Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tempers flare over Ketuanan Melayu

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — The issue of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy) once again raised the temperature in the Dewan Rakyat to melting point when Members of Parliament (MP) were engaged in a heated argument.

Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had to intervene to defuse the situation when proceedings threatened to spill over, after Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran (picture) from DAP, had raised the Ketuanan Melayu issue.

“Please act like parliamentarians and not like politicians. When you behave like parliamentarians, you will remember the rules of the meeting and the house. Do not speak in a way that can instigate the feeling of MPs from the other side.

“If anyone wants to speak like a politician, the place is outside, not during debate, so please do not raise issues like this,” he said referring to Ipoh Barat MP.

Kulasegaran, when posting an additional question to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, had said that issues like Ketuanan Melayu had remained a stumbling block to unity in the country because it is regarded as a discrimination of other races.

“It seems there are a number of aspects that remain an obstacle to unity among the various races in the country, among which is Ketuanan Melayu which is a discrimination of the non-Malays.

“The New Economic Policy is oppressive to harmony,” said Kulasegaran, to which a number of MPs from Lipis, Silam, Bagan Serai and Arau, stood up and started shouting in protest.

However, Pandikar Amin ordered all the MPs to seat and asked Koh to answer a question by Dr Lee Boon Chye (PKR-Gopeng), instead.

Earlier, Koh who was answering a question by Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong) said Malaysia ranking (26) in the Global Peace Index was better than Spain (28), France (30), Britain (35), Indonesia (67), the Philippines (114) and Thailand (118).

“The government always took steps to improve the rankings through various initiatives. If everyone is positive and open minded and not only look at the negative aspects, we are confident of resolving many problems,” said Koh.

Koh added that though there were many challenges and obstacles because Malaysia is made up of a multi-racial society that practices different religions, the country remains in peace, harmony and stable.

Meanwhile, Pandikar Amin also reprimanded Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) who stood up in support of a call by Mohamed Aziz (BN-Sri Gading), urging Koh to answer the Ketuanan Melayu issue raised by Ipoh Barat MP, Kulasegaran.

“Kinabatangan, that is enough.....I have already told reminded earlier, do not create any trouble because the more important question has been answered. Please avoid issues that can trigger negative sentiments,” said Pandikar. — Bernama

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