DPM: No talks on dropping 'race' from forms yet

Tan Sri Muhyiddin said that the Cabinet was open to Kurup’s suggestion to remove the race column in forms and would be willing to discuss it. — file picture
Tan Sri Muhyiddin said that the Cabinet was open to Kurup’s suggestion to remove the race column in forms and would be willing to discuss it. — file picture

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KAJANG, Feb 24 — The suggestion to remove the “race” category from official forms has not yet reached Putrajaya, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin clarified today.

The deputy prime minister said that for now, the matter remained a suggestion from federal minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.

“The matter has not been discussed by the Cabinet. There has been no decision,” he told reporters at a news conference here.

Muhyiddin added, however, that the Cabinet was open to Kurup’s suggestion and would be willing to discuss it.

Kurup mooted the removal of the category on Saturday, saying that Malaysians remain divided by a fixation on racial and religious identities.

MCA’s Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai yesterday backed Kurup’s proposal to omit racial classification from official forms, saying the category’s inclusion was pointless.

Kurup made the suggestion while launching the National Unity Consultative Council’s (NUCC) first dialogue session.

The minister in charge of national unity also noted the divide in historical interpretation between Malaysians in East and West Malaysia, which remains unresolved some 50 years after the federation was formed.

Accused of being unfit to spearhead efforts to establish a National Unity Blueprint, the fledgling NUCC has shrugged off the criticism, saying it can only prove its sceptics wrong through its work, which is already underway.

This comes as Malay rights group Perkasa denounced the 30-man panel for purportedly having members with an “anti-nationalist” bent.

The NUCC was formed last November 30, after a slew of issues and statements that touched on racial sensitivities that followed a fractious national election in early May.

A large range of prominent personalities widely known for their moderate views were appointed to the panel, including PAS’ Parit Buntar MP Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, former Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir.

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