UMNO has always projected itself as the champion of Malay-Bumiputera rights.
Thus this piece of news demonstrates clearly UMNO’s own contradiction.
Last weekend, in the morning, the President of UMNO, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, an UMNO blue blood, being himself the son of a former UMNO President, was conferred the heroic title “Sri Tri Buana Gangga Simanjakani Chula Sakti” by the Pertubuhan Seni Silat Pusaka Gayong Malaysia (a school of traditional malay martial art). The title was supposedly to present the Prime Minister as a defender warrior of the Malay-Bumiputera.
Then, on the same day, the very same Malay warrior announced to the Thai community at a Thai temple in Kedah that the Malaysian government recognised them as bumiputera and accorded them with the rights of bumiputera just like that of the Malays. They were able to purchase the Amanah Saham Bumiputera shares designed to increase the economic wealth of the Malay Bumiputera through government-guaranteed mutual fund investments as well as to enrol in UiTM and were eligible for Mara loans. Najib also said that not only the Federal Government recognised the status of the Thai community as bumiputeras, but UMNO as a political party also acknowledged them, even to the extend of allowing the Thai community in Malaysia to set up UMNO-branches.
This clearly demonstrated that to UMNO, and to the Prime Minister, “bumiputera” is not as sacred as UMNO would like the Malays to believe it is. “Bumiputera” literally “Sons of the Soil”, meaning the indigenous people guaranteed with special privileges by the Constitution, is only a political commodity to UMNO. It can be traded or exchanged for political interest.
Full report by the Star below:
PENDANG: The Thai community has been assured that they are entitled to bumiputra benefits and privileges.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the community had long been recognised as bumiputra, adding that their loyalty to the country was unquestionable.
The Prime Minister said even Umno recognised them as bumiputra and allowed Malaysians of Thai descent to set up party branches.
“I would like to state that the Thais here are regarded as bumiputras and I will ensure that they are truly recognised and enjoy the bumiputra privileges.
“They have been loyal to the country. Former prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had declared the Thai community as bumiputra and today, I reiterate this.
“They are entitled to purchase Amanah Saham Bumiputra shares, enrol in Universiti Institut Teknologi Mara and can apply for various Mara loans, among others,” he said when meeting the Thai community at Wat Titi Akar and Wat Nanai yesterday.
He said when the political tsunami hit the country and the state in 2008, the community’s support for Barisan Nasional remained strong.
Najib also said that when he introduced the 1Malaysia concept, it was to further elevate the spirit of tolerance to acceptance.
“To realise this, there must be a change in mindset and attitude. The time has come for us to accept the diversity rather than just tolerate it,” he said.
Najib said aside from globalisation, the process of localisation was also being pursued by the people.
He cited the setting up of the Thai language school by the community as part of efforts to preserve their culture and tradition as example of localisation efforts.
The Prime Minister announced an allocation of RM500,000 to the Thai language school in Wat Titi Akar and RM9,000 each to the 48 wats in Kedah.
Earlier in Gurun, he said unity among Malays was the key to national unity.
Najib said Malay unity could be reflected in many ways, including through associations such as silat groups.
Najib said the struggle for the country did not end with Malaysia achieving independence but should continue until the country and Malays achieved excellence.
The Prime Minister was bestowed the “Imam Khalifah Agong Gayong” award by the Seni Silat Pusaka Gayong Malaysia organisation.
His wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, was presented with an award which carries the title “Sri Pelangi Srikandi Utama”.