He also said the statement by Eu Hong Seng, chairman of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship, could cause racial tension and warned against continuous debate on the subject.
Eu, speaking on Saturday at a Christmas hi-tea, said Article 153 ought to cover the rights of all Malaysians, not just the Malays and the natives of Sarawak and Sabah. "When we talk of the rights of only one group, if I may suggest, that is bullying," he said.
Speaking to reporters here, Muhyiddin said: "There is a reason, a rationale, behind the article. There is a history behind it." He did not elaborate, but referred to the so-called unwritten social contract that Barisan Nasional politicians are fond of citing when confronted with questions about preferential treatment of the Malays.
He said the Barisan Nasional government had "done much to help everyone" and that this obligation was "sealed in the social contract".
"I hope that there will be no debate on this matter as it could incite racial tension. What is already enshrined in the Constitution should not be questioned."
Eu's statement provoked an angry reaction from the hardline Malay group Perkasa. It accused the church leader of attempting to instigate animosity against Malays.
Perkasa's secretary-general, Syed Hasan Syed Ali, said Malaysian Christians must remember that they were free to practice their religion because of Article 153.
According to his interpretation of the article, its safeguard of bumiputera rights mitigates against the community's economic discontent and thereby ensures the peace that makes free religious practice possible.
The spat is the latest in a series of disputes that have lately soured Christian-Muslim relations.
Colour blind BN policies
He cited several government welfare programmes to support his point, including the recently announced decision to disburse a total of RM2 billion to households earning less than RM3,000 a month. He said these programmes were colour blind.
Article 153 states that "it shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article".
Critics observe that Malay hardliners often invoke the article to ensure that race-based affirmative action policies continue to be implemented so that their business interests would remain protected.Read More @ Source
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