Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim has called for the strengthening of Malay politics through numbers so that other races will stop denigrating and ridiculing the Malays.
He said that of late, too many sneers were aimed at disgracing the Malays as though the race had lost dignity and direction.
“Many Malays feel offended with such scornful remarks but there are also many who do not care and let the indigenous polemics be mocked in their own political platforms,” he said.
Rais, who is also foreign minister, said this in a keynote address at a forum on legal issues and indigenous rights in the constitution at the Tun Hussein Onn Memorial here Sunday.
He said the Malays should know their history which could serve as a guide in their political struggle.
“History can be deemed a major factor which strengthens the argument that the Malays or Malay stock were the first to reside in the Malay States which the world knew as Malaya or Land of the Malays,” added Rais.
He said, what was perceived as Malay supremacy, was actually the sovereignity and privileges of the Malay Rulers.
“This is because the monarchy institution or Malay Sultanates are closely linked to the Malay psyche,” he said.
The Malays needed to identify their political and economic weaknesses and overcome them by doing soul-searching.
He said, remarks on Malay Supremacy cannot be made without substance or ego politics because the privilege had to be backed by continuous capacity and knowledge skills. When we are strong, then only we can say we are masters.
This has to be fine-tuned and a Malay leader has to show the capability and strength in politics.
“But if there are Malay leaders still buying votes to climb up, we will never be strong and respected as masters on our own soil,” he said.
Rais said that in this regard, Umno, as a party for the Malays, had to be reshuffled and Article 3 of the party’s Constitution on the premises and objectives had to be embraced because it contained the real Malay agenda.
“In the constitution, the meaning of Malay itself has three basic conditions. Firstly, the individual has to be Muslim, secondly speak Malay and thirdly, follow the Malay custom,” he said.
In terms of Bumiputera share in national wealth, Rais said the Malays had to reject the “at least 30 per cent ratio” and replace it with “the highest ratio possible”.
Besides, he said, all policies affecting the Malays and indigenous people and Islam had to go through political vetting first before the government made decisions.
Besides, Rais said, the Malays must stay away from elements that could weaken their image.
He said that behind the current polemic, one positive aspect that had arisen was the move of the Malay Rulers who came forward to lend assistance when needed.
“Perhaps, the Malay Rulers felt the calling to do so and we appreciate it. It seems, politicians in the country also welcome the move of the Malay Rulers,” he added.
Rais also called for a law enforcement system and policy which prevented certain quarters from continuing to dispute the rights and privileges of the Malays.