by Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz, DAP National Vice Chairman
Over the past two weeks, the DAP’s National Publicity Secretary, Tony Pua has been harshly criticised by Umno leaders for the suggestion to remove bumiputera discount for the purchase of luxury homes and instead use the discount to fund schemes for the poor.
I am most appalled by the recent actions by Umno Youth to file a report against him claiming that his suggestion was seditious, in breach the Federal Constitution and the social contract. Other Umno leaders including the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself has warned Pua against causing dissatisfaction and anger against Malays, and becoming a threat to public peace.
It is clear that these so-called Umno leaders have little or zero understanding of the Federal Constitution for try as I might, I could not find a clause or article in the Constitution which suggests that Malays or bumiputeras are given the right to discount for property purchases. There’s certainly nothing enshrined in the Constitution which says that Malays are entitled to discounts for luxury properties costing millions of ringgit.
The ’special position’ of the Malays also does not extend by definition to such discounts or privileges, or one could then make the incredulous argument that as a result of the ’special position’, Malays will even be entitled to constitutional discounts for purchasing BMWs, Porches, home theatre systems, first class air tickets or even jewellery and precious stones.
The discount for the purchase of luxury properties is one of the clear cut abuses of the New Economic Policy which needs reform to ensure that it is the bottom 40% of income earners who receive the benefit from affirmative action. As such I complete support the suggestion by the Selangor Menteri Besar to consider abolishing the discount applied to luxury homes but to use the ‘discount’ to set up a housing fund to help poor bumiputeras.
Umno and its Youth wing’s ignorance and abuse of the constitutional provisions is obviously meant to protect the rich and wealthy Umnoputras who wants to continue to enjoy such discounts when purchasing their luxury homes.
Umno’s reactions also clearly demonstrate that they have no sense of pride and self-worth, for seeking to protect such entrenched and distortionary benefits at the expense of the poor and less fortunate. Malays as a race should be proud that there are those who are now able to afford such properties, and we should be pround to be standing on our own two feet with handicaps.
The Umno leaders who have criticisms based on bumiputera rights such as the Prime Minister, Umno Information Chief, Datuk Ahmad Maslan, and the Umno Youth leaders should be completely ashamed of themselves.