KUALA LUMPUR: An opposition MP has called for a review of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution so that affirmative action policies can be revamped to be more needs-based.
Hassan Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang) made this appeal to the government while debating the Supply Bill 2022 in the Dewan Rakyat today.
“What is the point of helping wealthy Malays who own stocks and are able to stash money in offshore accounts when poor Chinese, Indians, and indigenous people (Orang Asli) are struggling?” he asked.
Interjected by Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (PAS-Tumpat), who asked him to clarify his suggestion on reviewing Article 153, which touches on the special privileges of the Malays and Bumiputeras, and his idea of social justice, Hassan replied that a review of Article 153 was necessary because the Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia, whom he called the “actual Bumiputeras”, were not included.
He also criticised the disparity between the allocations for the Malays/Bumiputeras and non-Malays in Budget 2022, with the former being allocated RM11.4 billion compared to RM300 million for the others.
“I want Malay MPs to question this injustice. I have my non-Malay constituents asking me whether they are second-class or third-class citizens.
“They also ask why a country that fought the apartheid states of South Africa and Israel is discriminating against them.
“I hope that whichever government that is formed after GE15 will rework this budget to get rid of these racial boxes,” the former Johor PKR chief said.
Hassan also called for the government to amend the Supply Bill to provide a bigger allocation for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as the amount of RM303 million was “too small” for the agency.
He said that despite the criticisms against MACC, it must be credited for retrieving more than RM14 billion misappropriated from 1MDB.