Assistant professor department of international relations uniersity of karachi university of karachi pakistan

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The Constitution

The Malaysian constitution is supreme and above the Parliament and the judiciary. It gives Parliament the power to make the Federal laws (Acts and DUN, the State laws or enactments. The Malaysian Constitution contains a number of special articles for Malaysian unity and identity: national language, citizenship, religion, the special rights of the Malays and the son of the soil of Sabah and Sarawak. For instance Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, Malay is the national language and King is the Chief Head of the State.8

The Malaysian Cnstitution has a special provision under Article 153 that protects the special rights of the Malays and the Bumiputras of Sabah and Sarawak. The article is in clash with the above mentioned statement that stresses on equality of constitutional treatment of all citizens in the Federation. The supporters of the special provision are of the view that it brings the Malays to the same economic and education status as the other races. With equality of status it will be possible to sustain political stability and public peace. Peace and harmony are the important factors for stimulating national development and advancement.9 According to article 160 (2) the Constitution, Malay is interpreted as someone who can practice the religion of Islam who normally speaks the Malay language and observes Malay customs and traditions. With this provision, non- Malay citizens or their children make themselves for the special rights provided under the Article 153.

On the other hand, a person who is Malay by birth, but is not a Muslim is not recognized as Malay and does not qualify to receive any of the special rights under Article 153.10 Moreover, three important aspects of the basic rights given to the people of the country are freedom of the individual, freedom of worship and economic freedom.11

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