Malay group says immigrants must adapt to local culture

After 51 years of independence, there are still people out there who talks about immigrant communities. When will Malaysia be united as one Anak Bangsa Malaysia?

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 – Perak Raja Muda Raja Nazrin Shah’s speech on multiculturalism has sparked differing reactions from different groups.

Malay rights lobby group Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) has voiced its support for the Raja Muda’s call for immigrant communities in Malaysia to respect and accept the culture, history and system of government already in place.

Speaking in the Parliament lobby today, its president, maverick independent MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali, however did not acknowledge the crown prince’s message in the same speech yesterday that Malaysians must embrace multiculturalism.

“Immigrants across the world swear their allegiance to their new country and its leaders. They adapt to the culture, language and lifestyle in their new homeland,” he said.

“In the case of the United States, Barack Obama shed his language, culture and the Islamic religion of his family in Kenya and Indonesia to assimilate. This was what qualified him to become President,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, MCA spokesman and Central Committee member Lee Wei Kiat expressed his party’s support for Raja Nazrin’s statement that “the principles of equality and fairness suggest a preferred policy of integration rather than assimilation.”

“Nations that do not uphold the above principles would find only a small privileged group benefiting or taking advantage from unfair policies, while most other people would suffer from an undesirable scenario,” said Lee.

Lee added that “nations would face problems of disunity, such as disintegration and distrust among the peoples when country leaders opt for forced assimilation and not genuine integration.”

“MCA welcomes the statement by YM Raja Dr Nazrin who represents the views of open-minded opinion leaders, who speak without fear and favour, and should be exemplary for all other small-minded leaders who adopt chauvinistic viewpoints in their power struggle and rhetoric.”

Speaking in Parliament today, Ibrahim rejected the view that Obama’s success was due to his ability in overcoming racial sentiments and insisted that in Malaysia, the rights of non-Bumiputeras were guaranteed and it has led to them moving ahead of the Bumiputera communities in terms of economic standing.

“The Malays have historically been very tolerant towards immigrant races and accepted them without them having to sacrifice their culture and language. Attempts to unite them with one language and one culture has seen fierce opposition,” he claimed.

“In Malaysia, there are leaders who are not good in Malay but can still become elected representatives,” he added.

He agreed that a Chinese or Indian could become Prime Minister according to the Constitution. But in the spirit of Islam being the official religion and the special position of Malays, then the PM would need to be a Malay.

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