PBK: Review Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, safeguard Sarawakian natives and Malays

Voon Lee Shan

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, June 4: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) has called on the federal government to review Article 153 of the Federal Constitution to safeguard the interests of Sarawakian natives and Malays.

PBK president Voon Lee Shan in a press statement said the law which creates safeguards to the position of the Malays, natives and other communities in Malaysia had consistently been abused in the country’s political system.

He believed the abuse of rights entrenched in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution had created injustices and legal discrimination against other communities and also against certain Bumiputera or natives of the land.

“Many of them especially Sarawakian natives and Malays could not really enjoy the rights protected in this Article 153.

“This is especially seen in the recruitment into the civil service, scholarships, housing and protection of native customary rights (NCR) land.

“Better safeguards should be given to Malays and natives of Sarawak.

“The style of race and class politics fanned by political parties from Malaya that flows from Article 153 of the Federal Constitution is not suitable to the people of Sabah and Sarawak,” he said in a statement.

Voon added legal discrimination had led to deprivation of proper education, medical facilities, road systems and other infrastructures in the rural areas of Sarawak.

Thus, he believed the suppression and oppression of truth, equality, justice and decent living by people in both the urban and rural areas, if prolonged will see dissatisfaction meted out by its citizens as reflected by the George Floyd protests in cities across the US recently.

Voon observed that systematic discrimination, prejudice and inequality against the minorities, the poor, the powerless and the less fortunate was already happening in Malaysia.

Therefore, he believed Malaysia should not continue treating its citizens as it had in the past.

“We have seen this being continued during our Covid-19 lockdown whereby ministers and politicians had got light sentences compared to poor, helpless people for same offence of breaching the Movement Control Order (MCO).”

He cited the case of the stepson of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz who was charged for several criminal offences involving RM1.25 billion linked to 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) who was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the court last month.

“We do not wish a political system that creates ‘apartheid’ injustices.

“We should not tolerate a political system that could perpetuate violence, tensions and dissatisfaction among all peoples irrespective of race, religion and gender.

“Definitely, we also should not anymore tolerate the rule of law and democracy not been followed but twisted by those people in power to suit their political agenda and personal needs,” he added. —DayakDaily