Malaysian Prime Minister is not tribal chief

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As the next general election is just around the corner, the issues regarding non-Malay Muslims, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng will become the next prime minister upon changing of the political regime continue to play up by certain racial-based political party so as to be its political chips.

Earlier on, PAS had proposed to amend the Federal Constitution to include the clause to specifically state that the position of “our nation’s prime minister must go to a Malay Muslim”. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had thus criticized PAS for making such a proposal which would provoke hatred, fear and discrimination within non-Malays and non-Muslims.

But why Lim Kit Siang can’t be the prime minister? He has been actively involved in Malaya’s political arena for 52 years, with such qualification he is more convincible than Anwar, Muhyiddin, Wan Azizah and Nurul Izzah.

Looking at the qualifications of our members of Parliament from political parties across the divide, who can be more suitable than him? Unfortunately Lim Kit Siang had said that he is already too old to be the prime minister and his days are numbered. He also explained that Constitution of Malaysia stipulates that any person can be the prime minister, but in view of the political reality he has no intention to be the prime minister or deputy prime minister.

Meanwhile, PPBM chairman who is former Prime Minister Mahathir had said DAP is a small party and Lim Kit Siang could never be the prime minister.

It is stated in our Constitution that two conditions must be fulfilled to be the prime minister, first he must be a member of the House of Representatives, and second he must be a Malaysian citizen born in Malaysia who is not naturalized citizen or by registration.

In it was mentioned that the prime minister must not be Malaysian citizen who is naturalized or by registration, it is believed that the stipulation is related to Singapore’s independence in 1965 and the upgrading of the economic status of the Chinese in Malaysia; furthermore, it is also to prevent the power being control by alien race like what had happened in Thailand, lest a certain race monopolized and seized the political position of the indigenous people of Malaysia.

As the Thailand constitution did not stipulate specifically that the Thailand prime minister must be indigenous resident of Thailand or must be born in Thailand, but only stressed that he must be a permanent resident of Thailand. Hence, from 1932 until now, almost all the 37 prime ministers of Thailand are Chinese Thai or ethnic Chinese descent, less than five of the indigenous Thai had become prime minister.

Another neighboring country the Philippines’ constitution stated that the presidential candidate must be 40 years old and above, have the right to vote, is able to read and write, born as a citizen of Philippines and has been staying in the Philippines for at least 10 years at the time of election. Philippines has got 16 presidents since 1869, the 11th president Corazon Aquino was the first woman president of the Philippines and Asia, her ancestors were Chinese from Quanzhou, Fujian, China.

The development of Malaysian politics was based on the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya promulgated on July 2, 1957. It has established the Federation based on constitutional monarchy which provided for the establishment of the Parliament which followed the British Empire’s political tradition.

After the founding of Malaysia in 1963, the constitution of 1957 was renamed the Federation Constitution of the Malaysia until today. According to the constitution Malaysia is a secular country and not an Islamic state, why then the prime minister must be a Malay Muslim? Such an unspoken racist mentality has contravened the constitution because Malaysia is a multiracial, multicultural and multilingual country where the civil society is built.

On the contrary, in England which used to be our colonial master of which we have embraced its political system, during the London mayoral election in 2016, amidst the continuous influx of the Muslim refugees into European countries, Pakistanis Muslim Sadiq Khan was still being elected as London mayor with majority votes of 57%.

Obama, an African American and the former president of the United States who left office earlier this year, was elected as the 56th president of the US and reelected as the 57th president. Thus it can be seen that people in advanced countries have gone for the forward-looking and bold leader in the election and not with the intention to reserve the position for a certain race and to consolidate the inherited religious rights.

All in all, when Malaya fought for independence against the British colonial rule in the early days, three major races had cooperated hand in hand to build a multiracial country of constitutional monarchy. Since independent, the administration should not be monopolized by a certain racial community and also should not be controlled by a certain religious group.

Moreover, in constitutional democracy, the head of government will have to abide by the constitution and law. In case of deviation of legal system and rule willfully, the country will become a centralized system and not democratic, or practice oligarchy where it would be dominated by a small number of people.

Furthermore, the coming general election is not tribal chief election but is a democratic election which follows the British Westminster system. If it is not a tribal chief election run by Islamic party, then why non-Malay Muslims can’t be the prime minister?