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KUCHING, July 4: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is “out of touch with reality” in his statement claiming that it is unconstitutional to promote a multiracial country, says Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) deputy information chief Andy Lawrence.
Andy reminded Dr Mahathir that he had been promoting a multiracial Malaysia throughout his tenure as a prime minister from 1981 to 2020 and later from May 2018 to March 2020, for a cumulative total of 24 years.
“Dr Mahathir must have forgotten that in 2019, he had conveyed a message during Chinese New Year, urging Malaysians to celebrate diversity and uphold harmony within the country.
“He was promoting a multiracial Malaysia,” Andy said in a statement today.
He was responding to Dr Mahathir’s remarks against promoting a multiracial country, alleging that the Federal Constitution never mentioned that Malaysia is a multiracial country, but stresses a Malay-Malaysia.
Andy pointed out that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution provides special privileges not only for Malays but also for the natives of Sabah and Sarawak, indicating that these privileges are intended to benefit various races, not just Malays.
“Therefore, it can be argued that promoting a multiracial Malaysia is not unconstitutional based on the Constitution.
“The Federal Constitution enshrines the right to equality under Article 8. This provision guarantees that all individuals are equal before the law and prohibits discrimination based on race, religion or creed. Promoting a multiracial Malaysia can be seen as upholding this constitutional right to equality,” he emphasised.
Andy also highlighted that the Federal government has implemented various initiatives to promote multiculturalism and national unity.
These initiatives include organising events and programmes to provide platforms for Malaysians from different backgrounds to come together and build a stronger, more inclusive nation such as the 1Malaysia concept, Keluarga Malaysia, National Unity Blueprint, Kembara Perpaduan Malaysia Madani and many more.
Moreover, he added that the recognition of cultural heritage through festivals like Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali as well as Gawai Dayak and Kaamatan, can be considered as a way for the Federal government to promote a multiracial Malaysia.
“It is worth noting that these celebrations have taken place even during Dr Mahathir’s tenure as prime minister, spanning over 22 years and 22 months,” he said. — DayakDaily