Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Perkasa are opportunists, says Nazri

Nazri says the EOC does not threaten Article 153 of the constitution. — file pic
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz slammed Perkasa as political opportunists after the right-wing group claimed that the proposed Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) is against the country’s constitution.
The EOC is a mechanism under the New Economic Model (NEM) unveiled on Tuesday but Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali argued it was against Article 153 of the Federal Constitution because it ensured every Malaysian would be given equal opportunities.

The de facto Law Minister explained that Article 153 would not be in any jeopardy because the EOC is subjected to the framework of the constitution.

“You can have the Equal Opportunity Commission subject to the requirement of the constitution. Equal opportunity for all must be subject to the provisions of the constitution,” Nazri told The Malaysian Insider last night.

“Equal Opportunity Commission cannot decide something against the constitution. They can make any decision but as long as it does not contravene the Constitution then it is okay,” he added.

Ibrahim, who is Pasir Mas MP, affirmed that Perkasa had no problem with the NEM but would fight against the EOC “to the end” if it did not adhere to the relevant constitutional provisions.

Nazri explained that the establishment of EOC does not “contravene” the constitution and the decisions made by the body will be monitored.  The commission is set up to cover discriminatory and unfair practices.

“The creation of the Equal Opportunity Commission itself is not offensive … we want to see what the decision is. Any decision made by them should not contravene the Constitution,” he said.

Perkasa and the Malay Consultative Council (MPM), which comprises other Malay groups, are pressing the government to ensure the NEM contains elements of the New Economic Policy (NEP) that seeks to increase Bumiputera share equity to 30 per cent of the national economy and alleviate poverty.

However Nazri argued that if Perkasa is against equal opportunity then they should also condemn the NEP.

“How can it be equal when the NEP said that Bumiputera’s rights is only 30 per cent? So 70 per cent is non-Bumi but you did not make any noise then? If you want to be calculative then the NEP should have been scrapped because it only gives 30 per cent to Bumi and 70 per cent to non-Bumi,” he said.

The minister added that Perkasa was using EOC for political interest and mileage.

“So that is not equal opportunity but you didn’t make any noise then? I think it is just a wild imagination and political opportunism over issue which is really nothing,” he said.

Nazri also stressed that the constitution does not state that the Bumiputera share in the national economy must be 30 per cent.

“So I want to know what do you mean by you are against equal opportunity? NEP does not give equal opportunity to Bumiputeras but he didn’t object and everybody is happy.

“In the constitution, it does not say that Bumiputera must get 30 per cent. It doesn’t say. They are jumping the gun, political opportunism,” he said.

Perkasa’s inaugural congress last Sunday was launched by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who once made Ibrahim a deputy minister of law in his 22-year administration.

The Malay right-wing group has spread to all states since the Independent MP founded it two years ago. It counts many Umno stalwarts among its pro-tem committee officials and has protested the Najib administration’s move to free the economy and erase affirmative action policies.

Perkasa has warned political parties, especially Umno, not to be “enemies” with the movement if it wants support in the next general election.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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