If the appointment of the several non-Malays to top government positions is against the Federal Constitution, then Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, who’s a lawyer, should drag the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to court, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said this in response to Nazri’s speech on Saturday (Feb 23), where he reportedly questioned the appointment of non-Malays as Attorney-General, Chief Justice and Finance Minister, saying that Malay rights should be defended at all costs.
Denying that the government had “sold” off the rights of Malays, Muhyiddin stressed that PH was committed to ensuring the preservation of four Articles in the Federal Constitution pertaining to Malay rights and Islam.
The four which Muhyiddin referred to are articles concerning the preservation of the Special rights of Malays, the position of Rulers, Islam and Bahasa Malaysia.
“Nazri is a lawyer, so if he said we have gone against the Constitution, he can bring us to court. So, please drag us to court,” he said during a ceramah at Bukit Mahkota on Tuesday (Feb 26).
“But I know, and he knows, that there isn’t an issue (here),” he added.
Instead of race, Nazri should focus on the problem of trust, Muhyiddin said, pointing to the many ongoing court cases linked to the former prime minister Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.
“The issue here is not about race.
“Who was our former finance minister? Najib Razak. He is Malay and yet he committed crimes against the Malays.”
Muhyiddin said the appointment of Lim Guan Eng as the Finance Minister wasn’t an issue because a Minister wasn’t appointed based on race. He said it is nothing new as Henry Lee Hau Shik and Tan Siew Sin served in the same post under Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak.
“Yes, he has powers, but he has to get the approval of the PM and the consensus from the cabinet, especially when it comes to implementing something related to finance.”
Muhyiddin urged voters to give PH more time to fulfil its manifesto promises as the pact inherited legacy issues from BN.
“We are trying to resolve the (more than RM1 trillion) debt problem, to bring investment and jobs, to help the needy and the B40. We are finding ways to resolve cost-of-living and bread-and-butter issues.
“But you cannot compare us to BN, we are doing what is in our capacity as we do not steal.”
Nazri, who is the Barisan secretary, drew flak from all quarters, including from coalition partner MCA, after his controversial remarks.
On Tuesday (Feb 26), Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Mohd Fuzi Harun said that Nazri was currently being investigated under the Sedition Act 1948.
Meanwhile, Umno acting president Mohamad Hasan said Nazri’s statement on vernacular schools is merely his personal view and does not represent that of Umno.
He said Umno respects the need for vernacular schools, holding the view that such schools should continue to exist in Malaysia, and stressed that this has been a consistent stance within Umno and BN.
“I hope this issue will not be politicised irresponsibly by any party, especially in a manner that doesn’t reflect the true position of Umno and BN,” Mohamad said in a statement last night.
After drawing flak for his statement, Nazri clarified that he had not called for vernacular schools to be shut down and claimed that his remarks had been misquoted by the media.