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Malay Dignity Congress: here’s what they demanded

Malay Dignity Congress: here’s what they demanded

Tasneem Nazari

The Kongres Maruah Melayu (Malay Dignity Congress) held at Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam, yesterday (Oct 6), which saw over 5,000 participants, was attended by leaders from both sides of the political divide as well as prominent figures outside the political world.

At the gathering, held to discuss and find solutions to problems faced by Malays, a series of resolutions were made in five general areas: culture, economy, education, religion, and politics, and each was presented by various academia and politicians.

Picture credit: The Star Online

These resolutions were then handed to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Here’s a breakdown of the resolutions that were mentioned during the gathering:

1. Religion.

Presented by PAS Youth deputy chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari.

Picturec credit: New Straits Times
  • Main positions within the government should only be filled by Malay-Muslims.
    Positions include the prime minister, deputy prime minister, menteri besar, and chief ministers, as well as top positions in the finance ministry, education ministry, defence ministry and home affairs ministry
  • Only Malay-Muslims appointed in the top positions within the government.
    Such as the chief justice, attorney-general, secretary-general to the government, inspector-general of police and chief of defence forces
  • Minister in charge of religious affairs is someone from within the Muslim community.
    The minister should be someone who is respected, knowledgable, follows Sunni teachings, not influenced by confusing or deviant beliefs or doctrines and unapologetic towards liberals and non-Muslims who don’t respect Islam.
  • Government to pressure Suhakam, Malaysian Bar, liberal NGOs and other such bodies from intervening in Islamic affairs under the guise of human rights.
    No compromise is given to those who insult or disrespect Islam

2. Culture

Presented by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) counsellor, Muhammad Za’im Rosli

Picture credit: Head Topics
  • Tough action is taken against those who challenge Islam as the federal religion.
    Any outside influences that spread deviant ideologies or lifestyles against Islam should be barred from entering the country
  • Tough action is taken to protect and ensure the status of Bahasa Malaysia as the national language.
  • Education ministry should focus on Jawi, to prove the government’s commitment.
    And for action to be taken on those who try to stop the inclusion of Jawi script in official businesses.

3. Education

Presented by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (Upsi) student, Nurul Fatin Aqilah Rahim

Picture credit: Malaysia Dateline
  • Vernacular schools should be gradually abolished to make way for single-stream national schools
    Because vernacular schools cannot unite the races for the sake of unity.
  • Scholarships under the Public Service Department (JPA) is “returned” to Malays and bumiputras via SPM.
  • Payment exemptions from National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) should only be awarded to high-performing Malays.

4. Economic

Presented by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) student, Muhammad Syafiq Jebat

Picture credit: Malaysiakini
  • Government to clearly outline its Malay economy agenda and other policies.
    This is to help safeguard the interest of Malays and empower their economy
  • Government to be clear on its commitment to improving the socio-economic wellbeing of Malays.
    Though these should not be done by neglecting the interest of people of other races
  • Government to make an effort to reduce the income disparity between Malays and those of other races.
    Which can be done by providing upskilling training for Malays to help them remain competitive in the workforce
  • Efforts are made to strengthen Malay economic institutions and government-linked companies.
    These entities must be headed by a Malay with integrity and the Malay spirit to keep the agenda alive, and a special commission is established to monitor these entities and protect the interest of Malays.

5. Political

Presented by Universiti Malaya Malay Studies Academic Fellow, Abdul Muqit Muhammad.

Picture credit: Free Malaysia Today
  • Need for a specific economic agenda to eradicate poverty among Malays.
    However, the agenda should not be seen as an effort to discriminate other races since most Malays are majority of those in poverty
  • Economic policy should not be elite-oriented.
    Because the previous policy did not effectively address issues faced by farmers, fishermen, and the like.

After receiving the resolutions, Tun Dr. Mahathir said that although the congress has made demands, the government is not compelled to accept every single resolution. However, they will look seriously into the demands.

Picture credit: The Sun Daily

“There is a demand, but it doesn’t mean that the government has to accept the demands. We have to look into what we can do and what we cannot do”

Tun Dr. Mahathir via The Star

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