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Zaid pans Anwar for ‘brushing off’ call to review Bumiputera privileges
Published on: Wednesday, February 21, 2024
By: FMT
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Zaid pans Anwar for ‘brushing off’ call to review Bumiputera privileges
Zaid Ibrahim says policies that cater for disadvantaged groups or the less fortunate have to be dynamic and subject to review.
PETALING JAYA: Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim today criticised Anwar Ibrahim’s response to the call by PKR veteran Hassan Karim for a review of Bumiputera privileges as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, saying the prime minister had been “quick to dismantle and brush off” the suggestion.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Zaid said Hassan was not suggesting that the provision be dispensed with or taken away.

“Review here means he wants the government to take a critical look at evaluating the effects on policies emanating from the Article.

“After 67 years of independence, the fear of talking about (Article) 153 has brought our country to a new low. It’s not just the ringgit that is dangerously low, but our spirit, too,” he said.

He also asked why Article 153, which deals with the “special position” of the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak, was being treated like the elephant in the room.

“We must be willing to talk to one another about it. We can also take the easy way and push the issue under the carpet as we have done for many years,” he said.

Yesterday, Anwar said the unity government would defend the special position accorded to Bumiputeras, as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

He was responding to the call by Hassan for the upcoming Bumiputera economic congress to review if Bumiputera privileges, outlined under Article 153 of the constitution, had helped the community’s economic standing.

“We will defend the provisions in the constitution, including (Article) 153. There’s no need for further discussions,” Anwar said.

Zaid said policies that cater for disadvantaged groups or the less fortunate have to be dynamic and subject to review.

“Article 153 is not only about the Malays and others. It is also about Malays with other Malays.

“An unexamined and distorted view of Article 153 has caused irreparable damage to the section of Bumiputeras who are less ‘special than others’. It is clearly in the interest of the larger Malay community that it be adequately understood,” he said.

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