP and currently runs a private college) ;3) Mr.Timothy Thomas ( Bar Council rep ); 4) Dr.Farish Noor ( a Malay by birth and Malaysian citizen, currently works in Singapore)
The theme of the forum was to discuss the justification of the existence of the Social Contract or Kontrak Sosial which formed the basis of our existence by our founding fathers as a Malaysian nation despite our different and variety of ethnic backgrounds headed by the Malays who is represented by UMNO.
1) Dr.Marvis Puttucherry: This lady who has the privilege and honour of being appointed and serving at IKMAS,UKM being one of the oldest and most reputable national university in Malaysia certainly has her historical accounts distorted or perhaps deliberately distorted it rather intentionally. Little does she know, I hope, that UKM itself was set up by the Malays who went around the country and collected donations from poor Malay kampung folks to set a trust fund in view of setting up an institution using Malay language capable of championing and giving the poor Malays of some hope of quality tertiary education in its own home land as the Malays were then clearly far behind from other ethnic group in tertiary education.
a) Dr.Puttuchery submitted in her opening remarks, I believe she actually believed it, that the "so-called Social Contract" as claimed by the Malays and UMNO never existed in Malaysia. This is because,according to her, "there was never a nation wide consensus as required by a proper social contract" for its existence.
b) She further submitted, what is contained in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia 1957 in relation to Malay privileges and Malay Rulers were an extension of the earlier Anglo-Malayan Agreement between the British and the Malay Rulers only. ( so no consultation with other races)
c) She claimed, that the notion of "social contract" was deliberately later introduced to gain popular acceptance amongst the already multi-ethnic society of Malaysia.
d) Dr.Puttucherry also refrred to the concept of "power sharing" in terms of political positions like Cabinet ministerial post which manifested the agreement by the then Allied Government or Perikatan(UMNO,MCA and MIC) in Peninsula Malaya. That led to Chinese Chief Minster of Penang, Malay Governor in Melaka and an Indian cabinet minister.This was also extended when Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaysia in 1963 when Donald Steven became Chief Minister of Sabah and Stephen Kalong Ningkan Chief Minster of Sarawak.
e) Having outlined those historical facts, Marvis immediately contradict herself by claiming that those power sharing was actually a result of UMNO`s dominance due to citizenship laws accorded to non Malays.In other words, UMNo used the citizenship factor as a bargaining chip for non-Malays to toe the line of UMNO as the leader.
f) Marvis argued that after the 1969 racial riots, UMNO exploited the incident by introducing a series of Constituional amendments which, she strongly claimed, was de;liberately done to maintain UMNO`s dominance.
g) In fact she said that the "Social Contract" was manipulated by UMNO as a "smoke screen" maintain UMNO`s malay dominance in Malaysian politics. She believes that otrher races was merely following blindly whatever UMNO`s doing without challenging nor quiring at any one of them.
h) Marvis appealed to the present Pakatan Rakyat which controls five states in Peninsula Malaysia to change such " narrow and dilapidating laws and procedures" carved out by UMNO to give more equility to other ethnic groups in Malaysia. She believes that these actions by UMNO had tremendously reduced other races right down the level of decadence justified by the laws passed by the UMNO led government.
i) Of course she ended by connecting to the issue of Human Rights in Malaysia for other ethinc groups.She claims that our Human Rights problem is so terrible especially for non Malays under the present UMNo led government.

2) Dr.Kua Kia Soong: This person`s opening remark certainly tell us everything we need to know of the person. He said, with no apologies whatsoever, that: " Social contract in Malaysia is a figment of imagination of political carpet beggars!"
a) Kua referred to several accounts of history from second world war and post world war, development of small industries by the chinese in a very small scale then as opposed to the British/whites in Malaya
b) Kua claimed that the Malay Elite ( instead of using the word UMNO) never opposed the Malayan Union and its contents! He believes that UMNO ( Malay Elite) and other " Malay Hoodlums" was only against the style or manner in which the British approached the Malay Rulers as "bullying the Malay Rulers". Other than that Kua said that UMNO and Malay Rulers welcome the Malayan Union and the Malays wants the British to stay on and briong back British justice to Malaya to ensure poeace and harmony.
c) Kua claimed( like Marvis above) that the British only consulted the Malay Elite and not the Malay masses and other ethnic race in Malaya then and as a result the laws on citizenship was tightened from 5 to 15 years. He further calimed that this is shown in the present Ministry of Higher Learning policy not to allow formation of any college or university using Mandarin or Tamil language as medium of instruction. However, the government is more than ready to allow university/college to use English or Arabic.
d) On New Economic Policy: Kua has got nothing good at all to say about this. He even claimed that all steps taken by the government to maintain law and order and improve of New Economic Policy is seen as "Fascist Trend"!
e) On Qouta of Malay/Bumiputra in education places: Kua claimed that by 1990( wondered where he got it from?) almost on average 90% of scholarship/loans go to malay candidates
f) He even managed to find time and mention about my place of employment-UiTM: He argued that with brances all over Malaysia inclusive of Sabah and Sarawak UiTM has a student population of over 100,000 not a single place is given to non-Malays/Bumiputra. This is a very racsit trend-so he claims.
Suffice to say, I would urge all Malays/Bumiputra not to have anything to do with this person as he apparently dislikes and detest us Malays and Bumiputras. I beleieve he should be kept away from all law abiding citizen of Malaysia. It is frightening to hear such scandalous and seditious remarks made a person holding a Ph.D from Manchester University,UK going around in public, in Malaysia, inciting racial hatred against Malays/Bumiputras.

3) Mr.Timothy Thomas:
I must say, he is the fairest of them all!!!! I am not saying this because I am also a lawyer by training and therefore I am bias for him. Its perhaps due to our training that we are more objective and sensitive to the feelings of other ethnic groups in the audotorium and in Malaysia at large. His choice of words and teriminology invoked was very well acceptable and very fair to everybody. He narrated the accounts of historical facts with zest and correctness. He did not exagerate nor did he ever selectively looses his memory of events as did the other two earlier speakers.
T.Thomas most memorable quote: " Just because we do not have an acceptable definition of what constitute a social contract, that does not mean the doctrine of social contract does not exist in Malaysia....Its a bit like one can ever formulate an acceptable definition to everybody but the doctrine is being and has been upheld in many countries in the world."

4) Dr.Farish Noor:
All I can say that this Malay born Malaysian guy who holds a Ph.D to his name should join politics and as he claimed that in the recent General Election, "even this microphone can win the election..,.other than UMNO..." He even referred to the accronym A.B.U as "Asalkan Bukan UMNO" can win the election-just to show how much the people no longer has trust and loyalty to UMNO led government.
Farish a made a very silly analogy, truely unacceptable for someone who holds a Ph.D ( I dont know where from,Manchester may be?) He said:
" I was not there when they formulated the Federal Constitution! I was never a part of it! I was never consulted over it! Therefore why should I be bound what those people have discussed or agreed! I was never a privy to the entire exercise! I do not accept such social contract!"
I suppose Dr.Farish also do not want to obey any laws that was passed and implemented long before he was born and long before he was able to be competent enough to be consulted upon. I suggest, based on such argument, he should go elsewhere where he will always be consulted before the government does anything.

So, ladies and gentlemen that was my humble report and understanding of the said forum.Thankyou.