Here's some 20th century institutionalised racism for you.
Is there another modern democratic country on this earth (since the demise of Nazi Germany and Apartheid) which constitution specifies the race and religion of its elected leaders?
How can Malaysia be classified as a democracy when the laws itself specify that some citizens enjoy more 'democratic' rights than other citizens?
What's the use of holding elections when there is the possibility (how remote that possibility is, is beside the point. Laws operate in a universe of absolutes)... a possibility that the person elected will be prevented by law from taking up his/her elected office?
Is this any less outrageous and despicable than if women were legally and constitutionally barred from holding some positions or engaging in some professions simply because of their gender? Or if midgets, fat people and bald people were barred because of their lack of height, excess of weight or absence of hair?
Anyway, here's the reason for my rant.., coming to light now in the aftermath of the Perak MB farce.
According to a Abdul Aziz Bari, reportedly a lecturer specialising in constitutional law at the International Islamic University, the state constitutions prescribe that only Malay Muslims can be appointed Menteri Besar and State Secretary in Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.
Being that, the sultan of each state however, has the authority to dispense with this requirement at his discretion.
This Malay-Muslim requirement does not apply to states without sultans ie. states with Ketua Menteri like Penang, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak. And it does not apply to Federal appointments like the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary to the government.
... di Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan dan Johor hanya orang Melayu dan Islam sahaja yang boleh dilantik untuk menduduki kerusi Menteri Besar dan Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri.And don't just assume that the office of the state palace will 'do the right thing' and make a colour-blind judgement either. However high the stature of one's birth, we're all only human at the end of the day. And to err and prejudice is indeed human.
Perlembagaan memperuntukkan syarat ini, kata Dr. Abdul Aziz lagi, untuk meneruskan kedudukan dalam negeri-negeri Melayu sebelum merdeka dan ini diteruskan selepas merdeka dan dilindungi oleh Perlembagaan Persekutuan sebagaimana yang tertera di dalam Perkara 8(5)(e). - Harakah in Malaysia-Today
Take this for instance... mosque openings! That's reportedly why the Selangor palace finds a Chinese Deputy MB to be contentious. A Muslim is needed just in case the MB is busy and his Deputy needs to cut the ribbon. Sheeeesh!...
In Selangor, Menteri Besar-designate Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim from PKR is expected to appoint a Chinese deputy from the DAP as part of a coalition agreement. But this plan has come under a cloud because the palace indicated some unhappiness with the arrangement.
Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani, private secretary to the Sultan of Selangor, has said the deputy should also be a Malay.
'He (the deputy) is normally a Malay because he is supposed to help the menteri besar, such as in the opening of new mosques. If the deputy is not a Malay, that can be a problem,' he said in response to a question at a news conference. - The Straits Times on Malaysia-Today