KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — The federal opposition called today on Malays to stop Umno from “plundering their wealth”, in a response to Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria’s remarks yesterday suggesting Malays are duty-bound to defend their rights.Although Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders told The Malaysian Insider Islam does not allow Malays to strive for supremacy over others, they acknowledged the wealth gap between members of the community and other Malaysians.
“If Malays are to defend ourselves, then who has been in power since Independence, destroying Malays and plundering their wealth?” said PAS research chief Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
The Kuala Selangor MP said over 40 years of pro-Malay affirmative action under the New Economic Policy (NEP) has only led to “the Tan Sris and Datuks, the elite Umnoputra, grabbing what belongs to the Malays.”
DAP’s political secretary to the secretary general, Zairil Khir Johari, also pointed to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s claim that Barisan Nasional (BN) had “created billionaires.”
“The prime minister said billionaires became rich because of BN policies. Nearly all of them are non-Malay,” said the son of Tan Sri Mohd Khir Johari, a former Umno education minister.
He added that if the Umno-led coalition could take credit for creating billionaires, then it should also take responsibility for the Bumiputera households who make up three-quarters of those living on under RM1,500 a month.
Harussani said yesterday at the launch of former Selangor PAS chief Datuk Hasan Ali’s new Muslim NGO, Jati, that “it is compulsory for Malays to speak about this as this is a Malay country.”
“Even the Prophet spoke about his race and tribe. This land is the right of Malays but today we have lost it,” he said in his speech.
Jati is the latest in a string of Malay and Muslim NGOs formed since Election 2008 that saw BN ceding its customary two-thirds of Parliament and five state governments.
Perkasa, which is backed by influential former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has claimed that Malay rights are being eroded.
Himpunan Sejuta Umat (Gathering of a Million Faithful), a coalition of Islamic NGOs, was formed last year to urge Muslims to rise up against “the challenge of Christianisation” following growing allegations of proselytisation.
But PKR communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad warned today against the Mufti’s “political spin.”
“Even though the Prophet was proud to be Arab and part of the Quraysh clan, when he migrated to Medina, he formed an Islamic government which defended and protected Jews and Christians.
“So if Malays want to protect themselves, then reject Umno’s old race-based approach,” the Seri Setia assemblyman said.
Dzulkefly also added that Islamic scripture said “God created biological traits of nation, race and tribe so that we will know each other, not despise and wage war against each other.”
“Harussani has blurred the lines of Islamic principles and is disguising Malay supremacy by fuelling a siege mentality among Malays,” said the PAS central committee member.