Syed Saddiq: Pakatan rule end of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’, dawn of ‘shared prosperity’

Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman said today that the Pakatan Harapan government will end the era of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’, or Malay Supremacy. — Picture by Ham Abu Bakar
Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman said today that the Pakatan Harapan government will end the era of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’, or Malay Supremacy. — Picture by Ham Abu Bakar

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman said today that the Pakatan Harapan government will end the era of “Ketuanan Melayu”, or Malay Supremacy.

The youth and sports minister said Putrajaya will shift towards “shared prosperity” to ensure equity and equitable distribution of wealth across all segments, but this would not mean that the Malay community would be sidelined.

“The Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has stressed on this, the same with Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz. But you can’t just look at ending it, we must look at what replaces it. We want a shared prosperity because to develop a nation, no one must be sidelined or left behind.

“We will ensure that the Malays will still be looked after, but it’s also about equal opportunity and equitable distribution of wealth. There will no longer be any kissing of the keris, being symbolic protectors of the Malays while at the same time Malay equity continues to plummet.

“So we will work the ground, empower them and give them opportunity,” said Syed Saddiq, adding that equity is important and that it is the way forward.

However, he also said this does not mean that the Bumiputera economic policy will end, citing studies from University of Malaya (UM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) that the Malays are being sidelined in the corporate sector.

He said equitable access for all is very important and the vision of “shared prosperity” will see everyone in Malaysia benefiting.

“If you look at studies by UM and UKM, Malay applicants who graduated in engineering are three times less likely to land a job when compared to his or her peers. So this must be a comprehensive [agenda] allowing equal and equitable access in opportunities.

“It is easy to say that people are hired on merit but what underlies a merit is a system of discrimination. This doesn’t just happen here, but also in other countries. It is a subconscious discrimination and a hidden hand of the corporate market,” he said.

Earlier this month, Dr Mahathir stressed that Putrajaya will no longer measure development through economic growth, and development will now means “shared prosperity” between all citizens from an increase in purchasing power, and the elimination of a wide income gap between classes and ethnicities.

Malays make up just over half of the Malaysian population.