BUTTERWORTH: While protecting the rights of the Malays, the Chinese and Indians must also be given an assurance on their citizenship and position in the country, said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The Permatang Pauh Member of Parliament said the country belonged to all races (Anak Bangsa Malaysia) and not to just one community.
“With such an assurance, it does not mean that you will be sacrificing the rights of another community,” he said during a breakfast gathering with Permatang Pauh PKR Wanita members in Yayasan Aman in Penanti yesterday.
Anwar said when Independence was declared on Aug 31, 1957, the Malays, Chinese and Indians were assured the freedom of speech and freedom to form associations.
“Now, when you say you disagree (with your political leader) you get threatened. The true spirit of Merdeka is no longer present.
“What is the meaning of Merdeka when we are still ruled by our own community?” he asked.
The newly elected Opposition Leader also said Malays should support leaders who abhorred corruption and those who were fair to all communities.
He said political leaders should also refrain from making racist remarks that would make other races feel threatened, adding that it was unfair to blame one community for the economic slowdown.
Anwar said Merdeka also meant giving an assurance towards the nation’s security, which he noted was “sadly not addressed in Budget 2009.”