Penang Umno cautions Malays against being easily swayed
KEPALA BATAS, Sept 9 — The Malays in Penang have been advised not to be swayed by political ideologies based on sentiment, so much so that they lose their capability to compete with the other communities.
Tanjung Umno Division deputy chief Datuk Raja Munir Shah Raja Mustapha said their survival depended on their ability to master knowledge and be dominant in the economic and social fields.
“In terms of the survival of the Malays, unity is the basis which will ensure that they continue to enjoy the privileges that have been given.
“However, there are still weaknesses among the Malays, in terms of housing, economy, education, for instance.
“Although there has been an improvement over the years, we are still behind compared with the other communities,” he said at a forum on “55 Years of Independence: Whither the Penang Malays?” here, last night.
The panel members at the forum included PAS Parit Buntar Member of Parliament Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Senator Dr Ariffin Omar and Sri Setia Assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
Raja Munir Shah said that in Penang, more Malays were seen to have migrated elsewhere because of, among others, rapid development and the rise in the cost of real estate in the state.
Mujahid said the claim that the Malays were a minority in Penang was not true because according to the Department of Statistics, Penang had a population of 1.6 million, or 42.6 per cent Malays, followed by the Chinese at 40.93 per cent and the rest comprising Indians and others.
Therefore, it would not be appropriate for the Malays to use it as an excuse to lag behind, he said.
Mujahid also called on the Malays in the state not to rely too much on any entity to protect them, but to undergo a paradigm shift by using Islam for guidance. Nik Nazmi said the current stiff political competition did not reflect a country in chaos, and added that such competition would serve as a good check-and-balance system.
The forum, organised by the Penang Institute, had Assoc Prof Dr Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid of Universiti Sains Malaysia as the moderator. — Bernama