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PKR Youth dared Umno today to amend the federal constitution to state that the prime minister must be Malay. Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Akin said in his policy speech at the wing’s national congress here that this was because “history shows Umno is willing to sell out everything.” “To ensure that the last Malay stronghold, that is political power, is not traded away by Umno, we challenge Umno to amend the federal constitution to insert conditions and guarantees that the prime minister must be Malay. “The excuse that the post is held by a Malay because Umno is in power cannot be accepted. To cover up their evil, those who question them are accused of betraying Malays,” he told over 800 delegates.

He accused Umno of “endangering the interests and position of Malays... for their own gains.” Umno has repeatedly accused Pakatan Rakyat (PR) of selling out the Malays to Chinese and foreign interests, insisting that the Malays can only be protected if Barisan Nasional (BN) remains in power. Since the landmark Election 2008 where PR denied BN its customary two-thirds majority of Parliament and five state governments, the Malays have swung back towards the ruling coalition even as Chinese support for the federal opposition has increased. Racial tension has also heightened over the past few years especially with repeated allegations that Muslims are being proselytised.

Umno’s Utusan Malaysia accused the DAP earlier this year of conspiring with the church to turn Malaysia into a Christian state and install a Christian prime minister. A coalition of Muslim NGOs known as Himpunan Sejuta Umat (Gathering of a Million Faithful) has also organised several gatherings around the country to “rise up to the challenge of Christianisation.” Article 153 of the constitution grants the Agong di-Pertuan Agong responsibility to “safeguard the special position of the Malays” and has been interpreted by Malay rights groups to justify special privileges in the economy, religion and education.


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