Recently, we could see in the news, newspaper, etc, that many politicians had questions about the Article 153, which stated about the malay special privileges. They said that this article is not necessary as such that this article has denied the concept of equality among the races in Malaysia which has been stated in Article 8 of Federal Constitution, under part 2 of Fundamental Liberties.
In this entry, I'm not going to say about the reasons on why we should abolished this Article, in facts, I am firm with my decision that this Article should be remains.
Before that, I'm going to give a little bit clarification on the concept brought by this Article 153.
Article 153, is one of the articles in Federal Constitution that showed the concept of positive discrimination. What is positive discrimination ?
Positive discrimination according to Dictionary of Sociology, is a policies and practice which favour certain groups which have historically experienced disadvantages. Malaysia refers this concept as a positive discrimination, while for United States of America, they usually refer this concept as a affirmative action or reverse discrimination.
Generally, we could understand this concept as an unequally legal policies which favour certain group(s) which is underrepresented in significant positions in society. Actually, this concept of positive discrimination and affirmative action is the product of the concept of "equality". How ?
One of the doctrines of equality is "substantive equality". The Egalitarian together with the Socialist and the Communitarian subscribed the concept of substantive equality where persons should be placed in a similar position, even if in order to do so they are treated unequally. This doctrines of equality takes a few factors, as such as social conditioning, etc and review whether this policies would have an adverse effect on one party.
John Rawls in "A Theory of Justice", quoted;
" in order to treat all persons equally, to provide a genuine equality of opportunity, society must give more attention to those with fewer natives assets and to those born into the less favourable social positions. The idea is to redress the bias of contigencies in the direction of equality "
That is why, this doctrine of substantive equality is the basis of affirmative action and positive discrimination.
Did you know why this Article has been drafted ?
Because to protects Malay and natives, specifically, Bumiputra. I'm not going to type all that long about our history, we as Malaysians, should already know about it. In facts, we all just been informed that in 2013, History will becomes as a must pass subject besides BM. As we know that Chinese and Indian at that time (1957) were already a rich urban dwellers compared to Malay which mostly poor farmer and labourers. Despite, in the late 1970s, Bumiputra controlled only 4 percent of the economy. Can u imagine? only 4 percent ? How about another 96 percent ?
Next, according to Huang-Thio Su Mien in " Constitutional Discrimination Under the Malaysian Constitution (1964) ", the rationale behind the Article 153is to confer special privileges upon the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak so that preferential treatment can be legally practiced;
1. as a method of adjusting the political balance of a heterogeneous society
2. to protect the interest of pluralistic minorities which aim to preserve their own culture, while
co-existing with the dominant class
3. to sanction a preferential treatment to a certain groups in a country which has previously
enjoyed special privileges
4. to empower s State to take ameliorative measures to advanced the status of economically,
socially and culturally depressed communities.
Last but not least, I could say that the reasons of the needs of this article can be merely similar with the reasons of the needs of the law as according to the theories of "Truism About Human Nature" as stated by HLA Hart.
1. Limited altruism
2. limited recources
3 Limited understanding and strength of will.
Just for an information, actually, according to this theory, there another two theories that lies in theories of "Altruism About Human Nature", that is human vulnerability and approximate equality.
Whatever it is, this is just my 2 cent opinion.