Source Aliran

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: The call to amend Malaysia’s Federal Constitution to allow only a Malay Muslim to be the prime minister has been feverishly debated. 
The Malaysian Bar has eloquently and succinctly expressed the dangers of any such move gaining traction within political party blocs and the masses. 
The claim by a former PM that only Malay Muslims will be prime ministers because they are in the majority reveals a chauvinistic mentality. 
Malaysia is a multicultural country. The Federal Constitution guarantees the rights of all citizens irrespective of race, religion, status and gender. 
You cannot build a nation by amending the Federal Constitution in a way that will divide the people into racial classes – ie into a ‘special class’ and ‘second class’ citizenry. 
To do so would be tantamount to destroying the democratic status of the country. The meaning and value of citizenship is destroyed if we choose to walk down this dangerous, divisive path of exclusivity. 
If Malaysia entrenches a race-led leadership, it will lose its multicultural talent and capabilities. The country will sink and turn into an ultra-extremist authoritarian state. 
We are fortunate to have a constitutional monarch who ensures a much-needed balance to take the country forward. 
The prime minister must spell out a permanent and resolute end to this race-based madness, which has spread like cancer in our midst. 
Malaysia will only progress and thrive if we treasure and protect our diverse society. 
If we turn into an apartheid system – in any form or by any means – it will destroy that which we hold dear.